Even though your calendar does say “March”, the month we often identify as the end of winter weather, the dreary and lingering cold and rain hasn’t quite let up just yet. We may see warmer and drier days soon, but depending on your weather tolerance level, this weekend will be another one to spend in a raincoat or indoors when possible. With temperatures hovering around 50 degrees and rain expected most of Saturday before easing up on Sunday, you won’t be able to just head out the front door and go exploring, not without extra gear and planning that is.
So what can a family of people ranging from 3 to 30 do for fun and stay relatively dry on such a weekend? We have you covered, even if mother nature doesn’t. Here are some ideas to consider if you haven’t already locked in a plan for the weekend.
Location: Hillsboro Civic Center
Hours: 9am-12pm, 1pm-4pm Saturday; Sundays 1-4pm
Cost: $6 for non-residents, $4 for Hillsboro residents
Why attend: An indoor park with walls and a roof? Sounds like a rainy day haven for kids (and their parents) looking to bounce off the walls. In addition to a full playground, there is also a climbing wall, and even a NEOS® Electronic Playground that is essentially a life size “bop-it”. It’s the budget friendly rainy day idea your family has been looking for.
The Wiggle Room
Hours: 9am-1pm Saturday and Sunday
Cost: 1st kid is $11, siblings are $8, crawlers and wobblers are $5
Why attend: Yes it’s another indoor park, but this one has even more bells and whistles. If the first option is just a pool, that makes this a water park with a wave pool and slides. Just remember to wear socks, because your shoes are coming off once you’re inside and socks are required – no bare feet. While the play areas were designed with kids age 2-7 in mind, if you’re worried about your infant or toddler getting trampled by the bigger kids, fear not – they have a seperate area just for your babies under the age of 2. They won’t stop you from bringing older kids, it will just be up to you how much fun and how safe they will be in a playground made for small children. It’s the “Discovery Zone” from your childhood, but with more stuff for parents, they even have a cafe with hot food and coffee for you to recharge, a staple for every modern rainy day shelter.
Hours: 9:30am-5:30pm Saturday and Sunday
Cost: Adults $15 each, Seniors (65+) $12, children 3-13 $10.50, under age 3 are free. This covers admission, any special exhibits, tours, and shows are additional fees.
Why attend: They call it a museum, but it’s much different than the museums you were dragged to as a kid, unless you went here as a kid in which case welcome back! And yes it’s still fun for adults. Here you can interact with everything and everyone, virtually nothing you can find is off limits. It’s a great place to wander and show your kids the world of technology, how modern machines work with nature, and everything in between. It’s quite easy to make a day of it, as they have an onsite theater, planetarium, restaurant, cafe, gift shop, and two count them two floors of fun and exciting exhibits including one amazing tourable submarine.
Powell’s City of Books
Hours: 9am to 10pm Saturday and Sunday
Cost: Admission is free
Why attend: It’s a one of a kind mega sized book store with ample reading areas, a cafe, and every title under the sun, in many cases available in lower priced used copies. If that’s not fun for all ages, I don’t know what is. Need something for the kids to do while you find your way around the city-sized store? They have a story time session every Saturday at 11am, this week’s literary adventure is “The Paper Bag Princess” By Robert Munsch.
Charlie And The Chocolate Factory
Location: Clackamas High School
Showtimes: 7pm Saturday, 2pm Sunday
Cost: Adults $8 Students / Children $5
Why attend: event description pulled directly from CHS website – Have you ever wanted to join Charlie Bucket in his deliciously daring tour of Willy Wonka’s world-famous Chocolate Factory? Look no further than Clackamas High School’s scrumptious production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory adapted for the stage from the Roald Dahl children’s classic. Get the chance to see Willy Wonka, Augustus Gloop, Violet Beauregarde, Veruca Salt, and Mike Teavee come to life like never before! As Narrators and Oompa-Loompas help guide us down a chocolate river and through Mr. Wonka’s all-too-tempting factory, there will be fun that the whole family can enjoy.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is G-rated and recommended for children 6 years and older. Show runs 90 minutes with an intermission.
Not finding what you’re looking for or perhaps you don’t mind driving “x” amount of miles to drier weather in search of a more active experience? Here are some other options to throw around the Saturday morning breakfast nook:
Multnomah Falls – the weather in the area is expected to be cold (low 50s) but should be dry. If you haven’t “climbed” the falls before or it’s been a while, there’s no time like the present for you and your family to check out this Oregon gem.
If you’re willing to drive to the Falls, maybe you’d be just as interested in driving a little further. Hood River is just another 40min or so down arguably the most scenic stretch of highway this side of Hawaii, and has plenty of walking and hiking available in addition to a scenic backdrop in this historic town. If you’re in the mood, you can find wine tasting or a unique meal or beverage at several amazing wineries, restaurants, coffee shops, and breweries.
Ok with driving but you’re more interested in doing some shopping for the whole fam? The Columbia Gorge Outlets are a relatively short drive away in Troutdale, and have great prices for everything your family needs to refresh their spring wardrobe.
Casey Mabbott is a husband and parent first, and also an experienced and dedicated writer and researcher. Born and raised in the Portland area, when Casey is not spending time with his family gallivanting around Portland and the surrounding areas, he genuinely enjoys helping people (especially families) find the “hidden gems” in the Pacific Northwest. In today’s world of lightning fast information at our fingertips, it’s truly a wonder to stumble across a place, an experience, or an activity you’ve never heard of.