Category Archives: Outdoor Activity

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 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 242: Quail Creek Ranch Christmas Tree Farm

Welcome back from a great Holiday weekend!  I don’t know about you but, I personally seized the weekend.  I was blessed to spend time with friends and family, and to top it all off, I was able to tear it up on the mountain!  Fellow snow bunnies out there- it’s going to be a great year on the slopes!

Now that Thanksgiving is over, the clock starts ticking…there are only 27 days until Christmas! So, like many Portlanders out there, I am on the search for the perfect Christmas tree. And the sooner the better! No worries, I have found the perfect place- Quail Creek Ranch located off of Northwest Kaiser Road.

Quail Creek’s Christmas tree lot has over 10,000 trees complete with the large variety of 6 different types of trees to choose from!  You’ll be sure get the perfect size and style that you’re looking for.

Enjoy free candy canes and hot chocolate that’ll warm you up as you sit by their outdoor covered fireplace.  

Feeling brave this year and want to cut your own tree?  They have plenty of saws for you to give it a go, otherwise, they are more than happy to assist you with cutting one down. Or, if you prefer the simple route, Quail Creek lot attendants can help you select from one of their many freshly cut trees, making for a quick stop, and off you go!  

I’ve always said that Christmas begins when the tree, so head to Quail Creek Ranch Christmas Tree Farm and start your holiday season off right!

Neighborhood: Northwest Portland
9949 NW Kaiser Rd
Portland, OR 97231
Click for map

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Day 240: Jingle Bell Run/Walk

How was your Turkey Day Portland?  I hope it was filled with lots of friends, family, and FOOD!!  I stuffed myself silly and woke up this morning feeling as if maybe I took one too many bites of pumpkin pie and in need of some major calorie bringing.  Lucky for us the Jingle Bell Run/Walk is just around the corner.

The event is going on in just a few short days so don’t wait to register.  Enjoy some holiday spirit as you join thousands of runners and walkers to help benefit the Arthritis Foundation.  It’s a win-win situation.

The route is a 5K starting at the World Trade Center.  Entry fees are $25 and include a long sleeved event T-Shirt and Jingle Bells.

Do something fun, help those in need of your support, and burn off those Thanksgiving calories.

Neighborhood: Southwest Portland
121 SW Salmon St
Portland, OR 97204


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Day 238: Macy’s Holiday Parade

One more day until I get to do one of my favorite things- get stuffed off stuffing!  Thanksgiving is the perfect excuse to eat ‘til your hearts content, and I plan on it!  This weekend, while you enjoy a great holiday with your loved ones, make sure to include Portland’s own Macy’s Holiday Parade in your plans.  

The parade starts at 9am this Friday, November 26th.  For those early birds who plan on making the most of “Black Friday”, the parade starts at 9am so you can get plenty of your holiday shopping in before, and after the parade. It’s a great way to break up your day and do something that’s perfect for the whole family. This years parade will include live musical performances, bands, costumed characters, horses, and of course, the traditional GIANT FLOATS!    

The route begins on the corner of Northwest Park and Davis and stretches along Davis to Broadway. Then, from Broadway to Southwest Alder, Alder to Southwest 4th, from 4th to Northwest Flanders, and finally from Flanders ending on Park Avenue.  

The parade is scheduled to last about an hour and it’s going to be chilly so be sure to bundle up.  There are plenty of spots to duck into and grab a great cup of hand-warming coffee or hot chocolate.  

Enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday, Portlanders! And be sure to let the people around you know that you’re thankful for them.

Southwest/Northwest Portland – Downtown

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Day 227: Pioneer Courthouse Square Christmas Tree Lighting

Happy weekend Portland!  I hope you’re all enjoying some great college football this evening.  Or anything fun and exciting…  This is a little ahead of schedule but being that it’s one of my most favorite holiday events in town, I felt it deserved a bit of advance notice.  The Pioneer Courthouse Christmas tree arrived yesterday courtesy of Stimson Lumber and the official lighting is just around the corner.

The tree towers a whole 75 feet and is the highlight of the city during the holiday months – literally!  The best part is the lighting ceremony scheduled to happen the day after Thanksgiving, November 26th, at 5:30pm.

Pioneer Courthouse Square is filled with patrons from near and far to enjoy the spectacular lights, caroling, and great entertainment marking the true beginning to this years holiday spirit.

My mom and I will be there with hot chocolate in hand to celebrate her first year watching the official lighting of the tree – I hope you can join us as well.

Happy Holiday season Portland!

Neighborhood: Southwest Portland
701 SW 6th Ave
Portland, OR 97204
Click for map


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Day 223: Veteran’s Day Parade

Our city is abuzz with things do this week, but no one should miss this fantastic event scheduled for this Thursday’s Veteran’s Day.  This year marks the 36th annual Veteran’s Day Parade in Northeast Portland, and whether you are a Veteran, know one, or would like to support your troops, this would be a great way to show your appreciation.

What better way to celebrate and honor those who have served our country, by observing this great ceremony with friends and family.  

Coming from a large military family, I’ve always been touched by military services, and this one will be no different.  The parade will offer covered seating for seniors and people with disabilities, so don’t let this weeks forecast scare you. It would be good to be prepared with rain gear and warm clothes just in case the Portland clouds get the best of us, though!

The parade begins at 40th and Sandy with a memorial flag raising ceremony.  Don Malarkey, Oregon World War II veteran, is this year’s grand marshal. Malarkey’s first-person recollections of his war experience contributed to Stephen Ambrose’s book and also the popular television series, “Band of Brothers.” Along with a Bronze Star and other military honors, Malarkey recently received France’s Legion d’honneur because of his participation in the liberation of France.

Participants of the parade will then proceed through the route, which will end down towards 48th in Northeast Portland.  This will be the first year that 50 members of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America will march in the parade, and other participants will include marching bands, the historic horse-mounted Buffalo Soldiers Moses William Chapter of the 9th and 10th Calvary, military service organizations and marching bands. Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops will participate with parents and military veterans.

This FREE event starts at 9:45 a.m. so be sure to show up a bit earlier to get good seating.  This Hollywood area has plenty of coffee shops and places to grab the perfect “hand warmer” during the parade. Come support those who have vowed to serve and protect the U.S.A.

Neighborhood: Northeast Portland
Click here for beginning of route
Click here for end of route

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