Home for the holidays? Get out and play

Options abound, from bowling to community centers




The holidays are here, the kids are home from school and the whole world seems to have slowed down to a crawl.

So what can you do with the family to liven things up a bit this week? Turns out, there are lots of fun options in Clark County.

Looking for suggestions? Check these out:


• Big Al’s Bowling: 16615 S.E. 18th St., 360-944-6118, ilovebigals.com/vancouver.

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. TV 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.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday.

Cost: Bowling, $3.25 to $5.25 a game, depending on time. Shoe rental $3. Other prices vary.

• Donn Allen’s Crosley Lanes: 2400 E. Evergreen Blvd., 360-693-4789, crosleylanes.com.

The Vancouver landmark 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.

Hours: 9 a.m. to midnight, Sunday through Thursday; 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

Cost: Prices range from $2.75 to $4 per game, depending on time. Shoe rental is $2.50 to $3.50 depending on size. Senior and child discounts available.


• Mountain View Ice Arena (ice skating): 14313 S.E. Mill Plain Blvd., 360-896-8700, mtviewice.com.

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.

Hours: Public skating sessions scheduled most days and evenings; check the website for a detailed list.

Cost: $7.50 admission, $4.50 for ages 55 and older and 5 and younger. Skate rental $2.25.

• Golden Skate and Laser Tag (roller skating): 4915 E. Fourth Plain Blvd., 360-696-0368, goldenskateandlazer.com.

Golden Skate 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 laser tag.

Hours: 7 to 10 p.m. Friday; afternoon times vary, evenings from 7:30 to 10 Saturday; 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday; weekdays vary and open by appointment.

Cost: $7 for the evening with free skates; $4 for one game of laser tag, $6 for two.

Play time

• Dizzy Castle: 11606 N.E. 66th St., 360-885-7529, dizzycastle.com.

Dizzy Castle children’s indoor playground includes a massive castle and pirate ship play structure, 14 dueling air cannons, snake pit, six triple-wave hump slides, interactive flooring and three party rooms. Toddlers can play on a mini ship, slides, foam alligator and sensory toys. The 10,000-square-foot space also features an upscale cafe with food, a full espresso menu and ice cream. And adults can borrow complimentary iPads and use the facility’s free Wi-Fi.

Hours: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

Cost: $10 for ages 3 and older, $5 for ages 12-36 months, free for adults and infants younger than 12 months.

• G6 Air Park: 2200 N.E. Andresen Road, Suite J, 360-828-1444, g6vancouver.com.

As a kid, did you ever wish you could have a room full of trampolines? The G6 Airpark has made that dream come true. The facility has special events, activities and lots of chances to bounce around for both adults and kids of all ages.

Hours: 1 to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 1 to 11 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.

Cost: $11 for first hour, $8 for additional hours.


• Earth, Glaze and Fire: 2106 Main St., 360-737-3896, earthglazeandfireceramics.com.

If you’re feeling artistic, then raise your paintbrush — Earth Glaze and Fire has a host of items just waiting for a bit of creative coloring.

There are 3,000 objects to pick from, including figurines, teapots, coffee mugs, bowls, dragons, fairies, puppies and kittens.

Visitors can create their own design or grab one from the Internet and transfer it to whatever item they pick. After up to 30 days of decorating, staff will then clear glaze the item and fire it to make it food safe.

Hours: noon to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday; noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. (Closed for the holidays Dec. 27 and Jan. 1).

Cost: Varies.

Reading and games

• Vancouver Community Library: 901 C St., 360-906-5106, fvrl.ent.sirsi.net.

Entertainment options at the library go far beyond just checking out an interesting book or two.

The Early Learning Center on the third floor has colorful structures where adults can engage in interactive play with young children. The library also hosts gaming sessions — including card trading games, chess and board games — for teens most evenings.

And there are several computers and free Wi-Fi, not to mention a coffee bar. There’s even a fireplace lounge on the fifth floor for cozy reading.

Hours: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

Cost: Free.

Community centers

• Marshall Community Center: 1009 E. McLoughlin Blvd., 360-487-7100, cityofvancouver.us/parksrec/page/marshallluepke-community-center.

• Firstenburg Community Center: 700 NE 136th Ave., 360-487-7001, cityofvancouver.us/firstenburg.

Both Firstenburg and Marshall have swimming pools, teen centers, fitness areas and a host of events for kids and adults of all ages.

Hours: Vary through the holidays. Check websites for details.

Cost: Pass rates will drop for residents and increase for nonresidents on Jan. 1. Adult resident monthly passes range from $35 to $41; youth $19 to $22; senior $29 to $33; ages 3 and younger are free.

• Clark County Family YMCA: 11324 N.E. 51st Circle, 360-885-9622, ymcacw.org/locations/clark-county-family-ymca.

The Orchards-area YMCA has a host of activities including swimming, basketball, group exercise and even baby-sitting.

Hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday.

Cost: $39 to join and $39 a month; additional family members $10 per month.