Clark County filled with fun for entire family

Wide variety of activities available for all ages

By Sue Vorenberg, Columbian features reporter

Published:

 

Portrait

For more information on life in Clark County, visit www.columbian.com/portrait.

On the Web:

Vancouver Community Library: http://www.fvrl.org/aboutus/vancouver_main.htm.

Vancouver Public Schools Jim Parsley Community Center: http://portalsso.vansd.org/portal/page/portal/VSD_Home_Public/VPS_Community/VPS_JPCC.

Vancouver-Clark Parks and Recreation: http://cityofvancouver.us/parks-recreation.

Clark County Family YMCA: http://www.ymca-clarkcounty.org/clarkcounty.html.

Big Al’s: http://ilovebigals.com.

Donn Allen’s Crosley Lanes: http://www.crosleylanes.com/.

Golden Skate Family Fun Center: http://goldenskateandlazer.com.

Mountain View Ice Arena: http://mtviewice.com.

JJ Jump: http://jjjump.com.

Kids Club: http://kidsclubfunandfitness.com.

Café Sip-n-Play: http://cafesipnplay.com.

Earth Glaze and Fire: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Earth-Glaze-and-Fire/149631801721332.

Clark County has a wide variety of options for families seeking entertainment for kids from tots to teens.

If you’re looking for high-paced action, you can shoot some hoops with older kids at the Clark County Family YMCA, goof around with the younger ones in one of the city’s many public pools or strap on the ice or roller skates and take a spin around the rink.

Want to chill out? Downtown’s new Vancouver Community Library has some great storytelling activities and designated areas for young readers and those just learning to read, or you can grab some ceramic items and do some painting in Uptown Village at Earth Glaze and Fire.

And if you’re looking for fun and games, try Big Al’s or Donn Allen’s Crosley Lanes for bowling, arcade games and a tasty snack or two.

Ready to go? Here’s more information:

The city’s new Vancouver Community Library, 901 C St., 360-906-5106, is bustling with interesting activities to keep you and your family busy. The Early Learning Center on the third floor has colorful structures where adults can engage in interactive play with young children. It’s designed to encourage and foster early reading experiences. The library also has free Wi-Fi and a coffee bar, as well as loads of interesting books and periodicals. There’s even a fireplace lounge on the fifth floor for cozy reading.

Want to take a swim with the kids? Vancouver Public Schools Jim Parsley Community Center, 2901 Falk Road, 360-313-1060, has a pool with a beachlike entrance and buckets that dump water on swimmers. It also has a series of sprinklers and two slides, plus a water temperature of about 87 degrees.

The city has its own indoor swimming options, including Marshall Pool, 1009 E. McLoughlin Blvd., Vancouver, 360-696-8239; and Propstra Aquatic Center, 605 N. Devine Road, Vancouver, 360-313-3625.

In the Orchards area, the Clark County Family YMCA, 11324 N.E. 51st Circle, 360-885-9622, has a host of activities including swimming, basketball, group exercise and even baby-sitting. On the first and third Friday of each month from 6-9 p.m., the facility hosts Parents Night Out. Adults can bring kids ages 6 weeks to 12 years old and drop them off for an evening of supervised, structured events for $5 per kid for members and $7.50 per kid for nonmembers.

For some family gaming, check out Big Al’s in east Vancouver, 16615 S.E. 18th St., 360-944-6118. The well-known institution has plenty of bowling lanes, with 30 set up as “traditional” and another dozen presented “lounge style.” It offers a 4,000-square-foot arcade and a party area that can accommodate 1,300 people. Television screens are everywhere, including 76 high-definition plasmas, 17 projection models and one gigantic wall screen that’s 36 feet wide and 8 feet tall.

In central Vancouver, Allen’s Crosley Lanes, 2400 E. Evergreen Blvd. 360-693-4789, has 42 lanes of bowling, a restaurant, a kids’ game zone and a lounge. Bowling, the main event, comes in a variety of flavors. Cosmic bowling, which features dark alleys, black lights, laser shows and fog machines, is a huge hit with the teenage set on Fridays and Saturdays from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Monte Carlo bowling, every Saturday night at 6:30 p.m., is more of an adults game with a little gambling thrown in. And then there’s regular open-play bowling every evening.

For a nostalgic family hangout, Golden Skate Family Fun Center, 4915 E. Fourth Plain Blvd., 360-696-0368, has been a place for fun since it opened as Holcomb’s Recreation Hall in 1944. Visitors can bring their own skates or grab some rental skates — or they can skip the skating experience entirely and play a game or two of lazer tag.

For ice skating, check out Mountain View Ice Arena, 14313 S.E. Mill Plain Blvd., 360-896-8700. The 16,000-square-foot ice rink in east Vancouver hosts hockey tournaments and figure skating competitions, but it also puts on numerous public sessions for kids and adults.

When kids are bouncing off the walls at home, take that energy to the inflatable playground at JJ Jump, 7500 N.E. 16th Ave. No. 2-D, 360-213-2524.

In the Salmon Creek area, Kids Club, 13914 N.W. Third Court, 360-546-5437, has 28,000 square feet of fun aimed at entertaining infants to tweens. The club offers classes and has three gymnasiums, but the main draw is the massive three-tiered jungle playland. It also has a nearly 2,000-square-foot pool, heated to 90 degrees, with two slides.

For a more laid-back outing, Café Sip-n-Play, 3000 S.E. 164th Ave., 360-896-4446, lets grown-ups relax with a cup of java while kids ages 1 to 5 frolic in an enclosed play area.

And if an artistic experience is more your thing, Earth Glaze and Fire, 2106 Main St., 360-737-3896, has more than 3,000 various ceramic items for the whole family to paint. Visitors to the shop can create their own design or grab one from the Internet and transfer it to the item.