Family Fun on a Budget on the North Coast

By Cheri Brubaker | Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Having a great time with your family doesn't mean you have to spend a lot of money. This week many family-friendly activities are happening on the North Coast. The best part? A surprising number of these events are free! So pack up the kids, and take a road trip.

Photo credits to Astoria Armory

Follow Lewis and Clarks' steps through a rain forest. The whole family will enjoy the daily activities of the Ranger Living History Program at Lewis and Clark National Historic Park. Learn about flintlocks, take a guided nature walk and marvel at demonstrations that bring the Lewis and Clark expedition to life

Photo Credits to Lewis and Clark National Historical Park

(I can't believe this free event!) The Lewis and Clark River Kayak Tour, Thursday through Sunday 5 to 7 p.m. at the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park, offers ranger-led tours that are free with park admission. Advance registration is required for this activity, and adults and children ages 10 and older can sign up hereThe park provides kayak, paddles and a life jacket. How cool is that?

An often-overlooked resource for both residents and visitors is the local public library. The North Coast's community libraries offer a wealth of information, materials and programs for adults and children of all ages. A great place to cool off while you read the paper and check your email, the kids can read a book, play a game or make a craft project. On Wednesday mornings at 10 a.m., you can check out preschool story time at Ocean Park Timberland Library, Tillamook County Library or Astoria Public Library, at 10:30 a.m

Tillamook County Library also does Trash 2 Treasure; see what a cast-off trash item can become on Friday, 10 a.m to 12 p.m. Visit the Cannon Beach Library or Warrenton Community Library. On the Long Beach Peninsula, check out Ilwaco Timberland Regional Library, where you'll find a wonderfully comfortable place to plan your activities and adventures.

How about a movie? Astoria Parks and Recreation shows Movies in the Park on Wednesdays in August. This week, see Disney's Moana at 8 p.m. Concessions are provided, and admission is free. Or you can view the last Library Summer Movie Matinee of the summer. See First Face of America on Friday, August 15th, at 1 p.m. at Clatsop Community College, also a free event. 

Photo Credits to Astoria Parks and Recreation
Astoria Parks and Recreation offers an impressive array of fun activities for the whole family. Go for a swim at the Astoria Aquatics Center. The Coastal Family Health Center is sponsoring a free community swim event Monday, August 19, 3 to 7 p.m. Port of Play offers an interactive, indoor play space available for $3.75 per potty-trained child under 10 Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you find yourself farther south, you can take the family swimming at the Tillamook County Family YMCA. They also offer onsite childcare while you work out, if you're so inclined. 
Community Skate Night at the historic Astoria Armory is a fun, wholesome activity happening on Friday evenings, 5 to 9 p.m. This budget-friendly family activity features admission and skate rental for only $3 each.

While you're having fun, you'll no doubt get hungry along the way. Check out our restaurants page to find delicious meals for a range of palate preferences. If you're looking for a place to stay, find lodging here. Drive safely and have fun!

About the Author Cheri Brubaker
Cheri Brubaker is a writer living on the Oregon Coast. She enjoys sharing her favorite places to dine, hike, shop and explore this beautiful, rugged place she is so fortunate to call home. Join Cheri as she guides you along Oregon's spectacular North Coast.