Keep busy during Spring Break

2012-03-18T08:00:00Z Keep busy during Spring BreakBy Joy Pariante, Corvallis Gazette-Times Corvallis Gazette Times

Keep the family active with a variety of events this spring

It seems like folks of all ages are eagerly watching their seemingly sluggish clocks for the arrival of Spring Break. This wonderful pre-Easter vacation is like a gift to all students for the hard work they’ve been putting in since Christmas break ended — which seems like it was a decade ago.

When most people think of Spring Break, images of alcohol, sun-drenched beaches and regrettable moments come to mind. However, those aren’t very family-friendly vacation plans. If you’re looking for activities to keep your kids busy during the next few weeks of academic downtime, or if you’re a college student who just isn’t feeling the party scene, we here at Mid-Valley Newspapers have plenty of entertaining options for you to choose from. The activities below are some — not all – of the nearby Spring Break happenings. Don’t forget to keep an eye on your local paper’s calendar columns for up-to-date activity information.


Heartland Humane Society

Camp Catnip: Get some hands-on time with domestic animals during Heartland’s Camp Catnip, March 26-March 30. Learn about dog and cat care, pet ownership and create animal arts and crafts. Camp runs Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Heartland. Ages 8 to 10 are welcome and cost is $100 for the full week. There are 10 spots available, so register online at or call 541-757-9000.

Osborn Aquatic Center

April Pools Day: Join the Osborn Aquatic team from 1 to 4 p.m. April 7 for a big splash competition, penny toss, water basketball and an egg hunt. Visitors can also learn about scuba and kayaking. Call 541-766-7946 for more information.

The Majestic Theatre

Willamette Apprentice Ballet: Enjoy the annual spring show performed by the Willamette Apprentice Ballet at 8 p.m. March 23 and 24 at The Majestic. This year’s theme is Ballet International which uses costumes, music and dance inspired by cultures from around the world. Tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for children, seniors and students. Tickets can be purchased at The Glass Slipper or at the door. See for more information.

Chintimini Wildlife Center

Spring Break Nature Immersion Camp: Join the Chintimini team from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 26-30 for a scientific adventure filled with learning activities, games, crafts and animal encounters. Kids ages 6-12 are invited to join in. Cost for participation is $185 per child. For more information on the camp, see or call Angie 541-758-8146 or Ronda 541-609-8990.

Boys & Girls Club

Non-School Enrichment Days: During spring break, the Boys & Girls Club gives kids a place to have fun and interact with other children. Programs run Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. with open Clubhouse from 1 to 6 p.m. The program is for children in kindergarten through 12th grade and costs $27 per child, per day or $54 maximum per family per day. For more information, see


Swimming Pool

Open recreation: The Lebanon Community Swimming Pool will be having extra open recreation swims from 1 to 3 p.m. on March 23 and from 1 to 3 p.m. March 26 to March 30.

Lebanon Public Library

Spring Break Palooza: The Lebanon Public Library will host a Spring Break Palooza with activities March 28 to 30. There will be storytimes for children of all ages at 1 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 28. Brad Clark, a children’s musician and story teller will perform at 11 a.m. Thursday, March 29. A movie extravaganza will be Friday, March 30. The library will show “Happy Feet Two” at 11 a.m., “The Muppets” at 2 p.m., and “The Adventures of Tintin” at 7 p.m. The library is at 55 Academy St. For more information, call 541-258-4926 or go to


A.C. Gilbert’s Discovery Village

Lego Lab: There will be a Lego Lab from 1 to 4 p.m. March 26 when kids ages 8 to 12 can show off their Lego creativity. Learn to construct working machines from plastic blocks. The class is $21 for members and $31 for nonmembers.

Owls and Other Predators: Kids can dissect owl pellets to learn more about these creatures eating and hunting habits. Class will be from 9 a.m. to noon March 27. The class is for ages 5 to 7 and cost is $21 for members and $31 for nonmembers.

Introduction to Robotics: Using Lego Mindstorms Robitics kits, participants will learn about engineering concepts, teamwork and make working robots from 1 to 4p.m. March 26. This is a prerequisite for the Advanced Robotics Lab. The class is $21 for members and $31 for nonmembers.

Micro Detectives: Participants will gather specimens, use microscopes and discover the microscopic world. The class runs from 1 to 4 p.m. March 27 and is for ages 5 to 7.

Advanced Robotics Lab: Participants can take their robotics skills to the next level from 1 to 4 p.m. March 28 Early registration is recommended for kids ages 8 to 12. Cost is $21 for members and $31 for nonmembers.

Fun with Fiber — A Family Playshop: Learn about the journey of wool from sheep to sweater. Participants will create felted soap and other hand-dyed projects. The playshop is from 1 to 3 p.m. March 28 and the cost is $24 for members (one parent, one child) and $34 for nonmembers (one parent, one child). Each additional child is $2 with a limit of two children per participating adult.

Nature Collectors: Preschoolers will have the chance to explore the museum and use magnifying glasses to study their finds. This March 29 program is for children ages 3-5 and costs $12 for members and $15 for nonmembers.

Ice Age Discoveries: Citizen scientists have the opportunity to analyze samels of mastodon fossils. Program is geared for children ages 5 and up and admission to the museum is required along with a $3 participation fee. Tickets can be purchased at the front desk.

Wish Upon A Star: A.C. Gilbert’s last spring break activity takes participants out of this world. Using the StarLab portable planetarium, visitors ages 5 and up can learn about constellations. The event is from 1 to 2p.m. March 30 and museum admission is required, plus a $3 participation fee. Tickets can be purchased at the front desk.

A.C. Gilbert’s Discovery Village is located at 116 Marion St. N.E., Salem. For more information, call 503-371-3631 or visit

Oregon Coast

Spring Whale Watch Week

Whale watching: Migratory whales should be visible from 26 points along the coast, including seven in Newport, from March 24 to March 31. Volunteers will be available at the Newport locations from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Hatfield Marine Science Center

Fantastic Floaters: Learn all about plankton at the Hatfield Marine Science Center. Find out about adaptations and build a model plankton to race against other participants. The program runs from 1 to 3 p.m. March 26. Cost is $7.50 per person. Hatfield is located at 2030 S.E. Marine Science Drive in Newport. For more information, call 541-867-0233.

Estuary Investigations: Boots and rain gear are recommended for this exploration of the Yaquina Bay estuary and its inhabitants. The program runs from 1 to 3 p.m. March 30. Cost is $7.50 per person.

Beach Cleanup: Join SOLV for the annual Spring Beach Cleanup on March 31. The yearly event has meeting spots around Newport, including in Agate Beach, Nye Beach and Beverly Beach. The event will run 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and online registration is requested.

Oregon Coast Aquarium

Preschool programs: Grab the rubber boots and bring your 2 to 5-year-olds to the aquarium. They can learn about tidepools March 27 and creatures that live in the mud March 28. Programs are $20 for nonmember child-parent pairs and $15 for members. To register, call 541-867-3474 ext. 5301, or email

Summer camp previews: An hour-long preview of available summer camp activities at the aquarium including Freshwater Exploration on March 29, Passages of the Deep exhibit exploration on March 30 and artistic sea lions on March 31. Space is limited to 30 people and is on a first-come, first-served basis. Children must be with an adult to participate and the program preview is included with regular admission.

Sleep with the Sharks: A family sleepover for ages 6 and up which gives people the chance to have the aquarium to themselves all night. There will be a scavenger hunt, behind-the-scenes tours and hands -on activities. Dinner, a snack and breakfast are included. The cost is $50 per person for members and $55 per person for nonmembers. Attendees ages 6 to 17 must have an adult chaperone.

Killer Whale Tales: This educational program will be held April 5 through 8 and teaches children the important role of orcas in the ecosystem. April 5 and 6 are school group days, with any visiting school groups getting to participate with their regular admission. It is first-come, first-served and any open spots can be filled by the public. One hour presentations are held at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Registration is required. Call 541-867-3474 ext. 5301 for more information. April 7 and 8, Killer Whale Tales presentations are open to the public. Presentation times and costs are the same as on group days. Those who want to participate should meet in the main lobby of the aquarium 15 minutes before scheduled presentation times.

Sea lion kisses: Aquarium visitors have the opportunity to get a kiss from a sea lion. Kisses cost $25 for members and $30 for nonmembers. Cost includes a 15 to 20 minute program on sea lions. This program starts March 24 and lasts through the summer.

Sea lion encounter: Get up close and personal with the aquarium’s sea lions every Saturday starting March 17. Steal a kiss and spend an hour learning about these pinnipeds. Cost is $35 for members and $40 for nonmembers. Call 541-867-3474 to make reservations. Group size is limited to 10.

Octopus encounter: On March 31 and April 7, head to the aquarium to go behind-the-scenes with an octopus. Visitors will have the chance to learn about on e of the planet’s most intelligent invertibrates and even shake its “hand.” Cost is $35 for members and $40 for nonmembers. The one hour program is limited to 10 participants.


The Science Factory

Spring Science Adventures: Spring Break, March 26-March 30, is the perfect time for kids ages 6-8 to learn about sustainability. Children will explore a number of science related topics during two daily sessions. First session is 9 a.m.-noon and second session is 1 p.m.-4p.m. Each session is $18 or $15 for nonmembers. In addition to Spring Science Adventures, The Science Factory is also offering hands on activities pertaining to sustainability and an open computer lab where kids can use state-of-the-art design equipment to create an entry for the Lane County Waste Management “Listen to Our Children - Earth Day Message Contest.” For more information on the Spring Science Adventures, call 541-682-7888 or visit For more information on the Earth Day contest, visit Entry deadline is 5 p.m. April 2.


Check out the latest in bicycle technology, gear, apparel and nutrition at the PDX Bicycle Show March 24 and 25. Events will include a fashion show, mountain bike stunts, special deals and a bike swap. There will also be seminars on bike-related topics. The event will be at the Portland Expo Center at 2060 North Marine Drive, Portland. For more information or to find admission coupons, see

Copyright 2015 Corvallis Gazette Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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