August 24, 2012

Travel NW – Frugal, family fun in Spokane, Washington + enter to win 2-night vacation package ($440 value)!

A few weeks ago we loaded the kids up and headed east to Spokane, Washington for a few days. The main purpose was to visit my grandma and some extended family – who we just don’t get to see enough. We stayed right in downtown Spokane and walked everywhere we needed (with the little one in a stroller). The city is really well laid out and it was easy to get around on foot.

Spokane is an amazingly family-friendly and frugal city! I had no idea and we enjoyed ourselves so much that I just had to tell you all about it. This is just a small sampling of the many fun events in Spokane, I recommend checking out for more information, current events and specials – it is really well organized and full of helpful information!

I thought it was cool that Spokane has maps painted on the street corners! Makes it easy to see where you’re headed! And the whole downtown area was so clean – I was really impressed! We walked everywhere we went.

We spent the most time at Spokane’s Riverfront Park because it’s easy to access, inexpensive and very family friendly. My son and husband check out the Riverfront Park map – there is a lot to do and a lot of areas to explore.

The flowers were amazing in the park, so I took advantage of some picturesque backgrounds and snapped some photos of my kids in between the fun. There are also lots of ducks and birds, you can sit back and watch. Bring sketch books and the kids can draw the different birds or plants they see!

One of the highlights of our trip was the Looff Carrousel. It was magical, it was FUN, it was fast, it was perfectly nestled in the Riverfront Park. My kids LOVED it and we all went on it twice. At $2 a ride (or 8 rides for $10), I think the Looff Carrousel is worth every penny. It was built in 1909 – so it’s whimsically old and even on the National Register of Historic Places. Kids can try and catch a golden ring as the carrousel goes around, if they are lucky enough to get it – they get a FREE ride!

A fun FREE thing you can do in Riverfront Park is feeding the Garbage Eating Goat! Right outside the Looff Carrousel you can feed a steel goat your garbage! That’s right – it’s part art, part practicality- the goat sucks up anything you put in front of it! My son enjoyed this and I only wish I had more garbage in my purse for my son to feed the goat!

Then we went on the Skyride, also located right in the Riverpark! The kids LOVED this ride that goes across Spokane Falls – it’s just the right length and speed to keep everyone comfortable. Tickets are $7.50 for adults and $4 for kiddos. You need to watch the Skyride website, during hot months they close the Skyride during the middle of the day because the trams get too hot. We went at 10 a.m. when it opened and it was just right – plus, no line!

The view from the Skyride is SPECTACULAR!

If you only did two things at the park, I recommend the Carrousel and the Skyride – which would be $10 a person for both!  If you plan to do more than a few of these activities, you should check into the Riverfront Park Day pass for $16.95.

On sunny days you can probably catch a rainbow at the base of the waterfall!

Another FREE thing to do in Riverfront Park is to stop at the playground! Swings, slides, climbing toys – perfect for toddler aged kids. We had to drag our kids away from the playground and onto other things.

Right across the street from the Riverfront Park in the big mall building there is the Mobius Kids Museum. It was full of exhibits and activities that our kids enjoyed. Tickets are $6 for adults and kids – or if under 12 months they are FREE. You can get a “jump pass” that allows you to go to the Kid’s Museum and the new Mobius Science center which saves you a dollar if you plan to go to both!

We had planned our trip for a few weeks, at least, so we watched Groupon: Spokane for dining deals! We ended up buying two $7 Groupon vouchers for Taco Del Mar – right next to the Riverfront Park and ended up paying $14 for a $28 dinner – we basically doubled our money by going through Groupon. They had lots of local restaurant Groupons, as well – which is a great way to try local businesses and save. The restaurants downtown look amazing!

Although we didn’t have the pleasure of staying here, I think we will definitely stay at the Red Lion Hotel at the Park on our next trip! It borders Riverfront Park, which means easy access to all the frugal fun activities I’ve covered so far – and it’s right on the Spokane River!  Along with lots of other features this hotel features a fitness center, indoor pool, whirlpool – and an outdoor pool complete with waterside and waterfall to enjoy in the summer! I know my kids will LOVE this feature. 🙂

Now for the fun part! We had so much fun we want you too as well! We are giving away a Spokane, Washington vacation package, courtesy of and Red Lion Hotel at the Park, so you can enjoy everything we did, plus more! All of this is valued at nearly $440! Basically you’ll get two FREE nights at at Red Lion Hotel, funds to dine and FREE passes to all sorts of activities!

Here’s what one lucky Queen Bee reader will get:

  • Two (2) night’s stay at Red Lion Hotel at the Park (Spokane)
  • $50 to spend on dining at: The White House Grill, The Oval Office Bistro & Martini Bar or the West Wing of the White House Grill.
  • $16 Groupon voucher to spend at Scout restaurant – expires Feb. 6, 2013
  • Four (4) complimentary tickets to the Looff Carrousel – expires Jan. 1, 2013
  • Four (4) complimentary tickets to Imax Exclusive Feature – expires December, 31, 2012
  • Four (4) complimentary admission to Mobius ScienceCenter OR Mobius Kid’s Children’s Museum – expires Jan. 1, 2013
  • Five (5) complimentary tickets for Skyride – expires December 31, 2012

How to enter – There are a MAXIMUM of four (4) entries possible. Please leave a SEPARATE comment for each entry – because each comment is considered one entry. Do not comment in the Facebook comment area (I’m trying to remove that), but where it says Leave a Comment below.

  1. REQUIRED ENTRY – Leave a comment on this post. Tell me what you think you’d enjoy doing most in Spokane. Maybe you have a favorite I didn’t mention – please share! 
  2. Sign up for Queen Bee Coupons daily email and leave a comment telling me you did this. If you already subscribe, leave a comment saying so.
  3. Like Visit Spokane on Facebook and leave a comment telling me you did this. They share all kinds of helpful, interesting information on the Visit Spokane Facebook page, I bet you’ll like it!
  4. Follow Queen Bee Coupons on Twitter and tweet about the giveaway.  Tweet something like: @VisitSpokane @RedLionHotels @QueenBeeCoupons – Enter to win Spokane Vacation package valued at $440!  –
    Leave a comment and let me know you tweeted.

This giveaway will end Friday, August 31, 2012 at 9 p.m. PST. Pay special attention to the email you use, because this is how I will contact the winner. I will select one random comment after the giveaway closes August 31 and I will contact the winner by email. You will have 48 hrs to respond to my email. I will also post the winner info here on the site.

Disclosure: provided complimentary tickets for my family for the Looff Carrousel, Imax, Mobius Kid’s Museum and the Skyride so we could experience them and share them with you! All photos (expect of Red Lion), reviews, kids and comments are mine. They graciously provided the tickets and dining credits for this giveaway. The Red Lion Hotel at the Park is graciously providing the two night stay for your homebase while you explore downtown Spokane!


  1. I love Spokane. Went to college there and would love to take my kids to experience the fun–especially Riverfront Park. My favorite is the goat.

  2. I subscribe to the daily emails

  3. Liked the visit spokane facebook page.

  4. Signed up for Queen Bee daily email 🙂

  5. My kids would love that sky ride and caroseul

  6. Thank you for the great write up! My husband travels for work but the kids and I stay home. We would love a vacation! Spokane looks like a great destination. I think the Skyride would be a blast and staying at the Red Lion would be a treat! Thank you!

  7. Just liked visit Spokane on FB!

  8. I already get your daily emails!

  9. I’d love to go on the Skyride!

  10. Tweeted about the giveaway!

  11. Visited the Spokane Facebook page! Thanks!

  12. I visited the Spokane facebook page

  13. already subscribed to queen bee emails!

  14. I would enjoy the river walk

  15. I have family in Spokane I haven’t seen in 21 years. I would love to be able to spend time there with them and take my daughter. Everything you did looks like so much fun!

  16. Tanya peila says:

    I tweeted this giveaway!

  17. Tanya peila says:

    I “liked” Spokane on Facebook

  18. Hi Sign up for Queen Bee Coupons daily email and liked
    Spokane on Facebook. Thanks

  19. I’m an email subscriber 🙂

  20. Tanya peila says:

    I’m a subscriber

  21. Tanya peila says:

    I love that it is sunnier there than here in Tacoma!

  22. I signed up for your daily email!

  23. gina pittman says:

    retweeted your comment and am following you!

  24. gina pittman says:

    liked Spokane Facebook page!

  25. I used to live near Spokane and enjoyed taking my kids to Riverfront park! Their favorite is the Radio Flyer slide!

  26. Mobius Kid’s Children’s Museum would be great for my kids.

  27. gina pittman says:

    am a email subscriber

  28. gina pittman says:

    love to visit spokane!

  29. Holly Reed says:

    Oh I would love to do the skyride. I didnt even know they had that!

  30. I’ve never been to Spokane. The sky ride looks great!!

  31. i love riverfront park and its’ been ages since i’ve been!

  32. Melissa A. says:

    visited the Spokane facebook page. Spokefest looks fun!

  33. Melissa A. says:

    I am an email subscriber

  34. Melissa A. says:

    I think the skyride would be fun!

  35. Never been to Spokane. River front park looks great.

  36. I subscribe to your daily emails & love it! I also love Spokane, Manito Park is also Beautiful to visit

  37. Thanks for providing such a wonderful opportunity.

  38. Water slide at the hotel looks like so much fun. Grandkids would love it 🙂

  39. The skyride looks awesome!

  40. I subscribe to Queenbee!

  41. I think we’d love the Skyride bird’s eye view of the city.

  42. I have visited the Spokane facebook page

  43. I subscribe to your daily emails

  44. I think the skyride at riverfront park would be so much fun!

  45. Cassandra says:

    As a Spokanite I can tell you that all attractions listed and the hotel stay at Red Lion is awesome. Red Lion used to be Cavanaughs Inn at the Park when I was young. My family did many “Staycations” at that hotel. We stayed in the tower, swam in the pool and walked the path to Riverfront Park and rode all the rides. As a mother now it would be an ultimate blessing to give my kiddos their first staycation in Spokane so they can have memories like I do. Thank you for putting this give away out there as Spokane has many little secrets and is great for families.

  46. Hi! I would absolutely love to win this trip! My brother and his lovely family (including my beautiful baby niece) live on the east side, I live on the west side, and I miss ten terribly! It would be wonderful to be able to visit them.

    I also liked your page and tweeted!

  47. The skyride looks amazing!

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