New year, new adventures. Need inspiration? We’ve got a few ideas for each month of the new year in our 12 Oregon Adventures for 2022. But we get it—one month at a time. Start January off with a First Day hike in one of our many state parks, beer-tasting in Salem, and oh so much more.
January 1, various Oregon State Parks, free
We all have our New Year’s Day traditions—our polar plunges, our winter walks. Some of us choose to do nothing but water our flowers in Animal Crossing, and that’s perfectly OK too. But if starting the new year with a hike is your thing, you’re in luck: not only are guided First Day Hikes back at several Oregon State Parks, parking is free at the 25 parks that normally require a permit. Currently Oregon State Parks lists 18 First Day Hikes on its events calendar, including guided ranger-led trips to Silver Falls, the Cove Palisades, Fort Stevens, Wallowa Lake, Champoeg State Heritage Area, and more.
January 8, 101 Front St NE, Salem, $20
Celebrating its 10th annual event this year, CrossWalk Salem is a 1.5-mile walk that raises money and awareness for victims of crime in Marion County. After suffering an attack near the Riverfront Park in Salem where she was subsequently saved by three passerbys, Mary Lucas founded the annual walk as a way to reclaim that space. Proceeds from ticket sales and donations also go towards efforts benefiting other victims of violent crimes in Marion County, including the county's Victims Assistance Program. The event this year will feature catering from Sassy Onion, live music, and a guest speaker.
Now through January 9, 2022, 4001 SW Canyon Rd, prices vary
Last chance to bust out your puffiest winter coat and warmest mittens for the Oregon Zoo’s annual Zoo Lights, when the whole place is decked out in gorgeous animal-themed lights. This year, the Oregon Zoo’s traditional walk-through Zoo Lights experience is back, but its drive-through experience, implemented last year to address COVID-19 concerns, will also be available for a few nights (January 4, 5 & 6, 2022). Food and drinks are available for purchase on site.
January 9, 611 SW Kingston Ave, ticket included with garden admission
Celebrate the Japanese New Year, O-Shogatsu (which literally translates to “standard month”) at the serenely lovely Portland Japanese Garden. During O-Shogatsu, those who celebrate set the standard for their year to come. The garden hosts a member’s only celebration on New Year’s Day, then a public O-Shogatsu celebration on January 9, with a traditional kadomatsu (arrangements of pine, bamboo, and plum branches). Also expect a shishi-mai, or lion dance (pictured), tea ceremonies, and koto music.
January 21 & 22, 2330 NE 17th Street, Salem, $8–40
Dry January be damned. We’re heading down to Salem for the annual First Taste Oregon, where more than 50 Oregon brewers, winemakers, spirit distillers, and culinary craftspeople unite for a one giant feast/shopping experience. This year the festival is moving to the Jackman Long Building at the Oregon State Expo Center in Salem and debuting a new VIP lounge experience, which include complimentary tastes from two exhibitors and a commemorative event glass.
January 22, Tillamook State Forest & Klootchy Creek, free
The Trail Sustainability Institute, a trail stewardship education program founded by the Northwest Trail Alliance, is hosting two Trail School events on January 22: one on the Sickter Lars trail in the Tillamook State Forest, the other at Klootchy Creek and designed specifically for Trail Sisters (women/trans/femme). Both events go over the fundamentals of maintaining biking trails while getting hands-on stewardship training. The Alliance recommends volunteers wear work clothes including boots, gloves, and eye protection, and bring water, snacks, and their own lunch. Masks and a signed COVID waiver are required to attend.