Nestled close to the Falls Creek State Recreation area, Cascara offers a relaxing vacation, where your family can leave their daily lives behind and get back to nature. Fill your days with nature hikes or stop by the local lake for a fishing adventure. Bend sits just a few minutes to the northeast, and Eugene lies less than half an hour’s drive from the area making it easy to enjoy city life, museums, and cultural events during your trip. Cascara vacation rentals also put you within easy reach of biking, boating, and horseback riding. When making your list of must-do activities, check out these kid-friendly options.

1. Take a Hike

Pack some bottled water and snacks for the trail before leaving your vacation rental for a day of hiking in the Falls Creek State Recreation Area. Enjoy trekking through wooded areas filled with towering trees, and keep an eye out for the array of wild animals that call the recreation area home. The nearby Willamette National Forest offers several family-friendly trails for families with small children, as well as more challenging routes for those with older kids.

2. Go Boating

Hit the lake for a family boating trip. The Fall Creek State Recreation Area offers a two-lane boat ramp, where you can launch a boat you brought from home or one you rented during your trip. Have a great time dragging your kids behind the boat on inner tubes, or pull out the water skis for a slightly more exciting ride. Don’t forget to take bottles of sunscreen and refreshments with you to keep your family burn-free and well-hydrated.

3. Go Skiing

Winter months in Cascara are ideal for skiing, so bring your gear from home and store it at your vacation rental. Hit the slopes at the Mount Bachelor ski area. It has 10 chair lifts to make transporting your family to the top of the slopes and the mountain’s summit simple. The resort offers trails for all levels of skiers, and the resort has ski equipment available to rent if needed. Consider taking a skiing lesson to learn a few new skills or brush up on old ones.

4. Go to a Children’s Museum

If rainy weather hijacks your outdoor vacation, take your family to the Science Factory Children’s Museum and Planetarium, which is located in nearby Eugene. The museum’s exhibits rotate on a fairly regular basis to keep things interesting, but it does feature several permanent exhibits showcasing mechanics, optics, and nanotechnology. Let your little ones test their strength by turning the massive Archimedes Screw, or help them learn about meteorites. After exploring the museum, take in a show at the planetarium to learn more about the night sky, the solar system, and the origin of the planets.

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5. Go Swimming at the Fall Creek State Recreation Area

With a vacation rental close to the lake at the Fall Creek State Recreation Area, you have to spend at least a day swimming in the water. At the Winberry day-use area, you’ll find a couple of swimming options — a beach area and a swim dock. Spread a blanket out on the beach to enjoy the sunshine while the little ones splash in the water. If you have older kids who are strong swimmers, check out the swim dock — the water here is deeper, giving the kids plenty of space to show off their diving skills.

6. Go Camping

Leave the comfort of your vacation rental for an evening of camping. Pitch a tent at one of the numerous nearby campsites — there are more than 30 around the recreation area. Campsites are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, and they offer basic bathroom facilities. Pack graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows to make S’mores over your evening campfire while telling some scary — or not so scary — ghost stories to the kids.

7. Visit Some Fierce Birds

Help your children understand the importance of caring for nature with a visit to the Cascades Raptor Center. The center specializes in rehabilitating injured birds of prey and raptors. At any given time, you can find more than 80 birds recovering and receiving care. Take a tour of the facility to learn more about the natural habitat of owls, kites, hawks, and osprey.

8. Learn About the Friendly Skies

While visiting the Oregon Air and Space Museum, your kids learn about the history of air and spacecrafts without even realizing it. The museum has a collection of vintage air crafts, as well as vessels designed specifically for space travel. Located on the grounds of Eugene Airport, the museum sits inside a spacious hanger, so your kids really get a feel for the planes. In addition to the actual planes, there’s a large collection of model planes. Before leaving, stop by the gift shop to buy a model plane to put together at your vacation rental.

9. Explore a Lava Tube

Take your kids out on a unique adventure at the Lava River Cave Interpretive Site. Wear warm clothes as you descend the stairs down into this mile-long lava tube. Your family enjoys a self-guided tour that combines covered, dirt paths, along with several staircases. It takes a little over an hour to tour the entire tube. Since there are bats living in the tube, the park asks that you not wear clothes you’ve worn in another cave that bats call home.

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