Fall and winter used to be my favorite time of year. Beautiful leaves, crisp air, and daily reminders to cuddle up on the couch with a book or tuck into bed early. Cute boots, cozy accessories, and flattering jackets…I could go on and on.
And then I had kids.
Suddenly all of the reasons why I loved cooler weather months disappeared, and in their place, came muddy boot prints on the floor, lost gloves, and kids bouncing off the walls.
My family enjoys each other much more when we’re able to leave our house and get a change of scenery (even in the gray, cold, and wet!). Here are some of our go-to spots in Clark County.
1. Bi-Zi Farms Pumpkin Patch ($12 admission, kids under 2 free, 65+ $10)
I have always LOVED pumpkin patching, and my love has only grown now that I have kids. I’ve tried several of the amazing patches in Oregon, back when I assumed Clark County had less to offer. Those pumpkin patches were great, but I can’t believe I waited so long to try our own Bi-Zi Farms. Located just east of I-205 off 119th it’s a reasonable drive for just about anyone north of the river.
Each family member has a different favorite attraction, and we could easily spend the day having fun if naps weren’t such a priority. I like going earlier in the season so we get the first pick of pumpkins and avoid the busiest crowds, but even the weekend before Halloween is still worth the trip!
2. Fort Vancouver Regional Libraries + Camas Public Library (Free)
If the last time you went to the library was to check out Nancy Drew or Babysitter’s Club, it’s time for a reunion. Did you know there are fourteen libraries serving the Clark County area? In addition to being a mecca for books and learning, these libraries have a lot of activities for kids of all ages.
- Storytimes during the day with music, dancing, and play
- Family story times in the evening
- Games, movies, crafts and a bunch of activities geared toward building STEM skills
If your schedule doesn’t work with planned activities that’s okay too! Most of the libraries have great play areas replete with sensory toys, train tables, computers with learning games, coloring stations, puppets, and more. It’s free, it’s a change of scenery, and it’s indoors. Need I say more?
3. Pearson Air Museum (Free)
The Person Air Museum is located in the Fort Vancouver National Park. Open on Saturdays, and no cost for admission, the Air Museum is a fun outing for the whole family. The museum is full of old planes which you can’t sit in or touch, but there are some interactive opportunities and usually a fun exhibit in the lobby to teach kids about aviation. After you’ve gone through the museum, head outside and just let the kids run free on their expansive lawns.
4. Kazoodles Toy Store (Free – $5 Activities)
Kazoodles is a locally owned and independent toy store. They are knowledgeable, have a frequent buyer program, and will wrap presents purchased there for free. Not only is Kazoodles my go-to spot for birthday gifts, they also host great activities for kids in the store. With events like Crafternoon each Wednesday, UnPlugged Play Days, and special events every month I highly recommend taking a visit. Participation is free or under $5 (as long as you can resist buying something fun on the way out).
5. The Waterfront
Although the Downtown Vancouver waterfront is more of a summertime destination, this new addition to Clark County still makes my list. I don’t know about you, but my kids still require fresh air and outdoor time, rain or shine. There is a great lawn to run around on and a beautiful pier over the river, both of which are perfect spots to watch barges, trains, and planes go by. If you head west there is also a sand box and soft-landing play area. With restaurants popping up everywhere as well as clean, public restrooms this will be a place to visit all year long.