Sprawling across 100 acres in the verdant, picturesque Spokane Falls, Riverfront Park beckons with awe-inspiring visual and auditory wonders. The newly constructed SkyRide invites visitors to survey the land from above, swooping across the Spokane River and past city hall, where they can wave to their favorite comptroller. Back on the ground, the historic Looff Carousel, built in 1909, whirls riders around on 54 horses, two Chinese-dragon chairs, one giraffe, and one tiger, and a tour train chugs through the park on a 30-minute narrated jaunt. Among other attractions, such as the Sculpture Walk and pony rides, Riverfront Park houses an enormous IMAX theater with one of the largest indoor screens in the Pacific Northwest. Standing 53 feet high and stretching 69 feet wide, the screen is slightly taller than the average human and displays crystal-clear two-dimensional images, which are complemented by the sounds of a booming, wraparound surround-sound system.
What was once the boiler room at the historical Montvale Hotel has turned into the Catacombs Pub, a European-style pub situated inside the building's cellar. The hotel, which is listed on the Spokane and National Registers of Historic Places, has served as everything from a hardware store to a bordello.
Today in this underground pub, a brick oven fires up made-from-scratch pizzas in the spot where coal was once shoved into the boiler. The original coal chute has been transformed into a cave-like seating area where servers deliver irish stew, bratwursts, European beers, and specialty cocktails. The pub's brick hearth and exposed stone walls, modeled after German and Viennese pubs, contribute to the its Old-World feel, along with 2,800-pound solid oak beams, which weigh as much as King Midas's cell phone.
Demonstrating a passion for culinary exploration, fine wines, and clever intoxicants, Vin Rouge appeals to foodies with an ever-changing menu and vibrant, neighborhood charm. The dinner menu encourages eaters to mix sipping and sharing with an international list of small plates. Entrees such as a roasted half-duck ($21.95), a plank of sea bass ($22.95), or a top-sirloin steak ($22.95) invite solo salivators to poke a new notch in their belts. A crack-team of specialized eats for social hour (2 p.m.–5:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. to close), weekend brunch, and weekday lunch helps patrons combat the metallic aftertaste of daily nutrient capsules with fresh salads, gourmet paninis, omelets, and more. House-made lemonades and artisan cocktails top off the experience, flooding bio-aqueducts with rivers of live-sustaining, judgment-clouding nectar.
While seemingly unorthodox, the melding of authentic Irish fare and Southern-style smoked barbecue creates a mouthwatering mix as tempting as the pub’s black and tans. Sink teeth into authentically appointed slow-cooked corned beef and cabbage served with irish stew, a dinner salad, and house-made horseradish sauce for dipping ($13.95). Freshly caught and covered in a Guinness beer batter, the fish and chips pairs deep-fried Alaskan white fish with steak fries and a house-made tartar sauce ($14.95 for two fillets). The smoked barbecue pulled pork spends more than 10 hours in an apple-wood burning barbecue pit before it’s partnered plateside with barbecue sauce, green salad, baked beans, and cornbread ($14.95 for a platter). Choose from an array of salads and sandwiches, including the ultimate chicken, a grilled chicken breast buried beneath smoked bacon, mushrooms, and swiss cheese ($10.95). O'Doherty's also serves a hearty breakfast Saturday and Sunday, with favorites like corned beef hash and eggs and "smoked pit" ham and eggs benedict on the menu.
Celebrating their 65th season, the well-received Spokane Children's Theatre transports audiences of all ages to new heights of delight through the transformative power of live theater. Their rendering of Hansel & Gretel by I.E. Clark, which plays the spacious Spartan Theatre at Spokane Falls Community College, is set to display fantastical features including a singing cuckoo clock, a story-telling robin and crumb-hating wicked witch. Their new adaptation of Snow White & the Seven Dwarves, which plays at the Masonic Center, was penned by local author Ken Pickering with songs scored by John Dawson. Shows shun the stuffy silence of library puppet shows in favor of lively audience participation, encouraging enthusiastic attendees to vocally scale the fourth wall and aid the occasionally confused characters.