Our Portland Summer Fun Challenge

Last summer went by in a flash, as time these days seems to do all too often. This is the last summer before all three will be in school (at least preschool) and I really want to make the most of it. I also want to take advantage of opportunities to connect with my community and the natural world around us.

Ready for summer fun in Portland

Ready for summer fun in Portland.

I had things I wanted to see and do. I had ideas. I had not formulated them into any kind of plan or list. Then summer vacation came and I was not prepared, as seems to happen all too often lately.

So I went to twitter. I was able to get a lot of wonderful ideas that I could put in a summer activities Google calendar. This has allowed me to actually do a lot of them already, instead of just thinking about doing them.

I was also able to share the calendar with friends so they can join us in the activities they are interested in.

  • Baking
  • Brain Pop Jr.
  • Handwriting
  • Reading
  • Crafts
  • Camps
  • Swimming
  • Field Trips
    • Regal Cinemas – Family movies for $1.
    • Tree to Tree Aerial Adventure Course – Zipline adventure for older kids (and adults too!).
    • OMSI with Plantetarium – OMSI is a must for Portland, especially when the weather doesn’t cooperate for outdoor activities.
    • World Forestry Center – Learn about the forests of the Pacific Northwest and the role they play in providing habitat, water, recreation, and wood.
    • 3D Center of Art and Photography – Museum of antique and contemporary 3D imagery for budding artists and photography lovers.
    • Oregon Zoo – Learn more about animals from around the world, plus zoo-based conservation efforts for species from our own neck of the woods.
    • The Oregon Historical Society – Up to two kids (under age 18) enter free with each paid adult admission on the third Saturday of the month. Kids 5 and under are always free.
    • Portland Japanese Garden – Peace in the middle of the city.
    • McMenamins Movie – A place where you can watch a movie, eat pizza, and mom and dad can get a beer? Sounds perfect to me!
    • Children’s Healing Art Project (CHAP) Art Factory – Engage the kids in art while supporting CHAP which brings the healing power of art to children in crisis and their families with a mobile team of teaching artists working in Portland’s children’s hospitals.
    • Portland Aerial Tram – A unique form of public transportation traveling a horizontal distance of 3,300 feet and a vertical distance of 500 feet.
    • Oregon Coast Aquarium – Learn about marine wildlife, Oregon’s coastal environment, and ocean preservation at this Newport destination.
    • Farms – This region has a vast number of farms that welcome visitors for u-pick and gorgeous scenery. Get to know your local farmer!
    • Portland Pirate Festival – Pirates! An annual family event that promotes fun and education through historical re-enactment, music, dance, and interactive theater.
    • Portland Sunday Parkways – Streets along the designated route are closed to traffic so walkers, runners, bicyclists, seniors, adults, and children can enjoy the streets filled with surprises, performers, physical activities and food – and traffic-free.
    • Mt. Tabor Soapbox Derby – Watch a group of daredevils race down the hills of Mt. Tabor.
    • Farmers Markets – Another way to get to know local growers and support small farms.
    • Music in the Park – Most of the towns in the Portland-metro area have music in the park concerts. These are great community events. Bring a picnic and let the kids boogie.
    • Tryon Creek State Park – Just go on your own and explore a bit of nature heaven. Tryon Creek’s website also offers fun activities and games for families to print and bring along to enhance their experience (or just do at home). I am looking forward to trying some of their free and paid summer programs for kids too.
    • Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge – Home to nearly 200 species of birds, over 50 species of mammals, 25 species of reptiles and amphibians, and a wide variety of insects, fish and plants, this is a haven for wildlife and people. Lots of environmental education programs are available throughout the year.
    • Clackamas County Fair – Over 100 years of county fair goodness.
    • Summer Reading Programs at public library – Make a goal and sign up! Encouragiong your kids to read (or be read to) this summer will be one of the best things you can do.
    • Oregon City Trolley Ride and Historic Landmarks – Combine the fun trolley ride with stops at the historical landmarks that are found along the route.
    • Multnomah Falls – One of the highest waterfalls in the country, and certainly one of the prettiest. The hike to the top is 1.2 miles and gains about 600 feet in elevation and is so worth it, even when carrying little ones on your back.
    • Forest Park – A wonderful opportunity to get back to nature and experience beautiful hiking trails without venturing out of town. Educational programs are available throughout the year.
    • Park Play, Hiking, Biking
    • Cider Squeeze at Philip Foster Farm – Technically this will be in the fall, but who wouldn’t love the chance to press their own cider at this historical farm? Fresh cider, pie & ice cream, fall harvest vegetables, pumpkins, vendors, exhibits, blacksmith, games & activities for kids, and live music will also be available

What are your plans for the summer? Do you like to get really organized or stay relaxed? What is the number one thing on your summer bucket list?

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Our Portland Summer Fun Challenge — 13 Comments

  1. Gosh! I’m exhausted just reading the list. But, I remember those days when I would fill my girls’ summer calendar with local exhibits, museums, and fairs. Have fun and, of course, tell us all about your adventures.

    • Amazingly we do have enough time not scheduled that it doesn’t seem too terribly exhausting. We’ll see how I feel by the end of the summer. I definitely believe that kids should be allowed to have a lot of free exploration time too, and maybe even time to get a little bit bored! Creativity often stems from boredom. Hopefully I will have some good stories to tell along the way.

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  3. Have you been to Sky High Sports yet? It’s in Tigard and my 5yo has had an absolute ball the couple of times that we’ve gone. I imagine it will be more crowded (read: more dangerous) now that school is out, but it is worth a visit and there is a space for little ones.
    Mary @ This Human’s Condition recently posted..Psst! Here I Am!

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