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.
Splash! at Lively Park provides Oregon residents with safe, warm year-round access to watery fun. The venue features a waterslide, a flooded basketball court, lap pool, and a wave pool, amongst more relaxing activities such as splashing in the pool or enjoying a hot tub. Splash! participates in local outreach programs, such as providing swimming lessons for every fourth-grader in the Springfield school district. The enormous space accommodates rentals for events with up to 1,000 people, dishing hot eats to fill bellies from its concessions stand. During warmer months, the outside playground and sundeck provide places to soak up sunshine and feel the sea-driven breeze.
Diamond Hill Paintball's two outdoor fields evoke historical battlegrounds for tournament-style and recreational play. A net encloses the regulation NPPL speedball course, whose symmetrical layout of inflatable bunkers is designed for intense competition. The rec-ball field's mounds and muddy foxholes help conceal casual players as they advance and protect feral canvases from the Technicolor volley. A unit of paintball veterans ensures safe, fun play at all levels, and distributes safety gear to accompany Tippmann 98 rental markers.
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.