2019 Bucket List: Ashland, Oregon

Americans spend more than 87% of their time indoors. As the new year begins, we want to challenge ourselves and our readers to live a more active and adventurous lifestyle. 

We are proud to be a locally owned and operated business, and we hope that you will venture out to support other small businesses in our area this year.  We live in an area that has a personality all of its own, offering something for the outdoor enthusiast as well as the artist at heart. 

We used TripAdvisor to help select some of the most unique and exciting local must-do’s:

  • Oregon Shakespeare Festival– This is a repertory theatre that has presented all 37 of Shakespeare’s plays more than 300 times. The theatrical season runs from February to November of each year and hosts more than 400,000 visitors per year.
  • Go to Science Works Hands-On Museum– Founded in 2002 through a cooperative agreement between Kirlin Charitable Foundation and Southern Oregon University, their mission is “to inspire wonder and stimulate creative exploration through fun interactive science and the arts.” They have educated and entertained more than 100,000 visitors since opening. 
  • Mount Ashland-The highest peak in the Siskiyou Mountains of southern Oregon
  • Take a Yoga or Massage Class
  • Visit the Historic Districts of Ashland-Francesca, owner of Bayberry Inn, gives a great rundown of the Ashland Railroad District in her blog post
  • Oregon Vortex-An unusual trip for the lover of all things obscure. First found by the Native Americans and named “Forbidden Ground,” this area has been open to the public since 1930. You must go yourself to experience a natural phenomenon unlike any other. Visit the House of Mystery, height change, the Eddy Current Tube, and visit the Curios Shop.
  • Have a Spa day at the Blue Giraffe-Voted Best Spa since 2005
  • Schneider Museum of Art-This museum is a part of the Oregon Center for the Arts at SOU that is open to the public. Enjoy a free visit Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm or attend a tour on Tuesdays at 12:30 pm. 

  • Emigrant Lake
  • See a show at Oregon Cabaret-Originally Ashland’s First Baptist Church, the building remained vacant for over a decade and was eventually painted pink. In 1982, Craig Hudson bought and began restoring the building. In 1986, the theatre opened with 30 performances. Now, the performers entertain 140 guests, six nights a week, year-round. While you’re there, be sure to try a piece of Dick Hay Pie. 

Did we leave anything out? Let us know about your local experiences in the Ashland, Oregon area in the comments!

9 Ways to Entertain Your Child Without a Smartphone

entertain your child without smartphone

9 Ways to Entertain Your Child Without a Smartphone

For those of us who have spent time with small children in public places, we’ve all been there. You know, when they get tired, bored, hungry…and therefore, cranky? Your heart beats a little faster, your eyes check the room for those “looks”, and you need a solution – fast. And you want to entertain your child without a smartphone.

If your go-to solution is an electronic device, you may enjoy a short reprieve, but you may also wonder what kind of pattern you’re helping to establish.

entertain children without smartphone

Reaching for an electronic device anytime you feel bored or unhappy may not be the healthiest option to impart. Learning to interact with people, and learning to entertain yourself are healthier AND doable strategies.

Crayons, paper, pens? Good choices. What if you’re without your usual bag of tricks? Here are 9 ways to entertain your child without a smartphone. And avoid the oncoming apocalyptic meltdown.

entertaining children with crayons and paper

1. Name That Tune

name that tune

Get your Frank Sinatra or Barbra Streisand on and hum a familiar song like “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” or “Old McDonald,” and see if they can: a) name it, b) complete a line c) sing along for as long as possible.


2. What’s Missing?

entertain children without smartphoneTry this at a restaurant. Grab several objects, like silverware, packets, stir sticks and place them on the table. Instruct your sweetie pie to take a good look. Cover your collection with a napkin, and carefully remove one of the items without them being able to tell which one. This is your chance to be Houdini! Remove the napkin and ask which one is missing. Repeat as many times as possible. Try role reversal. They’ll love “fooling” you!


Also, check out this easy travel game –> Which Ninja Is Missing? An Awesome Memory Game For your Kids. It’s such a fun game that takes ZERO time to set up and keeps your kiddo completely interested and focused. Ninjas always rock, right?!


3. Who Am I?

fun games with animals

Choose an animal and play whatever version of 20 question your child is suited for. “Do you crawl?” “Do you swim?” When they guess correctly, spend some time making whatever animal sound it makes.


4. Touch Something That Is….

entertain children without smartphone

Find objects in your surrounding of different colors. Ask them, “Can you touch something that is X?” If your location is suitable for walking around, you can go mobile.


5. Shape Hunt

Ask your children if they can see anything around them with a certain shape. “Do you see a circle?” “What do you see that’s a triangle?”


6. I Spy

entertain child without smartphone play i spyIt’s the classic! Certainly solid territory for a little older child able to process this guessing game. Choose something both of you can see, then say, “I spy something, and it starts with  ____.” If your child has a basic understanding of the alphabet and a modest vocabulary, fill in the blank with a letter. “I spy something, and it begins with the letter C.” It can help to sound it out: “Ca-Ca-Ca.” For the preliterate set who knows only their colors or shapes, substitute those categories instead. You can also describe the objects’ properties: “I spy something, and it’s rough and scaly/smooth and shiny.”


7. What Is Different?

draw shapes to entertain your child without smartphoneThis one requires a pen and paper. Divide the paper into a quadrant. Draw the same shape in three of the squares, but draw a different one in the fourth. Examples: 3 cats, one elephant. Have them point shape that’s different. You can make a more advanced version for older children.

DIY-pattern-sorting-game-for-toddlersToddler Pattern Sort and Drop Game Make a toddler motor skills activity using pattern cards to sort and drop! This is early math and fine motor skills in an easy, DIY game using recycled materials.



8. Simple Riddles


Riddles can be fun for you to come up with and for your child to solve. For example: “I riddles and jokes for kidshave four legs and am covered in fluffy white wool. What I am?” or “I’m shaped like a circle, I have two hands, and numbers all around me. What am I?” Need a little inspiration?
Check out –> 15 Fall Riddles and Jokes for Kids



9. Hidden in the Hand

hide objects in hand entertain child without smartphone

Show your kid your open empty hands. Place an object like your keys in one of your hands and close both hands. Put your hands behind your back and switch the object back and forth between them. Bring your closed hands back in front of you, and ask your child to guess which hand the object is in.

So, there they are:

9 Ways to Entertain Your Child without a smartphone.

Do you have some tried and true non-electronic kid entertaining ideas? Leave your tip in the comments below.

Ideas found in The Everything Toddler Activities Book via The Art of Manliness Blog.