As the rain starts to dump on the Willamette Valley, the fun mustn’t end as the next five months of gray skies ensue. Perhaps you’ll discover that some of the best memories come from long walks in the rain, or perhaps avoiding the rain like the plague as you bury yourself in blankets, drink gallons of hot cocoa and watch way too many episodes of “How I Met Your Mother” in a row.
Not many college students have an extra $40 lying around to spend every weekend. But perhaps if you save your change, you may be able to scrounge up $20 to enjoy a fun day with friends.
If that’s you, here’s a list of special events and activities to help you get into the fall spirit that won’t break the bank.
– Do you know the Thriller dance? You can participate in “Thrill the World,” an attempt to break the world record for most people doing the Thriller dance simultaneously. At 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 25, be present at the Capitol Mall fountain steps to be a part of history in the making. This event is free.
– Fir Point Farms in Aurora, Oregon is open from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on the weekends through October. Admission is free and the list of activities is extensive.
– Other farms in the area with reasonable prices include Bauman’s Farm, Airlie Hills Farm, E.Z. Orchards, Greens Bridge Gardens, Heiser Farms, and Willamette Valley Pie Company.
– For a “spook-tacular” time, head over to “Maze of the Undead” at Fordyce Farm for $15.
– If you want to be scared but help a great cause, take part in the Santiam Valley Grange #828 Annual Haunted House. Admission is $3 or 3 cans of food or non-perishable food items.
However, it’s also important that you experience the joys of living in the Willamette Valley every day, not just during special outings. These recommendations come from personal experience of living in the Pacific Northwest for 20 years.
– Jump in a puddle! Put on your rain boots or go bare-foot.
– Crunch some leaves. This is a little more difficult to do since the rain has made the leaves soggy.
– Gather up friends and bake or cook together.
– Put the marshmallows in your mug before the hot water when making hot cocoa.
– Send an encouragement card for two reasons: 1) To encourage a friend, 2) The satisfaction of knowing they had to walk in the rain to the mailroom.
– Google “preschool fall crafts,” pick one and do it with friends! Who else misses making turkeys with a cut-out of their hand?
– Play some mud football and take a lot of pictures.
– Volunteer at a soup-kitchen or food pantry.
– Find shelter from the rain in a library and enjoy the history that surrounds you.
– Duck into a coffee shop and strike up a conversation with a stranger. Chances are, they are also avoiding the rain, and the weather is a great conversation starter. Take the opportunity to share the gospel with them while you have their attention.
– Dance in the rain. Find friends to join you or enjoy solitude while getting drenched with liquid sunshine.