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8 things to do this weekend for a Portland staycation

You don't have to leave town to have a fun weekend. Visit places you haven't seen in a while, because many of them are starting to reopen, with new safety measures.
Credit: KGW

PORTLAND, Ore — Whether it feels like it or not, it's the middle of summer (good news - KGW Chief Meteorologist Matt Zaffino says it's time for some of that that warm July weather). But we're also still in the middle of a global pandemic so, this summer looks a lot different. We're traveling less and spending more time at home. So more of us are thinking about staycations - taking a vacation while still staying in town.

It definitely helps with social distancing when everyone in Portland doesn't head out to the coast or down to Bend, adding crowds to smaller towns. So this weekend, try planning a staycation instead! Visit some local places you haven't seen in a while because many of them are starting to open back up, with new safety measures in place.

Here are 8 things to do this weekend for a Portland staycation:

Go to the Oregon Zoo

The Oregon Zoo is reopening! The zoo will reopen for members only from July 9-11 and for the general public on Sunday, July 12.

In an effort to ensure a safe experience for zoogoers, there are a few new measures in place, including timed ticketing, one-way paths, required face coverings and handwashing and sanitizing stations.

When: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. (starting Sunday, July 12 for non-members)

Where: 4001 SW Canyon Road

Tickets: Reserve in advance here.

RELATED: Oregon Zoo to reopen this week with new safety measures

Visit the Portland Japanese Garden

Are you craving some extra beauty and calm in your life these days? The Portland Japanese Garden might be the place you find it. Face coverings are required, there's a new one-way route around the garden for social distancing purposes, and tickets must be purchased in advance. But other than that, it's still the same peaceful, serene place you're used to.

When: 10 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Where: 611 SW Kingston Ave

Tickets: Buy your timed tickets in advance here.

RELATED: The Portland Japanese Garden is back open, with some changes

Explore the Pittock Mansion

Portland’s Pittock Mansion just reopened to the public on Thursday. The historic house museum is offering a one-way tour with new safety guidelines in place. Face masks are required, and you will need to buy your tickets online in advance.

When: Thursday-Monday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: 3229 NW Pittock Drive

Tickets: Buy in advance here

RELATED: Portland's Pittock Mansion to reopen this week

Go to an art gallery

The arts are so important here in Portland. And during this pandemic, so many organizations and artists are struggling. Thankfully, some places are starting to open back up to share their art, safely. 

Froelick Gallery in Northwest Portland just reopened and already has two new shows on display. It's free to walk in and enjoy the art while supporting local artists. The gallery is only letting in four visitors at a time for social distancing purposes, so call ahead to make an appointment.

When: Tuesday through Saturday, 10:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Where: 714 Northwest Davis Street

RELATED: Portland's art galleries: A safe, socially distant visual experience

Go to the Oregon Country Fair - from home

The Oregon Country Fair is going virtual this year for the first time. You might feel like you're inside a video game, as you visit a 3D world with your avatar and interact with other guests and vendors. The fair will also live stream music and entertainment, including an online artisan marketplace.

When: Friday through Sunday 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Where: Online

Cook with your loved ones at home

You can't spend your weekend watching NBA basketball just yet (the Portland Trail Blazers just landed at Disney World to resume the season on July 31!), but you can cook like a basketball star. Blazers' shooting guard CJ McCollum partnered with Moda Health to release a free cookbook, called Don't walk by, foods to try. He's been spending a lot of his quarantine time cooking with his fiancé (and his puppy, Fiona!), and says it helps him destress.

Download the recipes here.

RELATED: CJ McCollum has a new cookbook to teach you healthy recipes

Eat outside at a local restaurant

Sitting outside can be a safer way to enjoy a meal at a restaurant during the pandemic. There are a lot of options around Portland, including Amalfi's, a Black-owned Italian restaurant in Northeast Portland.

Amalfi's has set up an outdoor seating area and has a new mural featuring "PDX Rosie," a Portland version of World War II cultural icon Rosie the Riveter.

RELATED: 'PDX Rosie': A clear, bright message of unity outside Amalfi's

Join the 'Summer of Alberta'

Have you spent past summer days walking through the artsy Alberta Street Fair? Unfortunately, it's not happening this year because of the pandemic. But instead, Alberta Main Street has organized a whole #SummerofAlberta! It's a whole season of arts, culture, food & fun to support small businesses, equity & diversity, the arts, and community on Alberta Street. Of course, keep social distancing as you head out to the art classes, musical performances, art gallery openings and more.

When: Through September

Where: Alberta Street