Fun Things to Do in Oregon

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Oregon is packed with fun things to do, from the coast and beach to its major cities. You will find plenty to entertain your children in this state.

Free Fun

As you consider the fun things to do for free with your kids, consider spending some time at the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument (http://www.nps.gov/joda/). Here you can see real fossil beds and tour an informative visitor’s center without paying a dime. Take the time to hike and explore the natural area surrounding the fossil bed as well while you are there. If you live near Portland, take an afternoon to visit Powell’s City of Books (www.powells.com). This bookstore takes up an entire city block, and you can spend the afternoon reading the latest children’s books with your kids.

Educational Fun

If you have little kids, take them to the Portland Children’s Museum (www.portlandcm.org), where permanent and traveling exhibits encourage them to explore with their hands and imaginations. Portland is also home to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (http://www.omsi.edu/), which has exhibits and shows geared towards older kids, but doesn’t ignore the younger ones either. The Science Factory Children’s Museum and Exploration Zone (www.sciencefactory.org) in Eugene is another popular destination, and this one has science demonstrations and events for kids of all ages.

Environmental Fun

If you live near Portland, take your kids to Forest Park (http://www.portlandonline.com/parks). It is the largest city park in the country and has over 50 miles of trails and 5,000 forested acres to explore. Portland is also home to the Oregon Metro Zoo (www.oregonzoo.org). If you are interested in getting your kids close to marine creatures, head to Newport and the Oregon Coast Aquarium (www.aquiarum.org), and Seaside also has an aquarium, the Seaside aquarium (http://www.seasideaquarium.com/), for those who find it to be a closer option.

Seasonal Fun

Many communities around Oregon have tree lighting events, with the annual tree lighting ceremony in Portland being one of the best for families. This is held on the day after Thanksgiving in Courthouse Square. The Oregon Zoo hosts Zoolights each Christmas, and you can view this form the Washington Park and Zoo Railway train if you wish. In the fall, take the time to visit the country with your kids to go to a farm and celebrate the harvest. Bauman Farms in Gervais (http://www.baumanfarms.com/) has several fall events to help celebrate the harvest.

Just for Mom Fun

When you have some kid-free time, consider taking a free brewery tour at one of Portland’s many excellent breweries. This can be an excellent way to unwind. If you prefer to unwind with a massage, visit the Avalon Spa (http://www.avalonhotelandspa.com/) at the Avalon Hotel in Portland or the Sunriver Resort’s Sage Springs Club and Spa in Sunriver (http://www.sunriver-resort.com/spa/oregon-spa-resorts).

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