Make a Day (or Night) of It: Tapas & Tequila at OMSI After Dark

Run Oregon loves running - that's no surprise. But we also love the Pacific Northwest and all that it has to offer. Running is a part of us, but it does not fully define us. In our new "Make a Day of It" feature, we aim to showcase some great local non-running events and highlight where to run and how to make the most of your experience! The next installment of this series is Tapas & Tequila at OMSI After Dark! First the running:

Non-runners often ask me the standard question – “why do you run?” My answer is usually pretty straightforward – I like to eat and drink. Sure, I run for my health; I do it because I enjoy it; I do it because it makes me happy physically and mentally. But the overarching reason is because I like food and I  like to sample drinks (mostly beer, but spirits and wine as well). I don’t generally gorge myself and, despite what my blogger friends think, I am not an alcoholic. I just enjoy the finer tastes in life and I would be 400 pounds if I didn’t have running to keep me in line.

As far as a running route, I will stick to the course that I mentioned in my intial OMSI post:

First and foremost, I highly recommend running the Waterfront Loop (the standard route when in downtown Portland) and submitting your times on our FREE Waterfront Loop Virtual Run. If you are looking to add more distance, you can always add more bridges to the mix, head north toward the Willamette River Greenway trail or south to cross over the new Tillikum Bridge. It’s hard to sometimes select a running location (as there are so many great ones) in the Portland area, but seeing as OMSI is on the east side of the river, I would also recommend consider heading further south on Water Street and hitting up the Springwater Trail (one of my favorite places to run when I’m around).

Now to the details to the experience itself:

About a year ago, blogger Marilyn and myself created our Guide to Drinking and Running, so I am always on the prowl for events that showcase this arrangement. As Tapas & Tequila sold out (as do most OMSI After Dark events), we are highlighting this to get this event on your radar for next year.  If you have ever been to OMSI, you can understand how having the whole space for the 21+ crowd would be enticing. Now toss in some yummy food and drinks, and it’s a match made in heaven.

The night featured over 25 tapas ( both sweet and salty) and tequila brands to sample. There were DJ’s playing music and there was definitely a festive atmosphere everywhere.   My wife and I split our time between sampling the offerings and partaking in other OMSI activities (with no yelling kids in sight). As a parent of two young kids, it was amazing how awesome this was.

I appreciated how everything was spread out so that congestion could be kept to a minimum (it was still busy, but it could have been much busier if things weren’t so spread out). I strongly suggest splurging for VIP, as that first hour was nice to have minimal wait time for food and spirits (in addition to extra tasting tokens).  I don’t think we waited in line longer than 2-3 minutes at any booth. From the looks of the GA line outside, it looked that things would definitely become increasingly busier once the regular admission started.


  • 7-8pm VIP Hour
  • 8-11pm General Admission

Cost (for 2016):

  • VIP Admission =$60
    • Includes one hour of tasting prior to general admission, souvenir shot glass and 15 tasting tokens
  • General Admission = $35/non-members & regular OMSI members and $25/OAD members
    • Includes OMSI After Dark admission, souvenir shot glass and 10 tasting tokens
  • Safe Driver Admission= $15/non-members, $7.50/OMSI members, and FREE for OMSI After Dark Members.
    • Ticket includes OMSI After Dark admission only, tasting not allowed

Upcoming After Dark Events:
OMSI After Dark: Forensics
APR 27 | 6-10 PM
OMSI After Dark: Summer Camp
MAY 25 | 6-10 PM
OMSI After Dark: Ciderfest
JUN 22 | 7-11 PM
OMSI After Dark: On the Rocks & Off the Grill
JUL 16 | 7-8 VIP, 8-11PM GA
OMSI After Dark: Go for the Gold
JULY 27 | 7-11 PM
OMSI After Dark: Astronomy
AUG 31 | 7-11 PM
OMSI After Dark: Brewfest
SEP 28 | 6-10 PM
OMSI After Dark: Spirits
OCT 26 | 6-10 PM
OMSI After Dark: Corklandia
NOV 4 | 7- 8PM VIP, 8-11PM GA
OMSI After Dark: Art & Design
NOV 30 | 6-10 PM

About Matt Rasmussen (1568 Articles)
Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching the Olympics, sampling craft beers, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010.
%d bloggers like this: