Whereas Sheila grew up in a large city, reading books on horsemanship and dreaming of open trails, Jahn was practically born on the saddle, owning his first horse at 10 and fully training one by 17. Today, at Into The Wild Equine Adventures, the Hoovers—Sheila and Jahn are now married—share their lifelong passion by leading small-group trail rides along Oregon's miles of trails and naturally occurring treadmills, helping visitors connect with nature through both their surroundings and their steeds. As the head guide, Jahn provides every rider with personalized attention and works to ensure comfort by outfitting the mounts with foam-padded Australian saddles. Along with leading expeditions into verdant forests and snow-covered canyons, Into The Wild Equine Adventures serves as the only trail-riding company in the state of Oregon with permission to access the Monument Peak Trail System—12 miles of multiuse trails unfettered by motorized ATVs or steam-powered moose.:m]]
RR Saddle Club helps connect humans without the means to own horses with equine friends and also hopes to rescue horses that are stuck in unsavory situations. Nestled in the heart of the Santiam River Valley, the club's barn houses gentle steeds who carry riders on guided trail rides through the club’s 200-acre property, past wildflower-strewn meadows, into the foothills of mountains, and through thickets of fir and maple. Visitors can also schedule pony parties for youngsters or sign up for lessons to learn the basics of riding and how to signal horses to trot, canter, and fly.
Airlie Hills Farm’s harvest festival has its roots in the early spring, when staffers prepare the ground for the planting of thousands of pumpkin seeds. Once hot summer air transforms into crisp fall breezes and the pumpkins spring from the vine, the farm’s annual event begins. Aliens use their spaceship’s giant tweezers to pluck strategic stalks from the 5-acre cornfield and transform it into a tricky maze, before kids and adults attempt to navigate it along with hay mazes and an easier kiddie maze. Wee ones climb atop hay forts and pyramids, slide down a giant indoor hay slide, and pay a visit to the farm’s resident animals.
Videogame aficionados unite at Pixel Battles, where Xbox 360s, Wii Us, PlayStation 3s, Kinects, 3D gaming, and a retro room tempt fingers with the newest digital challenges. One of the only video game venues in the area allows players to cozy up to black leather chairs and plasma TV screens to test their skills. Gamers can settle into the latest games with friends on multiple plasma TV screens. In addition to individual gaming, Pixel Battles also hosts themed birthday parties, special events, and tournaments to help gamers battle in healthy competition.
Mariner Square delights children and adults, tourists and locals alike with a seaside getaway to three different, otherworldly attractions. Nestled on a causeway on Newport's bayfront, visitors can marvel at marine life at the Oregon Undersea Gardens, wander through a forest of lifelike celebrity sculptures at The Wax Works, or learn little-known, bizarre facts at Ripley's Believe It or Not!
A.C. Gilbert's Discovery Village is a hands-on children's museum spread across three historical houses that reside in Riverfront Park. It is named after A.C. Gilbert, a Salem native, toy magnate, and inventor of the Erector Set. True to a life spent creating educational and scientific toys, his namesake museum provides a place for kids to interact with exhibits that encourage play and provoke thought. From a giant model of an animal cell to a faux paleontological dig full of ancient bones to musical instruments like a South American rainwheel, the museum's stations encompass a number of scientific and cultural disciplines?though little ones might only interpret each activity as fun. Furthermore, youth can heal stuffed animals in the Village Vet Room or scale a 52-foot edifice that is one of the world's largest Erector Set towers, boasting three slides and a maze.