7 Spring Break Boredom-Busters
Kids love the idea of a week off school with absolutely nothing to do…until spring break begins and they realize: they have, um, nothing to do. Need something (or somewhere) to jumpstart your kiddos’ imagination? We’ve put together a cheat sheet of last-minute, sure-to-please, boredom busters for that looong school-free week in March.
Get Your Art On
Spark Arts Center, owned by two Hollywood District artists/moms, is running several special four-hour classes during the week of spring break. Depending on the day, kids can create sand paintings and mandalas, build their own castle, or explore their wild side by crafting cardboard jeeps and animal pillows.
Ages: Grades K-5
Cost: $30 (or $20 for a two-hour session)
Roll the Dice
Few things are as gratifying as digging through someone else’s stash of board games. During the afternoon of Monday, March 25, Clackamas’ Sunnyside Library will bring out plenty of card and party games out for kiddos, too.
Manzanita is a two-hour drive from Portland, but you won’t hear complaints from the back seat once you explain you’re going horseback riding. From March 23-April 7, Oregon Beach Ride’s Nehalem Bay location is running a special for an hour-long ride on the beach. (Don’t worry if you’re a greenhorn, guidance and instruction are included.)
Ages: 6 and up
Cost: $65 per child, with paying adult price of $75.
Go Back in Time
Pittock Mansion, Stumptown’s answer to Downton Abbey, offers kiddos a chance to time travel – for a few hours at least – during spring break. Young ladies and gentlemen will get to go behind the scenes of the French Renaissance-style chateau, learn to write with a fountain pen, launder clothing with a washboard, and even cook up a 1914 snack.
Cost: $25/members, $35/non-members
Have a Food Network fan in your brood? Kid-friendly chef Julie Merry heads up half-day cooking camps out of her cozy home kitchen. Menu items vary from pretzel shortbread bars and cheddar chive scones for older kids to “SpongeBob SquarePants Edibles” for the younger set.
Cost: $30-$75, depending on the class
Be One With the Great Outdoors
PDX parents consistently rave about Trackers Earth Portland, which offers an “old school” camp experience, emphasizing homesteading crafts and outdoor survival skills. They offer compelling themes – including “Evil Secret Agent Academy,” “Forest Fishing,” and “Ye Ol’ Blacksmith Shop” — you won’t find anywhere else.
Cost: $59-$98 (with early registration discount)
Climb the Walls
Prefer your kids jump on something besides your couch? Sign them up for a one-day “Spring Sports Camp” at the Children’s Gym. The session includes a gymnastics lesson, games, and open gym, plus a chance to boulder climb at the nearby Circuit Gym.
Cost: $50-$225, depending on the number of days registered
Stop and Smell the Flowers
March 29 marks the first day of the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival in Woodburn, OR, just 45 minutes from Portland. Wooden Shoe Farms opens their 40+ acres of tulips and daffodils to the public, but there’s a kids’ play area, as well. (Head over on the weekend for even more kid-friendly attractions, too, including wooden shoe making demonstrations, pony rides, and (weather permitting) a zip line, jump house, and climbing walls.
Cost: $10 per car
What do you have planned for this Spring Break? Which of these options looks like it’d be a hit with your kids?
Photos courtesy of Trackers Earth, PeaklightStudio.com, Portland Reign Photography, and The Merry Kitchen.