Day Trip to Bonneville Fish Hatchery
If you're like me, sitting at home on the weekends is hard. Honestly, being a stay at home parent is hard for me, but I make it work because I know it's best for my young family right now. Sitting still, isn't my strong suit, nor my husband's. We do our best to find activities that the entire family will enjoy when Saturday rolls around. Just last weekend we took a quick day trip up to Bonneville Fish Hatchery, located just 40 minutes from downtown Portland. The weather was less than ideal to spend out hiking so a road trip felt like our best option. After what felt like a successful trip, here are my takeaway tips!
1. Pack warm clothes and rain boots. It's often windy and cold along the Columbia River Gorge and the hatchery is no exception. We went on a very wet day, but managed to get there right in between downpours. The twins did manage to find every puddle of water, and there were many, so rain boots are essential if you have puddle jumpers like me. Extra clothes for the trip home isn't a bad idea either.
2. Bring quarters for the fish food! There are two fish food stations along the rainbow trout ponds but they only take quarters! The gift shop will gladly make change for you, which we took advantage of, but I prefer to come prepared.
3. Visit Herman! Herman is the resident oversized sturgeon that you can view from the underground viewing window located in the white house. My kids renamed Herman, "Monster Fish" which seemed fitting. You'll understand when you see him!
4. Bring the camera! Moments like these are the ones that you want to remember, and the kids will want to remember them too! My kids have looked through photos from our trip multiple times and as a parent it's fun to see their eyes light up over and over again.
5. Visit Cascade Locks while you're there! We stopped in at two different restaurants while in town but ultimately decided on Bridgeside for lunch. It's very casual, family friendly, and the old wooden walls are decorated with artifacts from the historic Columbia River Gorge. My husband was in heaven looking at the wall art and my kids were in heaven eating the house made cheesecake and marionberry cobbler a la mode. I was in heaven, having a meal where my kids weren't screaming and people weren't staring at us. Parents, you know what I'm talking about...
Ultimately, this was a great family outing for us and I would highly recommend it for other families with young children. It's not overly crowded, the facilities are clean, the walls are high enough that the kids wont fall in the ponds, it can be used as a great teaching experience and best of all, it's FREE! Plus, driving up the gorge is always beautiful, rain or shine. My children love pointing out all of the waterfalls this time of year. Did I mention you drive by Multnomah Falls on the way? I think I'll save that for a different family adventure all together.