World Forestry Center

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What’s to Love: Around 2005, the museum received a 7 million dollar renovation, and it shows! Most of the exhibits are family-friendly. The building itself is beautiful. Adults will marvel at the woodwork, hand carvings, and Cascadian-style architecture. I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting too much (in terms of family fun) when we decided to give the Forestry Center an initial visit, but I was pleasantly surprised.

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Pump-It-Up/Junior

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What’s to Love: When I think of family activities in Portland, I usually think of parks, playgrounds, biking, hiking, etc. I don’t think of a commercial place in the suburbs, but this place is way too much fun to be excluded. There are two separate businesses in the Portland area: Pump-It-Up and Pump-It-Up Junior. Junior is specifically targeted at toddlers and smaller kids. Pump-It-Up is great for adults and older kids.

So what is Pump-It-Up anyway? It’s basically a big warehouse with giant, inflatable play structures – bouncing areas, slides, and obstacle courses. The structures (at both venues) are sturdy enough for adults to freely participate. This type of play is good for adults – it makes you feel like a kid again, and your kids will love the freedom and physicality of the play.

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Oaks Roller Skating Rink

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What’s to Love: Do you want to teach your kid/s to roller skate? Look no further, this is your spot! The staff is friendly, it’s inexpensive, and it’s located right inside the Oaks Amusement Park in southeast Portland offering plenty of parking. For beginners, the staff will adjust the trucks on the wheels, so your kid won’t end up flat on his/her backside. This adjustment tightens the wheels so kids can literally walk/scoot across the floor. This helps develop their balance and their confidence. The rink also features some very fine lessons offered each skating session, plenty of room to skate, and of course, Chipper the mascot!

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Bowling – AMF Bowling Center

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What’s to Love: Bowling and kids go together like two peas in a pod. Rolling a very large, heavy ball and knocking things over – C’mon! Bowling is a great activity for kids. I have to admit, I’m not a much of a bowler, and I’ve probably been about 15 times in my entire life. However, I’ve already taken my son to this establishment (address below) on several occasions, and he loves it!

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A-Main Raceway/Hometown Hobbies

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A-Main RacewayWhat’s to Love: When I was in 5th grade, my parents bought me a remote control car from Radio Shack. I thought it was the coolest toy I had ever seen in my life. It had a 5 foot wire that ran from the “remote control” to the car, so basically, it was on a leash the whole time. When powered-up, the car would move slowly in a straight line. The controller had a single button, which when pressed, put the car in a reverse, left-turn. Unfortunately, that was the complete steering/navigation system. That car was the epitome of a “one trick pony.” When I wanted to turn the car, I had to hit the button over and over until the car slowly pointed in the correct direction. Still, that car was the envy of the entire neighborhood. Over the past 30 years, I haven’t seen many remote control cars or trucks until recently, and wow…was I pleasantly surprised!

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