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Family Fun in the South Willamette Valley

DAY 1 salem and albany

Pietro's Pizza has been a Willamette Valley institution for more than 50 years, and it's easy to see why: Parents love the chain's famous thin-crust pizza, adorned with fresh ingredients, and kids love playing mini golf on the pirate-themed course, laser tag, and its many arcade games. Tykes can even order from the "just for kids" menu, which includes a 6" pizza, sliders, spaghetti, chicken tenders, and salad.

Discover Albany, a historical town full of activities off the beaten path for everyone to enjoy. 


Visit the Historic Carousel and Museum, where you can witness artistry in action. Friendly volunteers are hard at work carving and hand-painting a menagerie of animals; kids are welcome to touch the animals and climb on some of the completed creatures. 


Visit family-friendly Linn County Historical Museum for more on the region’s history. 


Thompson's Mills State Heritage Site, home to the last water-powered mill in the state.

The locally-owned Cascade Grill dishes fresh, regionally inspired fare in an open, airy environment. The extensive menu includes salads, sandwiches, steaks, seafood, and more—all using Northwest-based ingredients whenever possible, such as hazelnuts and salmon.
Enjoy a night at the movies in the historic Pix Theatre in the heart of downtown Albany. The one-screen theater shows the latest hits, with a focus on family-friendly films. Concessions include everything from the classics—popcorn, candy, soda—to more upscale fare, like a hummus and veggie plate with flatbread and seasonal pies. Parents can even kick back with a cold beer or cider from local purveyors.
Lodging - Best Western Plus Prairie Inn checks all the boxes you could want in a family-friendly hotel: The lodging is pet-friendly (and even sits just across the street from a dog park), offers a hot breakfast buffet (with potatoes, eggs, breakfast meat, biscuits and gravy, and more), delivers high-speed internet, and hosts an indoor heated pool and spa.
DAY 2 albany, corvallis, springfield, eugene, and cottage grove

Fill up on upscale American fare at Brick & Mortar Cafe in the heart of downtown Albany. The stylish restaurant offers breakfast classics—omelets, French toast, waffles, crepes, biscuits and gravy—with a few tasty nods for your little ones. Kids love the Nutella liege waffles (featuring fresh strawberries and the eponymous topping) and French toast stuffed with banana custard and toasted hazelnuts.

(While you're in town, pick up a sweet treat for the road from Natural Sprinkles Co. The bakery offers cupcakes, scones, croissants, cookies, and more, all without dyes or artificial ingredients—and offers gluten-free, vegan, and allergen-free items, as well.)

Head to Corvallis and discover hidden gems of the city as you track your way around town on the Corvallis GPS Waymarking Hunt (with a little help from clues on the official webpage to get you started!). Take photos of your stops and bring them to the Corvallis Visitors Center to win a free prize!

It’s not every day that a brewery stakes its claim as a fun and friendly restaurant for the whole family. But Block 15 Brewing Company’s outpost in downtown Corvallis offers something for everyone: Parents love the well-rounded selection of craft beer, while kids enjoy the kids’ menus (which are delivered inside of books) and the chalkboard tabletops. And the whole family can agree that the menu of elevated pub fare—pasta, sandwiches, handmade burgers, desserts made in-house—offers something to please every palate.

Further south, the Unofficial Simpsons Tour pays tribute to one of the most popular TV shows of all time. Matt Groening, creator of the legendary animated show, has admitted that Springfield, Oregon, is indeed the REAL Springfield—and several sites either inspired (or pay tribute to) “The Simpsons.” Tour stops include a large mural of Homer, Marge, and the whole family; a plaque (signed by Groening himself); and Moe's Tavern.

Kid-friendly dining options abound in Eugene. Over the years, Falling Sky Brewing has opened three outposts around town—and its Delicatessen makes a fun stop for the whole family. The menu includes soups, salads, deli hashes, and sandwiches—each made with meats that are smoked and cured in-house. Falling Sky's kids' menu includes a grilled cheese sandwich, scrambled eggs, a kosher hot dog, and a veggie or beef burger; the deli also offers a play area and small sandbox for little ones, as well.
If you’re not too tuckered out, catch a play at the Cottage Theatre, a community theatre that produces a year-round season of plays and musicals.
You'll finish your journey at The Village Green, a pet-friendly hotel and RV park in the community of Cottage Grove. The stylish hotel offers for the whole family—including your four-legged furry friend: a 14-acre garden, an off-leash dog park, an outdoor pool and hot tub, and fresh cuisine at an on-site restaurant are just some of the hotel’s many charms.
DAY 3 cottage grove

One of the most popular stops in town, Buster's Main Street Cafe offers a filling menu of popular breakfast fare—including stuffed French toast, omelets, benedicts, and more. And next door, Buster's Main Street Cafe Bottle Shoppe offers more than 250 varieties of soda, including kid-pleasing flavors like "Pimple Pop" and "Zombie Brain Juice."

Hop on a bike and explore winding roads and country trails on the Covered Bridges Scenic Bikeway. The 15.6-mile Row River Trail portion of the bikeway starts in the charming small town of Cottage Grove, then takes you through three historic covered bridges. This section of the bikeway—along a converted rail line—is paved and not shared with cars, making it a safe and enjoyable experience for cyclists of all ages and ability levels.

Head south of the border for some fresh Mexican fare at El Tapatio. The regional chain serves your favorite dishes, including tacos, enchiladas, burritos, tamales, and tostadas—all with homemade tortillas and fresh salsa. And on Sunday, kids eat free with the purchase of an adult entrée.

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