By Kim Jackson
Spring break is just around the corner and now is a good time to start planning how you and your family can enjoy time together in and around Albany.
Covid restrictions have eased in Linn County, but you will still want to check websites or call ahead to find out about protocols and possible reservations. That includes your favorite eateries as well, who are ready to supply delicious meals and treats to keep you fueled up for your daily adventures.
Here are a few things you might think about planning for Spring Break activities, both indoors and out depending on the weather.
Make a mess — For an extreme experience, plan a trip to the Splatterbox, a paint-throwing art studio that promises fun for the whole family. Paint the walls or your family members in this one-of-a-kind romp. Go here and check out the packages offered and prices for Small Groups (up to 6 people for an hour), Large Groups (up to 12 for an hour and a half), a Party (up to 20 for two hours) or the After Dark option for couples and parties.
Pottery and paint — If you want something artistic but a little less messy, try your hand at pottery at Surefire Design. Paint any number of items provided by Surefire and they will glaze and fire them for you to pick up later! For some photos of the different kinds of pottery available to paint, go here.
Token to ride — To get up close and personal with some outstanding pieces of art – and hitch a ride on a few – head over to the Albany Historic Carousel & Museum and take a ride on your favorite creature. While there, take a tour of the carving studio to see how these wonderful pieces are created, visit the museum, then pop in on the painters to see them bring life to bears, dogs, horse dragons and any number of critters. Before you leave, be sure to visit the snack bar, and browse the gift shop for a memento of the occasion.
Art, art and, oh yeah: art — If you haven’t had enough art, be sure to visit Gallery Calapooia and The Crow’s Foot art galleries for some of the finest pieces of art in the mid-valley, as well as jewelry, pottery and other creations.
Movie night — For a relaxing evening treat (or a matinee!), plan to take in a movie at The Pix Theatre, where the snack bar has a delicious menu, including burgers, sandwiches, pizza, beer and other items, along with the usual movie fare of candy, popcorn and soft drinks.
Great escapes — For a real challenge, get your family and friends together and try to solve the puzzles and free yourselves from the escape rooms at the Enigma Escape Experience in Downtown Albany. Choose from one of three rooms with different adventures in each.
Biking — Pump up the tires and strap on the helmets as you explore Albany from the seat of your bicycles. Albany has several trails and paths to explore, and there are trips farther afield for the more adventurous. For a list of some ideas for all skill levels, click here. A blog on bicycling, written by Hasso Hering, can be found here.
Hiking – If you want to stay on foot, try one of the many paths Albany has to offer for walkers and hikers, including those at Talking Water Gardens, Simpson Park, the Dave Clark Path and Takena Landing Trail. Click here to find out more about those and other hikes you might enjoy outside of Albany.
March Madness — Don’t pass up a visit to Iron Water Ranch. This working fiber animal farm includes seasonal family-oriented events like bottle feeding baby lambs and educational workshops. The ranch produces beautifully dyed wool and fiber for craft, such as yarn for knitting and raw fiber for spinning or felting. The ranch is open daily by appointment at 35179 Riverside Dr.
Bird Watching – Late winter and spring are a good time to get out and see the many kinds of birds that call the Willamette Valley home. Click here and here to find some great places to enjoy the growing pastime of bird watching.
Eats and treats – If you are planning to get out and about, plan to take your meals with you. Albany has several top-notch eateries who can outfit you with the perfect-take-out meal. For up-to-date information on restaurants for dine in, outdoor seating or takeout orders, go to the Albany Visitors Association website and click the Travel Alerts and Current Happenings bar at the top of the page.