Paintball Palace might be an option for the older kids. It has indoor and outdoor arenas for all kinds of paintball challenges and games. The facility also has a laser tag arena that has black lighting and glow-in-the-dark features with mazes. Eugene Game Center has a variety of indoor fun, including a multi-level laser tag arena, cosmic bowling, 18 holes of miniature golf, arcade games, billiards and an indoor playground.
Children of all ages and abilities can sign up for classes with the U.S. Gymnastics Academy. The programs offered aim to develop self-esteem, responsibility, good sportsmanship and respect. The gym has 10,000 square feet of space stocked with gymnastics equipment and training gear. The Dance Factory offers classes for kids in beginning jazz and hip-hop. All That Dance Company features a selection of classes for children, including pre-ballet, fairy princess dance camp, boys-only hip-hop, ballerinas camp and Broadway bound.
Outdoors and Nature
The Cascade Raptor Center has a collection of raptors that have been rescued. Visitors can walk along the outdoor trail to see these birds up close. Some of the residents include owls, hawks, eagles and falcons. Another outdoor option is Amazon Park. It is a recreational area of nearly 100 acres with playgrounds, sports fields, a skate park, an outdoor pool, volleyball courts, basketball courts, walking paths and picnicking areas.
The Science Factory is a children's museum with many hands-on exhibits meant to pique curiosity in the sciences. Some of the displays include science demonstrations, live lizards, a dome theater for educational shows and a sound exploration exhibit. The Oregon Air and Space Museum features antique aircraft, pilot gear, flight suits, engines and space timeline displays. It aims to preserve the history of Oregon aviation and space technology. The Conger Street Clock Museum might be of interest to kids. It has a 13-foot long clock tower pendulum built in 1750 that still works. Antique tractors, cars and trains line the display cases as well.
High school students in Eugene can learn about the area’s natural history and explore the basics of archaeology by volunteering at the Museum of Natural and Cultural History at the University of Oregon. Teens can lead tours, serve as exhibit hall interpreters or help with general museum duties after applying and participating in the museum’s training process. Teens interested in wildlife might enjoy volunteering at the Cascades Raptor Center, where they can learn more about corvids, eagles, owls and other birds of prey. High school students can also volunteer to help with camps, planetarium shows and other activities at the Science Factory Children’s Museum and Exploration Dome.
Explore the Outdoors
Adventurous teens won’t want to miss an expedition down the Umpqua River, just south of the city, with Oregon Whitewater Adventures. The Class III and IV rapids make for action-packed paddling, so if your teen is new to rafting, consider making the short drive to one of the outfitter’s less intense whitewater trips. Admission is free for teens who want to hike at Mount Pisgah Arboretum, and teens who bike to the arboretum don’t have to pay for parking either. Several trails, including Trail 1, which takes you up more than 1,000 feet to the mountain’s summit, are good for group day hikes.
Make Some Art
Teens can study the usual drawing and painting at the Maude Kerns Art Center, but you’ll also find more unusual classes for teens, such as movie making and cartooning. Check the schedule online for upcoming course options. Even teens who have never thought about how glass is made will be impressed by the skill that glassblowing requires. Let them watch a glassblowing session at Studio West Fine Art Gallery and Glassblowing Studio, and sign them up for a beginners’ glassblowing class -- if the process piques their interest.
See a Show
Teens can sample all kinds of performing arts at the Hult Center for the Performing Arts, including classical music concerts, Broadway musicals and independent films. Eugene’s Very Little Theatre in one of the oldest community theaters in the United States, and its affordable lineup of classic plays, lively musicals and quirky productions is likely to include a show with teen appeal. Theatrically minded teens can even participate by joining the theater with a membership or auditioning for shows.
The Seaside Aquarium (seasideaquarium.com) was founded in 1937, making it one of the oldest aquariums on the West Coast. Unique to this aquarium is a seal pool where visitors can feed harbor seals. Other exhibits include an underwater tank and an interactive touch pool, where knowledgeable staff create an interactive and enjoyable learning experience. The aquarium participates in public awareness campaigns and educational tours.
Seaside Carousel Mall
The Carousel Mall (seasidecarouselmall.com/) gets its name from the full-size carousel in the center. The animals are replicas of original carousel animals featured in the San Francisco Carousel Museum. The carousel operates everyday the mall is open. The mall has gift, arts and crafts, souvenir and accessory stores that sell original items that highlight the region. Don't miss the Flashback Malt Shoppe (flashbacksoda.com), which features four original flashback flavors of pop, an ice cream parlor, malts, limeades, and more than 200 flavors of bottled soda.
The Buzz on Broadway
The Buzz on Broadway (thebuzzcandy.com) is large candy store featuring more than 3,000 types of candy and sweets. The owners pride themselves on fulfilling customers' requests and stocking even the most obscure candies. The store has more than 200 candy barrels, an 18-foot chocolate counter and a fudge counter. Also for sale are eight flavors of Pop Shoppe, a soda that originated in 1969. Candy enthusiasts can also find their favorite flavors on the website for home delivery.
Seaside Visitor Guide's Treasure Quest
Designed so families do not need a GPS or Internet map service, the annual Treasure Quest is a scavenger hunt through the town of Seaside. The guide offers clues and a small picture that will lead the treasure hunters to some of Seaside's most popular attractions. Families need to locate and submit the answers to be entered into a drawing for prizes. Three online-only clues can be found for an extra entry into the contest. This is a fantastic way for families to explore the city of Seaside.