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Most busy parents can agree that exercise is one of the first things to go when naptime, grocery store errands and back-to-back playdates dominate the daily schedule. But fitness is as an important part of well-being as its cousins, the healthy diet and a full night of sleep (oh, how we miss those). Luckily, we’ve found the best places in and around Portland for you and your miniature workout buddy to break a sweat together. Bonus: this could help both of you get that full night of sleep you’ve been dreaming of!

Fit4Mom Stroller Strides

photo: Stark Photography

Stroller Strides
To get a workout with baby in tow, think outside the weight room. Fit4Mom has multiple options for fitness throughout the metro area. Stroller Strides and Stroller Barre classes offer fitness for mom and fun for baby, with songs, bubbles and interactive play built right into the workout. The bonus to Fit4Mom is the community-based aspect, so participants can benefit from connecting with others through playdates and moms’ nights out in addition to great workouts. Visit their website and plug in your zip code to find the location nearest to you.

Locations in Portland, Tigard, Tualatin, Beaverton, Lake Oswego and West Linn
Online: fit4mom.com

Hike It Baby
Outdoor lovers all over Portland are strapping their babies and toddlers into carriers and hitting the trails. Hikes are planned at easy enough distances and difficulty levels that anyone can participate, so beginners and experienced hikers alike are welcome (and that includes moms, dads, grandparents, friends, and dogs). Each hike is categorized according to the goal, so you’ll know whether older sibs will be leading the way, strollers are appropriate, or all babes will need to be in carriers. The hikes are free but a waiver must be signed online before you show up, so browse the website to see how it works before heading out.

Online: hikeitbaby.com

Imagination Yoga
Need to return to zen after the holidays? Imagination Yoga holds classes across Portland for you and your little Yogini. Their classes will inspire kids to practice poses while also stretching their imagination. Throw in some sun salutations and relaxation techniques and you have a class that fits you both. Call ahead to find out if parents can join the kiddos at the location nearest you.

Online: imaginationyoga.com

Yoga with Kids
photo: sunchild123 via flickr

Perhaps one of the best ways to get moving and ensure your little fitness buff grows up with a love of physical activity is to enroll in a mom/dad and me class through Portland Parks and Recreation. Here are just a few of the classes available to get you and your kiddo up and moving:

Gymnastics: You and Me – Peninsula Park Community Center
Stretch, jump and roll your way to a healthy, active lifestyle. Move together on mats and jump through hoops in this class that brings out the Olympian in all of us.

Basketball: You and Me – Southwest Community Center
Dribble it! Pass it! Shoot it! Develop skills together that promote hand-eye coordination, balance and agility. Active games, creative drills and an emphasis on the joy of physical activity provide a playful introduction to a popular sport.

Sports Mix & Match: All Sorts of Sports – Mt. Scott Community Center
Get a workout toddler-style as you and your child discover activities and movements that increase eye-hand coordination, gross motor skills, balance and social interaction. Toss, catch and experiment with up and down!

What’s your favorite workout location with kids? Share with us in the comments!

–Marianne Walters

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When it comes to eating out, Portland families are all about local, sustainable and humane. Introducing Q, downtown’s newest restaurant that takes all those great things to a new level. Located on SW 2nd and Taylor, Q is the perfect addition to the neighborhood and just two blocks from the waterfront. While the menu is sophisticated, the atmosphere is welcoming to foodies of all ages. We love that the owners and staff take family-friendliness seriously, which makes this new opening a can’t-miss for your next luxury dining experience with the whole fam.

q-restauarant-1

photo: Carly Diaz / Q Restaurant and Bar

Good for the Whole Family
Here in Portland, we like to train our little food aficionados from a young age. Q is an all-ages-welcome locale, so while they may not have a kids’ menu (which is understandable given the menu changing daily), they are incredibly flexible and will adjust their plates to meet the needs of their youngest diners. What a treat! Ask if they can make a burger, pasta or pizza and they will see what they can come up with. There is a changing table in the restroom and outdoor seating will be available in the spring, so check it out for a potential al fresco dining experience for your crew.

q-restaurant-annie

photo: Michael Cary Arellano / Q Restaurant and Bar

Good People
While Q just opened on November 21, these folks aren’t new in town. Executive Chef Annie Cuggino comes from Portland’s own Veritable Quandry, which closed its doors in September after 45 years. As an Executive Chef she is dedicated to the things local families hold dear: seasonality and sourcing ingredients from Oregon and Washington so you’re sure to get the best goods our backyard has to offer. Together with a team who live in and love Portland, Q is in good hands and ready to take care of its customers—young and olde— with top-notch hospitality.

q-restaurant-2

photo: Carly Diaz / Q Restaurant and Bar

Good Food
Knowing that our littles are eating right is important, and when you take your clan to Q you dine knowing you are feeding your family the best! Locally-sourced and hyper-seasonal specials are just the beginning of the story. The mouth-watering menu changes daily based on what’s available, but you can guarantee to experience the finest flavors of the Pacific Northwest each time you visit.

Cuggino places an emphasis on vegetables in dishes like her Cider Braised Collards and Roasted Roots, while main dishes like Blackened Hawaiian Opah and Seared Sea Scallop may be in rotation with Pulled Pork Chochinita & Oaxaca Cheese. And don’t forget dessert (as if we could). We have our eye on the Chocolate Nocello Souffle with candied walnuts and chocolate sauce, a dessert that will delight even the youngest of palates.

Lunch served Monday-Friday from 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
Dinner served daily from 5-10 p.m.
Brunch served Saturday-Sunday from 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
Bar open daily from 3 p.m.-12 a.m.

Make reservations online or call ahead if you have special dietary requests.

Q Restaurant and Bar
828 SW 2nd Ave.
503-850-8915
Online: q-portland.com

Will your family head to Q for your next downtown meal? Let us know in the comments below!

—Marianne Walters

Give a Little Bit: 8 Ways for Families to Give Back

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The holiday season has a magical way of producing a case of the gimmies. Use the holidays as a way to teach your kids that giving is just as rewarding as receiving. We uncovered some of Portland’s hardest-working nonprofits who have room for volunteers of all ages looking to make a difference. Read on for opportunities you whole family can do together.

family

photo: Children’s Book Bank

Children’s Book Bank
The book bank offers opportunties for some of Portland’s youngest good-doers to participate in. Once a month, families with children (ages 6+) are welcome to come and rehabilitate gently-used, community-donated children’s books that will make their way to low-income preschool children in the Portland area. While fixing up the books, you can chat with others at the table about favorite storybook characters and authors, or discuss the importance of getting books to children in every household.

1728 NE Glisan St.
503-616-3981
Online: childrensbookbank.org

Northwest Children’s Outreach
Another great opportunity for families with itty bitties is NCO. This 100% volunteer-run program accepts donations of gently used children’s clothing, toys, baby gear and more. Volunteers sort the donations and pack orders, as well as put together kits filled with hygiene supplies or diapers. Young volunteers are encouraged to pack kits along with their parents, and the tiniest members are welcome to play nearby (and are lovingly referred to as the “toy testers”). No training is required, just get in touch to become a volunteer.

Various locations including Beaverton, Tualatin and Hillsboro.

503-828-1472
Online: northwestchildrensoutreach.org

Hands on portland

photo: Hands on Greater Portland

Hands On Greater Portland
We recommend this organization as a great starting point for families wanting to get some volunteer experiences lined up for kids of any age. They have a dedicated page of children’s volunteer opportunities that includes step-by-step instructions for signing up for events as a family as well as ideas for independent youngsters to make a difference by doing projects at home or in their neighborhoods. Check their calendar of events for a comprehensive list. Minimum age requirements are listed right in the project titles for your convenience.

Various locations around greater Portland.

503-200-3355
Online: handsonportland.org

Oregon Food Bank
The OFB is a nationwide leader in the distrubution of food to hungry families all across the state. Volunteering at the Portland or Beaverton locations usually involves a couple of hours of work led by organized and efficient staff and volunteers. After 2 hours of packing food, volunteers are told just how many pounds of food were packed and how many families will be fed as a result of their hard work. Talk about instant gratification! Ages 6 and older are welcome in the Volunteer Action Center, and a new volunteer opportunity is available for ages 14 and older in the Fresh Alliance program, which brings fresh and perishable foods from grocery stores to homes in 24 hours. Children 6 and over are welcome at the Beaverton facility but age 14 is required at the Portland Headquarters. Be sure to check their website for the repacking schedule.

503-282-0555
Online: oregonfoodbank.org

friends of trees portland

photo: Friends of Trees

Friends of Trees
It’s a no-brainer that Portlanders are friendly to our trees, right? This organization takes it one step further by sending their volunteers (including children ages 6 and up) all over Oregon and SW Washington to plant trees. Dress for the outdoors and they will provide you with gloves and tools (for big helpers and little alike) and guide you in the day’s tasks. Group volunteering is welcome but requested that you RSVP, while individuals and smaller groups can simply show up. Events occur almost every Saturday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. from October to April. Check their calendar of events for details.

Various locations around Portland, Vancouver and Salem.

503-595-0213
Online: friendsoftrees.org

Blanchet House of Hospitality
Taking teens to a soup kitchen can be a meaningful experience and great opportunity for discussion about community hunger. Every month the Blanchet House of Hospitality serves 29,000-33,000 meals to the hungry and homeless, and it wouldn’t happen without reliable volunteers. They have an impressive youth committee of over 1,000 teen volunteers per year helping out. Three hot meals are served Monday-Saturday, and volunteers are needed to plate and serve, then help clean up. Contact the Blanchet House to volunteer and find out what the youth in your house can do alongside you. Volunteers must be age 12 and older.

310 NW Glisan St. in Old Town/Chinatown
503-226-3911
Online: blanchethouse.org

calvessue

photo: Heart 2 Heart Farms

Heart 2 Heart Farms
It’s no surprise that this family-oriented farm is welcoming of the whole family to volunteer. If you arrive with young ones you can expect to be sowing seeds in the children’s garden, feeding the baby animals (visitors are welcome to help with bottle-feeding calves at 6:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. daily), collecting eggs from the laying hens or simply walking through the woods collecting sticks. Make sure to dress for the weather and potentially muddy conditions (i.e. don’t forget your boots and gloves). They now have a food pantry that is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 8:00-12:00 p.m., and volunteers are needed during that time. Scheduling your volunteer shift with the farm manager is appreciated, so give them a call and they’ll see when they can fit you in.

21555 SW Hells Canyon Rd.
Sherwood
708-528-0406
Online: heart2heartfarms.com

Portland Fruit Tree Project
Harvest party, anyone? The Portland Fruit Tree Project has a wide variety of volunteer roles to choose from, but harvesting parties sound like the most fun to us. First, the Fruit Tree Project is contacted to visit local trees and harvest fruit that would otherwise go to waste. At a harvest party, half the fruit collected goes to a local food bank, and the other half goes home with the volunteers (and half of those slots are reserved for those on low incomes). Registration is first-come, first-served, and if you don’t make it by the end of this harvest season, the next season will begin in early July. Schedules are posted at the beginning of each month.

5431 NE 20th Ave.
503-284-6106
Online: portlandfruit.org

Does your family give back to the community by volunteering together? Share your ideas in the comments below!

– Marianne Walters

6 Last-Minute Gifts and Where to Grab Them

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You planned on completing your holiday shopping early in the season this year. Your sister has been done for months and your best friend did her shopping over the summer, right? We understand that sometimes life gets in the way and best-laid plans don’t pan out quite like we thought they would. Don’t panic! We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite local shops and their top recommendations for last-minute shopping for the littles in your life.

<h2><strong>For the Builder at Heart </strong></h2> <strong><a target="_blank" href="http://www.tegu.com/">Tegu Magnetic Wooden Blocks</a> </strong>Tegu Magnetic Blocks are perfect for kids of all ages (even the grown-ups!) providing hours of endless fun and countless possibilities for building. They're great for new and seasoned builders alike, so the big sibs and littles can definitely play together with these. With tons of options for set sizes and piece shapes, starting at $25 and up to $110, you can start big or small and grow your collection over time. Available at: <a target="_blank" href="http://www.seahorsespdx.com/"><strong>Seahorses</strong></a&gt; 4029 SE Hawthorne Blvd. Portland 971-352-6130 Online: <a target="_blank" href="http://www.seahorsespdx.com/">seahorsespdx.com</a&gt; Holiday hours Tue.-Sat. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Sun. 12-5 p.m. Closed Mondays Dec. 24: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. <em>photo: Seahorses PDX</em>fuck

Have any other last-minute gift suggestions that can be picked up locally? Let us know in the comments below.

– Marianne Walters

It’s All Lollipops & Gumdrops at Gingerbread Jamboree

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Goody, goody, gumdrops! There is truly nothing sweeter than decorating a gingerbread house with tiny, sticky fingers. This year keep the smeared frosting and wayward sprinkles out of your kitchen by joining dozens of other families at the Junior League’s annual Gingerbread Jamboree on Saturday, December 3 at OMSI. We’ve got the sweet details on this festive event to celebrate the season with sugary goodness.

photo: Junior League of Portland

A Local Tradition
In this 5th year of gingerbread house-building, Junior League of Portland is taking over OMSI to bring holiday cheer to local families. This family event and fundraiser has tripled in size since its start, with 200 guests and three session options in one day to keep the crowd size manageable for those in attendance. The best part is that after all the decorating, sweets-snacking and finishing touches, you can head off to enjoy OMSI and someone else will be in charge of clean-up!

gingerbread-jamboree-2

photo: Junior League of Portland

What You’ll Do
Candy-striping your house is not the only thing you’ll be doing at this event. A hot cocoa bar and face painting await your kiddos. The big guy (yes, Santa!) will be circulating as well settling into his own seat for photo ops and visits from your kiddos. Meanwhile, the Dickens Carolers that we all know and love will perform and ensure a cheerful atmosphere.

gingerbread-jamboree-3

photo: Junior League of Portland

Good to Know
This event is for children of all ages, but you’ll want to know how to prepare. Yes, things will get messy so perhaps the Christmas dress that’s being reserved for the Nutcracker Ballet is not the best choice for this event. Because this is a private event, parking will be free and there will be a 10% discount for guests to venture into the OMSI exhibits. Strollers are welcome in OMSI but probably not necessary in this event, and restrooms are located right outside the event space. You’ll find a changing table and breastfeeding area on the 2nd floor in the children’s area. Besides the hot cocoa and occasional bite of candy, there are no other snacks provided at the event so you may opt to bring something relatively healthy to refuel with or plan to eat at the OMSI cafe, Theory Eatery.

gingerbread-jamboree-4

photo: Junior League of Portland

The Details
Date: Saturday, Dec. 3
Session 1: 10 a.m.-11:15 a.m.
Session 2: 12:30 p.m.-1:45 p.m.
Session 3: 3 p.m.-4:15 p.m.
Cost: $40 covers 2 people and 1 gingerbread house. Up to 4 additional tickets may be purchased for $6 each for entry only.
Check ticket availability and prices here.

OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science & Industry)
1945 SE Water Ave.
Portland, Or
Online: juniorleagueofportland.org

Do you plan on attending the Gingerbread Jamboree this year? Please let us know in the Comments below. 

— Marianne Walters

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An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but does it count if it’s in a pie crust? Our littlest sweets think it does and we don’t disagree so we’ve rounded up places in Portland that are serving up the best of the best of our favorite all-American treat. Read on to find out where you can find best apple pie our city has to offer.

random order coffeehouse

photo: Random Order Coffeehouse and Bakery

Random Order Coffeehouse and Bakery
Take Oregon’s best blackberries, mix them with apples and throw a walnut streusel on top, and you’ll find an instant family favorite at this Alberta coffeehouse. With Tahitian Vanilla Apple, Vegan Apple Pecan and Vanilla Sugar Salted Caramel Apple also on the menu, you could easily just get one of each and have a family tasting party.

1800 NE Alberta St.
971-340-6995
Online: randomordercoffee.com

Lauretta Jean’s
For seasonal fruit pies that will light up little eyes, this is your best bet. In the summer you’ll find Fresh Berry Sweet Cream (need we say more?), Blackberry Raspberry Streusel, Peach Raspberry Sour Cream and Strawberry Short Pie, not to mention a S’mores Pie, which will make you want to pack the van and go camping. When it comes to apples, check in often to see what’s cooking: Heirloom Apple, Brown Butter Apple Walnut and Salted Caramel Apple are at the top of our bucket list.

SW 6th and Pine
503-224-9236

3402 SE Division St.
503-235-3119
Online: laurettajeans.com

pacific pie co

photo: Pacific Pie Co. by Nawal R. via Yelp

Pacific Pie Co.
This one is a no-brainer. Pies are what they do best, so naturally, they have a variety of apple concoctions to choose from. Our favorites are Apple Sour Cream and Salted Caramel Apple, and the 21-and-over members of your crew might enjoy Whiskey Apple, too. Buying by the slice is the way to go so you can select as many flavors as you’d like, then take them home and sample them all.

1668 NW 23rd Ave.
503-894-9482

1520 SE 7th Ave.
503-381-6157

Online: pacificpie.com

Petunia’s Pies & Pastries
Gluten-free and vegan foodies, take note! This bakery has just what you’ve been looking for (whether you know it or not). The Caramel Apple Pecan Pie is something to write home about and the Raspberry-Apple and Marionberry-Apple Pies are tied for second (so we’ll have one of each). If you’re not vegan or gluten-free, it’s worth a taste and you just might find that you don’t miss the ingredients you’re used to.

610 SW 12th Ave.
503-841-5961
Online: petuniaspiesandpastries.com

baker and spice

photo: Cakes and pies too by Brent W. via Yelp

Bakeshop
We’ll admit it; we’re all about hand pies. They are easy for the kiddos to hold, minimizing the mess and the inevitable cleanup that takes place after untrained little hands give up on the fork and use their fingers when eating traditional pies. Bakeshop has a menu that changes with the seasons, so make sure to check in and see if they have apples available yet. As soon as their apple hand pies are ready, grab your spot in line and get one for every member of the family. Trust us on this one.

5351 NE Sandy Blvd.
503-946-8884
Online: bakeshoppdx.com

Pie Spot
They call themselves the home of the pie hole and we had to find out why. Their individual pies (pie holes) are the perfect size so you don’t have to share. It also means that everyone gets to choose their own flavor, and perhaps you can pick up a few extras for breakfast. Grown-ups like the Brandy Apple Pie and their classic apple flavors tend to be a bit on the spicier side, if that’s your thing. We recommend plenty of vanilla ice cream and you’re good to go.

521 NE 24th Ave.
503-913-5103
Online: pie-spot.com

Where do you feed your pie hole? Let us know in the comments below!

—Marianne Walters

10 Fall Activities You Just Can’t Miss

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Open up your phone’s calendar app (or your paper planner, if that’s your style), because you don’t want to miss this! We’ve discovered Portland’s can’t-miss events will be this fall. Read on to find out what everyone will be talking about by Thanksgiving Day.

Harvest Festival

photo: Harvest Festival by pychap via flickr cc

1. Pamper your pooch by taking him or her to Strut Your Mutt Portland, a walk and celebration benefiting Best Friends on Sept. 10th at Sellwood Riverfront Park.

2. Check out some cheeky chalk masterpieces at the Chalk Art Festival on Sept. 17th in Forest Grove. If you want to take part in the event, you can pay $12 and you will get a tray of colorful chalk and a square of downtown Forest Grove sidewalk to color on for the day.

3. Increase your cultural awareness by attending the Nature and Culture Festival at Blue Lake Park in Fairview on Sept. 19th. Enjoy events like a Native American Youth Powwow and performances like Cilantro Island Latin Music and Chervona Slavic Music all within one afternoon. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

4. Celebrate the Harvest Moon/Mid-Autumn Festival on Sept. 20th at Woodstock Library. Crafts, stories and performances will all be included in this free event.

Pumpkin Patch

photo: by Frank Boston via flickr cc

5. Welcome fall at the Harvest Celebration at Luscher Farm in West Linn on Sept. 24th. The kids will be entertained all day as they mingle with the farm animals, grab some popcorn and dance to live music.

6. Register for the Reed College 5k FUNd Run/Walk on Oct.1st, where 100% of the registration fees and sponsorship dollars go toward SE neighborhood public schools.

7. Visit the Apple Tasting Event at Portland Nursery from Oct. 7th-9th, where you can sample up to 60 varieties, indulge in apple desserts and take part in apple-tastic activities.

8. Say “cheers” to McMenamins for their all-ages-welcome Oktoberfest celebrations at their multiple locations throughout October.

 

Oregon Zoophoto: by Danielle P. via Yelp

9. Dress up for Howloween at the Zoo on Oct. 29th at the Oregon Zoo. Race through the scavenger hunt and learn about each animal as you collect treats along the way.

10. Pay your respects at the Veterans Parade at Fort Vancouver on Nov. 5th. Arrive early for the ceremony preceding this 30th year event.

Which Portland events won’t you miss this year? Let us know in the comments below!

– Marianne Walters

 

Oh, Snap! 6 Spots to Take Your Fall Family Photos

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With the back-to-school excitement and changing of the leaves comes a special tradition for some families: fall family photos. Whether you have a professional photographer, a friend to stand behind the camera or your trusty tripod, you’ll want to make sure to have the best of Portland surrounding you. We’ve scoped out the city to find six spots that offer picture-perfect locations to secure that shot for this year’s holiday card.

Fall Family photos in Portland 2

photo: Rock Climbing by Travis via flickr cc

Tilikum Crossing

It’s new, it’s exciting and it’s car-free, which makes it so very Portland. The geometric design offers a great modern style to your photos, and we suggest going first thing in the morning when the only traffic you’ll see are a few bicyclists and the occasional runner. After a pic on the bridge, walk to the east side and grab another modern shot in front of the fence that leads to the back side of OMSI.

Fee: Free

Parking: Limited, available on the street

Pioneer Courthouse Square

Yes, it’s usually full of tourists, but it offers several great photo opportunities. The brick steps are an obvious first stop, and we recommend checking the events calendar to make sure there aren’t any special events planned for the day you’ll visit. Congregate around the signpost of travel destinations or mimic the statue of that suited man with the umbrella. Lounge in front of the fountain and walk right across the street to the steps of the courthouse for a stately finale.

Fee: Free

Parking: Public lots will run about $5-10 per hour or you can try your luck at limited street parking

Fall family photos in Portland 1

photo: rachael may photography

OMSI and the Hawthorne Bridge

For great shots of the river and downtown skyline, you can cruise the waterfront until you find the spot of your choice. But we love the convenience and view near OMSI, where you can park free for 2 hours in the lot just north of OMSI. Step out onto the Eastbank Esplanade and take your pick of the skyline across the river, the Hawthorne bridge or even some dragon boats on the water if you’re lucky. Then wander over to the bright red OMSI letters and include them in one shot, especially if you are frequent visitors.

Fee: Free (as long as you don’t enter OMSI)

Parking: Free in the lot north of OMSI, but stay within the 2-hour parking limit

Cathedral Park and the St. Johns Bridge

For the most majestic view in Portland, you can’t beat the St. Johns bridge. Start in Cathedral Park and shoot upward to get the full height of the bridge. Then wander underneath the bridge to get photos against the base, which offers a completely different (and equally stately) backdrop. Finish by checking out the many different photo opportunities throughout Cathedral Park and into the St. Johns neighborhood, which will give you plenty of variety in your photos.

Fee: Free

Parking: Free and plentiful

Fall Family Photos in Portland 3

photo: Family by Stacy Z via flickr cc

Washington Park

Where do we begin? You could start at the Oregon Zoo, where you’ll likely have others in the background of your photos but there are definitely some great backdrops to be found. The Japanese Garden and Rose Garden are obviously quite photogenic, and Hoyt Arboretum offers spectacular fall colors in September and October. You can’t really go wrong in Washington Park, but if it’s fall colors you’re looking for, you’ll have to do your research ahead of time because much of the park stays green year-round.

Fees: Vary by location if you want to enter different locations; the park itself is free

Parking: Pay at parking stations or download the Passport app (parking is free until 9:30 a.m.)

Home

Yes, we mean it! There’s no place like home, and if you want your family to be at their most comfortable and relaxed in this year’s photos, you might consider your own space. Take a look at your house (inside and out) with a photographer’s perspective: look for the best light, color that will work well as a backdrop or maybe even a personal touch like the children’s artwork or your fall garden. Added bonuses: snacks and clean changes of clothes are on hand, and you don’t have to load the family into the car to reach your destination!

Fees: Free

Where has your family taken your fall photos? Let us know in the comment section below!

–Marianne Walters

Gender Neutral Clothing for the Hippest PDX Kids

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Gender stereotyping is so last season! Hip kids these days don’t conform to the pinks and blues of generations past, and the savvy business owners of Portland are paying attention. We’ve found some of the best places to shop locally for gender neutral styles that will have little brothers and sisters clamoring for their hand-me-downs like they’re (not) going out of style.

blackwagon

photo: Black Wagon

Black Wagon

This modern and trendy spot for Portland’s coolest kids puts artistic quality at the top of their list. With sizes from newborn to 14 you can shop for all the sibs at once and find something for every unique personality. Gender neutral brands like their own Black Wagon Signature Collection, Nununu, Indikidual, Mini Rodini and All Good Living (among others) feature great styles. Shoppers trek there for Plae and Native shoes and the stellar customer service.

Family Outing: Shop during the day then play at Dawson Park, or shop in the evening (they’re open until 7 p.m. most days) and then have a family date night at Lovely’s 50/50.

3964 N. Mississippi Ave.
503-916-0000
Online: blackwagon.com

Seahorses

At this dad-driven shop they feel that clothes should be durable and practical, and what’s more practical than clothes than can be passed down to each kiddo in the fam regardless of gender? You have to check out the shirts that come in matching sets with Dads’ tees, and they have others that meet our gender neutral preferences, like those from local artist Brett Woods, 24/7 Daddyhood and Daddy & Co. They even carry Carhartt for Kids and Tuffo Muddy Buddy outdoor suits for the serious outdoor activity seekers.

Family Outing: It’s always a good time when you visit Seahorses because of the enclosed play area right there in the store. But after shopping and playing, step right outside onto Hawthorne for a meal or grab a treat at Blue Star Donuts or Ruby Jewel Ice Cream.

4029 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
971-352-6130
Online: seahorsespdx.com

Posh Baby 1

photo: Posh Baby

Posh Baby

Did you know that the Pearl’s most trendy spot for babies has a Beaverton location, too? Customers flock to Posh because they have the oh-so-desirable Tea Collection, and don’t forget about Milk Barn with those adorable (and gender neutral) animal prints. Their sizes run from Preemie to 24 months, so this is definitely your stop for the youngest members of the family (and the best place for baby shower gifts, so plan ahead if you have friends or relatives who are expecting).

Family Outing: If you’re at the Pearl location on NW 10th, your best bet is definitely the Jamison Square fountain. Picnic there with lunch from Laughing Planet and ice cream from Cool Moon and call it a day. If you’re at the Beaverton location, there is a path from the shopping center to Progress Lake Park that is perfect for some afternoon exercise.

916 NW 10th Ave.
Portland
503-478-7674

12345 SW Horizon Blvd.
Beaverton
503-747-3539

Online: poshbaby.com

Posh Baby 2

photo: Posh Baby

Cotton Caboodle Outlet

If your kids are all about the solid colors and if comfort is key, you need a cotton supplier, stat. We’re lucky enough that we don’t have to find this brand online; the factory outlet moved to Portland from Seattle (much to the dismay of Seattle parents) in 2014. Solid prints in every hue can be found with high-quality dye and maximum softness. They’re only open Tuesday-Saturday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m., so plan accordingly.

Family Outing: The outlet is located in Sellwood among some of our favorites like Pizzicato and Nectar Fro-Yo. If you’re up for a whole afternoon of fun, Oaks Amusement Park is just around the corner.

7080 SE 16th Ave.
503-239-3878

Online: cottoncaboodleoutlet.com

Where do you shop for gender-neutral kids’ apparel? Share with us in the comments below!

— Marianne Walters

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As summer blazes on, your fam will be looking for new ways to cool off. Treat yourself to the chillest shakes in town with some of the most unique flavors that are oh-so-Portland. From triple berry to salted caramel, we’ve rounded up the hottest spots for mouth-watering masterpieces.
girls with milkshake

Photo: Strawberry milkshake for the girls by Sami Keinänen via Flickr

Pacific Pie Co.

You read that correctly; your favorite pie shop also does shakes. An entire piece of their handmade sweet pie goes straight into the milkshake for the best of two desserts in one. The most popular are Chocolate Peanut Butter and Key Lime, and adults are welcome to add a shot of bourbon or rum if they so please. Order a savory pie for lunch (we love the spinach and feta pastie), top it off with a pie shake and call it a day.

Insider’s tip: They serve weekend brunch at their NW location and there is rarely a line! Pop in on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

1668 NW 23rd Ave.
503-894-9482

1520 SE 7th Ave.
503-381-6157

Online: pacificpie.com

Moonstruck Chocolate

You know them for their delectable melt-in-your-mouth chocolate that can be found all over PDX. Just imagine that locally-made deliciousness in milkshake form. From the classic chocolate flavor (which gets its richness from dark chocolate ganache) comes the Conquistador Milkshake, which adds crushed hazelnuts and caramel syrup. All milkshakes are topped with handmade whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles for the ultimate in heavenly dishes. Choose one of four convenient locations and grab a few truffles to take home for after the kids go to bed.

Locations in Downtown, NW, and Beaverton Town Square
Online: moonstruckchocolate.com

chocolate-milkshake-ccflickr-noii
Photo: chocolate milkshake by ben dalton via Flickr 

Dick’s Kitchen

Milkshakes aren’t just for the milk drinkers anymore. The menu at Dick’s is vegan-friendly, including a Coconut Bliss Vegan Shake that is tempting to even those who eat dairy. They have the traditional chocolate and vanilla at all times, but make sure to ask if there is a seasonal flavor available or try our favorite, salted caramel.

3312 SE Belmont St.
503-235-0146

704 NW 21st Ave.
503-206-5916

Online: dickskitchen.com

Fairley’s Pharmacy

Looking to take the youngest generation to an original soda fountain for their shakes? Customers love the service at Fairley’s, where the shakes are thick and the people are so friendly, you’ll wonder if you’ve been transported back in time. Grown-ups love the espresso shake and phosphate sodas, while the kids tell us that the Oreo shakes are where it’s at. Come for the old-timey experience and leave with a full belly.

7206 NE Sandy Blvd.
503-284-1159

Online: fairleyspharmacy.com

fairley-milkshake

Photo: Fairley’s milkshakes by Courtney M. via Yelp

Mike’s Drive-In Restaurants

Take some time to drink in the menu because you won’t likely find a longer list of milkshake options than at Mike’s Drive-In. They have everything from pineapple to orange creamsicle, chocolate banana to peppermint candy and seasonal flavors like pumpkin and egg nog in the fall and winter. Dark chocolate raspberry is on our list to try, and how about mocha or latte for a late afternoon treat? We’ll take one of each!

Locations in Sellwood, Milwaukie and Oregon City
Online: mikesdrivein.com

Burgerville

We just can’t complete a list of the city’s best milkshakes without including Burgerville, if only for those seasonal berry shakes. Who doesn’t wait for berry season in Oregon? When the marionberries are ripe (as they are now), run- don’t-walk to get a marionberry shake for each person in the family. The best part is that there are locations in all four quadrants and beyond, so you don’t have to go far.

Locations all over the Portland metro area
Online: burgerville.com

Where does your crew go for the best milkshakes? Share your favorites in the comments below!

—Marianne Walters