Things to do during Thanksgiving break

Staying in the area for Thanksgiving?

Here is a brief guide to family-friendly events and activities over the Thankgiving break (though all locations are closed Thanksgiving Day):

Hood River Aquatic Center is open Nov. 25-29 (closed Thanksgiving) for special open swims from 1-3:30 p.m.

The regular weekend schedule is open swim 1-5 p.m. Saturday and a $1 swim from 2-4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1.

The History Museum will be open Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free.

There are plenty of permanent exhibits with interest to kids and the Alva Day photo exhibit, through December, includes cool old cameras and a 1897 film projector. Take your photo in costume at Alva Day’s “tent camp,” or staff can take your photo for free if you don’t have a camera.

In the museum Exploration Center, try out new activities, including viewing a stereopticon (see photo at left) and creating your own petroglyph.

An electric typewriter has been added to the vintage manual, and parents and kids can try racing each other to see who can pick the cloth-and-velcro pears and apples the fastest. (Note, there is a “trick” to this.)

Polar Express: Ride Mount Hood Railroad and meet Santa (reservations needed at

Dine in train cars on the sidings at Hobo’s Kitchen, anytime the train is running, next to the MHRR depot.

Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum is open all days but Thanksgiving, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; admission is $12 adults, $6 kids 12 and under; free for ages 4 and younger.

There’s plenty for adults to see, including a just-completed third hangar, as well as kid-sized plane, helicopter, car, and more things for kids to enjoy in the WAAAM Learning Center.

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Lawnmower torches Arbor Vitae on Portland Drive

The riding lawn mower driven by Norma Cannon overheated and made contact with dry arbor vitae owned by Lee and Norma Curtis, sending more than a dozen of the tightly-packed trees up in flames. The mower, visible at far right, was totaled. No one was injured; neighbors first kept the fire at bay with garden hoses and Westside and Hood River Fire Departments responded and doused the fire before it reached any structures. Westside Fire chief Jim Trammell, in blue shirt, directs firefighters. The video was taken by Capt. Dave Smith of Hood River Fire Department. Enlarge

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