Manito Park was officially established in April 1904 and has evolved from an undeveloped recreational area with a few flower beds, picnic spots, and a zoo to one of Spokane's primary showplaces. Comprised of five major garden areas (the Nishinomiya Tsutakawa Japanese Garden, Duncan Garden, Rose Hill, Lilac Garden and Ferris Perennial Garden), Manito Park is nationally recognized for its diverse horticultural displays. View A Walking Tour of Manito Park Brochure (PDF 1.2 MB) to locate your favorite gardens.
The Parks and Recreation Department maintains Manito Park's 78 acres of native and cultivated landscape and 20 acres of world class botanical gardens. Other Manito Park features include: Mirror Pond, a favorite of those who enjoy watching ducks and other water fowl; the Park Bench Café, open in season for light meals; Loop Drive and Bridge, offering majestic views of the Rose Garden; Upper and Lower Playgrounds – a favorite gathering spot of children; and the large basalt rock office building constructed in 1912. Central to the Park is the Gaiser Conservatory, where beautiful flowing displays change seasonally.
View a Slideshow featuring beautiful images of each of the gardens found in Manito Park.
Manito Park Bench Cafe, located between Mirror Pond and the Joel E. Ferris Perennial Garden, opens from late May to September each year, serving our loyal and new guests with pastries, fresh made sandwiches, wraps, salad, espresso drinks and much more. Visit the Park Bench Café page for menu and hours.
The Friends of Manito (TFM) is a non-profit group that supports Manito Park by providing funds for improvements for the general enhancement of Manito Park. Three major plant sales are given each year with approximately 100 volunteers working months before to prepare the plant material - making the events the premier plant sales for Spokane gardeners. Throughout the year, TFM also offers educational programs to further promote the community's use and enjoyment of Manito Park. Since their beginning, TFM has contributed over $525,000 to Manito Park.
In 2009, Manito Park was identified as “Best of Attractions - Spokane, Washington” by UpTake.com. UpTake.com awards are based on a careful analysis of customer reviews and expert ratings from across the web, collected from over 5,000 different websites and millions of customer opinions.
In 2007, Rose Hill was named number one in the nation by All-America Rose Selections (AARS), a nonprofit association dedicated to the introduction and promotion of exceptional roses.
The pond in Manito Park, originally a natural lake called Mirror Lake, would dry up during summer months. To prevent that a concrete base was eventually installed and, as the pond then stayed full year round, canoes could be rented on site. From 1905-1907 a dance hall was opened on one side of the pond and open air movies were shown nearby.