The weather may not be water-sport or mountain-hiking friendly, but there still are plenty of activities to keep you busy and away from the laziness-inducing TV or Netflix binge-watching. Assuming they aren’t traveling to places where the weather outside isn’t quite as frightful, Eastsiders know how to find fun away from the sun locally. Here are a few activities to consider in places where the drizzle won’t stop you from finding some fizzle.
Snohomish Aquatic Center sports an indoor surfing FlowRider (and even a lazy river). This surf-simulation machine is the only one of its kind in this area. Riders must be 42 inches tall to ride the boogie boards and 52 inches tall to ride the stand-up boards. Instructors teach students spins, jumps, drop-in entries, and other tricks. Sessions are booked on a first-come, first-serve basis. The center also has a traditional competition pool; dive area, and floating play structure, complete with zero-entry spray play area.
Who would have thought you could participate in this particular sport indoors? Well, you can at iFly Indoor Skydiving in Tukwila, which employs a vertical wind tunnel that simulates free fall conditions. It is safe for children as young as 3 and adults as old as 103 — or even older for those fit-as-a-fiddle centenarians. Not only does this technology give skydivers the opportunity to practice the skills needed to jump from a real plane; it has also spurred a whole new sport called body flight. Body flight has evolved into a competitive sport in freestyle and formation flying.
It may not be an adrenaline-inducing winter pastime, but bowling is a fun way to spend a rainy Friday night — or any night — with friends. If you hit Lucky Strike in Bellevue, bring your dancing shoes, too. This bowling alley not only boasts 16 lanes; it also has dance floors, cocktails, and a restaurant. There’s also an arcade. TechCity Bowl in Kirkland has 30 beers on tap, Skee-Ball, and other arcade games. It also has a rock-out Cosmic X-Bowl on Friday and Saturday nights from 9:30-11:30 p.m. and midnight until 2 a.m. Who says everything shuts down early on the Eastside?
The Summit at Snoqualmie has a tubing snow park that is both family-friendly and exhilarating. Outside sleds and tubes are not allowed, but the two-hour sessions here include tube rentals. The hill offers eight lanes that are 550 feet long with 40 feet of elevation. A covered conveyor lift makes returning to the top of the hill effort-free. Reservations are a good idea, since this popular attraction often sells out. Walk-ups are taken if space is available. The hill typically opens in December.
Indoor Climbing Walls
Winter is a great time to give rock climbing a try in the dry confines of an indoor facility. Stone Gardens Bellevue and Vertical World Redmond both offer indoor rock-climbing facilities and lessons. Stone Gardens Bellevue has more than 21,000 square feet of climbing wall. It includes a tilting wall, belay, and rappel ledges. It also has top-out bouldering. Instructions and memberships are available. Vertical World Redmond has lessons and programs ranging from beginning to advanced, along with special programs for older climbers as well as youth programs and women’s only programs.