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16 Kid-Friendly Activities to Enjoy this Summer on Oregon’s Adventure Coast

16 Kid-Friendly Activities to Enjoy this Summer on  Oregon’s Adventure Coast

Fri, May 17, 2024

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School is almost out for the summer, which means the sweet, lazy days of summer are around the corner! This summer, make happy memories with the whole family by embarking on a fun-filled road trip to Oregon’s Adventure Coast - home to Coos Bay, North Bend, and Charleston on Oregon’s South Coast. Whether you’re into outdoor adventures, kid-friendly fun, or simply unwinding, there is something for everyone here. In this post, we’re going to delve into some of the top activities for kids to enjoy this summer on Oregon’s Adventure Coast:

#1-Explore Local Beaches and State Parks along Cape Arago Highway. For a fun-filled day of exploring the best of the Oregon Coast, we recommend a drive along the Cape Arago Highway Loop . It’s a wonderful way to explore beautiful beaches, along with some of the best state parks in Oregon , including Sunset Bay State Park, Shore Acres State Park, and Cape Arago State Park. Whether you’re in the mood for a beach stroll, wildlife viewing, or searching for natural treasures in tide pools, this kid-friendly activity has it all!

Enjoy a picnic or fly a kite on Bastendorff Beach, or go tide pooling in the protected beach in Sunset Bay State Park. Watch the seals and sea lions on Shell Island from the overlook atSimpson Reef , part of theOregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge . Take in views of the ocean and stroll through the gardens at Shore Acres State Park , the crown jewel of Oregon’s South Coast. The possibilities are endless! Download this guide to help you on your route and choose your own experience. Please do not touch the wildlife under any circumstances!

#2-Get out on the water. With so many lakes, rivers, bays, estuaries and more, Oregon’s Adventure Coast is the gateway to some of the best outdoor fun on the Oregon Coast. Depending on your children’s age(s), you may choose from water recreation options like kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, surfing, and even water skiing! Don’t have your own kayak, paddleboard, or surfboard? You can rent one and get expert advice from our friends at Waxer’s Surf Shop in downtown Coos Bay; Bahama Boards in Coos Bay; and Coastal Kayak & SUP Rentals in the Empire District of Coos Bay. Coastal Kayak will even deliver your equipment where you plan to recreate! If swimming is on your agenda, we recommend the beautiful sandy beach at Sunset Bay State Park, where children can swim, make sand castles, enjoy a picnic and more. Be aware that the water on the Oregon coast is quite chilly and come prepared. Sunset Bay also includes a full campground for RV, tent, and yurt camping. Click here for more info.

#3-Visit South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve (South Slough NERR). Kids can’t seem to get enough of this beautiful 5,000-acre natural area located in the Coos Estuary near Charleston. Not only are there miles of hiking trails and waterways for families to explore, but there are ample opportunities for your little ones to view and learn more about wildlife. Take a self-guided tour through this protected area of land and estuary, and you’ll likely spot various birds and wildlife like Bald Eagles, Osprey, Great Blue Herons, Egrets, and Belted Kingfishers.

Download this brochure to learn more about this Oregon treasure!

#4-Go for a Ride or Hike in the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. The whole family is in for a treat as they explore the largest expanse of coastal sand dunes in North America on an ATV or by foot! Spinreel’s popular Follow Me Tour is a great option for first-time visitors and guests with children. For guides, rentals, and more, click here . The non-motorized part of the dunes, the John Dellenback Trail offers a unique view of the Dunes by foot or fat tire bike.

**BONUS: There’s fun for the whole family at the upcoming annual UTV TakeOver 2024 June 25-30, 2024!**

#5-Explore the Charleston Marine Life Center. This 6,000-square-foot learning center is a great place for kids AND adults to explore the wonders of marine life, especially the marine life right off the Oregon coast. From touch tanks to interactive exhibits, your family will learn about the ocean’s inhabitants and the importance of conservation. There’s even an open-air deck where visitors can watch fishing vessels coming and going out to sea! Learn more.

#6-Take a Hike to Golden and Silver Falls. Who doesn’t love a beautiful waterfall? When you take the kids to Golden and Silver Falls State Natural Area (about 30 miles from Highway 101, on Highway 241), you can experience not one, but TWO waterfalls! This family-friendly destination is a perfect place to enjoy nature and solitude as you hike through scenic canyons and lush coastal forests to the waterfalls. The drive to the falls is part of the adventure, with winding roads that narrow in places and can take almost an hour to traverse. Click here for our tips and more info. Note: there is another waterfall in Oregon called Silver Falls near Silverton.

#7-Enjoy one of the family-friendly events and festivals happening this summer! Oregon’s Adventure Coast comes alive each summer and fall with outdoor events and festivals for all ages to enjoy, many of which are part of this year’s celebration of Coos Bay’s 150th Birthday ! Here’s a quick round-up of some of the family-friendly events happening in Coos Bay/North Bend/Charleston:

#8-Embark on a fun-filled fishing adventure! Fishing , crabbing , and clamming on Oregon’s Adventure Coast can be a rewarding experience for kids and their families any time of the year. Coos Bay, North Bend, and Charleston have an abundance of fishing options, with more than 30 freshwater lakes and rivers to choose from in Coos County alone, as well as fantastic bay and ocean fishing ! Download our Fishing Information Rack Card here (PDF) and contact our local bait and tackle shops and ask for tips on the best ways to engage your little ones! Click here for more info.

#9-Discover the Past & Present at the Coos History Museum. The Coos History Museum is the perfect place to learn about the history of Oregon’s South Coast. This museum features interactive exhibits and displays about the area’s Native American and European settlers, our boat-building heritage, and so much more. With more than 50,000 objects and 250,000 images to discover, learning more about this fascinating, historical region has never been easier. Click here to learn more.

#10-Sample Goodies at Cranberry Sweets. There’s nothing family-friendlier than satisfying your sweet tooth with a trip to Cranberry Sweets, a candy manufacturer/retailer with stores in Bandon and Coos Bay, Oregon. It’s a favorite among locals and visitors. Visitors to their store are often rewarded with irresistible in-store samples. Visit to learn more.

#11-Enjoy Family Fun at North Bend Lanes. For more than 50 years, this bowling alley has been a cherished destination on Oregon’s Adventure Coast. With various activities to engage every member of your crew, including Cosmic Bowling, it’s a must-visit. Pop by the Back Alley Pub and Grill, conveniently connected to the lanes, for a tasty meal and refreshing beverages that go beyond typical bowling alley fare. Learn more.

#12-Enjoy a Show at the Egyptian Theatre. Treat your little ones to a delightful show at The Egyptian Theatre! This charming 1925 movie theater, lovingly restored, sits in the heart of downtown Coos Bay. With its lineup of classic movies, live performances, and the iconic Wurlitzer Organ , it’s a surefire hit for the whole family! Learn more.

#13-Explore Mingus Park - Coos Bay - 10th Street @ Commercial Ave. This wonderful hidden gem near downtown Coos Bay features beautiful green space, walking trails, an oriental garden, playgrounds, and a year-round pool! Learn more.

#14-Visit the Oregon Coast Historic Railway - This museum, a must-stop for railroad enthusiasts, showcases railroad and logging equipment in an outdoor display area, as well as photos and railroad memorabilia in an indoor mini-museum. Ring the bell of the signature 1922 Baldwin steam locomotive! Welcome aboard! Open Wednesdays and Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Learn more.

#15-Explore the Food Truck Court (Front Street). Front Street Food Trucks is the perfect place for families and/or groups of friends to enjoy some delicious food and drinks this summer! From Mexican fare to gourmet waffles to yummy grilled cheese sandwiches to BBQ, there’s something for every taste and craving! Be sure to follow them on Facebook for a current listing of food trucks & hours.

#16-Ride Along the Coos Bay Historic Railway via Quadricycle. The whole family will have a blast pedaling along the scenic Coos Bay Historic Railway in a four-seater quadricycle with the Oregon Coast Railriders ! Not to mention, your support helps save the rails and preserve railroad history. Rail trips are available May through October.

Want more ideas the whole family can enjoy this summer? Stop by the Coos Bay Visitor Information Center ** ** for local tips, information, books, maps and a fun selection of Oregon’s Adventure Coast souvenirs! While you’re here, take in the beautiful views of the bay from the Coos Bay Boardwalk directly behind the building. You can also stop in at the North Bend Visitor Center and the Charleston Visitor Center for great advice, local tips, and more.

Learn more by visiting our Adventures page and ourTrip Ideas page, and by following Oregon’s Adventure Coast on Facebook , @travelcoosbay on Instagram and TikTok to find inspiration on the best spots to visit, eat, stay, and explore any time of the year. Request your FREE visitor’s packet today !


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(541) 269-0215
50 Central Ave, Coos Bay, OR 97420

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