As the second largest residential space in the state, Eugene, Oregon, has more than enough activities to entertain your little ones from cranky wake-up until reluctant bedtime. Known as the "Emerald City" for its grand green setting, this Oregon city has over 100 parks for outdoor adventures as well as an abundance of indoor spaces that are perfect for a rainy day of play.
The City of Eugene's Parks and Recreation Department maintains community, metropolitan and neighborhood parks. The different park designations -- community, metropolitan, neighborhood -- indicate the location of the park in terms of more urban or suburban. Eugene's parks offer everything from playgrounds to bike paths and sports fields for a day of child-friendly play. If you have a little nature-lover on your hands and are looking for more of a green play experience, Eugene's Parks and Rec has several natural areas that feature favorite local flora and fauna.
Get your toddler or preschooler off to an early start when it comes to reading. Eugene's Public Library system offers family-friendly events and classes for the littlest of learners. The library's storytimes come in age groupings of 0 to 1, 1 to 2 and 2 to 6 years. Aside from the obvious reading element, these fun-filled activities include songs, movement games and the chance to get social with other moms and kids. For a more melodic take on the typical storytime, try out the library's Family Music Time for tikes of all ages.
Do you have a pint-sized physicist or budding biologist on your hands? Give your little one a hands-on super science adventure at Eugene's Science Factory: Children's Museum and Exploration Dome (sciencefactory.org). Kids under 5 can explore in their own special space, The Tot Spot. This age-appropriate learning area includes hands-on activities for young children, such as a make-believe tide pool touch tank, ocean animal puppets, a climbable play boat and a ball pit. If you are looking for play with more of a structure, opt for the drop-in TOT Discovery Days for kids 5 and under. With themes such as Bubbles Galore and Super Seasons, your child can explore science with a museum teacher on the first Friday of each month.
If the weather isn't cooperating for your pre-planned day of outdoor excitement, try one of Eugene's indoor play spaces. The Westside Indoor Playground (westsideindoorplayground.webs.com) offers kids 5 and under a safe place to jump, slide and make new friends. This parent-operated space is open from September through May. Another similar parent-run option is Eugene's Tiny Tots Indoor Playground (tinytotscoop.org). Take your child under 5 for a day of play or try out one of the extra activities such as story-time or arts and crafts.