PDX Kids

PDX Kids
Online resource for fun activities, free ideas, and business resources for families in Portland and beyond

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Rockettes Event at Washington Square Mall

This is an email just sent to us and I wanted to share it with everyone.  It seems like this could be a really fun event for any of the tiny dancers (or those of us just wanting to kick our feet in the air to tell the story later!!)  in your house.  Don't forget to read the bottom about shopping at Macy's and getting free tickets to see the Christmas show.

"Hello friends at PDX Kids! I just wanted to pass along this information about a very fun, family-friendly event heading to PDX in a couple weeks involving one of America's most beloved dance troupes. I thought it'd be perfect on your Adventures Blog as I'm sure this event will be an adventure and experience to remember! On Saturday, September 18, Macy's Washington Square in Portland invites kids and shoppers to Dance with the Rockettes at 2:00pm as the ladies will share free dance instruction (just how DO they synchronize all those high kicks?) as well as secrets on what it takes to be a world-famous Rockette. There also will be plenty of opportunities for photos following the Dance with the Rockettes experience and each young dancer who joins in the fun will receive an "Honorary Rockette" certificate. As an added incentive, any shopper who spends $50 at Macy's the day of the event will receive a free pair of tickets to the Rockettes Radio City Christmas Spectacular coming to Rose Garden Arena on December 23 - 26! Additionally, there will be a drawing to win a chance for an exclusive VIP Meet and Greet with the Rockettes as well as 4 tickets to the Rose Garden Arena show at this event. If you need any more information including photos, ticket discount info and tour dates, please visit: http://pitch.pe/80627 I hope you will consider sharing this information with your readers. We'd love to share this experience of a lifetime with as many kids in Portland as possible! Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks! Genna Harris Digital Coordinator - EVERYWHERE"

P.S. - Genna-Thanks for sharing!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

SCRAP as only Portland can!

Last weekend we found a great little treasure in Portland...SCRAP.  SCRAP stands for School & Community Reuse Action Project.  It is a non-profit that collects clean, reuseable materials and organizes them in their shop for resale.  You can come in and join a workshop where you work in their space or you can just shop.

The stuff they have is pretty amazing.  There are tons of fabric scraps, yarn, half-used bottles of paint, glitter, and glue, velcro pieces, magnets, greeting cards, and electronic components.  My favorite was actually a box of photos that people had taken of celebrities and athletes autographing stuff.  No joke!  You could buy a picture some random person took of a random famous person signing their name.  If you wanted more than just one, you could have a whole box full!  This is why I love Portland!!!

My kids had a great time.  I gave them each $2 and they spent 2 hours pouring over the items trying to make a great purchasing decision. They grabbed things then found other things.  They put stuff back and went back for more.  In the end, we paid about $8 and I found stuff for my entire high school class to use to make hoover crafts and my kids each ended up with about 3 "creations" worth of stuff.  We were all very satisfied and spent the rest of the afternoon inventing at the kitchen table.

SCRAP is located at the corner of MLK and Scranton in NE Portland.  Their phone number is 503-294-0769 and they are open daily from 11 am until 6 pm.  There are all sorts of events and functions offered there ranging from adult-only events to kids summer camps.  Check out SCRAP's website for more details.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Clamming in Oregon

So I have been out of commission for a little while but I'm back and itching for some good adventures with the kids!

One of the first things the kids had been asking to do was to go clamming.  We have never been and I only had talked to someone about it once.  I figured for this trip, I should bring backup.  My husband, his brother, and sister, her husband, and our neighbor all packed three kids and three dogs into three cars and headed for the beach.  Before we left there were a few things that we had to do and pack, but I'll address those later.

We found a spot that was a little south of Lincoln City.  It was a little bay so it made it much safer for the kids.  We started out and had no idea what we were doing.  At first, we were digging up clams that we thought were illegal so we threw them back.  After digging up about a dozen of them we decided maybe we should read the licensing/instruction manual a little better.  Turns out, they were keepers!  Once we figured this out, we realized that we were actually doing pretty well.

There was a technique that really helped.  We used shovels and dug about 6-12 inches down in wet sand.  The kids used little hand-held shovels.  Once we dug down just a little bit the sand was so wet we would just reach our hands down about 12-20 inches and find as many as 3-4 clams in a handful.  We would just keep moving sand out of our hole with our hands while moving the loose sand around and finding clams.  We all did this without gloves (the kids only tended to find the clams that were moved out of the hole in the pile of sand we had dug out) but we did have one person cut their hand.

We were very wet at the end but every single person said they had a great time and we all want to do it again.

So here's the packing list:

  • Bags for dirty and/or wet clothes and shoes to go into afterwards
  • A spare change of clothes for every person
  • Towels
  • Snacks
  • A bucket for each digger
  • Rainboots (if it's too cold to go barefoot)
  • Sunscreen
  • Snacks & drinks
  • Either a lid for the buckets or ice chests for the clams to travel home in (you have to keep them alive in water and you son't want that spilling in your car)
  • Shovels
  • Gloves (if you want)
  • Shellfish license

We obtained the licenses from Fisherman's Marine and Outdoor but you can also purchase them online.  It is the same price anywhere you go which was $7 this year.  Anyone under 14 does not need a license.  There is a manual that is very helpful as it has pictures of the different type of clams along with a map where there are some good clam beds highlighted.  This manual is the 2010 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations manual.

Finding the low tide times was also very important.  You can use a tide prediction table from Oregon State University or the times are posted in the Oregonian's weather page two days before.  This is not specific to all areas and it is good to arrive shortly before low tide so that you have time to follow the tide out but it should give you a good idea of what time to arrive.

Tonight, my culinary-graduate neighbor will be teaching me all about how to prep the clams to cook.  I don't actually enjoy eating seafood, but learning to cook them should be fun!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Science Project Website

In the midst of doing my own homework I found a website that has some really fun information.  It's Science Toys.  There are a lot of great science projects you can make with your kids.  One that we did quite successfully was the electric motor.  This was super simple and it was a lot of fun for the kids to see the little battery working in action.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Day Trip of Fun

Today my kids and I needed a much deserved break so we decided to find an adventure.  We headed out to Newberg and visited Critter Cabana.  We walked up and saw a kitten and some tortoises in the window.  The kids were already enthralled by the tortoises but when we walked into the store they were amazed that there was no glass between us and these little tortoises in the storefront window.  There were a couple of dogs that greeted us in a very loving manner as well.  A little further into the store we found some much larger tortoises roaming around on the floor.  They would poke their heads out for the kids to pet them.  Even my 2-year old who is afraid of anything that moves enjoyed petting these giant, docile tortoises!  There was a HUGE array of fun and exotic pets in this store ranging from snakes and lizards to hedgehogs and ferrets.  Many of them were for sale but there were also a lot that had become permanent residents of the store.

Critter Cabana was a GREAT trip and we managed to spend almost 2 hours in the store playing with the animals and admiring the fish.  The staff was very friendly as we watched them share their knowledge to help a small boy pick out a turtle that he was buying with his own hard-earned money.  Critter Cabana offers field trips to the store during the week or they will bring the animals to your school.  Also, teachers can "rent" and animal for a day to bring into the classroom.  The animal comes will all of the supplies needed for its care.  I was truly impressed with this visit and would recommend the short drive from the Portland area to any animal lover!!

On our way back from Newberg we stopped in Sherwood and went to Safari Sam's.  I must say it was a little busy for my taste but the trip was so much fun.  There is a HUGE indoor play structure, a glow-in-the-dark putt-putt golf course, and arcade along with a cafe.  My 4 and 6-year olds were able to run around on their own just fine and I was able to navigate the mazes within the climbing structure while helping my 2-year old make her way.  We managed to play for 3 hours there and could have gone longer except for the fact that we had passed nap time by 2 hours and the little one was losing it entirely.

My favorite thing about Safari Sam's is that they provide security at all of their entrances and exits.  When you come in they stamp your hand with a stamp that matches your children.  This way they can make sure that your children leave with the person they came in with.  This security features allows me to relax a little bit and not feel like I have to be within an arms reach of my children at every moment.  Also, their rates are very reasonable seeing as how you can spend hours and hours playing in their indoor jungle gym.  There are classes, a preschool/daycare program, and many more features offered at Safari Sam's, too.  It makes a great indoor adventure for a rainy day!