Tonight begins the annual week-long break from school for most kids in the area and, in many cases, adults as well. And what have you got planned? 

If you’re like me, you aren’t going anywhere, and that could apply to so many things right now. But in this case, it means I have no plans to leave town even though both kids are free for a week from daycare (and yet we still get a full bill this month? What?!). But my office is open, and work is crazy, so it doesn’t make sense to take the week off. Still, I definitely need to find some easy day trips or even afternoon trips every couple of days to keep the kids and, more importantly, myself from getting stir-crazy when everyone else is posting pics from their trips in California (not that jealous, to be honest) or Sun River (pretty jealous) or if they are really lucky – the coast (very jealous). 

If you live in or near the Portland area, there are lots of things to keep you and your younger ones busy without getting too many road miles or having to figure out lodging on the fly.  

Oaks Park

That awesome plot of nostalgia where you used to roller skate and ride rides until you couldn’t keep your too many tasty snacks down is not closed; it was not operating during their offseason – which ends today. They are fully operational, like a Death Star trying to destroy your personal Alderaan, which is why you lack entertaining plans right now. With rides for all ages, the previously mentioned roller rink, and plenty of activities, it’s the closest you and your fam will get to Disneyland or something like that right now. Remember when you are parking to remind yourself it’s a neat local amusement park. It’s not a nationally recognized park full of thrill rides, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time. And who knows, maybe you keep the nachos and Icee down this time, but perhaps you don’t. That’s part of the fun. 

Enchanted Forest

Every 80s and 90s kid around here had some random picture of their family in the parking lot, but they don’t remember much else. And now you can do the same for your family! With their offseason over today, they are opening their gates to the public just in time for spring break. Just about an hour’s drive from Portland or Eugene, this place has a lot for most age groups, although some older teenagers may not see the appeal other than the rides. The attractions are geared more toward kids, but the older kids or younger adults can skip the fairy tale portions and move on to the rides and villages to wander. There are many oddly surfaced hills, so wear comfortable shoes and bring a pull cable if you have a stroller. 

Oregon Coast Aquarium 

It’s never a bad time to visit your favorite sea creatures or help your kids figure out which ones they like best. The passages of the deep tunnels are worth the price of admission alone. Did you know you could sign up to sleep there? Not kidding. We have missed the March availability, but you can always get on the list for April while you are there. There are always fun exhibits to look at, and the tide pools are a lot of fun for primary school-age kids. There may not be a ton for older kids to do, but Ripley’s Believe It Or Not and the Wax Museum are just around the corner if giant plastic tubes filled with live sharks don’t interest them. The Rogue Brewery is also just around the corner and a great lunch or dinner spot on the south coast.

Newberg 99W Drive-In

Ghostbusters Frozen Empire is out today, and the Newberg Drive-In is showing a double Ghostbusters feature, with Frozen Empire starting at 730pm and Afterlife starting at 930pm. There is usually an intermission, but two hours between a movie with a runtime of one hour 55 min seems like you won’t get much time between to load back up on snacks or take care of any other business. Afterlife was a great modern take on the classic story, and I’m excited to see what the newest sequel brings to the table. Critics aren’t loving the new movie, but it would take a lot to keep me from seeing a new Ghostbusters movie. Even if this one doesn’t live up to 40 years of Ghostbusters lore, that doesn’t mean it’s not worth watching.