My three kids come to work with me here at the Northwest Nature Shop. They have a blast battling each other with foam swords and shields, setting up elaborate nature scenes with our animal replicas, or sitting up at the counter “helping” customers. Towards the end of the day though they get restless, so luckily Ashland has a wealth of wonderful activities for kids. Although Ashland is known for being an art and theatre town, this doesn’t mean it isn’t kid-friendly. There are many fun activities to do with kids from hiking, fishing, swimming to great playgrounds and the local science museum. Here are a few favorites:
Lithia Park is where we spend a majority of our free time for its beauty, location and the number of things to do within the park. On a recent walk through the park we saw wood ducks, a downy woodpecker, western kingfisher, mallards and lots of deer. The Northwest Nature Shop has a free birding guide to the Rogue Valley, come into the shop to pick one up.
Have fun in the bubble room where you can be inside an enormous bubble, sit on a pulley and lift yourself up or peddle a bike to propel a train around the track. Now through Labor Day catch the awesome dinosaur exhibit with life-like animatronic dinosaurs.
Hiking in Oredson-Todd Woods
Oredson-Todd Woods is a beautifully preserved natural area accessed from a residential area in South Ashland. The trail is well established, follows a bubbling brook. My kids love to put on their backpacks loaded with snacks and head off down this trail. Even at 2 years old my youngest could easily walk the mellow mile or so trail there and back. We have trail maps at the Northwest Nature Shop; stop by before you embark on a hiking adventure.
Ashland Farmer’s Market
A balloon man making balloons into swords and flowers, Banjo Bill picking bluegrass tunes, doughnuts popping fresh out of the doughnut maker, delicious fruits and vegetables grown right here in the Valley make the Ashland Farmer’s Market one of our family’s favorite things to do. Introduce your kids to our hardworking farmers. See the bounty of our incredible valley. Tuesdays from 8:30-1:30 at the Ashland Armory on the corner of East Main and Wightman St. and Saturdays 9-1 right by the Nature Shop on Oak St.
Ice cream shops and walking around downtown
Any time of year, it is fun to walk through downtown Ashland, visit one of the many fun shops (my favorite of course being the Northwest Nature Shop 154 Oak St., a block and a half from Main St.) and enjoy the vibrant ambience of my favorite American small town. My children I have a sweet tooth and luckily there are a couple great ice cream shops to satisfy our cravings. Mix, Zoey’s and Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory are my favorites and the kids often beg for Yogurt Hut on Lithia Way.
The Northwest Nature Shop is a family owned nature store that helps adults and children learn about nature and science, including field guides, hiking and biking trail maps, bird feeding products, toys and gifts for the home and garden. Our store is a fun place to visit. Come by and share your favorite activities for children in Ashland.