Who says you need to get out of town to have an awesome spring break? Whether it’s due to scheduling or budgeting conflicts, if you’re staying home for spring break this year you can still make it a fun week for the kiddos with these TEN local fun spots near/around Portland. Do just one or two, or any number of combinations of these and feel like you really got in a vacation here at home.
1. Play in the Snow
While it’s definitely getting more spring-y here, Mt. Hood, Bend, and nearby passes still have lots of fluffy white stuff to play in. Take a day go sledding, skiing, or just take a drive and play in some snow one last time before it’s all gone.
2. A Day Trip to the Beach
We are lucky to live so close to the north Oregon coast, and it’s an easy and fun spring break day trip if you head out in the morning and come home late. Living in Forest Grove, our family loves to head west on Highway 6 to Tillamook and then take 101 up the coastline, stopping at our favorite beach towns along the way, before heading back east on Highway 26.
Looking for some local insight on the best beach towns? Check out PMB’s Contributor Picks!
3. Take a Train Trip
4. Explore the Columbia River Gorge
From Rooster Rock to Vista House to the umpteen waterfall trails, the Columbia River Gorge is one of the most spectacular places in the Pacific Northwest, and it’s right in Portland’s backyard! Whatever suits your fancy out there, stop in to McMenamins Edgefield and the Columbia River Outlets before you head home to complete your spring break staycation.
5. Enjoy the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival
Those beautiful blooms are nearly upon us, and spring break is the opener for the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival! Boasting both free and small fee activities, this colorful fest is great for an all day family adventure. Want some more insider info? Check out this PMB review.
6. Check Out the Portland Gold and Treasure Show
Fun for the whole family, the Gold and Treasure Expo is a great opportunity to experience the excitement of panning for gold and unearthing treasures! Pan for prizes in multiple troughs, and learn skills and techniques used by the best in the business to uncover gold in local streams and rivers.
7. Go Wine Tasting (Yes, WITH the kids!)
Who says spring break is only for children? The Willamette Valley is famous for wineries, and yes, you can even take the kids to many of them!
8. Visit Local Dams and Fish Hatcheries
Learn about the history of PNW dams, explore nearby trails, and feed the fish. Visit Willamette Falls in Oregon City, hear the Native American legends behind the Bridge of the Gods in Cascade Locks. At the Bonneville Dam and Fish Hatchery you can meet “Herman,” the 450 lb. sturgeon. There’s also hatcheries in Sandy, Clackamas, and Nehalem on the way to/from the beach!
9. A Day Trip to Hood River
There are so many fun things to do in Hood River! Combine it with a day (or two!) spent in the Columbia River Gorge or just spend a whole day in this fun town. But bundle up! Those gorge winds are STRONG!
10. Take a Road Trip
Do all these ideas give you an itch to turn your spring break staycation into a longer vacation? Head a little farther out of town to the Central Oregon Coast for Whale Watching Week in Depot Bay. Or hit up Central/Eastern/Southern Oregon, Mount St. Helens, or even Seattle. We live in a great place with lots of stuff nearby, the possibilities are endless!