Need a great place to eat lunch outside in the Yakima Valley sunshine? Here are a few of our favorite spots for a family picnic around the Valley. Each of these sites offer a new experience, from swimming to educational benefits. Pack your own lunch, or order online from one of the many carry-out restaurants or cafes. Try Dickey’s BBQ Pit for quick and easy, “grab-and-go” barbecue. Or if you’re looking for a little homemade goodness, stop at Nana Kates in Selah, who specializes in local farm-fresh and organic ingredients in their box lunches. You can also stop at one of the many fruit stands for some farm fresh fruit before you head out to your picnic spot!
Located next to the Yakima River, these sites offer picnic tables and grills so you can throw on some burgers and hot dogs. Planning on floating down the Yakima River Canyon? End the day with a picnic here, as it is the last location to get out of the river before the dam. There is also a small backup of water behind the Roza Dam where jet skis and small boats frequent, as well as a boat launch. Day use fee is $5. There are also six campsites you can reserve at Roza for just $15/night.
The Yakima Greenway is a 18 mile stretch of paved pathway that offers many opportunities for fun along the Yakima River. There are picnic tables, restrooms, children’s play equipment, and a large grassy area. Walking south (.8mi) you will reach the Yakima Area Arboretum for a self-guided tour of the beautiful grounds and gardens. There is also an Off-Leash Dog Park (1.1mi) along the path. Walking north (1.1 mi) from Sarg Hubbard Park is the McGuire Playground, a large wooden play structure, which features a labyrinth, picnic tables, restrooms and swings.
Franklin Park is adjacent to the Yakima Valley Museum, which features a Soda Fountain that offers gourmet hot dogs, burgers and yummy ice-cream sundaes, shakes and more. There are plenty of picnic tables and the kids will love the new playground area and the public outdoor swimming pool. In addition, Franklin Park is home to the Outdoor Summer Sunset Concert Series, a series of free concerts, hosted on Fridays in July and August, along with the Yakima Folklife Festival, two days of free music on July 8 -10, food and craft vendors and a beer garden.
The wrap around porch on this tasting room’s 100 year old farmhouse is the perfect spot for a picnic, offering views of the vineyard, Cowiche Canyon and towering hills toward the west. There’s a large grassy area for the kids while the parents can enjoy two wineries offering their wines for tasting. Also sold by the glass or bottle, and local beer is available. Before you leave, make sure to hike through the vineyards to the Cowiche Canyon Trail, or try your skill at a little rock climbing!
Toppenish is filled with quaint spots for a picnic! Railroad Park is located next to two museums, the Northern Pacific Railway Museum and the American Hop Museum. The Railroad Park has shaded picnic tables, a playground for the children and is right across the street from the 70 Western Themed Murals painted on the sides of the city buildings. Or try Pioneer Park, where the Toppenish Mural Office is located. The office is like an art gallery, housing the original paintings the artists submitted for the murals.
These are just a few of our picks on where to picnic in the Yakima Valley. There are many more parks, such as the city parks in Sunnyside and Union Gap , as well as the many campgrounds along the White Pass and Chinook Pass Scenic Byways. Get outside with the family for a meal in the sunshine and enjoy the beautiful weather in the Yakima Valley this summer!