Life update, Wednesday, March 18: What are activity options?
We're taking the temperature of entertainment options, even as most people stay at home as society deals with the coronavirus and COVID-19.
Here is what we know, as of Wednesday, but things have changed rapidly, please check back for updates:
• Portland Saturday Market had been open March 14-15, but it's now closing for two weeks.
"This is a tough call for many reasons," said Howie Bierbaum, executive director. "We have only closed once, when Mt. St. Helens erupted. We know our market vendors rely on our weekend operations for their livelihood and we are aware of the hardship this will cause."
The market is modifying its website, www.portlandsaturdaymarket.com, to direct customers to vendor pages. It also has a new Facebook page open to the public.
• Whale Watching Week returns to the Oregon Coast, March 21-29. The volunteer program, which helps visitors spot the gray whales as they migrate north, has been suspended, and Depoe Bay Whale Watching Center has been closed.
But, whales will still be out in the ocean, and visitors can bring their own binoculars and focus their eyes on the vast blue water. Luke Parsons, park ranger at Depoe Bay Whale Watching Center, said that all the viewing spots will be open to the public — it's outside, which allows for social distancing.
People can also participate virtually via the Oregon State Parks YouTube channel.
For more: www.oregonstateparks.org.
National Park Service has waived admission. For more: www.nps.gov.
• Parents and their kids can still go outside, and Portland Parks & Recreation parks, playgrounds, golf courses, trails and natural areas remain open. Find updated info at portland oregon.gov/parks/covid-19.
And, what about taking a hike on a local trail, such as Forest Park? Here's a good website for hike info: www.oregonhikers.org.
• Some outdoor venues were trying to stay open, including the Portland Japanese Garden and The Grotto. Portland Japanese Garden had emphasized the importance of helping people relieve stress by staying open. For more: www.japanesegarden.org
At The Grotto, they have halted Mass until March 31. But, it had planned to keep the outdoor areas open, and admission has been waived. Hours are 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m. For more: www.thegrotto.org.
"The Grotto is committed to being a place of prayer for our community," an email read. "For now, our gardens remain open, and admission charges to the Upper Gardens are suspended through March 31 to allow for people to take refuge in nature — well-suited for social distancing — during this time. All are welcome to visit our outdoor sanctuary, you can just walk right in."
• The Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival in Woodburn was slated to start Friday, March 20.
"We have 100 acres of area out here that includes 40 acres of tulips, so social distancing shouldn't be a problem," said Barb Iverson, co-owner of the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm. But, Iverson was postponing the event, but the fields might still be open; that was the plan.
For more: www.woodenshoe.com.
• Need something to do while sitting at home?
Depending on the availability of movie theaters, consider streaming services at home. A monthly Netflix subscription goes for about less than two tickets to the movie. There is Hulu, Amazon Prime and Disney+. Some movie studios, such as Universal, have offered new releases for streaming. Disney+ has put out "Frozen 2" for purchase.
The four-movie Reel Rock 14 digital program, films centered on mountain life, is ready to view via streaming or download for $19.99. See www.reelrocktour.com/collections/films/products/reel-rock-14.
And, artists and companies are examining the streaming route for shows.
• Despite school closures, by Thursday, March 19, all the Rose Festival Court princesses will have been named. The Rose Festival went to a virtual model this week — connecting online with each high school court member to announce winners. For more: www.rosefestival.org.
On Wednesday, Franklin senior Dore Young was added to the court.
The Rose Festival closes out the princess announcements Thursday.
• The Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum in McMinnville has temporarily closed, effective immediately.
• Fort Vancouver National Historic Site in Vancouver, Washington has closed its visitor center, Pearson Air Museum, the reconstructed fort and the Barclay House at McLoughlin House Unit. But, they're trying to keep the grounds and trails of the park open for visitors to enjoy springtime in the outdoors.
• Northwest Film Center is taking summer film camp registrations for kids and teens, grades 4-12, who have an interest in creative self-expression, hands-on learning and fun with technology. See www.nwfilm.org.
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