Situated on the northern shore of the Columbia River, the city of Vancouver, Washington provides many opportunities for children to stay active. As a part of the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan area, its population is about 165,000, according to the 2011 U.S. Census estimate. Indoor and outdoor options are available for kids in this fairly large, northwest city.
Since there's typically no shortage of rainy days in Vancouver, it's essential to have indoor activities available for kids. JJ Jump (jjjump.com) provides kids with a large selection of inflatables including slides, obstacle courses and bounce houses. It features open play times -- and is also a fun place to have a party. Allen's Crosleys Lanes (crosleylanes.com) offers a kid-friendly bowling experience. Children can join a league to learn bowling basics while having fun with friends. Cosmic bowling takes place weekly, featuring lasers, black lights, fog machines and glow-in-the dark pins and balls. Big Al's (ilovebigals.com) has open bowling along with several arcade games such as air hockey and skee ball.
Kid's Club Fun and Fitness (kidsclub4fun.com) offers several classes for kids of all ages. Specific programs include martial arts, dancing, gymnastics, swimming and cheer. For the musically inclined, Musical Beginnings (musicalbeginningsvancouver.com) provides classes for instrument play, drama, art and choir. Kids enrolled in the classes participate in recitals and performances. East West Martial Arts (ewmavancouver.com) teaches kids the skill of karate, aiming to build character, self-confidence and focus. Through achievement and positive encouragement, kids can learn just what they can accomplish with discipline and focus.
Kids will likely enjoy the Pearson Air Museum (pearsonairmuseum.org), which features vintage war airplanes, a wooden hangar built in 1918, a flight simulator, educational activities on air flight and many climb-on exhibits for kids. The exhibits at Fort Vancouver (fortvan.org) chronicle the history and culture of the early settlers of the area. At the site, kids can see the blacksmith shop, jail, Indian trade shop, an old wash house and more. The Clark County Historical Museum (cchmuseum.org) provides visitors with historical exhibits including a room set aside for kids to learn about the way kids lived in the early years.
The city of Vancouver (cityofvancouver.us) has numerous parks that kids can enjoy. Bagley Community Park (no website; 4607 Plomondon; 360-487-8337) features play equipment, swings, trails and open fields. Daybreak Park and Boat Launch (no website; 26401 NE Daybreak Road; 360-487-8337) also provides playgrounds, fields as well as fishing and boating. Frenchman's Bar Park (no website; 9216 Lower River Road; 360-487-8337) is situated along the Columbia River featuring hiking trails, picnic areas, volleyball and various other recreational activities.