Every week there are free activities, trips to major tourism destinations, and social events at local bars and restaurants. We also have clubs for you to join, like our weekly conversation club.
The Spokane River’s Falls are Spokane’s finest natural attraction, as well as the heart of Riverfront Park. Just a two- minute walk from SCEL, this pristine Northwest attraction draws tens of thousands of spectators each year. Ride the gondola for the best view!
A short drive from downtown Spokane, Mt. Spokane is an enchanting mountain, which towers over the region with a 5,883 ft rise in elevation. An outdoor-lover's delight, Mount Spokane offers hiking, snowshoeing, snowboarding & skiing, trail running, mountain biking and many more outdoor activities.
Riverfront Park, the site of the Expo World’s Fair in 1974, is a 100 acre park near SCEL. The park has public art, an ice skating rink, a carousel, and a Skyride which takes people over the majestic Spokane Falls. Throughout the year, people gather in the park for festivals, or just to enjoy feeding the ducks.
Riverside State Park
Covering 14,000 acres of land, Riverside State Park is a natural beauty. In every season, visitors can check out picturesque areas like “Bowl and Pitcher,” a stunning rock and river site. In the summer, visitors can enjoy biking, fishing, or riding ATVs; in the winter, outdoor sports continue with snowmobiling, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
Another of Spokane’s beautiful parks, Manito park includes a reflecting pond, a variety of gardens including Spokane's famous Nishinomiya Tsutakawa Japanese Garden, and a fascinating conservatory that offers species of plants rarely seen outside. Sled in winter and see the holiday lights at the Gaiser Conservatory.
Lake Coeur d’Alene
A short twenty minutes’ travel from Spokane, you find yourself in the beautiful state of Idaho, which boasts a luxurious lake resort with ample activities all along its waterfront: think oceanic beach time directly next to brilliant green spruce.
Silverwood Theme Park & Boulder Beach Waterpark
An exciting amusement park and waterpark in one! In October, Silverwood also converts its entire park into a gigantic haunted experience complete with scary roller coasters!
Garland Shopping District
This beautiful and quiet walking district of Spokane features funky thrift stores, art galleries, a comedy theatre, and a movie theater with films for just five dollars. For many, this is the perfect place to have a meal and a drink while spending the day shopping and exploring with friends.
Hoopfest is the biggest 3-on-3 basketball tournament in the world and covered by the ESPN sports television network. Hoopfest is for everyone, from the aspiring amateur to world class athletes, and plenty of people who prefer to remain spectators. There is always a game to watch and people to meet--Hoopfest is a real ‘slam dunk’ for our students.
Pig Out In the Park
This is Spokane’s largest culinary event and a great time! In 2017, this enormous party in the center of the city, just a short walk from SCEL, will turn 38 years old. Pig Out takes place over Labor Day Weekend. As well as delicious food, the park has numerous stages featuring national music and performance acts.
Washington State Chinese Lantern Festival
In fall, Chinese culture is celebrated with a massive display of lights formed into beautiful sculptures. Walk through the larger-than-life displays and then visit the main stage for performances demonstrating Wushu, contortion, plate-spinning and more.
Spokane Interstate Fair
The fair offers students a chance to appreciate good, old-fashioned Americana. See the livestock, giant vegetables and arts and crafts during the day, watch the rodeo and ride the ferris wheel at night. The Spokane interstate fair is a glimpse at the real America and has something for everybody.
On the first Friday in October, downtown Spokane transforms into a haven for art lovers. Hundreds of artists display their work in pop-up galleries while live music and spoken-word poetry fill the air.
Each April, Spokane hosts a weeklong celebration of literature with readings, workshops, speakers, book-signings, panel discussions and classes offered for readers and writers alike.
Do you love outdoor running? Join over 50,000 participants as they run or walk in this 12km event. People come from around the world to participate in this athletic event, which starts in downtown Spokane.
Local Farms and Farmers’ Markets
We have numerous local urban farms, community gardens and farmers markets, where artisans and farmers peddle their wares. Students can enjoy a tour of an urban farm or grab a bite to eat, buy a plant and listen to a contemporary band at one of Spokane’s 8+ Farmers’ Markets.
SCEL students have contributed to our community by volunteering with Second Harvest Food Bank, the YMCA Teen Programs, and at Spokane refugee events. Rewarding volunteer opportunities happen every week in Spokane and offer students the possibility to practice English and make friends with the locals.
Every two weeks SCEL hosts a conversation club with native English-speaking guests to practice English, and make American friends. SCEL also partners with many local universities and organizations to offer a variety of conversation opportunities to choose from.
Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture
A 10 minute walk from SCEL’s campus, Spokane’s MAC has an excellent selection of art with new exhibits every month. Previous exhibits have included everything from Native American art to Lego toys!
There are 6 public libraries in Spokane, the largest of which is just two minutes’ walk from SCEL. The friendly library staff can help you navigate their wide selection of materials, computers, and even a 3D printer that is free for public use.
Enjoy a world-class symphony experience in the heart of downtown Spokane with amazing professional musicians.
Spokane Civic Theatre
Spokane has an award-winning live theatre with multiple new shows every month. Improve your English by watching actors on the stage!
Every May, downtown Spokane celebrates the breathtaking and fragrant flower, the lilac. There is a Torchlight Parade, a car show and much more fun for all ages!
First Night Spokane
Every New Year’s Eve, downtown Spokane transforms, becoming a massive celebration with live music performances, dancing, magic, art, fun runs and more!