Young & Restless

Kid-friendly activities that you’ll enjoy too.

Taekwondo Classes for Kids & Adults

Taekwondo is a non-aggressive and ethical system of self-defense and one of the country’s most popular martial arts. It’s also a great opportunity for families to get into fitness together, since this class is available to anyone over the age of seven—adults included!

Vancouver Parks and Recreation is offering beginner Taekwondo classes from 6 to 7 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday, and intermediate Taekwondo classes from 7 to 8 p.m., also on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Both classes meet at the Firstenburg Community Center, located at 700 N.E. 136th Ave. in East Vancouver. (…and after you get all sweaty doing your high kicks, you can cool off in Firstenburg’s lovely indoor pool; there’s a public swim Mondays through Thursdays from 7 to 8:30 p.m.)

The first class meets on Tuesday, May 30. The cost is $92 to $106 per person. Register online for Taekwondo classes by clicking here or call Vancouver Parks & Rec at 360-487-8600

Audition for the STAR Talent Competition

Got Talent? Bring it on! Audition for STAR, Southwest Washington’s Premiere Talent Competition. The Kiggins Theater, in partnership with Metropolitan Performing Arts (MPA), is hosting an open call audition for entertainers of all ages. Singers, musicians, dancers, comedians and more will have two opportunities to impress judges. Auditions will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, June 21, and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 24, at Metropolitan Performing Arts in Hazel Dell.

Semifinals will be by invitation at MPA on Wednesday, June 28. Fifteen acts will be selected to participate in the finals to be held at the Kiggins Theater on July 19. Winners will receive cash and local prizes. Judging the finales include Corey Brunish (Tony Award-winning producer), Dan Wyatt (owner of the Kiggins), Barbara Richardson (Executive Director of MPA) and others.

To schedule an audition, call the MPA office at 360-975-1585. You may also find the event on the MPA Facebook page and sign up online. There is a $15 entry fee for individuals and small group, or $30 for groups of four or more. For more information about this and other MPA classes, events, and theatrical productions, visit www.metropaa.org.

Bread & Butter Day at Cedar Creek Grist Mill

Freshly baked bread is always a cause for celebration at our house…the rising dough, the waiting while it bakes, and the mouthwatering fragrance as it comes out of the oven. We slice it while it’s still warm and slather plenty of butter on it. Although it may have taken all day to make, it lasts only a few minutes. What if you could make that moment last all day long?

The Cedar Creek Grist Mill—a working museum listed on the National Register of Historic Places, one of only a few remaining 1800’s-era grist mills in the world—is offering just such an event, “Bread and Butter Day,” on Saturday, May 27, starting around noon. But wait, there’s more: they are upping the ante and also providing gallons of freshly churned, sweet cream butter. (Editor’s note: drool.)

From around noon to 4 p.m., families and especially kids will get the chance to churn cream into butter and spread it on freshly baked bread, baked from flour ground right on the premises, using the creek-powered mill wheel and state-of-the-art 1876 technology. Guests are invited to take home free samples of flour (although donations are appreciated, as the mill is a non-profit operation) as well as Cedar Creek Grist Mill recipes so you can recreate Bread and Butter Day at home.

The Cedar Creek Grist Mill is located deep in the woods east of Woodland, at 43907 N.E. Grist Mill Road. (Visit the Grist Mill’s website at www.cedarcreekgristmill.org for directions.) The mill is open on weekends from 1 to 4 p.m., showing guests the inner workings of an old-time grist mill with huge pulleys and spinning belts turning the heavy grindstones, all powered by the mill wheel. No gas or electricity are used—just the water in swift-running Cedar Creek. The mill produces flour, corn meal, and even apple cider. The mill hosts family-friendly events all year long, like Strawberry Shortcake Day, Cornbread Day, Blueberry Pancake Day, and the incredibly popular Cider Press in October. To learn more, visit www.cedarcreekgristmill.org.

Open Cockpit Day

Aviation lovers and aspiring pilots of all ages are invited to the Fort Vancouver National Trust‘s annual Open Cockpit Day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Saturday, May 27, at the Pearson Field Education Center. The event and all activities are free, allowing visitors the opportunity to climb into the cockpits of vintage aircraft and experience the planes from a pilot’s perspective.

Pearson Field pilots and owners of aircraft stored at Pearson Field will bring out their planes and invite the public to sit inside and get a pilot’s-eye view of the controls. View historic planes up close and take a turn “flying” the Real Flight 7.5 simulator program on a large-screen TV. Additional activities will include the popular vertical wind table, glider-building station, the flight simulator lab, and other STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) activities. Bonus: the Young Eagles Program of EAA Chapter 105 will sponsor free airplane rides for youth, ages eight through 17, with written permission from parents or guardians. Rides will be given on a first-come, first-served basis, weather permitting. Come early to claim your child’s spot!

Representatives from Aviation Explorer Post 1905 and the Civil Air Patrol will be on hand to talk to young people about becoming involved in youth aviation programs. Pearson Field Education Center is located at 201A E. Reserve Street. Parking for Open Cockpit Day will be in the field northeast of the airport along E. 5th St. between S and U Streets. The Civil Air Patrol will be on hand to direct parking. For more information about Open Cockpit Day and other Fort Vancouver National Trust Aviation Education Programs, visit www.fortvan.org/AviationEducation—and check out this year’s week-long summer aviation camps for kids, the first of which starts on June 27.

The Pearson Field Education Center is a program of the Fort Vancouver National Trust, a 501c3 nonprofit since 1998. Pearson Field Education Center delivers experiential, aviation-based STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs for youth. It is open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for youth and families to enjoy free activities.

Scenic Spring Train Rides

The Chelatchie Prairie Railroad is offering scenic spring train rides on Saturday, May 27, and Sunday, May 28, departing on both days at noon and 2:30 p.m. All trains leave from the Chelatchie Prairie Train Station at 207 N.E. Railroad Ave. in Yacolt, just south of Yacolt Rd. The excursion trains run to the Heisson area, through the tunnel, across the East Fork of the Lewis River with a stop at Moulton Station to visit the beautiful Yacolt Falls.

Tickets are $16 per person, $15 for seniors, $11 for kids ages five to 12, and $9 for little ones ages two to four. Babies up to age two are free! To buy your tickets and reserve your spot on these popular and scenic train rides, visit www.bycx.com or call 360-686-3559. Passengers should plan to arrive at the station at least 30 minutes prior to departure.

Flying Gizmos Show

Are your kids fascinated by anything that flies? (Are YOU, for that matter?) Bring them (and yourself) to the Flying Gizmos Show from 2 to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, May 24, at the Battle Ground Library, located at 1207 SE 8th Way in Battle Ground. Staff from Seattle’s Museum of Flight will bring their extensive toy collection to teach the audience about the science and history of flight.

This fun, assembly-style program is designed to help participants discover the mechanics (and the joy!) of flight through the use of flying toys and models. The Musuem of Flight’s toy collection includes a flapping-winged bird, kites, parachutes, gliders, stomp rockets, and many others.

This activity is just right for kids in grades kindergarten through 2nd grade. For more information, call the Battle Ground Community Library at 360-906-4740. All library events and programs are open to the public and provided at no cost. Registration is not required.

Children’s Culture Parade

The National Park Service and the Evergreen and Vancouver School Districts will celebrate our region’s diverse cultural heritage at the 12th annual Children’s Culture Parade at Fort Vancouver on Friday, May 19. The parade begins at 10:15 a.m. at the Pearson Air Museum (1115 E. Fifth St.) and will continue north on E. Reserve St., turning west on Evergreen Blvd. and finally turning south to follow the Park Road across E. Fifth St. straight into Fort Vancouver’s reconstructed fur trade-era stockade. There is no admission fee—it is being waived for this event—and the public is encouraged to attend. Ideal viewing areas are along the Park Road or the pathway leading from East 5th St. into the reconstructed fort.

The parade will include school marching bands and over 1,500 third-grade students celebrating the community’s diversity. Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt, Park Superintendent Tracy Fortmann, and other school district leaders will lead the parade throughout Fort Vancouver National Historic Site. Once the students enter the reconstructed stockade, National Park Service volunteers will greet visitors wearing 1840s traditional 1840s clothing, highlighting Vancouver’s diverse past. A ten-piece group from the Vancouver Community Concert Band will provide music inside the reconstructed stockade. The entire procession will rest on the lawn in front of the reconstructed Chief Factor’s House to hear music and brief remarks from the mayor, superintendent, dignitaries, and featured students. The event will conclude at 11:45 a.m.

Public parking is available within the park and surrounding areas. Due to road closures on the east entrances to the park to accommodate the parade, it is recommended that visitors enter from the northwest corner of the park on Fort Vancouver Way. Parking is available at designated parking lots on Evergreen Blvd. and on East 5th St. Additional parking is also available at the Fort Vancouver Visitor Center and at the reconstructed fort’s parking lot. However, for parade route safety, both of these parking lots will be closed to incoming and outgoing vehicular traffic from 9 to 11:40 a.m.

For more information, visit www.nps.gov/fova/index.htm.

Above image: courtesy of Vancouver Public Schools

Sheared Delights Alpaca Fiber Festival

The owners of White Oak Alpacas invite you to their beautiful alpaca farm near Woodland for the annual Sheared Delights Alpaca Fiber Festival from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 20, and Sunday, May 21. The festival is completely free, and the public is welcome to this day of fiber fun and education.

White Oak Alpacas will open its big barn and fill it with alpacas, fleeces, roving and yarns for sale. Meet the alpacas who produce the fiber that’s so soft and such a joy to spin and knit. There will be spinners spinning, fleeces being skirted, knitters knitting and alpacas being adorable. Come see how fleece becomes a finished product. Children are welcome with their parents, but Rover and Bowser should stay at home, as dogs disturb the alpacas. This year, Sheared Delights will feature the following local artists, ranches, and fiber vendors:

White Oak Alpacas, a family owned and operated ranch that focuses on sustainable agriculture and fiber production from healthy, happy alpacas, is located at 39908 N.E. 12th Ave. in Woodland. Visit www.WhiteOakAlpacas.com for directions, call 360-263-7214, or email Karin Finch at Karin@WhiteOakAlpacas.com.

Dozer Day, May 20-21

Dozer Day is like going to the fair, only every ride is bulldozers (…or diggers, or dumptrucks, or excavators, or something equally big and exciting). Kids get to sit in the driver’s seat of these big rigs and—with a trained operator beside them—drive some of the heaviest equipment around. It’s a dream come true for kids, and there’s plenty of fun for parents, too—not least because proceeds from the event benefit local children’s charities. Dozer Day, sponsored by the Nutter Foundation, will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 20, and Sunday, May 21, at the Clark County Event Center in Ridgefield.

Advance tickets (available online here) are $8 for children ages two to 12, $8 for seniors over 60, $10 for adults, and free for children under two. Tickets on the day of the event are $11 for kids and seniors and $13 for adults. Tickets, which are non-refundable, are good for either May 21 or 22 but not both days. Parking is $6. Most activities inside the event are free, including equipment rides.

Dozer Day is sponsored by many local businesses who are vested in their community, including iQ Credit Union and Chuck’s Produce. For more sponsorship information, click here. Volunteers are also needed, welcome, and appreciated. For more information, go to the volunteer page. No pets are allowed at Dozer Day unless they are registered service animals, or unless they have prior experience operating heavy machinery. (No, not really. And also there’s no smoking because burning cigarette embers and giant gas tanks are a poor combination.)

Ride Around Clark County

It’s time to get on your bike and Ride Around Clark County (RACC), the annual event that brings families together on the beautiful back roads of our scenically well-endowed county. This is the RACC’s 34th year, the largest local event hosted by the Vancouver Bicycle Club and fully supported by club members and volunteers and a long list of local sponsors. Choose from five different routes: 18 miles, 34 miles, 53 miles, 66 miles, or a whopping 100 miles. Each route has well-stocked aid stations and rest stops about every 15 miles, plus plenty of food, bicycle mechanics, and SAG support.

All routes start and finish at Hanna Hall on the Clark College campus, 1820 Fort Vancouver Way. Mail-In registrations should be postmarked by Monday, May 1. Online registration closes at midnight Wednesday, May 3. Day-of-ride registration is available from 6:30 to 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 6—although 18 and 34-mile route riders may register until 10 a.m. Registration costs range from $35 to $45, with discounts for Vancouver Bicycle Club members. Teens ages 13 to 17 can ride for $15 with a paid adult, and children under 12 are free with a paid adult. To sign up, e-mail racc@vbc-usa.com or click here.

All riders should be on the road by 9 a.m., and the courses close at 5 p.m.  All participants must wear approved helmets during the entire ride, and headphones aren’t allowed—but why would you need headphones when you can talk to your cyclemates? For more information about this event and about the Vancouver Bicycle Club, visit www.vbc-usa.com, check out the RACC Facebook page, or contact Donna Richardson at 360-213-5267 or richardsondonna63@gmail.com.

Country Life Fair at Pomeroy Farm

Pomeroy Farm will host the fourth annual Country Life Fair from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 29, and  11 a.m. to 4 p.m on Sunday, April 30. Admission is free, although donations are gladly accepted. The fair promotes local agriculture and back-to-the-land independent living.

See demonstrations of crafts such as blacksmithing, tinsmithing, bow-making, fly-tying, jewelry-making, rug-making, sock-making, wool-spinning, woodworking, and everyone’s favorite, ham radio. Browse through the array of local vendors selling artisan wares and home décor, skin care products, jewelry, pottery, local honey, clothing, and more. Get a head start on your garden at the Plant & Herb Sale, featuring thousands of herbs and plants, including a wide variety of organic vegetable and heirloom tomato plants.

Pomeroy Farm is always a big hit with the children, so bring them along to see farm animals such as cows, pigs, goats, sheep, and alpacas. Particularly fun for kids is the “Country Life Passport”—every kid gets a free passport in which to gather stamps as they complete various activities around the farm; kids who complete the passport get a small prize.

There will also be hands-on activities like planting seeds to take home, making cornhusk dolls, and hayrides. Guest will tap their toes to the lilting sounds of live Americana-style music and the historic Pomeroy log house will be open for tours from noon to 4 p.m. each day. And if you get a hankerin’ for some home cookin’, there will be food carts like Vida Flare and Nellie’s double-decker bus, and the Farm Café will provide country-style fare such as hot dogs, sausage dogs, baked potatoes, snacks, and hot and cold drinks.

Parking and admission are free, and all donations will go support the farm’s educational programs. A couple of words to the wise: bring cash, since not all vendors are set up to accept checks or credit cards. Family pets must stay at home (rambunctious dogs can frighten some farm animals). And dress for the weather—there’s lots of fun to be had both indoors and outdoors! For more details, visit www.pomeroyfarm.org.

Above image: three of Pomeroy’s goats and one adorable sheep! See more cute pics on Pomeroy Farm’s Facebook page.

Sign-Ups Open for Kids Fishing Festival

Let’s go fishing…at the Columbia Springs Kids’ Fishing Festival on Saturday, May 6. It’s a whole day of family fun with kids’ activities, a barbecue lunch, and fishing for kids ages five to 14. Participants are given a free fishing pole with tackle and are guaranteed to catch a trout to take home. Other activities include crafts, games, catching water-bugs, and a scavenger hunt.

The event starts at 9 a.m. and finishes at 2 p.m., and participants need to sign up for a specific hour to fish. The 9 to 10 a.m. hour is reserved for children with special needs. The remaining hours are 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., 11 a.m. to noon, noon to 1 p.m., and 1 to 2 p.m. Lunch is available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and there are activities for your family to enjoy anytime during the day.

Registration is required for participation; registration closes on Wednesday, May 3. Tickets are $7 per person when you purchase your tickets online before the event or $9 cash or check at the door. Scholarships may be available for families of children who receive free or reduced lunches at school. Tickets include a BBQ lunch with hamburgers and hot dogs!

Columbia Springs is located at 12208 SE Evergreen Highway in Vancouver. For more information or to register, call 360-882-0926, email  events@columbiasprings.org, or visit www.columbiasprings.org.

Above image: a young lady closely examines her slippery catch during the 2016 Kids’ Fishing Festival

Chief Redheart Ceremony

Every year in the spring, the Nez Perce people gather on the lower parade grounds at Fort Vancouver National Historical Site to participate in a memorial ceremony honoring their ancestors. The Chief Redheart Memorial Ceremony is free and open to the public (although donations are welcome) and anyone who wishes to participate is welcome. There will be speeches, tribal announcements and news, singing and remembrances, a riderless horse or “empty saddle” ceremony, the passing of the peace pipe, and recognition of armed forces veterans. This year marks the event’s 20th anniversary.

During the Nez Perce War of 1877, as the U.S. Army was attempting to remove tribal members from their lands, 33 members of Chief Redheart’s band were captured under the direction of General O.O. Howard. Even though the band neither fought in Indian Wars nor committed any crimes, they were held prisoner at Fort Vancouver through the winter of 1877-78, where a Nez Perce infant died. The Chief Redheart event honors the tribe’s suffering while reaffirming the peaceable relations between the Nez Perce and those who have settled in their native lands.

This is a lengthy event—usually about five hours, give or take—and it will happen, rain or shine, from about 10 a.m. to about 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 22. Visitors should bring their own blankets and chairs. Light refreshments will be served by Meals on Wheels during the ceremony. Parking is available on Fifth St. For a map and directions, click here. After the ceremony, the public is encouraged to attend a free traditional Native American feast, prepared and served by the Northwest Indian Veterans Association in the Artillery Barracks at 600 E. Hatheway Rd. For more information about the event, call 360-487-8630.

Earth Day Fest at Salmon Creek Greenway

Clark Public UtilitiesStreamTeam is hosting its 18th Annual Earth Day Fest in partnership with Clark County Vegetation Management. Free fun and games for the whole family along with interactive nature demonstrations and entertainment will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 22, near Klineline Pond along the Salmon Creek Greenway. Ride your bike or stroll down the greenway to enjoy free children’s activities, wildlife shows, salmon releases, and more. Here’s the entertainment and activity schedule for the day:

The first 100 attendees get either a free lunch or a free insulated grocery bag. You can park at Chuck’s Produce and take a free shuttle any time between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., so you can drop into the café at Chuck’s and enjoy a treat before or after the Earth Fest, or maybe do a little shopping for tasty organic fruits and veggies! You can also sign up to plant trees from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. the same day; contact Ashley at StreamTeam@clarkpud.com or 360-992-8585 to find out more.

Cathlapotle Plankhouse Spring Opening

What’s a Cathlapotle? It refers to the Cathlapotle people who lived in a village along the banks of the Columbia River in what is now Ridgefield. More than a decade ago, volunteers erected a traditional Chinookan Plankhouse so that visitors to the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge could understand what life was like for the native peoples who inhabited this land.

Sunday, April 16, is the Cathlapotle Plankhouse‘s Spring Opening Celebration with free tours, hikes, and children’s activities. This year marks the Cathlapotle Plankhouse’s 12th anniversary, and the plankhouse will now be open weekends from noon to 4 p.m. Every second Sunday of the month, there’ll be a special event with speakers, guided hikes, and kids’ activities. For more information on upcoming events, visit https://ridgefieldfriends.org/events/. Refuge admission is $3 per vehicle. Here’s what’s planned for Sunday:

  • Plankhouse tours and children’s activities, noon to 4 p.m.: tour the Plankhouse on your own or guided by our experienced volunteers. Children’s activities will be available as well.
  • Springtime “first foods” display, noon to 4 p.m.: learn about springtime foods of Chinookan Peoples at hands-on stations throughout the Plankhouse, and sample some stinging nettle tea
  • Naturalist-led family hike, “A Walk Through the Oaks,” 1 to 2 p.m.: join a naturalist on the trail to learn about (and hopefully see!) the Refuge’s wildlife. Meet in front of the Plankhouse.
  • Spring birding hike, 3 p.m.: This two-hour birding walk will focus on bird language as well as visual and auditory identification of common spring birds. All birding levels are welcome. Participants should be prepared for a two- mile hike on moderately uneven terrain. Meet at the Plankhouse.

To learn more about the Plankhouse, visit www.ridgefieldfriends.org or contact Sarah Hill at Sarah_Hill@fws.gov or 360-887-4106. For wheelchair access to this event, contact Hill. The Cathlapotle Plankhouse is located at 28908 N.W. Main Ave. in Ridgefield.

Junior Ranger Day & Yuri’s Night Space Party

Join the rangers and staff at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site on Saturday, April 15, as they celebrate both National Junior Ranger Day and Yuri’s Night World Space Party. Both events will be based at the Historic Hangar at Pearson Air Museum (1115 E. Fifth St. in Vancouver) and both are free to the public.

National Junior Ranger Day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. celebrates the next generation of National Park stewards. Fort Vancouver National Historic Site invites hundreds of children each year to become Junior Rangers at this family-friendly event where kids can earn their Junior Ranger badges by completing fun, interactive activities with national park rangers. Junior Rangers pledge to explore national parks, learn about our nation’s land and heritage, and protect the valuable resources of the National Park Service—hence the Junior Ranger motto, “Explore, Learn, and Protect.” The event will be offered both in English and Spanish. Activities and Junior Ranger Activity booklets will be offered in both languages, and bilingual storytelling sessions will be offered at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. The Junior Ranger program is designed for children ages six to 12, but younger children can complete it with help. Older kids and adults are welcome to participate as well.

From 5 to 9 p.m., Yuri’s Night World Space Party will celebrate the 56th anniversary of Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin’s historic flight into space. Gagarin was the first human to travel into outer space, and Yuri’s Night events across the globe have been commemorating this event for decades. Gagarin received his pilot’s training at the Soviet Union’s “First Chkalov Air Force Pilot’s School” in the 1950s. The school was named after famed Russian aviator Valery Chkalov, who piloted the first trans-polar flight between Moscow and Pearson Field in 1937. Space exploration and aviation-themed family-friendly activities will be offered in the Pearson hangar and, weather permitting, children can design and launch their own water-powered rockets until dusk. Tom Billings, the president of the Oregon L5 Society (a chapter of the National Space Society) will present a lecture titled “NASA and New Space: Going Outward Together,” at the Tex Rankin Theater at 6 p.m. If the weather is clear, the event will conclude with a star-gazing tour from 8 to 9 p.m., led by a park ranger and certified star guide.

Above image: a Junior Ranger shows off her badges. Photo courtesy of the National Park Service at Fort Vancouver.

Woodland Tulip Festival

Every spring, Holland America Bulb Farms celebrates the blooming of its magnificent multicolor tulips by hosting the Woodland Tulip Festival. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 15, 16, 22, and 23, visitors can stroll through the fields and get up close and personal with hundreds of tulip varieties, enjoy live music, and purchase refreshments. A variety of vendors will be on hand during the event selling food and crafts. There’s also a “U-pick” field, where you can choose your own beauties for just .50 a stem!

There’s also a charming gift shop where besotted tulip-lovers (also known as “tulipomaniacs”—it’s a real thing!) can purchase potted tulips for $7.50 or peruse dozens of varieties of bulbs, blooms, and bouquets, potted spring flowers, garden accessories, jewelry, cards, and other treasures. You can also take a catalog with you as you walk the fields, then place your order in the gift shop for the particular bulbs you want; they’ll be ready to pick up and plant in October. The kids will enjoy taking photos in giant wooden clogs, dressing up in Dutch attire and posing in the “enchanted carriage,” and planting lily bulbs.

The Tulip Festival is only on weekends, but the gift shop will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and from 10 to 4 p.m. on weekends. The tulip farm is located at 1066 S. Pekin Rd. in Woodland. There’s plenty of free parking, and admission is free! If you come on April 22 or 23, you’ll also want to drive to the Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens just down the road and see the astonishing varieties of lilacs in full bloom during the Lilac Days Festival, which lasts through Mother’s Day.

Easter Egg Hunt in Downtown Washougal

Families with kids in fifth grade and younger are invited to hop over to downtown Washougal on Wednesday, April 12, from 3 to 5:30 p.m. for a an EGGstravaganza! at Reflection Plaza. Hosted by the City of Washougal and the Downtown Washougal Association, this family-friendly egg hunt event is in its second year. The event will feature an egg hunt with plastic eggs hidden among straw bales.  Eggs will be filled with treats and toys. Some lucky egg hunters will find coupons for a free plant from Washougal Hardware.

To help manage the chaos of most egg hunts, kids will enter the hunt area in small groups and will be challenged to find eggs of different colors before they exit. This method helps spread the event over the whole afternoon so families won’t miss out on any fun if they arrive after it begins. Approximately 5,000 eggs will be on hand, used to replenish the supply to keep the hunting going.

The event will also include cotton candy, photos with the Easter Bunny and other costumed characters, treats, music, and activities for youngsters. Children should be accompanied by an adult.  Volunteers are needed and can contact organizers at dwavolunteer@gmail.com. Event sponsors also include River Talk Weekly, IQ Credit Union, Washougal Hardware, and New Seasons Market.

Critter Count & Reptile Shows

On Saturday, April 8, the Water Resources Education Center will celebrates its 17th annual Critter Count by turning kids and families into honorary field biologists from 9 a.m. to noon, followed by two live critter shows. Start by counting critters in their natural habitat. Then, see more critters up close at two shows featuring snakes, lizards, and other reptiles at the Water Center, located at 4600 S.E. Columbia Way.

The Critter Count is just what it sounds like: volunteers in the field helping biologists conduct a survey of amphibians and reptiles. Critter Count begins at 9 a.m. with a brief training session for a quick overview of the identification of frogs, snakes, salamanders, lizards and other local amphibians and reptiles. Next, participants and biologists will venture out into the field to find and record these animals in their natural habitat. Participants should provide their own transportation to field sites, wear boots and warm clothes, and bring a lunch and binoculars. Training, field guidebooks, equipment, snacks and water will be provided. All ages are welcome to participate, and children must be accompanied by adults.

Critter fun continues at the Water Center at 1 p.m., when visitors have an opportunity to view snakes, lizards and other reptiles up close. Steve’s Creature Feature will offer two live critter shows, starting at 1 p.m. and again at 2 p.m. Learn fascinating facts about reptiles and the challenges in bringing them into your home as pets. Find out how you can be a “herp hero” with simple actions that protect water and critters. Admission is free and children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. For more information, call 360-487-7111 or visit www.cityofvancouver.us/watercenter.

First Friday in Camas: Spring Into History

The theme for April’s First Friday event in Downtown Camas is “Spring Into History!” a family-friendly celebration of Camas history and the coming of spring, with activities that explore Camas history in a fun way and also welcome spring to downtown. The event, hosted by the Downtown Camas Association, is happening in shops and businesses all over downtown Camas and at the Camas Public Library from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, April 7—with s’mores roasting sponsored by iQ Credit Union.

You’ll want to play the “Guess About Camas” history game in participating businesses, which allows players to discover interesting historical tidbits about Camas history. Collect all the facts and be entered to win win prizes from the downtown merchants. Game sheets and the evening’s activity lists can be found at the Downtown Camas Association table in Journey Church (304 N.E. 4th) and at participating businesses. Other activities:

  • Two Rivers Heritage Museum will share historic artifacts and photos of Camas & Washougal and will also have items for sale, including handmade rugs made from Pendleton wool selvages, originally woven on its 1890s traveling loom.
  • Mill historians will show us why the Camas mill is unique and showcase items from the mill, including videos. You can even make your own paper at the Mill Interpretive Center, 401 NE Adams.
  • Book signing for “Lillie’s Jasper.” Meet the author Diane Green-Hartley and hear about the Gold Star Mother Pilgrimage, a little known part of WWI history.
  • Art show and silent auction hosted by Friends of Camas Arts at Journey Church in support of the Camas High School Integrated Arts & Academics Program.
  • Art shows and receptions at Attic Gallery, Camas Gallery, and Second Story Gallery at the Camas library.
  • Ribbon cutting and opening celebration for Rushing Waters Professional Properties.
  • Natalia’s Cafe will be “Going Back to the ’50s!” Open until 8 p.m. with special prices: hamburger, fries and a soda for $4.99; hot dog, fries and soda for $3.99; milkshakes for $2.50; and malts $2.99.
  • Georgia Pacific toilet paper toss to win paper products as a tribute to the mill
  • Taste the candy that was invented the same year Camas was founded
  • Donate toward the Hidden Bronze Bird Project and get a chance to win the “Bronze Egg.” Any donation gets a ticket to win prizes; donate at least $5 and pick an egg from the basket—one of the eggs comes with a prize: a dinner, movie, and cupcakes package in downtown Camas.
  • Guess the “spring eggs” jar—the closest guess wins a prize
  • Kids’ spring crafts

More information on Camas history can be found at http://www.downtowncamas.com/dca/history/. For more complete information about this—and other—First Friday events in downtown Camas, visit http://downtowncamas.com/events-and-festivals/first-fridays/april-first-friday-spring-into-history-2017/ or www.facebook.com/camasfirstfriday.