I am in love with summer in the Willamette Valley. During the rainy spring months, I begin to dream of picnics at Mary’s River and look forward to the day when we can eat as many fresh berries as we want. Family bike rides, kids swinging, BBQs, and splashing in cool water are other activities that come to mind when I think of summer in Oregon. There is so much to do in this area in the summer both locally and within an hour drive. If you are new to the area or not familiar with local family friendly activities, here are some free or affordable ideas to get you started:
- Take your family for a picnic/hike at Finley Wildlife Refuge. My kids love to hang out for a few hours on a nice day. Hike the woodpecker trail or walk around the boardwalk. We see wildlife every time and the kids love to explore and run free! Picnic at the old white house afterwards.
- Enjoy the second year of the Sage Concert Series. Let your kids dance their hearts out and feed the ducks at Starker Art’s Park. Concert donations all benefit the Sage garden, which is an educational garden that produces over 7,000 pounds of food for emergency food shelters annually.
- Enjoy an affordable paddle boat ride around Waverly Lake with your family!
- Visit Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport. This is an enjoyable activity for family members of all ages, and it is free. Enjoy flying a kite at one of the many excellent beaches on the same day.
- Pick berries! There are dozens of u-pick berry farms in the area. Blueberries are currently in season, and we love to pick from either Anderson’s Blues or Radkes’. This is Oregon living at its’ best!
- Go swimming! Beat the heat during July and August with an affordable family swims at Osborn Aquatic Center or Cool! Pool in Albany.
- Participate in a “Fresh Grown Cooking for Families” class in a beautiful garden sponsored by the Healthy Youth Program. Families gather together to harvest and cook in an outdoor setting and then enjoy a simple and healthy meal together. There are also hands on garden activities and lessons each week during the program. With a $20 suggested donation for each 4 week session, families can be healthy and build community while spending less money than what it would cost to cook at home!
- Camp in a yurt. My family has gone on several yurt camping trips in the area, with one of our favorites being at Silver Falls State Park. For more information, check out Oregon State Parks.
- Make a goal to play at every park in your community this summer. Start with Avery Park in Corvallis as a local favorite or North Albany Park.
- Enjoy the many fun activities happening at Monteith Park in Albany including Movies at Monteith and the River Rhythm Series.
We would love to hear your ideas of family fun during the summer! Happy summer everyone!