Thursday, February 22, 2024

Don't let the kids have all the fun

Discovery Center reopens March 1 with new programs for all ages



WENATCHEE — Do you love nature? Can’t wait to get outside? Hanker for hands-on learning? Adore cruising Lake Chelan?

That’s a lot of questions, but one answer covers them all – Rocky Reach Discovery Center.

The popular museum, fish viewing, playground and park open for the season on Friday, March 1. Visitors are welcome through Oct. 31. Admission is free.

Center staff always is learning from their guests – about 56,000 visited last year, said Debbie Gallaher, Visitor Services manager. This year’s programs build on the popularity of favorites such as Summer Science and Fall Harvest Fest, plus offer new opportunities.

“We have fun learning along with the people who visit,” Gallaher said. “When an idea comes up we look for ways to make it fun and even adventurous!”

The new Hydro Life Learners program is one example. The three-day program in May offers active senior adults a chance to explore nature on outings guided by PUD hydro and wildlife experts and parks guides. Call the Discovery Center at (509) 663-7522 to register.

The Deep Waters Cruise on Lake Chelan is back this year – on a fall Saturday to encourage middle and high school students to experience history “live.”  Watch for registration details later this spring.

River Ramble, an exploration of Native American culture, also is refreshed. The program is moving to Leavenworth on Sept. 21 to be part of the encampment at the Wenatchee River Salmon Festival.

Of course, people of all ages can:

·         Look a salmon in the eye through big windows in the fish ladder

·         Travel back in time by exploring exhibits in the Museum of the Columbia

·         Take the wheel of a steamer to steer her past the “rocky reaches” of the river 

·         Marvel at the power of the Columbia River from viewpoints inside and outside the powerhouse

·         Stretch their legs and their imaginations in the 30-plus acre park

·         Test their skills on a GPS-assisted treasure hunt

·         Enjoy lunch or snacks for purchase at Mama D’s Café

Picnic shelters and park areas can be reserved for family and church events. You can even get married under the popular Wedding Pergola!

Watch under “Visit Rocky Reach” for event details and to register for summer science adventure classes. You also can stay in touch on

“We can’t wait to help guests ‘Experience the Columbia’ in all the familiar ways – and some new ones, too,” Gallaher said. “We’ll be ready to welcome you at 9 a.m. on Friday, March 1.”



Rocky Reach Discovery Center is seven miles north of Wenatchee on Highway 97A
(5000 Hwy. 97A N) on the Chelan County side of the Columbia River. The center and park are open daily, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The museum closes at 5:30 p.m. Questions? Call (509) 663-7522.


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