U is for...Unique Amusement Parks

We're winding down to the end of the alphabet in the A-Z Blogging Challenge and venturing in to trickier and trickier letters.  Today's Oregon site is...

Unique Amusements

Enchanted Forest
I remember this being my all-time favorite place to go as a kid...aside from the beach, of course.  The brainchild of Roger Tofte, Enchanted Forest is located along I-5 just south of Salem in Turner.  This was THE place to have your summer birthday parties at if you were from the surrounding area; alas, mine was almost always in a skating rink because March is unpredictable in Oregon.  Consisting of various rides, mazes, slides, villages, etc, Enchanted Forest is a fairytale inspired amusement park.  There's a Crooked House, a Rabbit's Tunnel, an Alice in Wonderland Maze, and so much more.  I remember being terrified of the Witch's Slide because you entered through her mouth and she's not the most pleasant to look at, but it was awesome just the same.  The Haunted House also terrified me.  You're welcome to bring your own snacks/lunches to the park and utilize the public eating area, but there are concessions available as well.  In addition, there are a number of rides you can enjoy ranging from Ice Bobsleds, a Water Log Ride, and more, as well as fairytale-inspired plays put on by the staff.  It's family fun for everyone!  During the winter months the park is closed and they have limited openings when weather is a factor, but they're open all week long during the summer months.
Wildlife Safari
Located in the town of Winston in Southern Oregon, Wildlife Safari was and still is an awesome place to visit.  Created by Frank Hart in 1972, the non-profit park is comprised of over 600 acres dedicated to education, conservation, and research for rare and endangered species.  Guests are able to drive through the entire park, housing over 600 animals in free rein exhibits; it is the only drive through wild animal park in Oregon.  Stopping and taking pictures is allowed everywhere aside from the bear cage.  Other animals that are cordoned off are the tigers, lions, and cheetahs.  There is also a petting zoo on site, along with a gift shop, cafe, playground, and open-air train that you can ride around.  Wildlife Safari is also a well-established breeding facility for cheetahs, which they supply to multiple zoos throughout the world.  It's really a wonderful family outing that allows you to view animals from around the world.  Nearly 150,000 people visit the park each year.

Oaks Amusement Park
A more traditional amusement park, Oaks Amusement Park is located along the Willamette River in Portland and is America's oldest continuously operating amusement park.  Opened in 1905, the park was conceived as an accompaniment to the Lewis and Clark Centennial Expedition and it attracted over 300,000 people during its first season.  Comprised of rides, arcades, a skating rink, a dance pavilion, and picnic facilities, the amusement park is open year-round.  Space can be rented for birthday parties or other celebrations; such rentals often include a "free rides" bracelet that allows the wearer to enjoy any ride on the property as much as they like.  Arcade games are generally a dollar for one round and the skating rink is a separate purchase.  The park has also hosted several outdoor concerts throughout its years and an annual Oktoberfest.  Anybody can enjoy the park and there is no entrance fee to access the park.  People often bring picnics and sit under the massive trees along the river without paying a dime.  It's an easy, inexpensive form of amusement for any family.

Sorry this is a day late, but enjoy nonetheless.  Blog on, fellow A-Zers!


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