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Ideas for things to do near Longview, WA? Weekend trip w/ kids visiting friends in the area. Mt St Helens, Long Beach, or?

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Hi. We're planning a weekend trip in mid August to visit friends in Longview, WA. They are from out of state and in the area for a reception and will be pretty busy that weekend so we will mostly be on our own and are looking for fun stuff to do with our kids. We're driving down from the Auburn, WA area. We've only lived here a year so have never been to SW Washington. I need ideas of places to stay and things to do.

I'm considering Mt. St. Helens, Astoria, Long Beach, or Portland. Or other places in that general area. We have 3 kids, ages 8, 6, and 3 and will probably be there from Friday evening until Sunday afternoon. We need a moderately priced hotel. What specifically is there to do with kids at Mt. St. Helens and the other places? What do you recommend? Thanks!

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