Since we got back home from our amazing vacation, I’ve been trying to find some local Portland happenings for the kids to enjoy. Preferably those that don’t cost too much since we spent a fortune in Europe. The first thing I checked out was the annual Free Northeast Portland Fair for families. I particularly liked the word in that title – Free – so figured I really can’t lose anything but taking the family there.
So last week I took them to the fair – which was held outdoors at Multnomah County’s Northeast Health Center in the afternoon. There was great music, activities for kids and even dancing! I took advantage of a couple of health screenings (also for free) and Daniel enjoyed the local youth art exhibit. So all in all it was something to do – for free – for an afternoon. We ended up having a late dinner with the kids at Sparky’s Pizza…sooooo good, although perhaps not the greatest education in healthy living for my kids!
I love sports memorabilia and the profiles in history of all the great athletes. My friend George Alexander Shapell and I went for a short junket to, of all places, Milwaukee last week, and discovered something amazing. Although the city itself only supports two professional sports franchises and only two championship titles, (the Milwaukee Braves won the 1957 World Series and the Milwaukee Bucks took the NBA championship title in 1971) it would be hard to find a more committed city to sports and sports history.
Fans in Milwaukee, Shapell and I found out, absolutely adore their sports heroes. Here is a list, with short profiles of their history.
• Henry Aaron: Hank Aaron played for the Braves from 1954-1965 and the Brewers from 1975 until 1976. It is well-known the “Hammerin’ Hank is the one bone fide home run king, and also one of the most well-loved athletes who called Milwaukee home.
• Ray Allen: Allen was a Buck from 1996 until 2003 when he was shipped off to the Seattle to play for the Sonics. That move resulted in the loss of many loyal Bucks fans.
• Eddie Mathews: This beloved player was a member of the great 1957 World Series team. Mathews played for the Braves from 1953 until 1965, thirteen of his 17-year career in baseball. In 1978 Mathews was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Many consider him to be one of the best third baseman to have ever played, and he finished his career with 512 home runs.
There is so much going on in Portland over the summer. So, rather than dread the long holidays with the kids I have started to search for all the Portland happenings that will be good for me and the kids. Thankfully, June is packed with Portland happenings that I think will really meet my requirements.
The first thing I want to take the kids and Daniel to is the Rose Festival and Pride Parade and Festival. This provides the perfect excuse to just get outdoors and start developing that summer feeling. While Daniel’s not so excited by the outdoorsy aspect, he is definitely wearing a smile on the thought of the volume of alcohol that will be available! Indeed, since the beginning of this month there have been four different beer festivals in town – total dream for the hubby!
Other Portland happenings at the Festival include the Grand Floral Fireworks, CityFair, Rose Cup Races and Dragon Boat Races. I’m concerned these events will be too crowded for me and the kids though, given their obvious popularity. But maybe Daniel will just go with Jayden and Ethan and I will just find something else to enjoy while they are there.
Once the school year ends, I might also get together with a group of friends and take the kids to the Old Church. Every Wednesdays they are having free concerts and even though it’s not exactly what the kids will enjoy the adults will and the kids can just run around! The other Portland happening that looks cool to me is the Pedalpalooza Bike Festival – Jayden will for sure love taking part in some of those cycling-themed events, especially since he just recently starting getting really good on his bike.
So, lots of fun Portland happenings coming up for us! I think it could be a really great summer with the kids in our city.
There are a lot of fun things happening in my neighborhood now. I think I’m going to go to some – if not all – of them. I’m happy also because there are fun things for the kids to do too. First, there’s the 49th Annual Portland Swap Meet between April 5th to 7th at the Portland Expo Center. It’s pretty cheap too so that is an added bonus. I think Daniel and I will get a babysitter Friday night and head out to Mago Hunt Center for the comedy Bluffoons. That looks like fun and I could do with a laugh. I thought of going for salsa lessons too at the World Famous Kenton Club but when I mentioned it to Daniel he gave me “the look.”
Still, now that I think about it, that doesn’t include much for kids. So then I checked out if there was anything going on at the Portland Stage and was delighted to see that the summer is packed with entertainment. The theater is set up just for kids and there are professional actors for them to learn from. This is a great way for kids to use their imaginations, bringing modern literature to life and developing acting skills.
So it looks like there are going to be a lot of fun activities for the whole family over the next few weeks.