Try your hand at fly tying, throw paint all over your best friends or hit the trail for a hike: With springtime and Spring Break on the horizon and the days getting longer and longer, everyone can find plenty of fun around Albany.
The Event Calendar at the Albany Visitors Association website is a great place to see what’s going on in the days ahead. And here are a few suggestions to get you started:
Northwest Fly Tyer & Flyfishing Expo – March 10-11, 9 am to 5 pm, Linn County Expo Center. Join in the return of this great annual event that caters to families, and individuals with exhibitors, fly casting ponds, tying demonstrations, classes, raffles and a silent auction.
Hub City Comic Con – March 18, Heritage Mall. Enjoy big-screen movies, photo ops with comic book and movie characters or dress up yourself and enjoy this event, which will feature 100 vendors. Follow the Heritage Mall Facebook page for updates.
Linn County Flea Market – March 18, 8 am to 2:30 pm, Linn County Expo Center. Shoppers can pay $6 for early entry from 8 to 9 am. General admission is $2 from 9 am to 2:30 pm. Enjoy hunting for treasure at Linn County’s largest flea market.
Splatterbox — Paint the walls or your family members in this one-of-a-kind romp at this paint-throwing art studio, 313 Montgomery St. NE. 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.
Surefire Design — Try your hand at pottery by painting any number of items provided by Surefire, 201 2nd Ave. SW., and they will glaze and fire them for you to pick up later! For more info, see their Facebook page.
Albany Historic Carousel & Museum — One of Albany’s favorite family stops. Head over to 503 1st Ave. W., and take a ride on your favorite animal (or dragon!). While there, take a tour of the carving studio, visit the museum, then pop in on the painters to see them bring life to 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.
Gallery Calapooia — This cooperative of 20 artists offers some of the finest pieces of art in the mid-valley, as well as jewelry and other creations. Located at 222 1st Ave. W.
The Pix Theatre — Make it dinner and a movie at this first-run theater, 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. Frozen bananas are a favorite.
Enigma Escape Experience — For a real challenge, get your family and friends together and try to solve the puzzles and free yourselves from these exciting escape rooms in Downtown Albany. Choose from one of three rooms with different adventures in each. Check their Facebook page for open days and times.
For links to many of these activities, go here.
Biking —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.
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 located at 35179 Riverside Dr. For more information about the ranch, their products and how to sign up for events, visit ironwater.com.
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 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, in Heritage Mall.