When looking for fun, kid-friendly activities to do in Oregon, Evergreen Aviation Museum and Wings and Waves Waterpark offered complimentary tickets to explore their attractions. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Today I’m sharing all about the Waterpark, but check back next week for my experience at the Evergreen Aviation Museum! To learn more about sponsored content on this blog please ready my policies page. Thank you for supporting the companies that help make this blog happen!
This picture is basically how we all felt about getting to visit the Wings and Waves Waterpark on a rainy Portland day. We had driven past the waterpark and museum a million times as we drove through McMinnville on the way to the coast. The big airplane sitting on top of the waterpark has always been a huge attraction on those drives for my son. We had always said, “we should go…” but never made the time to go. I’m glad that we planned an entire day for the museum and water park visit and sort of wished we had planned to visit in two days rather than squishing it all into one. There was a LOT to do and see. I had two VERY tired little boys by the end of the day.
The Evergreen Aviation Museum and Wings and Waves Waterpark website has a LOT going on as there are so many different attractions going on at one time. Using the FAQ page I tried to be as prepared as possible for what the day may bring and what might be needed. You have to be prepared with kids. There just isn’t an option! Read on for the answers to the questions I had before visiting the first time.
I was pleasantly surprised about the amount of people the park could comfortably accommodate. We went on what the team member I talked to called a normal Saturday. It was busy, but not so crowded that I felt uncomfortable or had a long wait anywhere we went.
There are a LOT of tables and chairs throughout the park for putting down beach bags and the like. I had brought my DSLR with me and my purse (gotta pay for stuff somehow!) and didn’t feel comfortable just setting those on a table while I ran off into the waves, so I purchased two Medium-sized lockers to put my stuff. The large lockers sell out pretty quickly, but at $7/medium locker I felt like I could afford to put away my more valuable items for the many hours we were splashing around. The ‘keys’ to the lockers were actually just wristbands that we wore so I didn’t have to keep up with anything extra. That was nice.
Okay, so this was my biggest concern about the waterpark aspect of it all. My oldest son LOVES the water, but isn’t a strong swimmer at all yet. My youngest is 7 months and takes a lot of attention. While I knew we were going where each adult would be able to wrangle a child, I was worried that we wouldn’t enjoy the day as we’d be stressed about older kids in pools, etc. I had nothing to worry about. First, there are life jackets and many trained life guards. The lifeguards are young, but you can see their training in place the entire time you are there as they are actively watching and making signs to the other lifeguards in the area. Second, there are attractions for many levels of swimmers and non-swimmers including a splash pad area for the young ones.
Swimming all day makes my clan hungry. There is a cafe at the waterpark that serves the basic fare of hamburgers, hot dogs, fries, salads, and such. The prices are not inexpensive, but they are not unreasonable either. They really felt like they were accurate with a sit down casual dining restaurant. However, if you have a big crew to feed and you don’t want to pay for meals at the cafe, you can bring a picnic lunch to have on the grounds (not in the waterpark) of the museum and park. There are picnic tables near the parking area.
Bathing suits are the main attire at the Wings and Waves Waterpark. It is good to note though that suits with metal snaps are not allowed on the water slides.
This photo pretty much sums up how me and the family felt about stealing away to the Oregon coast for a family vacation this past weekend. We were all smiles! Family vacations can be difficult, costly and tiresome sometimes… and, while this trip had a tinge of those things at times, it was mostly AMAZING. We have a favorite spot out on the coast that is affordable, comfortable and just perfect for families and it seems that every year around this time when itching to get out of town we are always able to snag a room! Our whole family piled in the van and met up with friends who also got a room at the hotel. We enjoyed most of our meals in the rooms (complete with great kitchens) and spent our time on the beach and soaking in the sea air.
I’ve been going back and forth about whether I want to share about this place because right now it feels like an unfound secret getaway venue… but, that isn’t fair to the amazing people that run this place. We like to vacation at Proposal Rock Inn a great inexpensive hotel in Neskowin, Oregon. Now, this is not a super swanky hotel, but rather a unique, family-friendly and inexpensive getaway option. Each of the rooms at this Inn are actually condos owned by different people. Each one is decorated and stocked differently. The one we stayed in this weekend was a three bedroom, slightly dated, room that had a full kitchen stocked with supplies and tons of seating. It also had a VHS/DVD player with a ton of old movies. The beds were extremely comfortable and the price was so right for the weekend.
In addition to the inn there is a great little restaurant and store. The Neskowin Trading Company is actually stocked with pretty high-end items including a great wine and beer selection along with the perfect picnic snack foods.
Vacations for us are partially about getting away and mostly about eating great food. I’m lucky to have friends who love good food as much as I do and we never skimp on our food selections. Our lunch spread after a morning on the beach was perfect for adults and kids alike because it was a build your own sandwich bar! The sundried tomato bread was purchased at Panera and made for a really fantastic sandwich. It all paired perfectly with the chips that were sent to me by Tim’s Cascade Snacks in honor of their 30th Anniversary. We tried both new limited edition flavors of Coney Island and Hawaiian Island Lemon Chips. The lemon were so refreshing and just tart enough.
We can’t go to the coast and NOT get fresh seafood. Because we had great kitchens in our rooms we decided to hop on out to Lincoln City to Barnacle Bill’s Seafood Market to grab some fresh seafood for dinner. My friends are amazing cooks so I did nothing more than drool and supply a tasty wine for this meal. They picked up half a pound of Dungeness crab to make a sundried tomato cream crab & linguine pasta and a bunch of big beautiful shrimp for shrimp cocktails.
I didn’t have to lift a finger… well, until I lifted my fork!
A recharge this weekend was totally needed. The drive home was a little tiring as both kiddos were entirely worn out and all of the adults were tired as well. But, it was just the thing needed to get through the next couple of crazy busy months. I am already planning my next trip to Neskowin!
Note: This was not a sponsored post and I paid for all of my Neskowin adventure. However, Tim’s Cascade Snacks did complimentary bags of chips in celebration of their 30th Anniversary. All opinions are my own. See my policies for more information about sponsored posts on this blog.
More about Tim’s Cascade Snacks: “For over three decades, Tim’s Cascade Snacks has stayed true to its mission. Just like when they started in 1986, Tim’s still supports local farms and businesses, many of whom started out with the company from its inception, 30 years ago. Additionally, Tim’s has supported the sustainable movement well before it was the thing to do. The Association of Washington business announced Tim’s Cascade Chips as the recipient of their Environmental Excellence Award of the Decade. Tim’s was also recognized for water conservation, packaging reduction and a 10 year continuing Environmental Commitment Award in May 2001.In honor of their 30th anniversary, Tim’s Cascade Snacks, producer of Tim’s(r) Cascade Style Potato Chips, Hawaiian(r) Kettle Style Potato Chips and Erin’s(r) Popcorn is offering Special Batches of Potato Chipflavors from the past and new flavors for the future. These new limited edition flavors will be in stores for a limited time and will launch a new tradition. Every year, Tim’s Cascade Snacks will now offer Special Batch items for Hawaiian Kettle Style Potato Chips and Tim’s Cascade Style Potato Chips with unique flavor trends. ”
We’ve been doing a lot of camping this Summer to get away from the Portland heat. Our camping supplies have grown over the years from fairly basic sleep on the ground in sleeping bags to quite the array of convenience camping items. (Pregnant camping needs to have some conveniences!) Someday I’ll share a list of all the camping items we’ve found indispensable, however today I sort of have an ode to three items that have become camping essentials for our family and are not found in the camping section!
I have not ventured to check out all of the camping stores out there, and likely there are some version of all three of these items that you CAN find in the camping section of the store. However, they’d probably cost a lot more and be a little more fancy than you really need. Here are the three items I’ll never leave at home while camping. (Some of the below links are affiliate links. Purchases from affiliate links help support this blog with no extra cost to you my awesome reader!)
These little work horses do wonders when camping. Every time we go camping we purchase (or refill, because, let’s be honest, I buy these puppies in bulk) baby wipes for our trip. The wipes sit out on the picnic table for any and all to use for cleaning up hands and messes with ease. I especially like these for when the guys go tinkle out in the forest (my son’s favorite new pastime) because they wouldn’t be likely to wash their hands afterwards if it weren’t made this easy. I’m usually cooking when we go camping and having the wipes there for quick clean up of my hands in between touching different meats/veggies/sauces helps keep things from cross contaminating or just being gross. They are great for wiping hands up after applying bug spray or sunscreen as well! Yep, never going camping without baby wipes again.
Seems silly to have both baby wipes and face wipes. And, before recently, I just went camping with baby wipes. However, on a recent trip a friend brought along her cucumber facial wipes and using them at night and in the morning was so refreshing that I quickly added it to my ‘must have’ list for camping. Often we camp at campsites that do not have great restrooms with showers or even sinks. We like the rustic camp sites the most for how secluded and off the beaten path they are, but can feel gross quickly without those hygiene conveniences.
While baby wipes will do the trick, the face wipes are much better for taking off the grime and leaving you feeling clean and refreshed. Last time we went camping I used as a little sponge bath to boot. I never felt gross the whole trip! (Though, better believe that shower when I got home was just as amazing as ever!)
I cannot squat and pee outdoors. It is impossible for me. I’ve tried every trick out there and somehow always end up peeing all over my pants. I’m not about to go get naked in the middle of the woods just to relieve myself, but I also hate making the trek to the restrooms in the middle of a dark, cold evening of camping.
Story Break: I’ve loved camping for a very long time. So much so that we registered for a ton of camp gear when getting married and camped while honeymooning. It was wonderful and oh-so-romantic camping with my brand new husband. That is, until the first evening, when it was FREEZING at night in the mountains of Colorado in the early Summer months, and I had to pee in the middle of the night. We were at a very rustic campsite and the restrooms were way too far away for me to get there in time. I tried squatting down in the bushes and ended up wetting my PJs so throughly that I had to wake my brand new husband to help me find new pants and find somewhere I could put my freshly wet PJs so they wouldn’t stink up everything we brought. SO embarrassing.
We’ve been camping together for nine years now and I haven’t really been able to perfect the art of peeing outdoors. About four camping trips ago I decided to try peeing in a cup instead of trying to squat. We had thrown a pack of red solo cups into our camping items because we were going with a group of people and we didn’t know if they’d be prepared with water bottles or cups of some sort. I grabbed a cup and went off into the woods. I was able to easily relieve myself with little to no effort. The cup lasted the evening and then was easily disposed of the next day. Not the most eco-friendly option, I know, but it was an easy and clean way to deal with the one aspect of camping that had really been difficult!
If you are anything like me and cannot squat and pee outdoors while camping, I recommend a red solo cup. (Doesn’t really need to be red.) 😉