• There are Many Great Local Options for Spring Break

  • Lots of local sites to explore this spring break.

    Lots of local sites to explore this spring break.

    From aquariums to volcanoes, there is a lot to do in the Northwest. With spring break coming up, consider taking your children somewhere fun. No one wants to spend it sitting around the house playing video games. It’s up to you to muster the troops for some quality family time.

    Children do not have to go on an elaborate trip to Spain  in order to make memories.  Taking an “in-town” adventure can help you build memories and make for a great spring break.

    Here are some ideas for you and your family:

    • Go tide pooling at Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach, Ore, Shi Shi Beach, WA
    • Hike one of the trails at Mt. St. Helens.
    • Identify wildflowers on an Oregon-based Columbia Gorge hike.
    • Expose the kids to art – for free – at a Seattle museum.
    • Visit Spokane’s Riverfront Park, a family-friendly playground with 15 super-cool attractions.
    • Touch Moon meteorites and Martian rocks at OMSI’s Space exhibit, in Portland, Ore.
    • Watch glassblowers create liquid art in the Museum of Glass Hot Shop in Tacoma, Wash.
    • Fly a kite in Long Beach, Wash.
    • Do you love to explore? Then the Ape Caves are for you! You won’t find any “ape’s”, but instead some fun adventuring inside of lava tubes!
    • Visit Northwest Trek Wildlife Park in Eatonville, Washington. This is one of the country’s premier wildlife parks and features fauna, large and small, native to the region. Ride the tram and let your guide introduce the kids to herds of bison, elk and more in their natural habitatnwtrek.org, traveltacoma.com.

    If you are looking for something really exciting, trail to Portland, OR to enjoy the 4T trail. It is a self-guided, urban nature tour that lets you explore the city and see some of the best views. SO if you have about four hours, five dollars and a bit of leg power, you can experience some awesome new sites. The route is well marked with signs and includes about 2.5 miles of walking.

    Here is an overview of the 4T trail:

    First you catch the train from some place close to Pioneer Courthouse Square and head to the Oregon Zoo.  The zoo stop is 260 feet (79 m) below ground level, in the nation’s deepest tunnel. Ride the elevator to the surface, where you have the option of exploring the zoo before following the “4T” signs for the next leg of the journey.

    Next head downhill, across the Highway 26 overpass, and exit the city landscape on the well-maintained Marquam Trail (also signed for the 4T). You’ll hike 1.3 miles up a wooded trail to Council Crest Park, the highest point in Portland at 1,073 feet.

    Walk downhill from Council Crest, crossing Southwest Greenway and Fairmont streets, and pick between 1) following the trail on a 2.2-mile hike through hilly Marquam Nature Park, or 2) taking a 1.6-mile walk downhill on city streets without sidewalks. Both paths lead to the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) campus, where 4T signs point to the upper terminal of the Portland Aerial Tram.

    The final mode of transport is the Portland Streetcar, which you can board from the stop near the tram terminal. Running about every 15 minutes, the European-style streetcar — or trolley — will carry you back to downtown Portland, only one stop away from your starting point at Pioneer Courthouse Square.

    We at Columbia Orthodontics hope that you find something great to do with your family over spring break!  If new braces are on the agenda this month, give us a call or click here to contact us today.