RUN THE RIVER
Put on a life jacket and feel more alive this summer. The icy splash of a swiftly flowing rapid as you navigate a river in a white water raft will make your summer exciting. Rafting tours offered by Spokane's Wiley E. Waters outfitters or ROW Adventure Center give rafters chances to navigate rapids, enjoy swimming holes, bask in hot springs and be amazed by the beautiful scenery. In the Northwest, people have the opportunity to go white water rafting on the Spokane, Clark Fork or Grande Ronde rivers and transmute the mountain runoff into adrenaline.
JUMP IN A LAKE
Glide through the quiet waters of Lake Pend Oreille on a kayak, canoe or pontoon boat. A rented boat provides the perfect way to relax as you take in the lake. Depending on your choice of boat, the lake can be a stunning place to picnic, fish, race or simply paddle around. Whatever you do, don't forget to look at the beautiful Scotchman Peak and the rich pine forests. In Sandpoint, boat rentals are available at Sandpoint's Action Water Sports, Sand Point Water Craft Rentals, and Sandpoint Boat & RV Rentals.
CROSS THE COEUR D'ALENE
Make a splash and cross Lake Coeur d'Alene. This event fundraises for Union Gospel Mission, Coeur d'Alene Area Swim Team and North Idaho College Booster Club, so swimmers are encouraged to raise at least $250. Participants face the challenge of swimming 2.4 miles from one side of the lake to the other. The event will take place Sunday, Aug. 11, from 6-11 am. Wetsuits are allowed, but not mandatory.
WET AND WILD
Want somewhere to spend a day at the waterpark with your kids? A little less than an hour from Spokane off U.S. 95, Silverwood Theme Park offers all the aquatic thrills a water park can provide. Families will love the drop slide that accelerates riders to 55 miles per hour, the 740-foot-long slide, the wave pool and the kids area complete with water sprayers and a giant drop bucket. For those who want to stay overnight, Silverwood offers an RV park, but the closest hotel is the Triple Play Resort 18 minutes away. Silverwood offers a package deal with Triple Play. If guests stay at Triple Play for two nights, they receive three one-day passes for Silverwood and three three-day passes for Triple Play's water park. With one of the world's most extreme slides, Triple Play Family Fun Park's Raptor Reef will give you the excitement you're seeking. The waterpark's retractable roof lets guests enjoy the outdoors without worrying about rain cutting their visit short.
GO WITH THE FLOW
Unwind with a winding river and spend an unforgettable weekend kayaking the Salmon River with Flow Adventures. Along with a small group and an instructor, you can guide your kayak through thrilling whitewater rapids as you explore the coiling curves of the Salmon River. Flow provides the food, river equipment, instruction and transportation. This trip can be challenging, so only those 15 and older can go. Two weekends are available for trips: July 24-25 and Aug. 21-22. A longer trip is also available August 12-16.
No summer is complete without a visit to the pool. Spokane's six public pools all have lap lanes and recreational swimming areas. Most of them also have water slides, zero depth entry and play features too. To enter any of Spokane's public pools, all you need is a free SplashPass, available online from Spokane Parks and Recreation, spokaneparks.org.
SKY AND STREAM
See the Spokane Falls from above with the Numerica SkyRide. Riders can glide over the roaring river in the comfort of an enclosed cable car. The ride will give you a whole new view of Spokane. Tickets for adults are $7.75, and for children 2-12 tickets are $5.75. The military, seniors, college students and AAA members receive a 10 percent discount. Summer value passes are also available for $18.95 for adults and $16.95 for children.
SOME LIKE IT HOT
Get away for a day to luxuriate in a hot spring. Over the Canadian border, Ainsworth Hot Springs offers a great venue for relaxation in limestone caves filled with soothing warm mineral water flowing straight out of the ground. Rooms start at $159 for a single queen bed and all include hot spring passes. Be sure to bring your passport or enhanced drivers license.
PADDLE WITH PEOPLE
The Spokane Canoe and Kayak Club hosts the Paddle, Splash and Play kids event on Saturday July 20, from 10 am-2 pm. Kids and adults can spend a Saturday paddling canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddle boats at the Nine Mile Recreation Area in Riverside State Park, at 11226 W. Charles Rd. (A Discover Pass is required to park there.) Experienced paddlers will be at the event to help you learn the basics, and life jackets will be provided although the event suggests you bring your own. Kids can attend for free, and adults need to pay $5 to participate. The event requests that attendees paddle for 30 minutes so everyone who attends can take part.
GET OUT THE BOAT
Admire the gleaming wood boats at the Sandpoint Classic Boat Festival as you walk along the boardwalk. The festival runs July 12-14. When you aren't admiring the boats, you can join in fun activities, buy products at vendor booths and toss back some local beer. Make sure not to miss the boat parade. ♦