Spring break is here for Clark County schools! While some families are blessed to enjoy a get-away or road trip, most of us aren’t always able to make a spring break vacation work. A week at home doesn’t have to be boring. I wanted to compile a list of some fun “staycation” ideas.

Understanding that it’s often hard to afford some of the local attractions, I’ve also included a list of some FREE  and low-cost activities. (Some of my favorite things to do in the area are free!)

Have a wonderful spring break everyone!


Free Staycation Ideas: 

Multnomah Falls

The lower viewing platform has re-opened at Multnomah Falls! While the bridge and upper path remain closed, this is excellent progress following the devastating Eagle Creek Fire. Grab the kids and drive down the gorge. (We’ve driven down the gorge multiple times since the fire, and while the landscape has definitely changed- it still looks like the gorge!)


Bonneville Fish Hatchery and Dam

Go and take a peek at Herman the giant sturgeon, feed the tiny fish, and enjoy the beauty of the grounds.

Make your way over to Bonneville Dam and take the tour! (It’s free and all six of us found it enjoyable!) While at the dam, make sure to spend some time at the fish ladder. We love watching the fish swim by the windows.

My kids enjoying the Bonneville Dam Tour.

School Playgrounds

Go visit another school’s playground! The public is allowed to access elementary school playgrounds when school is not in session. New playgrounds are always fun for kids.

Lacamas Lake

When we lived in Washougal, we loved visiting Lacamas Lake. Walk the lake (easy enough for kids), enjoy the playground, or just take in some of the incredible scenery.

Moulton Falls

If you’ve never made the trip to Moulton Falls – you need to go! It is breathtaking! My kids love to walk, look for interesting rocks, and explore nature.

Steigerwald Lake

This was another favorite of our family when we lived in Washougal. Steigerwald is beautiful – and I encourage you to go and explore this area! The walk is amazing and you’re likely to spot a variety of animals as you walk the paths.

The Library

I will recommend the library as often as humanly possible! (It’s one of my happy places.) In addition to taking your kids to the library to check out books and other media materials, many of the local libraries are hosting special events during spring break. Check out the FVRL Events page to see what your local branch has going on.

Other Free Ideas: 

  • Go camping in your back yard!
  • Family game night! (If you’re really ambitious, let each member of the family choose a game to play!)
  • Park-a-pa-looza (One of our favorite summer activities! See how many local parks and playgrounds you can hit up in an afternoon!)

Low Cost Fun:

Local Parks

Head to one of the area’s local parks. You’ll only need to pay the $3 parking fee. Some of my favorite parks that require the small parking fee include Lewisville Park and Frenchman’s Bar.


My kids enjoying an afternoon at Lewisville Park.

Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge

We love the Wildlife Refuge! Check out my post highlighting my reasons to visit the refuge in early spring!  You’ll only pay a $3 fee to enjoy the refuge.

Other low-cost ideas: 

  • Hit a local Redbox and have a family movie night! (I also love to show my kids movies from MY childhood!)
  • Go see a movie at Vancouver Plaza 10 (Tickets are just $4.15)


The Local “Staples”:


Head to OMSI and check out the new Robot Revolution exhibit. (*Be aware that there is an additional upcharge to see the Robots exhibit. It should also be noted that some changes are currently being made to the Science Playground area.)

We haven’t visited the new exhibit yet, but love to spend time at some of our favorite museum main-stays.

*Insider Tip – We love to pack a lunch, and sit by the waterfront on OMSI days! You can’t beat the view!

Oregon Zoo

When our zoo membership is active, we love getting to the zoo right at opening – and enjoying a less crowded visit. We always pack a lunch on our trips to the zoo as well!

Kids Club Fun & Fitness

Come and explore “The Jungle” – a large indoor playground located in Salmon Creek. Admission is $10.50 on weekdays and $12.50 on the weekend. You can also purchase a 10 punch pass for $90. (Adults are always free.)

Dizzy Castle

For those of you wanting to stay close to the Orchards area, spend the day at Dizzy Castle -another large indoor playground. Admission is $11.95, and adults are free. Dizzy Castle also offers at 10 play pass for $90.

“Splurge” Local Attractions: 

Oaks Park

While the Amusement Park remains closed on the weekdays, Oaks Park will be open from 12pm – 5pm on Saturday the 7th and Sunday the 8th. Take the family and check out their new ride- Adrenaline Peak! (*It should be noted they are charging a fairly hefty price to ride the new coaster. A single ride is $9.50, or you can purchase the Premier Bracelet at $39.25. Deluxe Ride Bracelets are $20 in comparison.)

The skating rink is open daily, and you can check the Oaks Park calendar for times.

Enchanted Forest

Like Oaks Park, Enchanted Forest will be open on Saturday the 7th and Sunday the 8th from 10am-5pm.

Guests pay an admission fee to enter the park, and then pay for individual ride tickets or a ride bracelet. You can check out the costs here.

Have another area staycation idea? Leave a comment and let us know! Have a great spring break everyone!