Portland Kids: Explore Hillsdale

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The SW community of Hillsdale was recently selected to be a part of the Portland Main Street Program, receiving a revitalization grant from the city of Portland. Hillsdale was chosen for both its strong presence and potential through economic revitalization and preservation. Exciting new changes have already occurred and more are on the horizon for this family-friendly community!

Go: Year-round.

Approximate travel time: Hillsdale is less than 4 miles from downtown Portland. The town center is located on SW Capitol Highway, between SW Sunset Boulevard and SW Bertha Boulevard.

What to do: In the summertime, a star attraction for kids of all ages is Wilson Outdoor Pool (pictured). It boasts 2 outdoor pools, 114 foot long waterslide, Frog tot slide, current channel, and water play structures. The morning hours are reserved for lessons, lap swim, swim team and other programs, but it opens at noon for family swim. On super hot days, be sure to get there early, as there’s usually a line and the lounge chairs and pool fill up fast. It opens June 20. Oh, and take note: On August 28, at 8:00 pm, a “Dive-In Movie” will be shown and viewable from the water.

A good pre- or post pool activity is a visit to Hillsdale Library. This building was awarded LEED™ Gold certification as a green building in 2004. It is a modern, light-filled, and airy environment with a large children’s section, and hosts regular events throughout the year. For added interest, DeWitt Park and Fire Station 05 are across the street.

Paintpots Ceramic Studio is a paint your own pottery studio. Choose from a variety of pieces such as mugs, plates, platters, and bowls. It’s a fun and creative activity for kids and makes a special gift for a parent, grandparent or teacher. They also host birthday parties and special events.

A lesser known attraction in the area is the Lunchtime Disc Golf Course, a 12 hole (basket) disc golf course on 21 acres of farmland surrounding the Greater Portland Bible Church. This is fun afternoon activity for the whole family. Don’t forget to bring your disc!

Where to shop: Children’s consignment store, Second to None has a good selection of new and used children’s clothing and items, as well as an affinity for fairies. Some of their new products include ballet slippers, dancewear, and costumes, including princess dresses, tutus and superhero capes. They also have a good selection of the classic music jewelry boxes with the twirling ballerinas or fairies. There’s a little play area in back to entertain little ones.

If you go on a Sunday, you can’t miss the Hillsdale Farmer’s Market, now in its tenth season. This is a great market with fabulous food, live music and family fun. It’s open from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm and is located between Wilson High School and Rieke Elementary, where there’s often a soccer game going on at the Rieke field.

Possible lunch spots: For a sweet snack or light meal, go to Baker and Spice. This small-batch bakery evolved from a farmers market stand into a warm and bustling neighborhood bakery. Their absolutely delicious pastries, breads and sandwiches are made fresh daily and feature local, seasonal ingredients. They also make beautiful cakes, for any special occasion.

For something more substantial, and a little Pacific Northwest beer history, there’s Hillsdale Brewery and Public House. This McMenamins property was their very first brewery and is known for being among the pioneering brewpubs in Oregon. They have the usual pub fare, as well as an outdoor seating area and kid’s menu.

Nearby, is the colorful and eclectic Salvador Molly’s.  It’s jam-packed with funky décor and yummy food from around the world. Tamales are their signature, but daring parents can try the “Great Balls of Fire” challenge and try to make it on the Wall of Flame. Kids can choose from something a little more tame, like the Chickadee Do Dah or Pirate Coconut Shrimp Stix.

How to dress: Seasonally appropriate.

Cost of trip: Inexpensive

Online: http://hillsdalemainstreet.org/

—Ali Livolsi

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