Seaside is known for a variety of outdoor activities to enjoy during most of the year and it’s not uncommon to have a 60-plus degree day anytime throughout the year. Yet, despite our mild climate, there are a few months when people prefer to avoid mother nature’s wrath. Many of those same people ask us for information on what there is to do indoors. That is the inspiration for our new winter series, “Seaside Inside.” In three segments we will highlight indoor activities available in and around Seaside. So, take off those raincoats and settle in for some fun ideas. Our first post is all about how kids enjoy “Seaside Inside.”
We love to tell visitors with younger children about the carousel at the Seaside Carousel Mall on Broadway Street in downtown Seaside. It has been the town’s most colorful attraction for over 25 years, featuring 24 full-sized carousel animals, reproductions of originals found at the San Francisco Carousel Museum. Next up is the Seaside Aquarium. For close to 80 years this favorite attraction – complete with a highly knowledgeable staff – has offered touch tanks for educational and interactive fun, in addition to traditional underwater tanks. The aquarium is also home to resident Harbor seals, who are always happy to “act up, ” for an audience. Another option is the Seaside Library which features many special events for young children. One of our favorite examples is Star Wars Reads, when favorite characters like Chewbacca show up.
These first attractions are great for little ones, but there are more options to entertain older children. The Sunset Empire Recreation Center offers open swims, rock ‘n swims, and even dive in movies. Kids can enjoy the large lap pool complete with slide, rope swing, climbing wall and plenty of toys. Also, Funland Arcade has plenty of games and a great prize counter, not to mention indoor bumper cars. Connected to the arcade, Fultano’s Pizza offers a place where everyone can refuel for the next adventure.
For an educational adventure, try Lewis and Clark National Park’s Fort Clatsop, just 12 miles north of Seaside. Fort Clatsop features a large interpretive center about the Corps of Discovery’s time in this area. In the same tradition, Columbia River Maritime Museum in Astoria offers exciting exhibits about the maritime history of the area. In addition to the decommissioned Columbia Lightship, they also feature a 3D theater, showing movies about Penguins and Pirates. Not to be outdone, the Oregon Film Museum has some great interactive exhibits centered on the many films made in Oregon, such as the Goonies.
Finally, a great way for the whole family to get a little exercise and a yummy pizza dinner is with a game of bowling at Gearhart Bowl. This is not your average bowling alley. Enjoy leather couches, GIANT HD TV’s, state-of-the-art scoring monitors, USB built in charging stations on every lane and many arcade games.
Seaside’s winter visitors probably aren’t surprised to know that the best hotel rates are between December and February. Visiting at that time, groups can still enjoy being active, even when the weather does not cooperate. And as the sun breaks come out between winter storms, there are still chances to get to the beach and enjoy Seaside’s best attraction. Just remember to bring a hat and gloves. Look for another “Inside Seaside” blog post next month where we’ll give you the inside scoop on, “The History of Seaside Inside,” a rundown of all things indoors that celebrate Seaside’s rich history. In the meantime, for more information about these and other things to do in Seaside, give us a call at the Seaside Visitors Bureau at (503) 738-3097.