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Best Kid Friendly Things To Do In Manzanita Oregon

Bags Packed, Mail Stopped, Doors Locked, Heading to Manzanita Beach --

things to do in Manzanita Beach with kids

But Are You Really Ready for the Your Kid Friendly Manzanita Beach Vacation?

Follow along, because we're here to give you the real inside scoop on great, kid friendly things to do in Manzanita Oregon!

From keeping the kids busy to whole family fun, there's lots to chose from in this fabulous north Oregon coast destination. And we have lots of experience in this area, from growing up in the area to over 22 years owning and renting our Oceanfront Manzanita Rentals on Manzanita Beach.

"I'm bored! What's there to do around here?"

Have you been driven crazy by the universal refrain of all kids? We certainly heard it from our own kids.

Luckily, you're at Manzanita Beach! Read on - you'll find there's lots of things to do in Manzanita Oregon.

Things to do in Manzanita Beach, Oregon
Don't Worry - There's Lots to Do At the Beach

By this point, you've probably packed all the traditional beach equipment - frisbees, volleyball net and ball, football, and all the rest. But what other great things to do in Manzanita Oregon after you've arrived at your Manzanita rental?

So Where are the Activities for Kids in Manzanita Beach Oregon??

Don't worry -- we're here to help! Not only is Manzanita Beach a fabulous and gorgeous vacation spot, it's perfectly situated on the very scenic north Oregon coast. Sitting at the foot of Neahkahnie mountain, the weather is often fair while neighbouring Cannon Beach and Seaside to the north and Rockaway to the south are cloudy, overcast, or rainy. The locals call it the doughnut effect. And it's a true scientific phenomena.

But the other wonderful benefit of Manzanita Beach's great location is -- it's location!

Not only is it a great beachfront community, it lies west of the busy Hwy 101 corridor (so no noisy traffic through this laid-back town), is just minutes away from the activities in nearby Nehalem and Wheeler, it's surrounded by two incredible state parks, you have the choice of ocean or fresh water fun ... the list goes on and on with lots of fun things to do in Manzanita Oregon.

And if you're looking for a bit more activity there's always Cannon Beach only 13 miles north, or even Seaside 18 miles north.

Who said there wasn't a lot of kid friendly things to do in Manzanita Oregon?!

Family friendly things to do in Manzanita Oregon

every day life

The Ultimate List of Kid Friendly Activities - Manzanita, Beach!

Yep! This list is super long, so jump down to the ones that sound terrific for your tribe!

There are a lot of fun things to do in Manzanita Oregon.

#1 - Dam It! (Channel Your Inner Engineer)

Be sure to pack your shovels, buckets, and things that float, because you're about to experience true beach fun.

And parent heaven.

Our incredible seven mile Manzanita Beach has small gentle freshwater streams that trickle down through the beach rocks, across the sand, and out to the ocean. What does this mean to you?

Things to do in Manzanita Oregon on the beach

Shannon Brown

Kids love to spend hours digging, damming, diverting streams, creating lakes and floating things, moving rocks, breaking dams and watching the results, building new channels, creating castles with moats ... you get the drift.

Sometimes this takes parents to show kids how this works, but once they get the idea they want to take over and build. You won't hear the call asking for more things to do in Manzanita Oregon again for quite awhile.

Kids are busy with little parent participation! Sometimes for hours!

Terrific for little ones, but I've even seen returning kids now in their teenage years grab adult sized shovels and go to work. With really BIG dams. As a side note, bring boots and rain gear if the weather is inclement. Kids love to dig away on misty days without a care for the rain.

See?? Parent heaven on Manzanita Beach!

Want to join in the digging fun? Dig clams in Manzanita Beach and around the coastal area. There's plentiful information about Oregon clam season and instructions for digging for clams in nearby Wheeler. Don't worry, you can rent a clam gun at Cleanline Surf in Cannon Beach. Hint - it's not really a gun!

#2 - Get Back To Nature

Manzanita Beach is surrounded by two wonderful Oregon State Parks. Oswald West to the north of and Nehalem Bay to the south. Both have incredible views, and lots to offer families with kids.

Oswald West State Park is famous for its easy hiking trails, towering evergreens and incredible views. A half mile walk west of the parking area, you'll find the locally famous Short Sand Beach, a terrific beach for watching surfers, tide pooling, exploring, and just plain fun.

Pack a picnic and spend a sunny afternoon enjoying the beach. For those kids or families interested in learning to surf, most beginner lessons are taught here at Short Sand Beach (see below).

Also within Oswald West State Park is the renowned Neahkahnie Mountain.  You might not have heard of it, but you'll have seen pictures of it. It's one of the most popular and spectacular views beloved by photographers. And one of the highest peaks on the Oregon Coast.

A moderate 3 mile hike round trip and 900' elevation gain, the icing on the cake for this locally cherished spot is the stunning view from the summit.

Neahkahnie mountain hike overlooking Manzanita Beach


Have older kids that like a more challenging hike? Add the Pacific Coast Trail to the Neahkahnie Mountain hike up to Cape Falcon and back and you have 12.6 miles of incredible scenery.

There's lots of fun things to do in Manzanita Beach! Interested in geocaching? Check out the fun geocaching on Neahkahnie and add to the hiking fun. Kids love to geocache -- finding the surprise is super exciting, but don't forget to bring your own surprise to leave for others!

To the south of Manzanita Beach lies Nehalem Bay State Park. Biking trails, bird spotting, and sand dunes great for jumping and rolling all lead to happy kids. The sparkling Pacific Ocean lies to the west of the Park and Nehalem Bay to the east, making this a perfect place to spend a fun filled day.

If you're in the camping mode, this is the park for you. Not only are the showers free (as of this publication date), the park offers Nehalem Bay Yurts that are pet friendly - always great if you're in the mood to try something new.

fun things to do in manzanita oregon

Look for seals lazing on the eastern Nehalem Bay side of the Park. Looking for Manzanita Beach horseback riding or Nehalem horseback riding? In the summer, take advantage of the weather and ride horses on the 7 mile beach to the west of the Park. Your cowgirls or guys will love it!

Oh, another thing to do in Manzanita Oregon -- go fly a kite!

Manzanita Beach is a terrific place to fly a kite, especially in the afternoons.

Or watch the big kids do it - check out the Rockaway Beach Kite Festival (and Art!) that takes place in mid-August.

Looking for a local kite shop? Check out The Kite Factory and Once Upon a Breeze, fun kite shops in Cannon Beach. Closer to home, check out Bahama Mama's Bikes, Boards and Beach Fare in Manzanita Beach.

#3 - Water, Water Everywhere

Love being out on the water? You've come to the right place!

Things to do in Manzanita Oregon Include Kelly's Marina

Head to Kelly's Brighton Marina just north of Manzanita Beach on Nehalem Bay. Rent a boat and spend the morning or afternoon fishing for salmon or crabbing. It's easy to do and Kelly's has all the equipment ready for your excursion. Plus owner Kelly Laviolette is a show of his own, and offers each and every guest great customer service.

Had a blast boating, but didn't catch anything (which rarely happens)? Don't worry! Kelly's Brighton Marina offers some of the freshest seafood on the coast -- and they'll cook it for you, too!

Do you love fly fishing instead? Get all the information you need here for fly fishing on the scenic Nehalem River, just south of Manzanita Beach.

Kayaking on the Nehalem River South of Manzanita Beach

Michael Williams

Prefer kayaks to motor boats? The Nehalem Bay and River areas are perfect for you. The Wheeler Marina rents single and tandem kayaks by the hour or the day.

Or contact the oldest and most extensive guide service on the coast, Kayak Tillamook and request a tour. With the guidance of Kayak Tillamook's expert instructors, not only will you learn correct kayak techniques, you just might see river otters, harbour seals, mink, elk, raptors, or seabirds!

Need more things to do in Manzanita Beach?

SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard) more your style? Both Kayak Tillamook and local Janice Gaines of SUP Manzanita offer lessons and tours. SUP Manzanita offers "free for children or dogs not needing their own boards!" You can also find SUP lessons at NW Women's Surf Camps.

And, like kayaking, the Nehalem River area south of Manzanita Beach is perfect for SUP!

Things to do in Manzanita Oregon Includes Stand Up Paddleboarding
Stand Up Paddleboarding is Family Fun

Is skim boarding or boogie boarding more your speed? Our friends and family love to do both. Educate yourself first, as Manzanita Beach and the rest of the Oregon Coast is vastly different than the warmer waters of California or Hawaii.

Julie Chase, former owner of Nehalem Bay Outdoor Company gives the following suggestions for those wishing to participate in Oregon ocean water sports:

  • First check to get current information on tides, swell size, swell reports and surf conditions.

  • Talk with local surf shops regarding recommendations and suggestions.

  • It's typically safer surfing (or boogie boarding) the incoming tide. Don't turn your back on the ocean. On a skimboard, always face the ocean, watch for sneaker waves and debris in the ocean. She also recommends not surfing (or boogie boarding) alone. There really is safety in numbers.

  • Wear wetsuits, even if you're boogie boarding. Wetsuits aren't just for warmth and comfort. It's a matter of safety.

Surf's Up at Local Beaches, May, 2005: Tillamook Headlight Herald

When looking for things to do in Manzanita Oregon, it's important to educate yourself. We suggest going further: educate yourself about rip tides and currents around Manzanita Beach. Check out the Manzanita - Know the Beach guide. And definitely wear wetsuits, available for rental at the many surf shops along Hwy. 101 (see also the surf shops listed below).

Oswald West Surf Lessons Near Manzanita Beach
Check Out Surf Lessons In Oswald West State Park

Are your kids begging to ride the waves like others are doing? Well, we've got the local resources regarding local kid friendly surf lessons. You'll find local lessons are held at nearby Short Sand Beach at Oswald West State Park, just a short five minute drive from Manzanita Beach.

Check at the following places and find the best fit for you and your kids:

#4 - Other Fun Things to do in Manzanita

Did you know that Manzanita Beach has a city park, offering tennis and basketball courts, beach volleyball, horseshoes, and children's play equipment?

Looking for a swimming pool? You can find one at the nearby Nehalem Parks and Recreation Department, along with exercise equipment, various classes including yoga, and other activities.

Manzanita kids, Yoga Roots Studio Manzanita Beach

Yoga Roots Studio

Yoga Roots in Manzanita Beach holds specific yoga classed for kids, and word is the classes are lots of fun.

Check out Hoffman Center for the Arts in Manzanita Beach. You'll find classes, workshops and camps for kids such as dance, drama, fine arts, circus arts and skills, writing workshopspuppetry, and even visits by the reptile man and his incredible array of traveling reptiles!

Have you heard of the lost Treasure of Neahkahnie? Many have searched for it, but the only trace has been shards of pottery, beeswax, and gold doubloons found along the beach. Want to keep the kids occupied and have fun too? Rent a metal detector from Cannon Beach Surf Shop and your kids will be occupied for hours looking for treasure.

Be sure to check with the rangers at nearby Nehalem Bay State Park to see if there are any restrictions in effect regarding treasure hunting on the shores or state park. And sorry - if any true treasure of historical significance is found, you must turn it in to the nearest park ranger.

You'll often see people on Manzanita Beach with metal detectors, hunting for "treasure," such as lost rings, money, and anything else metal. It's lots of fun! And you kids will be so busy, they won't be asking for more things to do in Manzanita Oregon for a long while!

Treasure Hunting Things to do in Manzanita Oregon
Kid's Love Treasure Hunts

Better yet, check out local Carolyn Greenwood's Oregon Beach Experiences. At this time she's offering two local experiences:

A Neahkahie Treasure Hunt lists as "You and your group will be given a treasure map and instructions on how to find the treasure.  [Carolyn] will be your guide.  From there we will walk the beach (approx. 1 mile) to the base of Neahkahnie Mountain.  Along the way you will search for landmarks, discover clues, and solve puzzles. Once all the clues are collected you will have everything you need to find the Neahkahnie treasure!  Adults and parents bring your "inner child" with you!"

A Rainforest Story Carolyn describes as "A short hike will take us along Coal Creek and into a temperate rainforest. Along the way, you will learn about the native plants of the rainforest and their medicinal qualities as well as the animals who live here. We will settle into a Creekside yurt, where Mythologist and Storyteller, Gwendolyn Endicott, will treat you to a story about this particular rainforest. After the story, you can explore the forest on your own for a first-hand experience of its magical gifts! The experience ends by creating a "prayer arrow" (using some materials collected from the forest), and the opportunity to share your experience with others."

We look forward to Carolyn's Manzanita Beach Treasure Hunt, coming soon!

Take a ride on a historic steam engine powered train on the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad in nearby Rockaway. Enjoy unique and wonderful views as you ride along Tillamook Bay and the Nehalem River Canyon.

Saturdays in Manzanita mean Storytime for Children at the Manzanita Beach Public Library, from 11:00 am at noon.

Everyone should have things to do in Manzanita Oregon.

Lastly, if you have a child who uses a wheelchair, the Manzanita Beach Visitor's Center has child sized beach wheelchairs you can borrow so that everyone may join in on the fun. Happily, Cannon Beach beach wheelchairs and Seaside beach wheelchairs are now available. Check here for more information.

Manzanita Beach is a familiar destination for a lot of families, many where kids who grew up visiting now bring their own families. You'll find there are many things to do in Manzanita Beach Oregon and around this fun area.

Be sure to check back often as we regularly update activities. And if you have wonderful kid friendly Manzanita Beach Activities of your own, please feel free to share them!

Looking for some great Manzanita Restaurants while visiting the area? Check these out:

Happy Family Travels Everyone ~

Thank you for reading about life around our Manzanita Beach area, and the Oregon Coast!

Interested in staying with us at our Manzanita Rentals? Contact us for information about our oceanside vacation rentals on beautiful Manzanita Beach, Oregon.

Fun for Kid With Manzanita Beach Life

Thomas Shahan

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