Things to Do With Kids in Clackamas County, Oregon

by Jennifer Simkins

    Clackamas County is in the northwest area of Oregon. The area is also known as Mount Hood Territory because the towering mountain sits within the county borders. Pioneers chose this county as the end of the Oregon Trail because the surrounding Willamette Valley had fertile grounds for agriculture. Today, families can enjoy year-round skiing, educational facilities, and an abundance of outdoor and indoor recreation.

    Mount Hood Skibowl

    Towering at morre than 11,200 feet above sea level, Mount Hood's snow-capped peak is visible from 50 miles away. Mount Hood Skibowl is a ski area known for having the largest night ski area in the country. During the winter, the Skibowl also features a snow tube and adventure park (skibowl.com/winter/mt-hood-snow-tubing-adventure-park). Kids can participate in tubing down slopes of varying degrees of steepness, nighttime cosmic tubing, and indoor Super Play Zone, and other activities. During the summer, the area transforms and features more than 20 outdoor activities, including an alpine slide, summer tubing hill, and Zorb Balls (skibowl.com/summer/activities).

    North Clackamas Aquatic Center

    During open swim times, the North Clackamas Aquatic Center becomes Big Surf!, an indoor water park for the public to enjoy (ncprd.com/aquatic-park/big-surf). Features of this center include a wave pool, a diving well, a small child pool with a slide, an interactive fountain area and a hot tub. Also included are multiple water slides, a 29-foot rock wall and a snack bar. During non-Big Surf! times, lap swimming, swim lessons and fitness classes are available.

    U-Pick Farms

    Clackamas County has lots of produce that families can pick fresh from the source (mthoodterritory.com). Kids can grab a bucket to fill with fresh blueberries, tomatoes, and other fruits and vegetables. Sandy, Oregon, features a farm loop that highlights the best farms in the area (sandy.or.us). Families can view working farms in action during every season and enjoy everything from summer produce to Christmas tree farms.

    The John Inskeep Environmental Learning Center and Haggart Observatory

    Located on the Clackamas Community College Oregon City campus, the Environmental Learning Center (clackamas.edu/Environmental_Learning_Center.aspx) offers opportunities for families to learn about the watershed environment. A self-guided tour is available that highlights facts about the plants and animals to be found along its walking trails. The Haggart Observatory (rosecityastronomers.org//sp/haggart.htm) is also on the campus. Viewing nights are scheduled throughout the year for the public to use the main telescope and view the skies from the observation deck.

    About the Author

    Jennifer Simkins has expertise in music, travel, health and cooking. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in speech pathology and is currently pursuing her graduate degree.

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