Spring into fun this spring with indoor and outdoor adventures you and your family can enjoy 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 that might still be in place and possible reservations needed.
To get those adventurer/explorer juices flowing, here are some ideas to create your own itineraries for spring, rain or shine. Just pick out some activities, find a spot for breakfast, lunch or dinner (or all three!), and make a plan.
Make a mess — For an extreme experience, plan a trip to the Splatter Box, 313 Montgomery St. NE, 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 online to splatterbox.net 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! Located at 201 2nd Ave. SW. For more info, see their Facebook page.
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, 503 1st Ave. W, and take a ride on your favorite creature. While there, enjoy a tour of the carving studio, 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.
Artistic license — If you haven’t had enough art, be sure to visit the Gallery Calapooia art gallery in downtown Albany 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 and other items (including beer for the adults!), 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.
For links to many of these activities, click on the Play and Explore link on the AVA web page, albanyvisitors.com, and scroll down to Outdoor Recreation.
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.
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.
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. A good start would be either the E.E. Wilson Wildlife Refuge, or Talking Water Gardens if you want to stay a little closer to home.
EATS & TREATS
If you are going 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 AVA website and click the Travel Alerts and Covid-19 Updates bar at the top of the page.
The day wouldn’t be complete without some interesting shopping ideas. To get kids’ creative juices flowing, start with stops at: Brick Circuit LEGO Store, 333 1st Ave. W; Wicked Comics & Collectibles, 426 2nd Ave. SE; Bricks & Joysticks, 1117 9th Ave. SE; The Mattcave, 425 Jackson St. SE; or Northwest Hobbies, 2095 14th Ave. SE, Suite m4.