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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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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