Pinkies Up: 6 Spots to Book Now for Holiday Tea Parties

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Tea parties may be a regular affair around your house, but this year give the brew a boost by booking a table for the whole family for a holiday tea. Whether it’s a fancy affair or a casual cuppa, Portland offers plenty of options to make this your new seasonal tradition. Read on for our picks.

tea1photo: Mid-Atlantic Center via Flickr

Downtown

Heathman Tea Court
The Heathman Tea Court has a generations-old tradition of being a holiday destination. High tea is offered year-round, but during the holidays, the room is decorated in all its seasonal finery. The tea menu features a wide selection of teas, complemented by tea sandwiches and to-die-for pastries. Little ones are offered the Peter Rabbit Tea, which features “Ants on a Log,” snickerdoodles, German chocolate cupcakes and peanut butter-honey sandwiches. Reservations required; $32 for adults; $14 for children.

Daily from November 27 through January 3
Seatings at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. & 3 p.m.
1001 SW Broadway
Portland, Or
503-790-7752
Online: heathmanrestaurantandbar.com

tea2photo: Melinda via flickr

Oregon City

Dollhouse Tea Room
Dressing up is half the fun at the Dollhouse Tea Room. From princess dresses to a favorite red velvet gown for the girls, and tuxedos or ties for the gents, your tiny tea-sippers can express themselves as they dress to the nines. The Dollhouse Tea Room is not open for walk-in business, so reservations are always required and you must have a party of at least six. $20 per person (dolls and teddy bears welcome at no charge). Weekend times are 11 a.m.–1 p.m., 2–4 p.m. or 5–7 p.m.

Note: the Milwaukie location is no longer open. The Oregon City location opened in July of 2015. 

14 Molalla Ave.
Oregon City, Or
503-653-6809
Online: dollhousetearoom.com

tea3photo: Connie Ma via Flickr

West Linn

Lavender Bleu Gift Shop and Tea Room
This charming spot combines fanciful shopping with a spot of tea. The Tea Room can be booked for up to 32 people, or call ahead to make a reservation for smaller parties. Their special holiday menu includes such delicacies as a cranberry pecan chicken salad sandwich on a mini croissant and seasonal scones in cranberry and pumpkin. Reservations highly recommended. They offer a special Little Ones Tea for $7.95, which includes finger sandwiches, sorbet and more.

Giftshop is open Wed.–Sat., 11 a.m.–3 p.m.
Reservable tea times are at (approximately) 11 a.m., 1 p.m. & 3 p.m. Drop-in teatimes based on availability, during business hours.
1877 Willamette Falls Dr.
West Linn, Or
503-657-2844
Online: lavenderbleuonline.com

Lake Oswego

Lady Di’s British Store & Tea Room
British decor dominates this cute and quaint shop and tea room that’s been a fixture in Lake Oswego for over 20 years. Make a reservation and treat yourselves to afternoon tea, which includes tea sandwiches, scones, Devon clotted cream, fruit, savories and mini desserts for $19.50 per person. The kid-friendly staff can even provide your little one with a basket of books and toys to keep her occupied. Afterwards, load up on unique Brit hostess and holiday gifts, like tea and in the connected shop.

Tea is available Mon.-Sat., 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
430 2nd St.
Lake Oswego, Or
503-635-7298
Online: ladydibritishstore.com

tea4photo: Jenn Durfey via Flickr

East Burnside

Pix Patisserie
The tea menu at this patisserie is as fancy as its name, boasting 15 sweet and savory bite-sized treats. The fancy (and fun) tea time includes a steaming pot of tea for the grown-ups and chocolat chaud (a.k.a. drinking chocolate) for the pint-sized guests. Reservations required by Friday at 4 p.m.; $34 per person

Sat. & Sun., 2 p.m. & 4 p.m.
2225 E. Burnside St.
Portland, Or
971-271-7166
Online: pixpatisserie.com

Multnomah Village

Medley Tea House Cafe
Three afternoon tea platters are available, like the Medley Tea Time Platter, that includes a sampling of tea sandwiches, like cucumber mint, smoked salmon and roasted turkey, as well as berry crepes and a choice of scones. They also have a gluten-free platter, which includes everything in the above platter made without gluten. Or, if you’re in the mood for sweets, you should order the Medley Tea Time Sweet Platter, with an assortment of freshly baked goods. Platters run $25-$28.50 and include enough food for two hungry people. Tea is not included in the platter price.

Daily, 2-5 p.m.
7881 SW Capitol Hwy.
Portland, Or
503-972-3316
Online: medleytea.com

Where does your family go for high tea around the holidays? Let us know in the comments below.

— Marianne Walters

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You might have a few years before sleep-away camp is a summertime reality for your kids, but it’s never too early to expose them to the joy of unplugging and heading to the woods for a weekend. The friendly folks of Hike It Baby bring a nature-loving festival to Oregon that’s dedicated to families with small children. Music and picnics and hiking abound! Read on for all the fun-filled details.

The Scoop

Family Forest Fest is a two-night, three-day festival being offered in three locations this summer after last year’s successful trial run near Portland. Hike it Baby founder Shanti Hodges had a goal to create an event that would encourage families with young children (ages 0-10 years) to go camping by providing a supportive environment with like-minded folks to share the experience with. As an added incentive, the event would have a festival atmosphere with music and other entertainment alongside the hiking and campfire activities that one might expect from a tent-camping adventure.

Sleeping Under the Stars

This year’s festival location is at Leaping Lamb Farm in Alsea, Oregon. Most festival-goers will camp in tents, so plan to bring all the gear you would typically bring for a night at a traditional campsite, even though the farm venue will be a bit different from the individual sites you’re used to reserving. Check out the packing list on the event website for the recommended supplies to bring, or if you would rather have someone else take care of that step, take advantage of the VIP package ($250 in addition to your festival tickets), which provides the rental and set-up of all your main gear, including tents, sleeping bags, camp kitchen, cooler, ice and water. Prefer to camp in your RV? There are limited RV spaces available, which can be reserved when your festival tickets are purchased.

Let’s Eat

While the festival will have a community feel, you will need to plan your own meals. There will be a potluck on Friday evening for those who are arriving on the first day, so bring a dish if you’d like to partake. Otherwise, pack the cooler and do a bit of meal planning to make sure your hungry hikers will be fueled. There may be food trucks throughout the weekend as a special treat, but their arrival and food quantity is not guaranteed so you won’t want to rely on them for meals. We recommend simple, easy-to-assemble meals and grab-and-go snacks if this is your first rodeo (think hot dogs that can be roasted on a stick or pre-made sandwiches in the cooler).

That’s Entertainment

You will want to bring games of your own for the kids to pull out, but the festival might just keep you busy enough that downtime is scarce. Scheduled activities range from story time and a teddy bear hunt to family yoga and farm tours during the day, while nighttime events include movies under the stars, campfire sing-alongs and a glow-stick night walk. Throughout the day when there aren’t scheduled activities, the kids will keep busy exploring the nature play area, getting wet in the splash zone or trying their luck at throwing horseshoes. The must-not-miss event of the weekend will be when Portland’s own Red Yarn takes the stage. You’ll want to lay your blankets out early so you don’t miss a moment of their deep woods country jam!

Parent Perks

The festival folks are parents too, so they know you’ll need a break to recharge. Drop-in childcare will be available and you can even schedule a massage during your time off (yes, really!). Classes for parents will also be offered, including knot tying, fire-building with little ones and backpacking basics. Local sponsors will set up booths in the festival so you can check out the latest in hiking backpacks, baby carriers, outdoor gear and more.

The Details

September 8-10, 2017
Alsea, Or.

Pricing: $125 per adult (earlybird rate available until maximum number is reached)
$145 per adult (regular price)
$10 per child (7-17 years)
6 and under attend for free

VIP package: $250 per family in addition to registration fees

Online: familyforestfest.com

Will your family be hitting a festival this summer? Let us know in the comments section!

—Marianne Walters

All photos courtesy of Hike It Baby and the Family Forest Fest.

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Whether you live close-in to the city or steps away from farmland, one thing is for sure: kids are drawn to horses like bees to honey. Luckily, we’ve found some friendly folks that make it easy to get young riders in the saddle, whether you’re looking for beginner lessons, ponies for a party or an introduction to horse care. Read on to find out how to get your buckaroos their pony fix.

photo: James Brooks via flickr

Wish Upon a Pony
Is your birthday boy or girl asking for a pony party? If you can’t bring the crew to the farm, consider bringing a pony (or two!) to the party. Wish Upon a Pony has been bringing their ponies to residents’ homes for years and can provide pony rides on a lawn, sidewalk, cul-de-sac, driveway, parking lot or garage. The ponies are treated humanely and are rewarded for their work; these are well-loved animals who are part of the family, so you can rest assured that they are happy horses. Cherokee, Buster, Squeekers and Bimini receive high-quality food, acres of green grass to graze on, regular vet check-ups and frequent baths.

Cost: $150/hour for one pony, $50/hour each additional pony
Estacada
503-866-6702
email: portlandponyrides@gmail.com
Online: wishuponapony.com

Country Girl Farms
This fully-enclosed facility offers year-round opportunities for kids as young as 3 years old. Young learners will be knowledgeable in caring for, understanding and communicating with the horses in group or private lessons that use Natural Horsemanship Methods. Birthday parties include pony time (riding and petting ponies), horseshoe painting, goody bags filled with treats for the horses, time in the Club House and place settings in either hot pink or lime green.

17531 S. Henrici Rd.
Oregon City
971-506-7416
Online: facebook.com/country-girl-farms

photo: mllu92 via flickr

Once Upon a Horse
Once Upon a Horse is a great first stop for brand-new riders or those looking for an introductory experience. Safety on the ground and on the horse is the main focus, and options include private lessons, semi-private lessons, birthday parties, Mommy & Me lessons and field trips (great for scouts or other small clubs). Ages two through 10 is the typical age range of riders and sessions during Spring Break and Summer Vacation are also offered.

Cost: $90/hour for private lessons (visit website for more pricing)
Trillium Creek Training and Rehabilitation Coalition
Lake Oswego
503-502-1719
Online: onceuponahorse.com

Quarry Ridge Farm
Quarry Ridge packages pony parties perfectly. In a one- to two-hour party at the farm, up to 15 guests can practice grooming and riding a pony, complete a craft and have time for cake and gifts. Parents are encouraged the personalize the party room with decorations and provide the cake and other refreshments. The farm suggests 2-3 weeks advance planning to book your party.

Cost: $175-$350 for a party for 15
25604 NE Manley Rd.
Battle Ground, Wa
360-666-4762
Online: quarryridgefarm.com

photo: Slds1 via flickr

Stafford Hills Equitation 
Those who are ready for a more serious endeavor should consider Stafford Hills Equitation. Wednesday morning group lessons are provided in English tack style, although bareback and Western styles are also available. The one-hour lessons usually consist of a group of 2-4, and riders will learn to groom, tack and lead a horse. These lessons are available for ages 8 and older, and make sure to check out the vaulting program, in which riders perform dance and gymnastics moves on the back of a moving horse!

Cost: $50/1 hour lesson
715 Rosemont Rd.
West Linn
503-723-4468
Online at staffordhills.org

Lake Oswego Hunt Riding Academy
For more than 70 years, LOH has been offering instruction to children and adults. Riders begin with ground manners, horse care and riding lessons, and experienced riders can make their way up to equestrian competitions. A large and well-maintained barn is accompanied by an indoor arena, outdoor arena and several riding fields. The Horse and Hound Clubroom offers a place on-site to hang out after a lesson for a cool drink with friends.

2725 SW Iron Mountain Blvd.
Lake Oswego
Online: lakeoswegohunt.com

Happy Horse of Course
Riders of all experience levels are welcome at this North Plains farm where Natural Horsemanship is a priority (the philosophy of working with horses by appealing to their instincts). From the basics of groundwork and trail rides to the fundamentals of dressage and jumping, lessons are tailored to each individual’s needs. Birthday parties and special events are also available, so contact owner Julia M. Mattson to discuss needs.

Cost: Indvidual lessons begin at $40 (see website for pricing details)
Rusty Spurr Ranch
24255 NW Dairy Creek Rd.
North Plains
503-709-2707
happyhorseofcourse@gmail.com
Online: happyhorseofcourse.com

Do you have a horse enthusiast at your house?  Let us know in the Comments below!

—Marianne Walters

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It’s almost time for an annual celebration that’s truly out of this world. Every year, McMenamins Hotel Oregon in McMinnville hosts the UFO Festival which includes an alien costume parade, a 5k alien abduction dash and kids’ fun run, and a alien laser tag and dodgeball tournament just for the kids. Sound unreal? You’ll just have to see it to believe it! Scroll down for all the details.

photo: via McMenamins UFO Festival

A Town with a Story
Why hold a UFO festival in McMinnville, you ask? This small Oregon town was home to the famed 1950 Trent flying saucer sighting. As the story goes, Evelyn and Paul Trent spotted a metallic disk-shaped object flying through the sky near their farm at dusk. The photos they took appeared in Life magazine, were reprinted across the country, and are arguably the most famous photos of a UFO sighting ever recorded.

The Festival
40 miles south of Portland, the UFO Festival is held in Oregon’s beautiful wine country at McMenamins’ historic Hotel Oregon. Now in it’s 18th year, the festival began as a way to honor the Trent Case it and has grown to be one of the most well respected festivals of its kind.

Attendees, both big and little, can expect to enjoy plenty of McMenamin’s tasty pub fare  along with lots of family fun and food for thought for true believers and skeptics alike. Along with a lineup of speakers that include hypnotherapists, alien abduction experts, and UFO experiencers that mom and dad will enjoy listening to and mingling with, there is a McMinnville UFO sighting Documentary Screening, a Landing Party with live music and vendor booths, and an Alien Costume ball where everyone in the family can dress to impress and compete for a prize while dancing to live music.

photo: via McMenamins UFO Festival

Family Fun

The events listed above are just the beginning. The UFO festival has an impressive lineup of activities that are designed specifically for the little aliens in your crew.

New This Year
Returning abductees have a new adventure to look forward to this year: Alien Lasertag and Dodgeball! On Friday, May 19 from 7-9 p.m. at Patton Middle School, kids ages 9-16 can dress up as aliens (or alien hunters) and take each other on for a chance to win prizes. Tourneys will take place according to age groups and registration is encouraged because there are limited spots available.

Run for Your Life
At the Alien Abduction Dash 5k and Kids’ Fun Run you can dress up like a creature of your choosing and run like your life depends on it at the Linfield College Wellness Trail. The race will be held on Saturday, May 20 at 9 a.m. for the 5k and 10:30 a.m. for the kids’ fun run, which cost $30 and $15, respectively. The kids’ fun run is 1.5 miles and open to ages 14 and under. Register by May 10 and you’ll be guaranteed a race beanie to add to your costume!

photo: via McMenamins UFO Festival

The Big Parade
The main event for most festival-goers with littles in tow is definitely the UFO Parade. This free event marches through town blasting viewers with everything from the wackiest aliens to the most impressive Star Wars characters and every sci fi and fantasy character in between. Many spectators will arrive in costumes of their own, so don’t be afraid to represent the far side as your family prepares. The parade starts at 2 p.m. and you’ll want to stake out a spot early.

Dress up Your Pet
We already mentioned the costume contest for all of the humans in your family, but what about your pets? This festival is truly for the whole family including your furriest members. On May 20 at 3:30 p.m., dress you pet up, bring them to the Buchanan Cellers and enter them in the pet costume contest.

photo: via McMenamins UFO Festival

Event Details

UFO Festival
May 18-21
Hotel Oregon, 310 NE Evans St. McMinnville, Or.

Alien Lasertag & Dodgeball
May 19, 7-9 p.m.
Patton Middle School
McMinnville
$16 for residents; $19 for non-residents
Register online

Alien Abduction Dash 5k and Kids’ Fun Run
May 20, 9 a.m. (5k) and 10:30 a.m. (fun run, ages 14 and under)
Linfield College Wellness Trail
McMinnville
$30 (5k) and $15 (fun run)
Register online

UFO Parade
May 20, 2 p.m.
310 NE Evans St.
McMinnville
503-472-8427
Online: ufofest.com

Pet Costume Contest
May 20, 3 p.m.
Buchanan Cellers at Hotel Oregon

Online: ufo.com

Will your family visit the UFO Festival this year? Share with us in the comments below!

— Marianne Walters

8 Hot Summer Day Camps That’ll Sell Out Fast

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Who says learning has to be limited to the classroom? Summer break may be months away, but now is the time to sign your kids up for adventures that will keep them active and engaged all summer long. We’ve found eight of the best day camps for both littles and bigs, and they guarantee big fun all summer long!

Audubon Society campphoto: Audubon Society of Portland

Audubon Society
The Audubon Society’s camps prove that they’re about much more than bird-watching. Check out an array of outdoor adventures, including Animal Tracking, where kids in first and second grades learn to recognize signs of wildlife that have crossed their paths.

Full-day camps are 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Half-day camps are 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

5151 NW Cornell Rd.
503-292-6855
Online: audubonportland.org

Camp Collins
The YMCA offers Camp Collins, a day camp that puts Christian principles into practice through traditional outdoor camp activities. Archery, swimming, capture the flag, art and horseback riding are just a few of the options for campers. Character-building and outdoor skills combine for a well-rounded camp experience.

Day camp schedules can be found when registering online.

3001 SE Oxbow Pkwy.
Gresham
503-663-5813
Online: ymcacw.org

Camp Namanu

photo: Camp Namanu

Namanu Day Camp in the City
Campers experience hands-on learning opportunities to combat summer learning loss in this fun and active city adventure. The staff encourages kiddos to use their voices and work together as a group as they develop using Growth Mindset concepts. Once per week, the group travels to Camp Namanu, just outside Sandy, Oregon, for traditional camp activities such as hiking, crafts, archery and swimming.

Day camps are 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. with extended care available from 7 a.m.- 6 p.m.

10300 SE Camp Namanu Rd.
Sandy
503-224-7800
Online: campfirecolumbia.org

Catlin Gabel
This school offers a variety of day camps for all ages with extended care available in the morning and afternoon. Two of their more popular camps for littler kids include the PreK-K Summer Beehive Camp and their Honey Hollow Adventure for kids in 1st-4th grades, focusing on woodworking, imaginative play, sports and media. Kids don’t need to be enrolled in the school to participate in summer camps or enrichment programs.

Day camp schedules vary by program and extended care is available. Visit their website for program schedules.

Catlin Gabel School
8825 SW Barnes Rd.
503-297-1894 Ext. 613
Online: catlin.edu

Oregon Zoo lions

photo: At The Oregon Zoo by Joshua Smith via flickr

Oregon Zoo Camp
Kids go zany for the zoo’s weekly day camps. Full-day camps start for those entering kindergarten through eighth grade, while half-day camps are available starting at age four. Weekly themes include Wild Creature Features and Home Sweet Habitat, and all campers get to explore the zoo and learn about the enrichments that keep the animals comfortable and active at home.

Day camps are 8:30 a.m.- 3:30 p.m. with extended care available from 7:30 a.m.- 6 p.m.

Oregon Zoo
4001 SW Canyon Rd.
503-226-1561
Online: oregonzoo.org

Friends of Tryon Creek Nature Day Camps
Tryon Creek Park is the perfect setting for half- and full-day camps for outdoor lovers. There’s plenty of green space to explore and programs to choose from here. Programs like Forest Magic, Nature Illustrated and The Kingdom of Fungi are a few of the options for scientific exploration.

Full-day camps are 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Half-day camps are 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

11321 SW Terwilliger Blvd.
503-636-4398
Online: tryonfriends.org

Portland Children's Museum

photo: Portland Children’s Museum

Portland Children’s Museum Day Camp
Ages 4-8 can have the experience of a lifetime at the museum built just for them. With programs like Scientist Studio and Clay Explorers, little hands are kept busy through an abundance of hands-on experiences that will keep their minds and bodies active. After-care is available for a full day of museum fun.

Day camps are 8:30 a.m.- 2:30 p.m. with extended care available until 5:15 p.m.

Portland Children’s Museum
4015 SW Canyon Rd.
503-223-6500
Online: portlandcm.org

Trackers Earth
Trackers’ camps are known for their commitment to outdoor education with a knowledgeable and dedicated staff. With camp locations throughout the city and a variety of topics to learn about (Wizards Academy, anyone?), this camp is a crowd-pleaser for ages 4 and older.

Day camps are 7:30 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. with flexible drop-off and pick-up times and extended care available. Visit their website for more details.

Trackers Earth Portland
4617 SE Milwaukie Ave.

Rose City Park School
2334 NE 57th Ave Portland, Or

West Sylvan Middle School
8111 SW West Slope Dr Portland, Or

503-345-3312
Online: trackerspdx.com

What’s your family’s favorite day camp? Let us know in the comments below!

— Marianne Walters

Tiptoe Over to the Wooden Shoe Tulip Fest

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The annual opening of the Wooden Shoe Tulip Fest is a guaranteed sign that spring has sprung in Portland and beyond. For a limited time each year, this luscious tulip farm in Woodburn invites one and all to frolic in the fields (hello, photo ops!) and play at their flower-themed festival. Scroll down to get ready to celebrate springtime, big time.

Tulip Fest 3

What’s Happening
From Mar. 24–Apr. 30, the farm is open to the public to visit between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. daily. Visitors can walk through stunning field filled with several varieties of tulips, each more magnificent than the last. After a mosey through the rainbow-colored blooms, visitors can enjoy a variety of festival activities, purchase lunch from a handful of food stands, shop at the tulip market and pick up a keepsake at the gift shop.

What to Bring
While your phone’s camera will suffice in most situations, you’ll want to take the best possible pictures while at the farm, especially if your kiddos are frolicking through the fields (and how could they resist?). So if you have a good camera, bring it. Boots are necessary if it has recently rained, so you may just want to bring some with you and check out the field conditions when you arrive. The same goes for extra clothes since the farm could be muddy and the rubber ducky races can leave everyone a bit soggy. Finally, the farm is dog-friendly but your four-legged family member must be on a leash. So bring the dog and a few towels for cleaning wet paws.

Tulip Fest 2

How to Travel
If you have a baby in your crew, a front carrier or hiking backpack is a great idea. The farm covers 40 acres and there will be quite a bit of walking involved. If you are partial to a stroller instead, the event is stroller-friendly but the terrain is a bit bumpy and could be muddy, so jogging strollers with larger utility wheels will do best. The bonus to bringing a stroller is having a place for those extra boots, changes of clothes and other gear. Restrooms are available but they’re port-a-potties so plan ahead if needed.

What to Do
Ride the cow train (but do it before eating; it’s a bumpy ride). Take plenty of photos in the wooden cutouts and giant wooden shoes. Visit the workshop where wooden shoe makers will demonstrate how the traditional shoes are carved. Shop in the tulip market for keepsakes, cut flowers and potted bulbs to take home. Pick up a gorgeous bouquet to deliver to the next person you see when you get home (because how often do you get freshly-cut tulips from an actual tulip farm?). Finally, have a seat at the picnic tables and order lunch from the Mt. Angel Sausage Company food stand, which has pub-style grub (think sausages, soft pretzels, hot dogs and kettle corn). Arriving in the morning instead? Locate the coffee cart inside the wine tasting room!

IMG_3081

When to Go
Go on a weekday if you can. If you work full-time or your kids are in school it might be hard to get to the Tulip Fest during the week, but the farm is open until 6 p.m. (and you can eat dinner from the market there). Although some add-ons like the craft fair and pony rides aren’t available during the week, you’ll feel like you have the run of the place and won’t have to compete with other families during the handful of sunny weekend days.

Hours
Daily, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Mar. 24-Apr. 30

Admission fees
$5/person (13 and older), $20 per car maximum
Additional fees required for train rides and jump tents (weekends only).

Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm
33814 S Meridian Rd.
Woodburn, Or
503-634-2243

Online: woodenshoe.com

What is your family’s favorite part of the Wooden Shoe Tulip Fest? Share with us in the comments below!

–Marianne Walters

Photo credit: Marianne Walters

Kid-Approved Dining: The Best Kids Menus in Town

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Variety is the spice of life, especially for those of us who enjoy the fabulous food that Portland has to offer. And when you just can’t bear to see another chicken tender or cheese pizza go to waste after a failed attempt at ordering from the kids’ menu, turn to these eateries instead. Read on for the best kid menus that Portland restaurants have to offer. Bon appétit!

photo credit: Meghan Rose

Ecliptic Brewing
When the grown-ups in the house are jonesing for dinner at a brew pub, it’s important to be choosy so the kids are taken care of, too. At Ecliptic they can stay safe with chicken drumsticks (hands off, parents) or go all-in by ordering fried oysters. Not quite ready for shellfish? Some might land in the middle with the grilled salmon. After dinner, introduce them to cinnamon churro bites for dessert and they’ll be sure to request a return trip.

Kids’ menu items range from $4-$7

826 N. Cook St.
503-265-8002
Online: eclipticbrewing.com

Laughing Planet
This local chain is known for its fresh and nutritious burritos and bowls made from locally-sourced ingredients, which parents love. But they also have a kids’ menu that will meet the preferences of the picky (think bean and cheese burrito) to the foodie-in-training (i.e. tofu, tempeh and quinoa). Our pick is The Kids Trifecta, which is a choose-your-own-adventure involving three separate bowls of steamed broccoli, garlic green beans, seasonal veggies, corn, roasted yams, Smart black or pinto beans, mashed potatoes, brown rice, jasmine rice or quinoa. Bonus: look for the toy dinousaurs in the restaurant that will keep the kiddos occupied while they wait for their food!

Kids’ menu items range from $3.25-$5.50

Visit website for locations throughout Portland
Online: laughingplanetcafe.com

Kid eating at restaurant

photo: Jo’s Restaurant by Kevin Krejci via flickr

Pho Tango
At this popular Vietnamese bistro in Hillsboro you won’t find a dedicated kids’ menu but they make our list because of their stellar service to our littles. This place is kid-friendly from start to finish, so don’t stress over taking your toddler out the next time you need a Pho fix. Our recommendations from the regular menu include noodle soup, spring rolls, grilled salmon or honey lemongrass chicken. You can also make a special request for kids’ plates and they will accommodate you by helping you figure out what will work best for your child’s needs.

22139 NW Imbrie Dr.
Hillsboro
503-648-3542
Online: photango.com

Hopworks Urban Brewery
This brewery takes the cake for family-friendliness. From their stellar kids’ menu to their in-house play areas and all the best local beer and food the grown-ups could wish for, you’re probably already a regular. If your kids scoff at tiny fast-food burgers, they’ll love the Little Brewer’s Burger, a 1/4 lb. patty Tillamook cheddar (it’s just a slightly smaller version of the real thing on the big menu). Not quite up to that level of appetite? The pretzel dog is delish and the organic vanilla ice cream for dessert is not to be missed. Let the littles play in the play area (in each room!) while they wait for their food and you can actually enjoy a grown-up conversation at the table. Bonus for babies: Earth’s Best Baby Food is kept in stock and on the menu, too!

Kids menu items range from $2-$6.75

2944 SE Powell Blvd.
503-232-4677
Online: hopworksbeer.com

 photo credit: Jolie Loeb

Seasons and Regions
Good food begins with good ingredients. It doesn’t hurt that this restaurant still feels like the neighborhood bistro where friends meet and the staff knows your name. Kids love it because the food is simple and delicious. On the brunch menu they’ll find the Belgium Waffle with whipped cream and a Kids’ Scramble Breakfast that is the perfect size for pint-sized appetites. For lunch and dinner we recommend the Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup or the Fried Chicken Bites if they’re down for some Southern comfort food.

Kids menu items range from $4-$7

6660 SW Capitol Hwy.
503-244-6400
Online: seasonsandregions.com

Laurelwood Brew Pub
This brew pub gets points right off the bat for the message at the top of their kids’ menu: “Order your kid’s meal early (on request) and we’ll get the kids fed first!” It’s like they know what we’re dealing with when we take littles to a restaurant, am I right? We love that they have the basics for our picky eaters but our recommendation is the fish ‘n’ chips with tartar. All meals come with a side dish, drink and dessert, so it’s a total package for $7 or less. We’re sold.

Kids menu items range from $6.25-$6.95

Locations in NE, SE, PDX Airport, and the Moda Center
Online: laurelwoodbrewpub.com

What restaurant has your favorite kids’ menu in town? Please share your inside scoop in the comment section below!

—Marianne Walters