Field Trip: Take the Kids to Explore Portland’s Cargo Imports

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Taking a trip to Cargo is like exploring the hull of a treasure ship. An international bazaar, flea market, furniture showroom, and curiosity shop all rolled into one, Cargo makes for an amazing shopping experience for the whole family. Yes, you can drop a few hundred bucks on a 19th-century Burmese Altar, but you can also explore hundreds of inexpensive knick-knacks, retro toys, party supplies and lovely little pieces of art from around the world. A kid can get pretty far with $5 in this store.

Expect to lose yourself in Cargo for at least an hour. Or stop in while you’re out eating, shopping or playing in the Pearl. Here are 10 treasures that will delight your children.

  1. Paper lanterns and piñatas. In every size, shape, and color imaginable. You’ll spend a lot of time gazing at the ceiling when you’re here. As you stare at the dizzying array of paper lanterns hanging from the ceiling, you’ll also notice an impressive array of beautiful piñatas. Some of the piñatas are so large that they look more like celestial objects. Batter, up!
  1. Party supplies. Lanterns, piñatas, masks, hats, noisemakers, cards, inexpensive party favors, fun decorative wrapping papers. Stock up for a one-of-a-kind child’s birthday party at this place. Or any party, for that matter. Cargo has you covered for Chinese New Year, Valentine’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, and, just about any other global celebration you can imagine.
  1. Flaming birthday candle of awesomeness. Ask about the flaming, twirling, singing lotus flower birthday candle. It turns any birthday cake into a veritable fireworks display. You’ll never go back to regular candles.
  1. Coins, charms and figurines. Boxes of shiny things beckon you to explore a world of foreign currency and other tiny treasures.
  1. Silk and canvas shoes. Girls and their mothers will swoon for the inexpensive silk slippers and Mary Janes in a bevy of colors and prints. From infant sizes on up.
  1. Art supplies. Grab uniquely colored and patterned papers, stickers, and grab bags full of artful ephemera.
  1. Beads, beads, beads. The wall of beads is not just for children—it mesmerizes young and old alike. Find unusual items like seed beads from Ghana.
  1. Foam lotus blossoms. These floating flowers make the perfect vessel for a mermaid toy in the tub. Just one of several faux greenery options (they even have a literal bed of roses) that can provide perfect playtime backdrops.
  1. Magnifying glasses. From $1 versions to $12 models for the more serious young scientist, you’ll find magnifying glasses and other items for little explorers…including compasses sized for tiny hands and globes of every imaginable size.
  1. Vintage toys. Kazoos! DIY paper flyers! Metal wind-up circus toys! Paper dolls! More paper dolls! Wow, does this place have A LOT of paper dolls.

Cargo Imports

380 Northwest 13th Avenue
Portland, Or

— Cheyenne Terbrueggen