Many lucky Portlanders are heading toward sunnier pastures over the next few days for Spring Break. But for those of us who are staying behind in our rainy little haven, there is still plenty to do to pass the time over these no-school days. (PPS is out March 25-29 this year.) Here are some ideas for Portland-area Spring Break fun with your kids.
Whale watching week. From March 23 to March 31, people from all over come to learn about gray whales as they migrate past the Oregon Coast. Trained volunteers will help visitors at 24 sites along the Pacific Northwest Coast as about 30 gray whales per hour migrate past.
Go for a swim. If it’s going to be wet, may as well get wet on purpose. Portland Parks and Recreation’s pools often have some extra open swims during spring break. Their schedule will be posted online as the break gets closer. Or try the slides, wave pool and toddler area at North Clackamas Aquatic Park; our managing editor gives the inside scoop and some tips here.
Volunteer. Store to Door is hosting a family volunteering event on Saturday, March 30 where you can make cards for homebound seniors. You can also find another volunteer project that fits your family’s needs.
Get out into nature. With spring here, this is the perfect time to get into nature. Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge is hosting three Spring Break Exploration Days, with activities and crafts about animal tracks, frogs and pelts and skulls! You can also take your budding naturalist on nature walks all over town – like Leach Botanical Garden’s honeybee hike, PP&R’s ladybug nature walk or Tryon Creek‘s nature walk opportunities.
Treat yourself. Try a doughnut or ice cream at one of these spots that won in our reader poll for best sweet treats.
Get creative. The Craft Factory is offering extended hours and daily deals all week for your little crafters. Or you can find another arts and craft studio here (be sure to check their hours; some of these studios may be hosting Spring Break camps.) Looking to build, not craft? Head to Bricks and Minifigs for a scavenger hunt (every day), a Lego guessing game, and in-store building.
Go by train . . . or tram. Hop on Trimet’s Orange Line to explore Milwaukie, Westmoreland Park, The Oregon Rail Heritage museum, OMSI, Tilikum Crossing, shopping, restaurants and lots more. Or take the kids on the Portland Aerial Tram (perfect weather not required).
Save some money on thrills at Oaks Park. You know it’s spring when the Oaks Park midway opens back up! They are offering special Spring Break hours and discounts on rides and roller skating.
Check out something cool at the library. And not just books. There are many events going on over Spring Break, including music, crafts, science and more! And yes, they’re all free!
Smell the… tulips? The Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival begins March 23. Take a ride on the cow train, bounce on the bounce houses, and enjoy the beauty of acres of tulips.