Are you looking for some fun activities to do during your free time in Spokane as a college student? Are you tired of the same places and want to try something different? Look no further!
I always see articles about fun things to do in Spokane for families, kids, or for vacation or traveling to Spokane, but we don’t ever see anything that is specifically catered to the college crowd.
Spokane is an amazing city filled with plenty of exciting things for college students. From outdoor activities to nightlife, Spokane has a lot to offer. There are numerous places to explore and check out that can provide a variety of experiences.
This article outlines some of the best activities for college students in Spokane. Whether you’re into outdoor adventure, art and culture, or nightlife, there are plenty of amazing options available right around the corner. Discover hidden gems, explore popular tourist attractions, or just enjoy the vibrant music scene – there’s something for everyone here in Spokane!
Fun Activities for College Students Around Spokane
Lunarium is like nothing I’ve ever seen or experienced before; a true unique hidden gem for the city of Spokane.
Lunarium offers a variety of premium teas, coffees, and a variety of different house-made treats and goodies such as European-style scones, jams and mouthwatering grilled cheese sandwiches.
Are you looking for a tranquil and relaxing vibe? Lunarium is the perfect place to study, catch up with friends and focus on creating artwork.
As it’s open until 12 a.m., Thursday through Saturday, Lunarium is the perfect place for night owls who are looking for a safe area to relax.
Lunarium provides a comfortable space for everyone to enjoy themselves in their creative environment!
Opening in January, they’ll be operating as a soft opening at first, but plan on a full opening soon after with an amplified menu. They will be holding events with various artists on their new stage!
If you’re looking for a new spot that stands out, this is it.
Who doesn’t crave donuts at 3 a.m. on a Tuesday? Oh wait … is that just me?
Donut Parade is open 24 hours, 7 days a week, to supply all you late-nighters and early-risers with the sweetest of treats.
Donut Parade has been around since 1968 and has always been a major delicacy in the Gonzaga district on the east side of Spokane, so much so that in 2015 when they closed down, new owners bought it to keep it open and keep the tradition going!
Donut Parade always has something special on the menu! Whether it be their famous maple bacon bars, or a donut covered in candy, their menu is constantly rotating, and you will never find yourself bored of their tasty treats.
So next time you have that outrageous craving for sweets, go to Donut Parade.
First Avenue Coffee
Oh man. I can’t even describe the scene of this place! A mixture of comfy and cozy, with a warm, inviting feeling the moment you walk in the door.
I loved it so much I didn’t want to leave!
First Avenue Coffee is a modern coffee shop in downtown Spokane that is the perfect place for some peace and quiet, with plenty of seating and lounge chairs, as well as a separate event area upstairs.
It’s evident that this is a great space for studying or group meet ups.
I also can’t get over the absolutely insane art they have hung all over their walls! I was totally captivated and was so excited to see they offered small prints of certain pieces and their own local art and merch!
First Avenue Coffee has an incredible menu consisting of fancy espresso drinks, pastries and a variety of vegan and keto-friendly donuts…yes, you read that right! Vegan, AND keto!
Do you ever feel down and looking for a pick-me-up? Well, rough days call for ordering nice cocktails or coffee, some snacks and playing with some furry friends!
This place is a safe haven for rescued cats looking for new homes.
The kitty café is a space with open seating to dine-in, with counter space facing the large windows viewing into the cat rooms, so you have the entire view of what the kitties are up to!
It’s a good place to escape if you’re feeling overwhelmed or overstimulated and looking for a break from the chaos of your studies.
All the cats at Kitty Cantina are also for adoption, so, who knows, maybe that random boost of serotonin will have you taking your new friend home!
Regardless of if you’re there to adopt a cat, play with a cat or enjoy the view from the other side of the window, this is a great place to unwind and clear your head.
Spend an evening under the dome and learn about our planet and the universe that grasps it.
The Planetarium is located at Spokane Falls Community College and is open to the public for special events on different subjects of space and how they operate, such as black holes, stars, and gravity.
This is such a unique experience and captures your interest more than any other regular movie would.
Each viewing also comes with a chance to look under the dome at the stars and planets visible in the night sky, and a discussion on what is happening and what you’re seeing! I personally love the Planetarium, and I think everyone should experience it at least once!
Live Performances and Shows
Theater is making a huge comeback after a rough 2020 and 2021, and it’s time we tell everyone about it!
There are so many performances happening all over Spokane, at many of the different theaters we have around town such as the: Spokane Civic Theatre, Martin Woldson Fox Theatre, First Interstate Center for the Arts, and so much more!
Each month they have different performances to look out for that are always new and exciting.
If you haven’t been to a live show before, I definitely recommend you go try it for yourself.
Explore Different Cultural Foods
Get out and explore your wild side, find your sense of adventure and try something new!
Spokane has a wide variety of different cultures, along with so many restaurants and stores to support it.
If you’re looking to expand your knowledge and grow your palette, check out places like Baba in Kendall Yards, Marrakesh Moroccan off of Division Street, Indigenous Eats in West Central and Feast World Kitchen in downtown Spokane for a weekly rotating menu.
These are just a few of the great places we have here hosting their great flavors and cultures for the rest of the world to experience.
If you’re looking for more options, I suggest heading over to the Trending Northwest on Facebook for many more amazing suggestions of places to try!
Wonderland After Hours
Now, this is something fun to do for those of you who want to play games and bring out your inner child.
In case you didn’t know, Wonderland Family Fun Center is an adventure park in North Spokane that has go-carts, bumper boats, batting cages, indoor mini golf and outdoor mini golf, laser tag, and a huge indoor arcade with tons of games, activities and prizes.
As I was researching, I discovered that Wonderland also has an after-hours event every so often that caters just to adults 21 and older, so adults can have the chance to be a kid again and take advantage of all the fun!
Follow Wonderland on Facebook or Instagram for when these adult-only events take place.
They always have beer and food specials, special prizes and are open late-night to keep the party going until 1 a.m.
This is such an exciting and different way to enjoy yourself and take time to forget about being an adult and life’s stressors.
Check their website regularly for event dates and details.
The rink comprises a 650-foot skate path of ice with twists and turns and twinkle lights hanging above. Perfect for a romantic night out, a family gathering or even just gathering a few friends to try something new.
Spend the time to chuckle at one another while struggling to stay balanced because, let’s face it, not all of us are graceful on the ice!
Whether you can skate like a pro and are looking for a great strip of ice to practice your hobby on, or if you’re brand new to the skating game and looking to just have a few laughs, the Numerica Skate Ribbon is the perfect place to make beautiful memories.
Hidden Bagel Co.
As many of my readers know, I am a MAJOR foodie, and I just could not let this place slip through the cracks!
Hidden Bagel Co. seriously deserves all the recognition and praise.
These savory and delicious sandwiches are mind-blowing, and I crave one literally every single day.
You ever eat something and it’s so good you can hardly speak?!
Grinder Bagel Sammy at Hidden Bagel Co. in Kendall Yards
Pictured is the Grinder Bagel Sammy, which did exactly that. I was at a loss for words.
Hidden Bagel Co. also makes their own in-house spreads like garlic, chive and onion, and lemon dill that are also out of this world!
I know this isn’t something “to do” per say, but if you’re in need of a snack in between classes or studies, this is the place to go!
Spokane has some pretty great hiking trails both in town and on the outskirts of town, and with the winter snow it makes for even more gorgeous views.
My husband and I are outdoorsy and love being with nature when we can spare the time.
If you’re looking for a new prominent hiking spot, then do I have some great options for you!
For the first time ever, I went to Indian Painted Rocks in North Spokane, and it was by far my favorite trail I’ve ever done. This trail is winding and curvy, with different views from fields to ponds, to forestry.
If you’re looking for some deep woods, dense forestry and spectacular cliff-side views, then Deep Creek Trailhead in Nine Mile Falls is another fantastic option.
The creek was dry when we went, which allowed us to walk all through the ginormous rocks and rubble and climb back up the hills all the way to the mountainous views.
If you’re looking for something a little more vast and open, Waikiki Springs Trailhead is another excellent option for something easily accessible, simple and which still has glorious views.
To find more adventures, check out the AllTrails App and type in Spokane, Wash., for so many more great trailheads around town.
The Magic Lantern Theatre
The Magic Lantern Theatre has been a historical treasure for Spokane for many years.
This theater is a quaint little hidden gem located in Downtown Spokane that hosts several indie films and special documentaries, both old and newly released for those who are looking for a different kind of late-night escapade.
While it’s small, its personal touch of character and charm along with its particular bijou theater makes for such a special place that has been around forever. We hope it never goes away!
Adult Skate Nights at Pattison’s North
Roller skating is coming back, bigger and better than ever before! There are so many groups and clubs for both the roller-skating fanatics, and the newcomers looking to learn a new skill or hobby.
Pattison’s North, located near Wandermere in North Spokane, has 18+ only skate nights every Wednesday and Sunday from 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. with a live DJ, adult beverages and so much more!
Don’t know how to skate but want to learn? They offer skate lessons as well, follow their Instagram for lesson dates and register online through their website.
I went out for a friend’s birthday at this adults-only skate night and it was so much fun watching everyone get on the rink, dancing and grooving while zooming all around!
The live DJ is an added bonus to such a good time, too and once you get out there, you’ll never want to leave.
This place is basically an adult’s dream playground. This Washington local gem is known best for its mini golf, shuffleboard and unique array of beers and ciders on tap.
They have a total of four large floor games, a variety of different board games to play at your table, weekly events happening all the time, and delicious brick oven pizzas and snacks.
For the first time ever, I gathered a group of friends for a night out to play some mini golf, and we ended up playing a game of Giant Jenga!
You’ll have so much fun in so many different ways at this place, whether it be learning a new game such as Pockets or Wickets, or having a more relaxing night with friends around the table playing Headbands. The options are yours to decide.
Flatstick Pub also offers game night every Thursday night at 9 p.m., and Bingo Nights on Wednesdays at 7 p.m.
Art Galleries Around Town
I am a major devotee to art and the art culture around town. Not only do I love creating art, but I also love learning about it, how to improve my own and gathering inspiration from other major artists around the world.
Spokane has many galleries all around town that show off the work of so many talented artists; It’s no secret this area is packed full of artistry and technique.
If you didn’t know already, most of the colleges in Spokane are home to their own art galleries as well, my personal favorites being the Bryan Oliver Gallery at Whitworth University, the Gallery of Art at EWU and the stunning Jundt Art Museum at Gonzaga University.
A few favorite galleries outside of colleges but still in Spokane, include Marmot Art Space in Kendall Yards, the Saranac Art Projects located down the hall from Saranac Public House in Downtown Spokane, Dog & Pony, and, of course, Terrain’s Art Gallery. If you haven’t heard of Terrain, they are one for discovering!
Terrain is a popularly known and admired non-profit organization that hosts many different events annually bringing local artists and vendors together to show off their work.
All in all, these galleries are definitely worth checking out to achieve your art fix!
The Wonder Building
Another great space on our list for studying, hanging out, or gathering with friends for some good grub. The Wonder Building is home to a fantastic vendor hall filled with delicious treats from a variety of fast-casual dining spots. Not only are the treats great, but the dining hall also has plenty of activities to do, such as cornhole, ping pong, foosball, life-size Jenga, and Connect Four.
Whether you’re looking for a good date spot, a spot to do homework or somewhere to relax and spend time with friends, this place has the perfect environment!
Some vendors include Victory Burgers for burgers and appetizers, Uno Mas for some amazing street tacos, Evans Brothers Coffee for some immaculate fancy coffee drinks, and Koselig Kitchen for some nostalgic treats and hand-dipped frozen custard cones and sundaes.
School can be really hard sometimes, especially when it comes to following crazy schedules, keeping up with schoolwork, projects, and holding a job or work study. Places like those I listed, keep the excitement of adulthood alive and nourish that sense of amusement and wonder for all of us.
Don’t let the pressure of college keep you from having a good time and exploring all the distinctive and special spots around town that Spokane has to offer!
Spokane is a great place for college students to explore and find activities that will help them relax, have fun, and get inspired. From art galleries at local universities to the Wonder Building’s vendor hall, there are plenty of places to go and things to do in Spokane. Spokane has something for everyone, whether you’re looking for a date spot or somewhere to hang out with friends.
Shaye is wrapping up her last year of college at SFCC with a degree in Digital Marketing, and is excited to start a new career in the world of social media. She has a passion for any and all artistic avenues and her goal is always to bring connection and creativity to the community, whether that be through food, art or journalism. Shaye is a full-time mom to her three kids, which is an adventure. In her free time, she enjoys a multitude of hobbies from cooking, to painting and loves adding new projects to her list.