September 20, 2013 by Scott Klepach
Hey, all you junior astronomers! You have another shot at gazing at the stars Oct. 11 at Randall Park in Yakima.
Thanks to the Yakima Astronomical Society and Yakima Parks and Recreation, the telescopes will be positioned for you to get a closer look at celestial objects from 7 p.m. to midnight.
And better yet: It’s all free!
Star gazers will meet at the parking lot of Randall Park, Castleview Drive and South 48th Avenue in Yakima. Call 509-574-5041 for more info.
September 19, 2013 by Scott Klepach
By SCOTT KLEPACH
One fun day trip is to explore some great cultural and educational spots in the greater Goldendale area. I recommend taking this day trip on a Saturday, so you can enjoy all the places on this list. Rearrange this itinerary any way you need, but pay attention to each destination’s hours of operation and how much light is left in the day.
9 a.m.: Leave Yakima
10:10 a.m.: Arrive at St. John the Forerunner Greek Orthodox Monastery/Bakery. Try some coffee and baklava and explore the gift shop.
10:40 a.m.: Leave St. John’s (unless you are visiting/touring the monastery — call at least a week ahead to schedule an appointment).
11 a.m.: Arrive at Goldendale Observatory State Park. Check out the telescopes inside two domes in the daytime. One telescope will allow you to look at the sun without being blinded, and another telescope under the bigger dome will give you a glimpse of Venus or Mercury. (Note: Goldendale Observatory offers nighttime viewing too!)
Noon/12:30 p.m.: Have a picnic at Maryhill State Park. Bring the bikes and get some exercise, or stroll leisurely next to trees overlooking the Columbia River. Planning a longer trip will allow you to enjoy the area’s camping and waterfront activities.
1:30 p.m.: Visit Maryhill Museum of Art. Check for “free county” days, visiting exhibits and family fun days throughout the year. Grab a snack and drink at the museum’s café before you leave.
3:30 p.m.: Visit Stonehenge Memorial. Pretend you are in England and adopt a British accent. Clap your hands inside and outside the stone pillars and compare the sounds.
4 p.m.: Head home to Yakima, to arrive around dinnertime.
Other possible highlights:
• Enjoy another sight of the Columbia River by crossing the Sam Hill Memorial Bridge to Oregon, even if only for a few minutes.
• On the way south from Yakima to your destination points, and on the way back, see how many mountains you can spot as you’re driving on Highway 97. On a good day you should be able to spot Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Adams and Mt. Rainier!
Note: You will need a Discovery Pass to park at the Goldendale Observatory State Park and Maryhill State Park. A Discovery Pass costs $10 per day, or $30 annually, and the pass is transferrable between two vehicles. You can obtain one at state parks and many stores in the area. For a list of Yakima vendors, visit the website of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife: wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/vendors/county/YAKIMA/
St. John the Forerunner Greek Orthodox Monastery/Bakery
58.7 miles from Yakima (70 minutes by car)
5 Timmer Lane, Goldendale
509-773-7141 or 509-773-6650
Bakery/gift shop hours: 9 a.m.-6 p.m.,
Monday-Saturday (monastery hours are 9 a.m.-2 p.m. and 4-6 p.m.)
Goldendale Observatory State Park
71.6 miles from Yakima (89 minutes by car)
1602 Observatory Drive, Goldendale
Hours: 10 a.m.-11:30 p.m., Wednesday-Sunday (nighttime viewings begin at about 8:30 p.m.)
Free; Discovery Pass required for parking
Maryhill State Park
78.5 miles from Yakima (94 minutes by car)
50 U.S. 97, Goldendale
Hours: 6:30 a.m.-dusk (summer), and 8 a.m.-dusk (winter); open year-round
Free; Discovery Pass required for parking
Maryhill Museum of Art
80.6 miles from Yakima (99 minutes by car)
35 Maryhill Museum Drive, Goldendale
Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. every day, including holidays, March 15-Nov. 15
Cost: $9 adults, $8 seniors, $3 youth (ages 7-18), $25 family (two adults with related children)
81 miles from Yakima (97 minutes by car)
43-199 Stonehenge Drive, Goldendale (3 miles east of Maryhill Museum of Art)
509-773-3733 (Maryhill Museum of Art)
Hours: Dawn to dusk
March 19, 2013 by Scott Klepach
The 14th annual Arbor Festival is 10 a.m-3 p.m April 13. With “tax day” just around the corner, this would be a great time to allow yourself to breathe, relax and enjoy nature.
The free event is designed for the entire family. This year’s theme is “Nature’s ‘Tree’rific Art,” to emphasize the celebration of the many wonders and varieties of natural science and conservation. Hands-on learning activities, crafts and displays will be on-hand, and up to 40 stations will be set up and run by various organizations in the area. As many as 600 families will be able to take home a tree to plant on Arbor Day, which is April 26 this year.
The Arbor Festival takes place at Yakima Area Arboretum, 1401 Arboretum Drive, Yakima. Call 509-248-7337 or visit ahtrees.org for more info.
June 1, 2012 by Scott Klepach
Summer usually means road trips, and you don’t have to go far if you’re looking for a real water park adventure.
Moses Lake is home to Surf ‘n Slide Water Park, which attracts visitors from all over the area. There are plenty of attractions for the brave swimmers, but there’s no need to be shy; the water park offers fun options for all ages and abilities.
There are plenty of ways to make a splash at the park. Some highlights include two 200-foot water slides, a 300-foot “river,” an artificial surfing simulator, volleyball courts, pools and diving boards, and a tube slide.
This year’s early season opens May 26 until June 7, when operating hours are 11 a.m.-7 p.m. weekends, and 4-8 p.m. Monday-Friday.
Regular season commences June 8 until Aug. 28, when the hours expand to 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday, and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday-Sunday.
Late season spans Aug. 29-Sept. 3, when hours go back to 11 a.m.-7 p.m. weekends, and 4-8 p.m. Monday-Friday.
It’s advised to call ahead of your trip to make sure hours haven’t changed.
Cost: $9 adult, $8 student (ages 13-17), $7 seniors and children (ages 5-12), free for children under 4. Call or check website for season and family passes.
If you go:
Surf ‘n Slide Water Park
401 W. 4th Ave.
July 1, 2008 by Robin Beckett
Keep your cool in the summer at Yakima’s two interactive water playgrounds.
The playgrounds, featuring spray toys and sprinklers, are free — but we like to bring a couple of bucks in case an ice cream vendor passes by.
The playgrounds are at Miller Park at N. Fourth and “E” streets; and Martin Luther King Park, corner of Eighth Street and E. Beech.
Oh, and don’t worry if the water’s not running when you get there — just press the button on the red post.