December 24, 2016
Published: December 24, 2016

Here are some things to do around the Tri-Cities region the week of December 26, 2016 - January 1, 2017:
  • Winter Break Fun – Ice Age Days - December 27-29
  • Warm Up with Cool Books - December 27-29
  • 117th Christmas Bird Count - December 31
  • First Night Tri-Cities - December 31
  • Rollarena New Year's Eve Roller Skate Party - December 31
  • Tri-City Americans vs. Spokane Chiefs - December 31
  • New Year's Eve Bull Bash - Derek Kolbaba Invitational - December 31
  • New Year's Eve 2017 - December 31
  • Washington State Parks Fee Free Day - January 1
  • New Year's Day Hike - January 1
  • Badger Mountain New Year's Day Hike - January 1 
  • Art & Other Exhibits
  • Bechtel National Planetarium Shows
  • Gesa Carousel of Dreams
  • LIGO Public Tours
  • Nightlife Music
  • The REACH Museum
  • Tri-Cities Washington Guide Website
  • Submit Your Community Event

Winter Break Fun – Ice Age Days - December 27-29

The REACH Museum, 1943 Columbia Park Trail in Richland
From 10 a.m. - Noon
Admission (per day) is $8 for adults, $6 for military, seniors and students, 5 and under are free, REACH members are free.

Explore The REACH Museum during December 27th though December 29th from 10:00 a.m. to noon at our Ice Age Days. Each morning we'll have activities for the whole family, indoors and outdoors, to learn about what life was like back then.

Tuesday: Ice Age Floods
Learn the story of some of the greatest floods on earth that swept through Washington during the last ice age, 18,000 to 13,000 years ago. Examine the unique rocks the floods left behind, and paint the landscapes shaped by the scouring waters. Imagine yourself there and write a story about the floods for our Ice Age story contest. Prizes will be awarded for top stories.

Wednesday: Ice Age SkillsTry making stone tools with the Tri-Cities Knappers, fire-building without matches, making cords out of plant fibers, and “cave painting” using minerals.

Thursday: Ice Age Beasts
Just how massive was a Columbian Mammoth? When did camels and rhinos roam Washington? Explore the museum, including our exhibit about the Coyote Canyon Mammoth Dig, to find these answers and more. You can practice recognizing animal bones, putting together puzzles, and sorting through geologic evidence to be on your way to becoming a paleontologist.

Warm Up with Cool Books - December 27-29

Pasco, West Pasco, Kennewick, & Keewaydin Mid-Columbia Libraries and the Richland Public Library
From 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.

For more than 20 years, the Regional Service Corps-AmeriCorps program has provided a variety of literacy programs for elementary students throughout the Tri-Cities. We strive to provide safe, positive, and interactive learning environments and hope to encourage a sense of community through the experiences the children and families have during the event.

This year, our theme is using Star Wars to explore the world of STEM: Science Technology, Engineering and Math! We will be providing children with fun and interesting books, activities, arts, crafts and games. We will also have guest speakers with unique, fun presentations. This year the Hanford REACH, LIGO, Bechtel Planetarium at CBC, American Red Cross, and Miss Tri-Cities will be there as well as many more special guests!

The main goal of the event is to provide a fun learning environment for children and to encourage reading during school breaks. Come to learn about the environment, participate in fun games and activities, and more! Children of any age are welcome, and families are encouraged to join in on the fun.

117th Christmas Bird Count - December 31

From 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Everyone is welcome to join the Lower Columbia Basin Audubon Society (LCBAS) in the annual bird count around the Tri-Cities region - whether you are an experienced birder or a novice.

Dress warmly, come with your enthusiasm and your binoculars. You do not need to be a member of the Audubon society to help. The information that all counts generate is reviewed and placed in a database that is available to everyone on the Internet.

All Christmas counts are standardized to a 7.5 mile radius circle (about 177 square miles). The LCBAS count circle is formally called the Washington Tri-Cities circle and centers on the Columbia River shoreline closest to Rd. 68 in Pasco. This is a very large area that includes Selph Landing Road in Pasco, most of Two Rivers Park east of Kennewick and Badger Mountain in Richland.

There will be a potluck dinner following the bird count.
For more information and meetup times & locations, visit:

First Night Tri-Cities - December 31

Carousel of Dreams, 2901 Southridge Blvd. in Kennewick
From 3 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Admission: Adults (13+ yrs): $6.00, Youth (5-12 yrs): $6.00, Kids (0-4 yrs): Free!

Thanks to the generous support of Gesa Credit Union, First Night returns to the Tri-Cities this New Year's Eve with fun, family-friendly interactive entertainment for all to enjoy.

Take a ride on the Gesa Carousel of Dreams. Participate in a magic show. Have your face painted. Take photos with your family and friends in our photo booth. Laugh at the comedy hypnosis show. And cap the evening off with a ball drop and the area's only New Year's Eve fireworks show.

The first 1,000 in attendance will receive lighted 2017 glasses souvenir, compliments of Gesa Credit Union and the Gesa Carousel of Dreams.

Rollarena New Year's Eve Roller Skate Party - December 31

Rollarena, 849 Stevens Dr. in Richland
Admission: $7 and includes traditional roller skate rental, noise makers and special games
From: 7 p.m. - Midnight
Info: and

Tri-City Americans vs. Spokane Chiefs - December 31

Toyota Center in Kennewick
Game starts at 7:05 p.m.
Tickets: $20 adults 20+, $18 seniors 62+, $11 teen 10-19 yr, $9 youth 3-9 yr

Cheer on the Tri-City Americans as they compete against the Spokane Chiefs

New Year's Eve Bull Bash - Derek Kolbaba Invitational - December 31

TRAC Center, 6600 Burden Blvd. in Pasco
From 8 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
VIP Gold Seating: $35
VIP Floor Seating: $35
Silver Seating: $25
General Admission: $15 - GA tickets to include the standing room available on the arena floor

The Derek Kolbaba Invitational features 30 Rank Bull Riders competing for a $10,000 Purse. Tickets are available online or at Kennewick Ranch & Home.

New Year's Eve 2017 - December 31

 Here are some New Year's Eve celebrations that are happening around the Tri-Cities:
. Rollarena New Year's Eve Roller Skate Party
. First Night Tri-Cities
. New Year's Eve Bull Bash - Derek Kolbaba Invitational
. 2016 Wake New Years Party
. Dueling Pianos New Years Eve Party @ The Page
. Venezia's New Year's Eve
. NYE Party w/dj ShmeeJay, Sultana Belly Dancers, more
. Dick Danger Productions New Year's Eve
. D's Wicked NYE Bash!
. NYE Dance party w/ Tuck Foster and The Tumbling Dice
. New Year's Eve with Stompin Ground
. Celebrate New Year's Eve on the Train!
. Kelsey Mousley NYE 2017
. New Year's Eve with Back Roads
. New Year's Eve Dinner at Bookwalter
For event details, visit:

Washington State Parks Fee Free Day - January 1

Washington State Parks has announced the following free days in 2017, when the Discover Pass will not be required to visit a state park.

January 1 - First Day Hikes; New Year’s Day
January 15-16 - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
March 19 - State Park’s 104th birthday
April 15  - Spring day
April 22 - Earth Day
June 3 - National Trails Day
June 10 - National Get Outdoors Day
August 25 - National Park Service 101st Birthday
September 30 - National Public Lands Day
November 11 - Veterans Day
November 24 - Autumn day

Please note: free days apply only to day use (not overnight stays or rented facilities). A Discover Pass will still be required on these days to access lands managed by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

New Year's Day Hike - January 1

WE Johnson Park in Richland
From 10 a.m. - Noon

Join the Tapteal Greenway Association in their four mile New Year Day Hike through WE Johnson Park in Richland. We will meet at 10:00 in the parking lot at the north entrance to the park. To get there turn south off of Van Giesen at Wood's Nursery and drive about two blocks to the end of Hall Road. Dress for the weather and expect snowy trails.

Badger Mountain New Year Day Hike - January 1

From 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Join the InterMountain Alpine Club in their annual trek up Badger Mountain, a tradition that is more than 60 years old. All members, guests, and everyone else in the Tri-Cities is welcome to join in the fun. The trip goes on regardless of the weather, so be sure that you dress appropriately. It is always colder, wetter, and windier on top than you might expect, so please bring a waterproof shell, warm clothing in layers.  The main group of hikers will start at 10:30 a.m., but if you arrive late, just head on up the trail when you arrive.

Directions: From Queensgate South exit on I-182 drive to the Keene Road intersection and turn right. Turn left onto Kennedy Road and then after 0.6 miles turn left again on Dallas Road.  Proceed south on Dallas Road 1.2 miles to the top of the hill and then turn left onto the gravel road beside the orchard. The trailhead parking is 0.1 miles up the road.

Art & Other Exhibits 

Gallery Aglow through December 31
89 Lee Blvd. in Richland
Tuesday - Friday 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Free and open to the public

Do you want to give your friends and family presents as unique and wonderful as they are? Do you want beautiful, handmade wreaths and trees to decorate your house? Stop by the Gallery, located on Lee Boulevard near the entrance of Howard Amon Park, and celebrate the 30th anniversary of their special Gallery Aglow show.

Local artists contribute their incredible talents to the show, submitting items both beautiful and useful, such as ceramics, glassware, jewelry, fiber art and metal work. Unlike presents that can be found at a chain store, these items have been handcrafted with love and care, and each one is a unique piece by a talented artist.

The Gallery at the Park maintains one of the largest retail art collections in the entire Tri-Cities area. Allied Arts Association, which operates the Gallery, has served the community since 1948, providing Tri-Cities residents with a source of art and handicrafts. Every year through November and December, the Gallery at the Park hosts the Gallery Aglow show, featuring hundreds of works created by local and regional artists.

Not only that, but during this event, the Gallery also sells unique wreaths, trees and holiday decorations—all handmade by volunteers at the Gallery. All proceeds on these items go towards Allied Arts Association, which gives back to the community by providing scholarships and by setting up programs like Beads Behind Bars and Art Connection.

The Automatic Ephemeral Art Show Reception - January 6
DrewBoy Creative, 285 Williams Blvd. in Richland
From 7 p.m. - 10 p.m.
$2 suggested donation

An art show opening reception for Cameron & Kathryn Mills -
New mixed media paintings, collages, weavings, sculptures exploring subjects like the DAPL protest in Standing Rock and prison labor in the South. Come out and see our new work. Collaborative audio/visual performance featuring live music from local band V.H.S. digital projection by Cameron & Kathryn. Wine pouring by Miss Rhoda’s Wine Garden. Cookies. The art show runs through January 15.


The REACH - The Columbian Mammoth Discovery
1943 Columbia Park Trail in Richland
Sunday & Monday - closed
Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Admission: $8 adults, $6 students/seniors, kids 5 and under free - annual memberships are also available for purchase

Columbian Mammoths roamed Eastern Washington throughout the Pleistocene Epoch (the last Ice Age).   Cataclysmic Ice Age floods (such as those released from Glacial Lake Missoula) poured across Eastern Washington, sweeping many mammoths and other creatures to their deaths.  Their carcasses, along with other floating debris, were carried downstream into temporary lakes and back waters.

In 1999, a few mammoth remains were discovered and collected south of Kennewick.  The site was left dormant until it was rediscovered in 2008.  At that time, it was also established that the Columbian Mammoth bones at this location are located in Ice Age Flood deposits.  Formal excavation of the site began in September, 2010.  Since the end of the 2014 dig season, nearly 500 samples, including over 90 mammoth bones or bone fragments have been collected.

At the new exhibit, presented by the MCBONES Research Center Foundation, visitors can visualize and understand the process of research, from the first hypothesis to the studying of the bones, soil composition and other natural materials.  There are big bones to see plus, learning more about the digs in 2017.


Cyber Art 509
Members of Cyber Art 509 show their artwork including paintings and photographs at several venues around the Tri-Cities region.

Featured artists include Alice Beckstrom, Greg Ashby, Ed David, Patricia Fleming, Patrick Fleming, Margo Fox, Jaret Maynard, Dave Poynter, Maggie Remington, Pam Sharp, Maja Shaw, Barbara Sutton, Maridy Roper, and Jan Taylor. 

For more information about Cyber Art 509, visit:

Art & Music Festivals - Performing & Visual Art
For more information about non-profit performing & visual art associations and organizations in the Tri-Cities region, visit:

Bechtel National Planetarium Shows

The Bechtel National Planetarium, located on the campus of Columbia Basin College in Pasco, provides life-like, high-definition images and sound using the most state-of-the-art projection system in the Pacific Northwest. The 36-foot panoramic viewing dome can simulate a 3-D effect.  

A typical hour-long show includes a 20-30 minute live presentation and a 25-30 minute full-dome movie. Presentation topics may include solar system or constellation tours, what's visible in the current night sky, and astronomy in the news. 

Showing this week:
Admission: $6 adults, $5 seniors; $3 ages 6-12, free 5 and under.
Tickets and info: and

Attractions & Things to Do
For attractions & things to do around the Tri-Cities region, visit:

Gesa Carousel of Dreams

2901-F. Southridge Blvd. in Kennewick
Friday & Saturday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sunday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Token Prices: Individual Token: $3, Four for $10, Ten for $20

The Gesa Carousel of Dreams is a world-class piece of art you can ride, touch, and feel. The carousel is a treasure for all generations to visit and enjoy! The carousel consists of 45 horses, three chariots and other features. It averages between 1800 and 2500 riders per weekend.

Upcoming events:
First Night Tri-Cities - December 31

LIGO Public Tours - 2nd Saturday & 4th Friday of each Month

LIGO Hanford Observatory, west of Richland off Horn Road, 127124 N. Highway 10.
Come take a look at LIGO!  At 1:30 p.m. on the second Saturday and at 3:00 p.m. on the fourth Friday of every month we offer free public drop in tours that will give you an excellent look at our facility.  Tours usually last about two hours. Tours work best for participants of middle school age and up, but all ages are welcome.

Nightlife Music

Tri-City Vibe
For a list of nightlife music events around the Tri-Cities including happy hours, food, beer & wine, visit Tri-City VIBE!
Info: and

Also, check out Tri-Cities Cork & Fork - Tri-Cities, WA foodie page... pictures taken by real people at favorite local establishments. We love food & drink!

Tri-Cities Jam/Open Mic Community
Looking for a place to try out a new song or just want to play and have no gig? The Tri-Cities Jam/Open Mic Community provides a listing of Open Mics and Jam Nights in the greater Tri-Cities area.

Tri-Cities Karaoke
For karaoke venues and a calendar of karaoke events in the Tri-Cities, check out:

Bands, Musicians, Venues and Live Music
For more information on bands, musicians, venues, and live music in the Tri-Cities, visit:

The REACH Museum

1943 Columbia Park Trail in Richland
Sunday & Monday - closed
Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Admission: $8 adults, $6 students/seniors, kids 5 and under free - annual memberships are also available for purchase

Museum exhibits at The REACH celebrate the natural, scientific and cultural history of the Tri-Cities area. You can find hands-on activities for families on Saturdays and other activities that take place each month. Check the REACH calendar.

Also, the Ice-Age Floods related tours will be taking place again in 2017. The schedule is now available.

Upcoming events:
Winter Break Fun – Ice Age Days - December 27-29
Workshop - Certified Interpretive Guide Training - January 9-12
Info: and

Make a Donation Today - Support The REACH
The REACH is made possible by people like you! Please support the REACH with your generous donation to The REACH Foundation. Every little bit helps us deliver programming and education to learners of all ages. You may also help fund specific projects and programs.

Museums, Interpretive Centers, and History Resources
For information about museums, interpretive centers, and history resources for Tri-Cities Washington and other nearby towns & cities in Southeast Washington and Northeast Oregon, visit:

Tri-Cities Washington Guide Website

For activities to do around the Tri-Cities region including Farmers' Markets, Outdoor Recreation, Wineries, Breweries, Performing Arts & Music, Social Clubs & Groups and more, visit the Tri-Cities Washington Guide website:

This guide has been described as "An Under-the-Hood Guide to Community Culture including Clubs, Annual Events, and Awesome Organizations."

Submit Your Community Event

If you have a community event similar to those published above, you may submit your event for consideration. 

Attribution - Events • Things to Do - Tri-Cities Washington
This blog post was published by Jim McIntyre who maintains the Events • Things to Do - Tri-Cities Washington blog as a hobby as part of his Tri-Cities Washington Guide website. This blog is not associated with any business or organization and is focused on community events and things to do around the Tri-Cities region with an emphasis on annual community events and events associated with non-profit organizations and/or charitable causes.

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