Columbia Park in Kennewick, Washington is a 400-acre park located between Highway 240 and the scenic Columbia River. There is nearly five miles of shoreline that allows for the popular park and all of its features. The park is hard to miss because of its size and certain features stand out more than others. Upon driving over the area's famous Blue Bridge, visitors will find themselves gazing upon boats traveling up and down the wide river. To the right, the docks and boat launches provide entry to the Columbia River.
The park is home to the Playground of Dreams play area, a popular wooden castle-like playground that is truly a dream for kids. The Playground was torched several years ago by vandals but rebuilt even better to provide a great play area for children. In this area there is also a family fishing pond that is loaded with more ducks and geese than fish. Visitors can bring bags of old bread for the birds to eat, but beware; the ducks are well-fed and a little finicky.
Next to the Playground of Dreams and at the east end of Columbia Park is the Aquatic Playground. Here visitors will find several boat launches, picnic shelters, barbeque facilities, and the J & S Express train ride. Most of the facilities are open seasonally. The area also provides the Bandshell, a stage area that is used for special events such as the annual Boat Races or concerts in the park. The 4th of July celebrations draw huge crowds as an extensive fireworks display takes place off of the barges parked in the river. Barges are situated at three various spots along the river, one display in Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland - the three adjacent cities known as Tri-Cities.
An 18-hole privately run golf course is found in the area as well as batting practice cages. The Kiwanis Building is also in the area as well as ropes courses, a Frisbee disc golf course, and the Audubon Natural Area. There are ample trails for walking, biking, and rollerblading. Several smaller playgrounds throughout the park provide great places for kids to play and burn some energy. Large shade trees throughout the park and grassy areas make for optimal places to picnic and relax.
A portion of the park, including the gazebo and Kiwanis Building can be rented for larger family gatherings or special events. The family fishing pond is great to incorporate into any birthday party in the park. East end boat docks near the bridge provide a convenient location to pile the family aboard a boat and drift off.
For something a little more romantic, the park offers dinner cruises by a privately run company. Spend three to four hours aboard a steamboat experiencing fine dining, music, and the beautiful scenery of eastern Washington shores. The boat can be reserved for business events, intimate parties, or wedding parties and receptions.
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