There’s nothing quite like the imminent first day of school to make a family start itching for just one more summer vacation. Get away to Walla Walla with your family for an all-ages adventure that will be the highlight of not just your summer, but your entire year!
Where to Stay
Packing up your entire crew for a week or more is hard enough! Stay in a hotel with amenities the kids will love, like the Holiday Inn Express. Just off the highway and a familiar chain, this hotel has an indoor pool so the kids can get their splash on without needing to slather on the sunscreen. If proximity to downtown Walla Walla is important to you, we can’t say enough about the FINCH (image to the left). They pride themselves on being your vacation basecamp, and their charming room themes, colorful lobby, and outdoor fire pit will delight the whole family. Plus their friendly guides can help you customize your itinerary to the interests of your fellow travelers, an added bonus!
What to Do
Fun at the Pool
Whether or not you get a hotel with a pool, the Walla Walla’s Veteran’s Memorial Pool is the perfect place for fun in the sun. With two waterslides, a full length pool with high dive, and a shallow kids pool with an entire water-cannon enabled play structure, Veteran’s Memorial Pool offers hours of play. There are plenty of pool chairs under shade, a large and lush lawn for cartwheels between laps, and a snack shack serving up Slushees and Domino’s Pizza for when you need to refuel. Just remember to wait 20 minutes before you splash back in!
Summer Symphony in the Park
Performances throughout August and September
Experience Walla Walla’s charming parks while being regaled with live concerts performed by Walla Walla Symphony musicians. They’re short and informal, so pack and picnic and don’t feel stressed if your littles get the wiggles in the middle of Mozart.
Take a day trip to Jubilee Lake
Our contributing writer Melissa Queen recently showcased this hidden gem just a short drive outside of Walla Walla. Read more.
The one-two punch of a toy store next door to a candy shop is hard to beat. Head to Main Street and visit Inland Octopus for toys, games, and delightful gags, then wander next door to Bright’s Candy for a grab bag of housemade treats, truffles for the parents, and even an ice cream cone or root beer float made with Burwood Brewings famous root beer.
Food Truck Night
The first Monday of every month from May through October, Burwood Brewing hosts Food Truck Night. This is the ultimate family-style dining opportunity, giving the adults a chance to explore a wide variety of culinary offerings and giving picky eaters tons of options. Our contributing writer Steph Forrer profiled this signature Walla Walla experience recently, so work up an appetite and read all about it here.
Milton-Freewater Drive In Movie Theater
Revel in nostalgia with a night at the Milton-Freewater Drive In Movie Theatre. Open Friday through Wednesday, your admission ($7 for adults and $2 for kids under 11) is good for two films. The first one starts at dusk and is almost always a family-friendly movie. Locally owned and operated for over 60 years, this is one of the few remaining Drive In Movie Theaters in the United States and is a must during your Walla Walla summer vacation.
Wheelin’ Walla Walla Weekend
Speaking of nostalgia, kids and kids at heart will absolutely love this annual car show put on by the Downtown Walla Walla Foundation in September every year. It’s pushing it for back-to-school, but well worth the long weekend escape if you can pull it off.
Too hot to hang outside?
Take a break from the heat and go the Walla Walla Children’s Museum, where nearly 20 exhibits are ready to be explored by you and your youngsters. Or head to the Walla Walla Public Library for story time, hosted arts and crafts, or simply to play quietly in the newly updated children’s area. Don’t worry – this isn’t a library where yun run the risk of being shh-ed!
Wine Country Nights
Just because you’re traveling with kids doesn’t mean the adults can’t get in a few wine tasting stops. Head to Tranche for their Friday and Saturday Outdoor Live Music Series (schedule here)! They host local and regional talents on a stage in front of a natural grass amphitheater perfect for hill rolls and games of tag with newly-made instant friends. The adults can enjoy wine by the glass or bottle, as well as cold beer from Quirk on tap. Come hungry, because food trucks like Soi71 Thai and Tacos La Monarca are often on site as well as popups from family-fan-favorite Wiener & Bun and Whitman Acres Lemonade.
Walla Walla is referred to in some circles as “a town so nice they named it twice.” When you visit Walla Walla for summer vacation with your family you can anticipate a welcoming, safe, and above all FUN atmosphere. Make your plans, book your room, and we’ll see you for a summer family vacation in Walla Walla!