Owned and operated by glass artists and collaborators Alejandro Hernandez and Ciara Cuddihy, Studio West houses a gallery of fine paintings and glasswork attached to a full glassblowing studio. The cream walls and bright lights of the gallery give way to the industrial metal and stony tile of the workshop, where artisans can be seen retrieving white-hot gobs of glass from the furnaces. These mounds of molten potential are regularly rolled and shaped into handmade trinkets and vases, which can be immediately smashed and melted, completing their life cycle. Visitors can experience the process for themselves during workshops, where they receive hands-on training from the glassworkers in how to bend the superheated silica to their will.
Founded by award-winning bird rehabilitator Louise Shimmel, the Cascades Raptor Center houses more than 60 birds and a wildlife hospital whose staff has treated thousands of injured birds of prey. More than 30 native Oregon species, including eight types of hawks and 11 types of owls, perch in the center's capacious aviaries, each placed along serene forest trails. As visitors meander through the trees, the piercing gaze of ospreys, kites, and falcons shoot through the enclosures while bald and golden eagles show off their awe-inspiring wingspans and fashionable haircuts. During educational talks (1 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, November through March; noon and 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, April through October), handlers bring raptors out on their thick gloves to pose for portraits and field questions on their favorite rodents or brands of talon polish. In addition, a Screech Owl membership lets an individual waltz through the center's gates for free throughout the year, as well as bequeathing a guest pass for a friend who shares their fondness for feathery predators.
With nearly 30 years of experience teaching gymnastics, owner and director Naja Rossoff and her staff of kid-minded professionals train children of all ages and skill levels. They start with tykes as young as 15 months old, letting them explore movement with the help of a parent or imaginary legal guardian. They keep developing skills in older kids with advanced classes and a trampoline-and-power-tumbling team. Otherwise, during circus-arts classes, they'll help students master the trapeze, tiptoe across tightropes, and learn of the ins and outs of circus performance.
Bounce Gymnastics also hosts open gyms so that kids can have their run of the facility's balance beams, nine trampolines, and padded floors. During birthday parties, the facility also opens up obstacle courses and organizes group games.
The 600-acre park plays host to visitors who drive through the more than four miles of winding grounds to catch up-close glimpses of its inhabitants—over 550 wild animals from Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Bison, zebras, and giraffes roam the wide-open surroundings, living in harmony with tigers, lions, and bears. Founded by Frank Hart in 1972, the park has helped to protect endangered species while educating the public about them and their important roles in the fragile ecosystem. Visitors can make arrangements for private and personalized animal encounters as well as visit the safari village zoo, botanical gardens, and gift shop.