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3 Family-Friendly Summer Itineraries in Chehalis

Kids and parents alike are counting down the days to summer. Are you ready? If your family doesn’t already have plans, here are three family-friendly itineraries for summer activities in Chehalis to fill out that calendar!

Swimming + Music in the Park

Pack up the snacks and goggles! It’s time for a sunny adventure to Chehalis’s favorite park.

Chehalis is blessed with a stunning outdoor public pool. The Gail & Carolyn Shaw Aquatics Center, a beloved local attraction bordering Recreation Park, was extensively rebuilt in 2014 with a beautiful, state-of-the-art beach entry pool, slides, a lift chair, spacious locker rooms, and more. Adjacent to the pool is a free spray park with a covered picnic shelter, grassy field, and playground. Your kiddos will have hours of fun at Chehalis’s aquatic center while you enjoy precious R&R in the shade! Find pool schedules and reservation information on the City of Chehalis website to help plan your visit.

When everyone’s done and dried off, walk over to Recreation Park for a delicious picnic in the grass… and live music! Chehalis’s free summer concerts are a long-standing tradition that locals eagerly await each year. For three midsummer Fridays, Chehalis residents and visitors alike flock to Recreation Park to share the best of small-town summer vibes, enjoying music from a variety of bands and music artists. In 2024, you can look forward to hearing Kalimba: The Spirit of Earth, Wind & Fire on July 19, Beatles vs. The Stones on July 26, and Gretchen Peters with local opener Randy Linder on August 2. Each show begins at 7:00 p.m., but plan to arrive early to find parking! Find full concert series information online here.

Train Ride + Picnic

Give the family an experience that combines history, scenery, and excitement with a scenic train ride at the Chehalis-Centralia Railroad & Museum (CCR&M), then stretch your legs and enjoy lunch at a nearby local park.

After a long “brake,” the Railroad Museum has launched a full calendar of events for 2024. From regular weekend rides to Murder Mystery Dinner Trains, there’s an experience for everyone in the family. Catch one of their scenic 11:00 trains to the former rail stop at Ruth and delight in the sights and sounds of rail travel through luscious rural farmlands, riverbanks, and forests. When you return to the station, make sure to check out the historical displays, souvenirs, and merchandise in their depot. Afterward, head out to the neighboring Willapa Trail to stretch your legs or bring a picnic cooler to one of Chehalis’s many public parks – six of which are within 5 miles of the train station!

Want to bring along friends or extended family? The CCR&M offers group rates, and you can reserve park facilities through the City of Chehalis website. For full train event, fare, and reservation info, visit CCR&M’s website.

Library + Walking Tour + Lunch Downtown

There’s PLENTY of fun to be had right in the downtown Chehalis corridor, too.

After grabbing breakfast (and coffees for the grownups), take those littles to the Vernetta Smith Chehalis Timberland Library. Aside from books, you’ll find an engaging play area, comfortable reading and study zones, movies, audiobooks, tablets, and sometimes special activities like story times, Lego Club, or STEM events. Check out the Chehalis library’s full event schedule here.

When the kids get antsy and attention spans wane, the learning doesn’t have to stop! Get everyone moving again with the free Historic Downtown Chehalis Walking Tour. Your kids will LOVE hunting for the newly updated historical plaques scattered throughout downtown, as well as experiencing the sights, sounds, and history of our small town. Check out charming store window displays and colorful murals along the way. You’ll spy fun photo ops and hear interesting stories about Chehalis’s early beginnings. Free walking tour booklets can be obtained at the library, museum, and information kiosk located next to Book ‘n’ Brush.

To wrap up your adventure downtown, refuel and recover with a delicious local lunch. If you haven’t already picked the perfect lunch spot during your tour, Experience Chehalis’s local restaurant guide can help.

Don’t let its size fool you – Chehalis is bursting at the seams with fun experiences if you know where to look. On any given day in downtown Chehalis, you might find farmers markets, special activities, festivals, or live events at one of our fabulous local restaurants or venues. Check out our events calendar for the full list of events. Or, if you prefer to plan your own family fun itinerary, check out the numerous other local attractions – there are enough activities here to keep the family busy all summer long.

Written by Chelsea Barr