8 Cheap Options for Summer Entertainment in Vancouver and Clark County

salmon creek greenway
From the Salmon Creek Greenway trail, you are surrounded in natural beauty and have a breathtaking view of Mount Hood. Photo credit: Holly Miller

Summer days are among us. There is a kid in all of us that remembers the simple times of having very little money and enjoying every aspect of our lives anyway. Vancouver has a lot of low priced and free activities that are fun and appropriate for the whole family. Everybody deserves to have a happy 2017, no matter what their income level is. Here is a close look at nine activities you can do on a limited budget in Clark County.

Walk, jog, or bike ride on a trail

Located in varying parts of Clark County, there are many places to walk along the river or on pavement along one of the creeks in town. There are many trails to choose from, including:

burnt bridge creek trail
The Burnt Bridge Creek trail/greenway access point off of Hazel Dell avenue is beautiful and quaint. Photo credit: Holly Miller

Burnt Bridge Creek Trail
Salmon Creek Trail
Wintler Park
Paradise Point State Park
Battle Ground Lake
Lewisville River

Each of the trails have many access points. Salmon Creek for example has an access point right off of Fruit Valley Road, but you can also access the trail from Klineline Pond. Burnt Bridge Creek also can be accessed from a variety of starting points, including Hazel Dell Avenue or start even as far away as Lakeshore. There are also access points to the BBC trail off of Andresen inbetween Mill Plain and Fourth Plain.

Catch a movie or concert

esther short park
On the East Side of Esther Short Park, the roses are in bloom. Visit during an outdoor summer concert. Photo credit: Holly Miller

The Vancouver Summer Concert Series runs throughout July at varying parks. The Columbia Tech Center also hosts their own set of movies on Sunday evenings through August 13. Both of those events are free and open to all ages. At the Regal City Center Stadium 12 downtown and the Regal Cinemas 99 Stadium 11 movies are only $6.35 per ticket on Tuesdays. The theater located in Northeast Vancouver in the Vancouver Plaza complex shows semi-new releases for less than $4 a ticket every single day of the week. Esther Short Park has Six to Sunset concerts on Thursdays through August 11 from 6:00 – 11:00 p.m. Or if catching a movie at home is more your cup of tea, rent one for free at the Fort Vancouver Regional Library.

Take a day trip to the Columbia River Gorge

Just driving through the Columbia River Gorge will take your breath away. If you choose to get out of the car, this summer they’re having the Fruit Loop. Each month has different time periods where you may purchase or pick fresh fruit along the gorge. Some popular hiking spots include Angel’s Rest, Eagle Creek, Multnomah Falls, Cape Horn, and Beacon Rock. You will not regret taking in the beauty of the gorge.

Visit North Clark County

battle ground coffee
Old Town Battle Grounds delivers some summery coffee art. Photo courtesy: Old Town Battle Grounds.

The northern portion of Clark County is beautiful. Each section has something beautiful to offer. Battle Ground is a fast growing city. There are many good places to eat along main street. Rocky’s Pizza has been in Battle Ground for a long time and has raving reviews on Yelp. Old Town Battle Grounds is a charming coffee shop with amazing sandwiches. Old Town Burgers is another hot spot in town. Tucked into a strip mall by Wilco, this place has burgers and breakfast that locals love. On the first Friday of every month, the Old Town shops have discounts in their stores. These shops are found along Main Street between Parkway and Grace Avenue.

Yacolt is further up Highway 503 and a much quieter town. The roads are curvy and there is a lot of farmland out there. If you decide to partake in some sight-seeing, check out Lucia Falls and Moulton Falls. In the fall months, you can catch salmon jumping up the falls which makes for a beautiful place to get some pictures. Check out the charm in the city of Amboy as well.

Play disc golf at Leverich Park

Bring frisbees, friends, and food to Leverich Park. Disc golf is an easy sport that is accepting of any body shape. It follows similar rules of golf but instead of teeing off, one gets to throw frisbees into a chain chamber.

Visit gallery premieres on first Friday

In downtown Vancouver on the first Friday of each month, all of the galleries offer free admission. Many of them have snacks, music, and social atmospheres. During the spring and summer, some of these galleries host outside events. Make sure and download a hot sheet from Vancouver’s Downtown Association.

Check out Esther Short Park on the weekends

esther short park
The clock tower at Esther Short Park is its signature landmark. Photo credit: Holly Miller

Esther Short Park is a large park in downtown Vancouver that sits next to the Vancouver Farmers Market that runs from March through September. In the off-season, there are many holiday festivities to take part in. During the market season, there are events that run on many of the Saturdays in the park. Some of these events are: The Hawaiian Festival, Fire in the Park, Dog Walk for the Humane Society, The Recycled Arts Festival and a Pride festival.

Ride along with the Clark County Sheriff

Clark County Sheriff’s Office hosts a ride along for citizens. You can get a chance to observe first hand the day in the life of a cop. The only requirements are that you fill out a little paper work and have a clean record. Check more information on the Clark County Sheriff’s website.

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