Spring is here, and many of us are feeling hopeful. More places are open now, and the weather is improving, just in time for Spring Break. We’ve rounded up some ideas for safe and local fun with your kids, including both indoor and outdoor options.

If you head out, follow social distancing best practices. We have seen a great decrease in COVID-19 cases, and we all want that trend to continue.

Smell the… tulips? The Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival begins March 19. Many, but not all, activities will be open and advanced tickets are required. They are limiting capacity to create a safe environment to enjoy the farm.

Volunteer with the kids. It’s a great way to help others and model giving back to the community. Here are some ways you can volunteer during COVID-19. Another option that is popular with families is signing up to regularly pick up litter on a designated street through local nonprofit Adopt One Block. And while it’s not really “volunteering,” dropping off food at a local food fridge or pantry is a simple and impactful way to help neighbors. Read more about these local mutual aids spots.

Go whale watching. In late March, gray whales begin traveling past the Oregon coast on their way to Alaska. Find some of the best spots to look for whales. Note: This year, there will not be volunteers at sites, and the Whale Watching Center in Depoe Bay is closed.

Visit a museum. Many of our beloved museums are opening up, including OMSI (with the new Dinosaurs Revealed exhibit), the Oregon Historical Society, Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum and the Oregon Rail Heritage Center. All have COVID-19 safety precautions, as well as limits on capacity. Visit their websites to learn more before heading out.

Get out into nature. With spring here, this is the perfect time to get into nature. Check out these Portland nature parks and cool bike riding trails. And these are our readers’ top choices for family-friendly hikes.

Go by roller skate. The Oaks Park roller skating rink is open again, offering reduced-capacity, open-skate sessions and private rink rentals. Advanced purchase required, and tickets sell out quickly. Another great option is the open-air skating at the Lloyd Center parking lot hosted by the Rose City Rollers. (Read our review of the Lloyd Center experience here.)

Find spring blooms. These are some of our favorite spots to catch spring in action in the Portland area.

Visit a farm and feed the animals. At Triskelee Farm’s public tours, you will see alpaca, ostriches, goats, chickens and more. You can even feed some of the animals. They are expecting births soon, and will have baby lambs and piglets to see!

Go snow tubing. Although there are flowers blooming here, there’s still snow on the mountain, and Mt. Hood Skibowl has added extra snow tubing sessions for Spring Break.

Treat yourself. Try a doughnut or ice cream at one of these spots that won our readers’ poll for best sweet treats.

Discover art in the city. Visit one of these unexpected places to find art or take a trip to see these murals by local BIPOC artists.

Catch a movie at a drive-in. This retro cinematic experience made a big comeback in 2020. Newberg’s historic 99W Drive-In is open for the season. Check their Facebook page for the latest schedule, or read tips from our recent trip.

Explore a new neighborhood. In our City Guide, we highlight family-friendly spots to eat and play in neighborhoods across the quadrants.

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