Corvallis and the Willamette Valley are delightful places to visit during the holiday season. Whether you are planning a short visit to Corvallis or an extended stay, chances are you will enjoy the friendly community and gorgeous natural surroundings.
We love hosting guests who are visiting loved ones as we recognize the importance of being together for the holidays.
This extraordinary year, whether your family or friends live in Corvallis, attend Oregon State University, or reside in assisted living facilities, we have safe, clean options for your visit. Our stand-alone, separate, immaculately clean, premium vacation rentals offer you a home away from home while maintaining social distancing and appropriate precautions. Staying in your own home-away-from-home can be the perfect way to plan a visit this year or to self-quarantine with your household.
In many ways, this year is unlike any other year you have experienced and the 2020 holiday season is no exception. We compiled this guide to holiday activities in Corvallis in case you are looking for things to do that comply with current guidelines.
Please check with event organizers as this is an unprecedented holiday season. Travel and social distancing guidelines frequently change, check the Oregon Health Authority’s COVID-19 resource page for the most current guidelines.
Updates on Holiday Traditions in Corvallis
In 2020 members of the Corvallis community are stepping up to offer socially distanced alternatives to canceled traditions (cancellations include the Pastega lights and the annual downtown Corvallis holiday parade). Here are some of the bright options for you to enjoy this season in addition to your at-home festivities.
Family, Solo, or Couple: Self-Guided Activities Around Town
Have a great time outdoors or doing appropriately distanced activities with your “safe-circle” of friends and family with these self-guided activities in downtown Corvallis, downtown Albany or the Oregon State University campus.
- Downtown Art and Lights Tour: Multiple Downtown Corvallis businesses commissioned mural art, the Corvallis Mural Project coordinates the project and provides an online map. Downtown Corvallis is also home to statues, alley art, and a recovered theatre marquee that features local poets on a rotating basis. If you notice festive twinkle lights, that may be because the Downtown Corvallis Association and local businesses are teaming up to “Light Up Downtown!”
- Look for Historic Buildings: While you are downtown, you may look for some of the historic and notable buildings. The City of Corvallis provides an itinerary to plan your own walking tour.
- See the Neighborhood Lights: Groups of community members are organizing to “Light Up Corvallis” neighborhoods. The initiative evolved from community social media discussions as locals wanted to find alternatives to the Pastega Lights. Since many people already love to decorate their homes, the group hopes to take it up a notch. Plan on a self-guided driving tour to best enjoy community creativity!
- Reserve a Private Cinema Screening: The Darkside Cinema in downtown Corvallis offers patrons the opportunity to rent a small screening room for a private movie night for your family complete with classic snacks like popcorn. Cinema chain AMC also offers private screenings of classic films and new releases.
- Ride an Old Fashioned Merry-go-round: the Historic Carousel and Museum in downtown Albany features a menagerie of unique animals hand-crafted by regional artists. Fun environment and photo opportunity. Limited capacity due to COVID-19, volunteers clean each animal between rides. The carousel is a local favorite for family photographs throughout the year.
Outdoor Activities to Enjoy: Bike, Walk, Hike
In addition to community activities, head outdoors to enjoy some of the natural areas that Corvallis is famous for.
Locals and visitors enjoy outdoor activities most of the year thanks to the Willamette Valley’s mild climate. Bundle up to enjoy a hike or a bicycle ride to enjoy the brisk winter air. Before you go, be sure to check the weather forecasts just to make sure there are not any unusual and unsafe weather conditions.
Each winter, Corvallis community members enjoy hikes, walks, or bicycle rides in outdoor spaces like Bald Hill, Fitton Green, and William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge. For updates on local parks, check out Corvallis Parks and Recreation guide to local parks, forestry, and natural areas. Some of these destinations are accessible or offer trails for a range of fitness and skill levels.
If you are looking for an outdoor activity close to downtown, consider a self-guided Tree Identification Tour. Oregon State University and Central Park (between downtown Corvallis and the OSU campus) contain a lush variety of trees. The City Council committee focused on civic beautification and urban forestry created a map of notable trees for self-guided tours. Download the Know Your Trees guide to the Oregon State University campus.
Safely Visiting Loved Ones in Corvallis
Finally, here is some basic information about safely visiting people in Corvallis during the 2020 holiday season and beyond. On November 13 the governors of Oregon, Washington, and California issued holiday travel guidelines for 2020. They urge people to limit non-essential travel outside their region, maintain social distancing while traveling, and to self-quarantine for 14 days after traveling before visiting vulnerable loved ones. Oregon’s governor also initiated a temporary freeze on some activities like indoor recreation facilities like gyms and bars. To keep track of the current, ever-changing guidelines visit the Oregon Health Authority website.
Due to COVID-19, Benton County requires the wearing of facial masks in indoor public places and some crowded outdoor public places. For specific details, read the guidelines published on the county’s website.
- Get a flu shot before the holiday season starts. Catching the flu might make people more vulnerable to COVID-19.
- Get a COVID-19 test before seeing family. The Oregon Health Authority maintains a directory of Oregon testing facilities. Consider also self-quarantining for 14 days if you traveled using communal transportation like a train ride or flight.
For up-to-date information, the Benton County Health Department maintains a resource page covering COVID-19 information for the region. The county also staffs a phone bank for general questions on COVID-19, call 541-766-6120 from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Including Virtual Guests in Your Holiday Season Activities
Any discussion of the 2020 holiday season would be incomplete without some mention of virtual guests. For a range of reasons, some people may not be able to travel due to health vulnerabilities, travel restrictions related to their jobs, or unease about airplane travel. Many families expect to connect with loved ones virtually.
Fernwood Circle Guest Houses provides the essentials needed for either remote working or virtual socializing. Not only do our vacation rentals include high-speed WIFI access, but each home also has attractive spaces for a festive background.
Consider coming up with a few party games or conversational prompts to keep the mood fun and lighthearted as virtual socializing is new for many people. Trivia games, conversation-based games, and charades are inclusive activities suitable for both in-person loved ones and virtual guests.
If you are planning a visit to the Corvallis-area, book one of Fernwood Circle Guest Houses for the ultimate in cleanliness and festive coziness.