Whether you're looking for something educational or simply recreational, Eugene, Oregon, offers parents and teens a bountiful variety of activities to suit any personality. You may find your only difficulty is choosing from the many teen-friendly options available. Attractions include many parks, museums, fine arts venues and hands-on workshop opportunities.
Hiking and Nature Study on Mount Pisgah
Overlooking the Willamette River, Mount Pisgah is a great destination for a hike or run that will get your heart rate up and reward you with spectacular views. Trails vary in length from 0.7 miles to 3.9 miles, so you can tailor your day to your energy levels. Located on the western slope of the mountain, the 210-acre Mount Pisgah Arboretum offers nature walks and workshops for more in-depth exploration of local plant and bird species. Teens interested in forestry can get hands-on experience by volunteering at the Arboretum or getting involved in the Adopt-a-Trail Program.
Craft and Cooking Workshops
For the teen who likes to get his hands dirty, a craft workshop makes a memorable day trip. Studio West Glassblowing Studio and Gallery offers weekly demonstrations and hands-on classes in the age-old art of working hot glass. The young owner-artists, Alejandro Hernandez and Ciara Cuddihy, guide students through projects such as "Blow Your Own Pumpkin." For those interested in expanding their cooking skills, the Pepperberries kitchen store offers regular two-hour classes in such skills as breadmaking and cake decorating.
Song, Dance, and Theater
Home to Eugene's symphony, opera, ballet and concert choir, Hult Center for the Performing Arts has it all if you and your teen are looking for great music, dance and acting performances. There's something for all tastes here, from Elvis to Bach, Pink Floyd to classical ballet. Group and student rates are available on many performances. The teen who is interested in acting or other stage-related work may enjoy participating in a performance at The Very Little Theatre. This community theater holds open auditions for all parts and also offers volunteer positions in lighting, sound and costuming.
The Oregon Air and Space Museum is a small jewel offering free admission, knowledgeable volunteers and perhaps the largest collection of model airplanes in the world in addition to numerous life-sized ones. Scientifically-minded teens will enjoy the Museum of Natural and Cultural History, with its prestigious paleontology, anthropology and zoology collections. For the older teen, courses in archaeology are available here through the University of Oregon.