The familiar refrain, "What are you doing this summer?" is one I've been hearing as far back as April.
This summer in Walla Walla, responses could be just about anything.
There are options for people with children and those without, whether activities are daytime, mid-week and weekend, athletic or cultured, active or relaxing, current or historic. Many are free and most are affordable to just about everyone.
Here is a sampling that could give you some ideas for your family - when friends come to town, when you're looking for a change of pace, or when the dreaded, "Mom, I'm bored" is heard.
A remedy to the latter is the many children's day-camps available - through City Parks and Recreation, the YMCA, Campfire, Walla Walla University, Walla Walla Community College, Fort Walla Walla Museum, Kirkman House Museum. All offer opportunities for youths to get active, have fun and maybe even learn something in a safe, supervised environment. Check individual organization websites for information and in many cases register online.
The Walla Walla Public Library offers a great Summer Reading Program that includes visits from Walla Walla Sweets baseball players, musicians with the Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival, and the Pacific Science Center -- not to mention the world and beyond to be found in the library's books.
Fun for anyone is to catch the Walla Walla Sweets in action at Borleske Stadium. You can get into the game plus have a hot dog and beverage for under $10. To satisfy more grown-up tastes, you can visit the mobile Andrae's Kitchen and head to the beer and wine garden to enjoy a drink with your dinner.
The Downtown Walla Walla Foundation, with the Sweets, Parks and Recreation and library, will present Inland Cellular's Family Movie Night at Borleske Stadium each month through the summer. First up is "How To Train Your Dragon," on June 25. On July "Legend of the Guardians" will be shown, and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" is set for Aug. 20. Families can bring blankets and chairs and watch the movies in the outfield for free.
Did I mention music? The Downtown Summer Music Series features local and regional bands on Land Title Plaza at First Avenue and Main Street Saturdays and Sundays, 4-7 p.m. June through August. You'll hear jazz, country, rock, blues - it just depends on the week. The music is free and seating is provided. Thanks to one of the strongest corporate community supporters, Banner Bank, the Plaza will rock all summer long. If you long for a more cultured experience, there's still time to catch a few performances of the Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival around town. Also, Shakespeare Walla Walla will return to the Fort Walla Walla Amphitheater, featuring "Macbeth" (Aug. 3-7) and "A Comedy of Errors" (Aug. 10-14) And in keeping with the spirit of The Bard, Whitman College alum and Broadway actor Patrick Page's play "Swansong," about Shakespeare's best friend, will be performed at the Power House Theatre Aug. 3-7 and Aug. 10-14.
Now, when you hear people complain, "There's nothing to do in this town," you can rattle off this list. Or simply smile mysteriously and know you won't have them around to hear their whine as you enjoy the amazing variety of events this summer.