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MailTribune.com
  • Summer fun for the kids

  • Despite a long, wet spring, there's little doubt summer will come to the Rogue Valley. And almost as soon as the first hot afternoon has arrived, Rogue Valley families will begin hearing pleas from bored children needing places to go, things to do and ways to keep cool.
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  • Despite a long, wet spring, there's little doubt summer will come to the Rogue Valley. And almost as soon as the first hot afternoon has arrived, Rogue Valley families will begin hearing pleas from bored children needing places to go, things to do and ways to keep cool.
    Phoenix resident Mandy Clark, with five kids between ages 3 and 16, says her kids are never short on things to do during the Rogue Valley's summer.
    "We're lucky that we live somewhere that we can find stuff to do. There are always events going on, and there's also plenty to do that doesn't have to be scheduled," says Clark.
    While Clark admits her kids aren't immune from complaining about boredom, "at least they have a list of things we can pick from to go and do," she says.
    Here are some local options:
    Water play
    Most cities and towns offer respite from summer heat with zero-depth, water-play features. Seasons usually run Memorial Day through Labor Day, with hours from dawn to dusk.
    • Fichtner-Mainwaring Park, Stewart Avenue and Holly Street, Medford 541-774-2400
    • Doc Griffin Park, off Fifth Street, Jacksonville, 541-899-1231
    • Garfield Park, off East Main and Garfield streets, Ashland, 488-5340
    • Lewis Park, at Lewis Avenue and Eighth Street, Medford, 541-774-2400
    • Don Jones Park, at Hamrick and Vilas roads, Central Point, 541-664-3321
    For a faster pace, Emigrant Lake Water Slides, south of Ashland off Highway 66, offers two water slides, a spray park-style playground and picnic areas. For details, call Jackson County Parks at 541-776-7001.
    Summer reading fun
    Keeping kids reading over the summer is important and, with help from Jackson County Library Services, it can be fun, too. Summer reading programs kick off when school lets out, with activities geared for preschoolers through teenage readers. Details can be found at www.jcls.org/summer.html
    Railroad rides
    Medford's Railroad Park features seven developed acres of full-size train cars, a working telegraph system and miniature train rides. The park is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. the second and fourth Sundays, April through October. Find details by calling City of Medford Parks and Recreation at 541-774-2400.
    Movies in the Park
    Movies in the Park will be held in Central Point and Medford this year.
    City of Central Point Parks and Recreation will offer movies in Pfaff Park (behind the old post office) on second and fourth Fridays from July 15 to Aug. 19. Find a movie list at www.centralpointoregon.gov/parks
    Medford's summer lineup runs from Tuesday, June 21, to Tuesday, Aug. 9. Movies start at dusk at the Bear Creek Park amphitheater. For details, call 541-774-2400.
    Animal fun
    Kids can help rescued animals and enjoy the scenic Applegate Valley at Sanctuary One at Double Oak Farm, which offers tours and insight into caring for animals and nature. Farm residents range from goats and horses to sheep and a pair of larger-than-life pigs named Lisa and Lulu. Tours take 90 minutes, and a donation of $5 is requested. For details, call 541-899-8627.
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