Spring break is practically upon us, and last week we shared some daytrip worthy historic museums and sites – but this week let’s talk about some quite lovely Oregon nature.
One of our favorite school break diversions is the coast, and this year’s Spring Whale Watch Week is back in-person with trained volunteers at 17 sites along the coast. It runs from Tuesday, March 28 through Sunday, April 2.
“Spring is a great time for whale watching because the gray whales are usually closer to shore on their return trip, typically around a mile or so out, and the weather is a little warmer for visitors,” said Park Ranger Peter McBride. Yes, the gas costs something, but this is an otherwise free activity..
The Whale Watching Center in Depoe Bay: Visitors to the center can enjoy interactive whale exhibits and take in the panoramic ocean views. Binoculars are provided. Rangers from Oregon State Parks will also be on hand to answer questions about the whales. Here’s the state’s webpage for the Depoe Bay Whale Watching Center – open 10 am to 4 pm, Wednesday through Sunday.
Also, here’s a link for a map of the state’s other staffed whale watching sites.
Fun After Whale Watching: When going coastal, we Corvallisites seemingly gravitate toward Newport and its surrounding environs – which isn’t surprising, given it’s our fair burgh’s quickest highway for a marine getaway – here’s some often popular destinations for your coastal daytrip.
Hatfield Marine Science Center: Exhibits include an augmented reality sandbox where kids can see the impacts of shifting sands, tanks focused on erosion and tsunamis, a research vessel simulator and a crustacean station. However, most kids spend most of their time at the tidepool touch tanks because they actually get to pet some fish. Confession, adults also love the tidepool touch tanks. Tickets are $5 for visitors age 5 and up. Hours are Thursday through Monday from 10 am to 4 pm. Buy tickets before visiting, click here to purchase them.
All Aboard: It’s a two hour cruise of Newport’s waters. Friendly naturalists and captains share fun marine stories ranging from Oregon’s largest fishing fleet to fascinating sea life. Depending on the time of year, they’ll help you look for gray whales, harbor porpoise, seals, sea lions, pelicans, bald eagles, and an abundance of marine birds to microscopic plankton. $35 for kids, and $60 for age 13 and up. Click here to learn more about Marine Discovery Tours.
Oregon Coast Aquarium: Journey from seafloor to shore, shake hands with a moon jelly, hug an urchin, and get splashed by a puffin. Tickets range from $14.95 to $24.95 – free for age 2 and under. Click here to learn more.
Ripley’s Believe it or Not: Eleven themed galleries of artifacts, art, animal oddities, pop-culture memorabilia, interactive games, and stories of people and places that are incredibly hard to believe but undeniably true. They invite visitors to come face-to-face and strike a pose with lifelike wax figures of favorite heroes, characters, and celebs. Ages 4 to 11 are $14.99, adults are $24.99. Click here to learn more.
If You Go, a Tip: The surface streets though Philomath are essentially Hwy 20, and speed limits are strictly enforced – there is zero allowance. So, think of it this way, the trip to the coast is a mini-vacay, so keep it slow and you’ll get where you’re going, ticketless and happy. You’ll also experience a degree of heightened enforcement between that area and the Lincoln County line.
Time to Enroll Your Kindergartner: Enrollment for Fall kindergarten has started in Corvallis. If your kiddo hits age five by September 1, they’re eligible and encouraged to enroll at their neighborhood school.
Registration can be completed online. If you are uncertain about which elementary school boundary you fall into, you can use the District Address Locator or call (541) 757-5811.
You’ll need some documents:
- Proof of Address (only one document required)
- Proof of Age
- Immunization Record
- Educational Support Documentation
What if You Need Your Student in a Different School: Transfers are available, but you’ll need to enroll into your neighborhood school first. After that, transfer requests will be accepted online for Corvallis residents from April 3 to 16 and for non-residents from May 1 to 14. Transfers will be subject to grade-level enrollment and space limitations.
Kindergarten Information Night: School staff will discuss ways to prepare your child for kindergarten and answer questions. All the district’s elementary schools are offering these informative evenings on Thursday, April 6, from 5:30 to 6:15 pm. But, Franklin K-8 will hold there’s a little later, 6 to 7 pm.
For more information about the kindergarten registration process, please contact your boundary area school or the Corvallis School District at (541) 766-4700 or refer to the district’s website.
School Board Meeting: Tonight, March 23 at 6:30 pm, the Corvallis Public School Board meets at Lincoln School gym. The Board will receive reports on homeless students, district goal setting and district communications. They will also discuss revisions to the school calendar. To attend online, or get more information, click here.
Childbirth Classes: This four-week childbirth education class is designed to prepare you to walk into your birth and new parent experience confidently. This class will help you view birth as a normal, healthy event and to help you build that confidence in your own body and its capability to birth. All the information is evidence-based and includes recommendations from major health organizations such as CDC, ACOG, and WHO.
Classes are at the Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center, weekly on Tuesday evenings 6 to 8:15 pm, April 4 to 25, 2023. A virtual option is also available. Cost: $110 per pregnant person (partner included). If you have Oregon Health Plan insurance (IHN or Pacific Source), Your plan will cover this class at no cost to you. Click here for details and registration.