Category Archives: Kid Friendly

Day 341: Staccato Gelato

Sweet Tooth Alert!!  While recently perusing the streets of the lovely Sellwood District, Annie and I took a wrong turn that happend to turn out so right. We ended up running right into the vibrant business of Staccato Gelato. Knowing this is a fan favorite of the local Portland Gelato Shops, and we both had quite the sweet tooth, we had to go in and see what it was all about!

Staccato Gelato combines the craftsmanship of fine Italian gelato with fresh Oregon flavors and produce. In the support of locally owned business, they pride themselves on using local milk and cream, local produce and local suppliers. They offer 18 flavors of gelato daily, and a few extras here and there, depending on the chef’s choice. They also serve donuts that we hear give Voodoo a run for their money.  The master donuts craftsman is hard at work every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. They are worth every calorie, guaranteed.

Everyone there was super friendly to us as we indecisively tasted most of the choices.  Coconut, Pomegranate and Turtle were among the favorites. You’ll have to go check them out to see what i’m talking about! There’s a lot of seating, a kids area, free Wi-Fi, and outdoor seating year round!

Stacatto Gelato also has catering and wholesale items.  You can purchase any of their flavors by the gallon, just call to place an order.  Also, want them to cater a birthday party or celebratory event?? They have three great catering options:

Freezer Rider- Their mobile tricycle delivers prescooped gelato with a low carbon footprint and only methane emissions. Perfect for picnics in the park, reunions, birthdays or an afternoon treat for your hard-working employees.

Full Service Scooping Cart- For larger catered events, they can bring our fully staffed cart with a minimum of five gallons of gelato. No electricity required! A wonderful addition (or alternative) to wedding cake or a unique addition to any event.

DIY-  Gelato bought by the gallon combined with a catering setup equipped with cups, spoons, scoopers and/or dry ice.

We’re so glad we ran into Staccato Gelato, and we think you should make it a point to run into them sometime too at either of their two locations!

1540 Southeast Bybee Boulevard
Portland, OR 97202
(503) 517-8957
click here for map
232 Northeast 28th Avenue
Portland, OR 97232
(503) 231-7100
click for a map

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Day 328: Volunteer at the Portland Rescue Mission

Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of accompanying a few co-workers to the Portland Rescue Mission for some early morning volunteering. There, we served breakfast to nearly 200 guests as they got out of the cold, and enjoyed a helping of pancakes, oatmeal, fruit, and coffee.  It was a truly humbling and amazing experience, and one that I can hardly wait to do again!

The Portland Rescue Mission is more than just an assumed “soup kitchen”. What their organization does reaches people in need on multiple levels- getting them the help they need to get off the streets and improve their lives. The Mission provides emergency shelter for up to 175 individuals, food and clothing services, and recovery help, in hopes to break the cycle of homelessness.  Overnight guests are provided a shower, a clean bed, and even the opportunity to exchange torn and weathered garments with clean, warm ones.  

For those of us Portlanders that are fortunate enough to have secure shelters, clothing, employment, and families, we have the opportunity, and ability, to show our appreciation by getting involved and giving back to a community of people who don’t have these luxuries.  My suggestion to you all: give back, volunteer, pay it forward.

I can’t say enough about how much fun my team and I had during our visit to the Portland Rescue Mission.  The folks we came in contact with were extremely gracious and thankful for our time. Just the simplicity of helping start their day off with a smile, seemed to make a difference.  

The Rescue Mission serves more than 230,000 meals each year and are always in need of great people to volunteer their time to reach out to the population of hurting people.  I promise you that a couple of hours at the Mission will pay you back more than you will ever imagine.  When we were there, we learned that the thing lacking with most of the homeless population, is the bond formed from relationships.  Volunteering is a great way to help these people feel any sort of connection to others; something that most of them have lacked most or all of their lives.

Volunteering is a great way to get your children involved in giving back to their community, too! And the Rescue Mission will allow children as young as 8 years old to volunteer as long as they are accompanied by an adult 18 years or older.

There are multiple ways one can volunteer at the Mission. Whether it’s sorting through donated clothes, serving food (either breakfast or dinner), answering phones, or training residents  – the choice is yours, and all are equally appreciated!

Give back to our amazing community, lend a helping hand, and spend some time volunteering with The Portland Rescue Mission.  

Neighborhood: Northwest Portland
111 W Burnside 
Portland, OR 97209
Click for map

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Day 249: Polar Express at the OMNIMAX theater

I am officially in the Christmas spirit! 19 Days!  I’m trying my best to keep you updated on all the events and things to do that Portland has to offer during this time of year, but there are just SO many to choose from! And as the days wind down, I personally find myself trying to fit all of the plays, choirs, bazaars, caroling, and the thousands of other fun things to do around town, into my schedule! However, one thing I’m not leaving off my list is a viewing of the holiday film, Polar Express, at the OMNIMAX dome theater at OMSI.    

The OMNIMAX experience is unlike anything else we have in town.  I was fortunate enough to receive a private tour, and let me just say that it was amazing! Before you even enter the theater, you can walk by the room where they actually load the giant film reels onto a conveyer belt that takes them up to the projector.  They need the belt because the reels are so heavy- (400 pounds!) I guess that’s what happens when you have film that is physically ten times larger than the size of regular theater film. When you walk in, you are completely enclosed in the dome. and the entire thing is the screen! The OMNIMAX also has very slanted stadium seating that allows a great view of the screen no matter where you sit.  And the unique difference between watching a film at OMSI versus a movie theatre is their famous domed screen that soars over 5 stories tall and 79 ft wide, totaling 10,000 sq ft! It’s the biggest screen in Portland and this holiday season seems like the perfect time to see it for yourself. Right now, OMNIMAX is featuring the Polar Express Christmas movie, Friday- Sunday at 6:00 p.m.  Imagine watching the snowy adventure of one boy’s journey to the North Pole on a screen of unsurpassed size and powerful impact, combined with the rip-roaring sounds from their 15,000 watt digital sound system. Sounds pretty awesome to me!

Tickets are $6 for adults and $5 for youth.  

OMNIMAX always features several other films that will surely take you on a journey.  Travel through space, sea, the human body, or many other exciting expeditions that are sure to be both entertaining and educational. OMNIMAX theater is a must-see any time of the year!

Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI)
1945 SE Water Ave
Portland, OR 97214
Click here for map
Parking is $2
(503) 797-6420

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Day 247: Grotto Festival of Lights

Happy Civil War day!!  Good luck Ducks and Beavers, may the best team win!! After the game, most of us are definitely need to unwind, and nothing is more calming and serene than a festive night at The Grotto Festival of Lights.  

From now through December 30th the Grotto is lit with over 500,000 lights and will feature more than 150 musical performances. It’s the largest Choral festival in the northwest! It’s truly a magical experience, and one that has become a long time Portland tradition – 23 years and counting. Take a lighted stroll through the grounds, and you’ll undoubtedly hear beautiful Christmas choruses coming from the Chapel while your kids can enjoy puppet shows, hot chocolate, and a great petting zoo.   

The walk through is an outdoor event so be sure you bundle up and bring appropriate rain gear in case the fine Oregon weather decides to make an appearance too.  Entertainment areas are set up with tents and some areas are even indoors so you can warm up during your adventure.  

The average walk through takes about 90 minutes. 

Admission is $8 for adults and $4 for children ages 3-12.

Open daily between 5pm-9:30pm.

Neighborhood: Northeast Portland
8840 SE Skidmore St
Portland, OR 97220
click here for map

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Day 245: Singing Christmas Tree

What’s your family’s holiday tradition?  I’ve been asking around and the results are in! Many of you agreed, each year you have to see the Singing Christmas Tree! For those of you who haven’t been, maybe this is the year to start a new tradition and go see it for yourself!

 If you love Christmas music, and have an appreciation for talent, then this is the event for you. A large choir stands in descending rows that fall in the shape of a tree. They then carol you thorough the night of entertainment. They truly are a Singing Christmas Tree.  Not only do they sound absolutely beautiful, but they are entertaining as well; performing goosebump-worthy renditions of Christmas classics, coupled with actors and actresses who perform witty scenes along with the music. I can guarantee this: you’ll laugh, you’ll sing along, you’ll feel nostalgic, and you’ll have fun. Sounds like a good time to me!

The concert ends this coming December 4th but tickets are still available and there are dual showing at 2:30 and 7:30 this Thursday and Friday and a final two showing on Saturday at 1:30 and 6:30.  

Tickets range in price between $10-$75 depending on the seat and area of the Orchestra.  

Neighborhood: Southwest Portland
222 SW Clay St
Portland, OR 97201
Click for map

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Day 244: Providence Hospital Festival of Trees

Welcome to December, Portland!  Its holiday time, so as we count down the days until whichever holiday you’re personally celebrating this year, I ask you, what are you doing to make the most of them?  For me, I do this by getting involved in as many holiday events as I possibly can. This year, first on my list is Providence Hospital’s, Festival of Trees.  

There’s plenty to do, a tremendous amount to see, but most importantly, the proceeds from Providence Festival of Trees support critically needed health care for children and adults and leading-edge research at Providence Health & Services.  Over 100 themed tree displays will be decorated as part of the main festival village for all to walk through and enjoy. Some of last years themes include, “I’m dreaming of a Green Christmas”, and “Sugar and Spice and everything Nice!”.  These displays are created by local designers, businesses, or volunteers, and are beautiful to say the least! 

Take the little ones to see Santa, and then head to visit the “Teddy Bear Hospital”.  All children ages 12 and under will receive a free teddy bear as they are “admitted” to the hospital. There, they will be greeted by real doctors, nurses, and caregivers as they take their teddy bears through an interactive adventure through the emergency rooms, operating rooms, an ambulance, and doctor’s offices.  It’s fun, educational, and between you and me, I think that it helps kids conquer their fears of doctors and hospitals.

Adults can enjoy the holiday displays and demonstrations and even come away with a few decorating ideas to make thye holiday a little brighter.

The Festival main stage will feature continuous live performances from local artists and performers, and there will also be displays of model trains and gingerbread houses for you and your family to “Oo” and “Ah” at! Over the past 27 years, the festival has raised more than $6 million. Please join in the fun and help brighten the lives of some of our community’s most vulnerable people this holiday season.

The event takes place at the Oregon Convention Center, Hall A.  
777 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Click here for map
Doors open Friday December 3rd from 10am-9pm and Saturday December 4th from 10am-6pm.
Tickets are $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, and $4 for kids ages 3-12.  
Click for a coupon!

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Day 243: Ice Skate at Lloyd Center

You know it’s Christmas time when your life has a 24 hour Christmas soundtrack, your house smells like cinnamon, you watch back to back Christmas movies, you’ve already made a gingerbread house, and you always have hot cocoa with little marshmallows in your mug…OR maybe that’s just me? If you’re not in holiday spirit overload like I am, try one of the best ways to get excited- bundle up and get your skate on at Lloyd Center Mall’s indoor ice skate rink.  

I’ve always been jealous of the Christmas movies where it’s snowing and people are ice skating in Central Park and the Rockefeller Center. But, Portlanders, I have to admit, skating inside the mall with the decorations and the hustle and bustle of holiday shoppers is just as festive in my book.  Whether you’re a pro, or never been ice skating before, the Lloyd Center ice rink is a fun place to do it! Ice skating is a fun idea for a first date, or even a family outing! In fact, why not take the kids to see Santa after and make it a whole day filled with Christmas cheer.  

Admission is $6 with a $3 skate rental and special rates for Friday and Saturday nights.  Never skated and are too nervous to try your luck on the ice?  Why not take a lesson or two?  A seven week session is only $69 and makes for a great gift for that aspiring skater in your life.

Enjoy Portland’s Ice Skating Tradition, and try it!

This Sunday, December 5th, is the Portland Police Bureau Sunshine Division Skate event.  Bring 8 cans of fruit and get free admission and skate rental.  

Happy skating!

953 Lloyd Center
Portland, OR 97232
Click for map

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