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Oregon Family Magazine

52 Family Adventures to Try This Year

12/27/2019 ● By Sandy Kauten
Make some unforgettable family memories exploring your own backyard – the one stretching from the Oregon Coast to the Cascades Mountains!

This year, make a plan for the whole family to experience new activities, see new places and learn new things. To make it easy, we’ve given you one idea for each week of the year – starting now!

1. Play in the snow, tube and sled at Salt Creek Sno-Park. This maintained winter park has


restrooms, parking and a sledding hill.

2. Swim in the mineral spring-fed swimming pool at Belknap Hot Springs. Locker room and day-use passes available.

3. Discover art in downtown Eugene that's only visible when it rains. Then duck into the downtown Smith Family Bookstore to browse children’s classics.

4. Check out the performing arts. The region’s many community theaters offer excellently produced family-friendly shows, skits, music and more.

5. Compete at carnival games, baseball, soccer and zombie dodgeball at the Topgolf Swing Suite in The Graduate Eugene. Rent the indoor interactive virtual game set-up by the hour. Food service is also available.

6. Adventure down deep into the largest mainland sea cave to spot sea lions at Sea Lion Caves.

7. Cycle the family-friendly portion of Cottage Grove’s Covered Bridges Scenic Bikeway – 16 miles of flat, paved bike paths separate from traffic.

8. Introduce your children to high tea at LoveJoy’s in Florence. Need to brush up on manners first? Enroll them in the Shelton McMurphey Johnson House’s Victorian Etiquette summer camp beforehand.

9. Look at great works of art through the eyes of a child with Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art’s art packs.

10. Tour famous filming locations for movies like “Stand by Me” and “Animal House.”

11. Check out the latest exhibits in the creative Adventure! Children’s Museum.

12. Explore the universe in Eugene Science Center’s Planetarium.

13. Grab a map and visit one of the waterfalls just outside Cottage Grove.

14. Touch the Pacific Crest Trail at one of the trailheads.

15. Take a few swings at Camp Putt Adventure Golf Park

16. Ride the waves at Splash! At Lively Park.

17. Meander a wildflower meadow on Wild Iris Ridge.

18. See eleven waterfalls on one easy hike at Sweet Creek Falls.

19. Explore wine country during Oregon Wine Month at family-friendly wineries.

20. Wander through hazelnut orchards at Dorris Ranch

21. Paddle over a petrified forest at Clear Lake.

22. Enjoy the view from the river on a scenic jet boat tour.

23. Fish for free during an official Oregon Free Fishing Day. Gear and instruction provided as pre-selected locations.

24. Root for the home team Eugene Emeralds at PK Park. 

25. Tackle the trails in Oakridge, "The Mountain Biking Capital of the Northwest".

26. Visit the only park dedicated to carnivorous plants at the Darlingtonia State Natural Site.

27. Visit the Creswell July 4th Celebration. Bring a bag to collect candy during the parade.

28. Fill your imagination at the family-friendly Oregon Country Fair

29. Visit the Dee Wright Observatory for great views from a lava rock fort.

30. Learn about salmon’s life cycle while playing mini-golf at the Willamette Fish Hatchery.

31. Rent a canoe and paddle the canoe canal at Alton Baker Park.

32. Try the instrument petting zoo at the Eugene Symphony’s annual free summer concert in the park.

33. Try aebleskivers and buy some authentic clogs at the Scandinavian Festival.

34. Horseback ride on a dunes trail or take the little ones on a lead-rope jaunt around the corral. 

35. Float the McKenzie River in the iconic drift boat designed for the river. 

36. Sleep in a yurt on the coast at Honeyman State Park.

37. See Oregon's second tallest waterfall. Bonus points for capturing the entire waterfall in a single photo.

38. Visit an alpaca farm on the South Willamette Valley Food Trail.

39. Challenge your kids to try sandboarding on the Oregon Coast. 

40. Learn American history while hiking Constitution Grove in the Cascades. 

41. Run in the footsteps of track legend Steve Prefontaine on Pre’s Trail.

42. Drive the Aufderheide Scenic Drive during peak fall foliage for an array of colors. 

 43. Go to Mount Pisgah for their annual mushroom festival, “Play in the Rain” day or just a hike on their many trails.

44. Visit the Heceta Head Lighthouse and learn about Rue, the friendly ghost who is rumored to roam its halls.

45.  Put your "O" up cheering for the Ducks.

46. Do a self-guided tour of twenty-one international murals in Eugene. 

47. Meet the birds of prey at the Cascades Raptor Center. (You can even “adopt” a special one.)

48. Learn about the traditions of the Kalapuya people at the Museum of Natural & Cultural History.

49. Visit the official Simpsons mural in the "real" Springfield. 

50. Cut down your own Christmas tree at Northern Lights Christmas Tree Farm.

51. Wander in a holiday light wonderland and enjoy a traditional German-style Christmas Market at The Village Green.  

52. Wrap up the year with whale watching on the Oregon Coast.

For more family adventures and events throughout the year, visit