Blackberry afternoon


What to do on a beautiful September afternoon? Pick blackberries of course!  We have a lovely blackberry vine growing in our back yard, so we never have to go far to fill our bowls and bellies.  Here is a sequence of our afternoon.


Oregon city farmers market

Last Saturday I took the kids to the Oregon City farmers market. It is held on Saturday’s from 9-2, and is located on Kaen road. We arrived around 10am and the first booth we visited had a huge cinnamon roll that was calling out to Arora.


We bought it and then wondered down to the Mexican food stand. I bought myself a pork tamale . We sat at an plastic table with an umbrella and enjoyed out treats.


After we were full and some of us were covered in frosting we kept browsing. We bought a small bag of hand made carmels and a 1/2 flat of just picked strawberries. Monday the berries will become jam, I doubt the carmels will last til Monday.

Something I found out at the market is if you want to pay with a card (debit or ebt) you can to to the information booth. You choose a dollar amount, they run the card and then give you tokens to give to the vendors. Great idea in case you don’t have cash on hand.

The market was fun, I’m sure we will go again.

free summer movies for kids

Have you wanted to take your kid to the movies but don’t want to pay $$$ to have them:

1. Not like it.

2. Have a melt down.

3. Be so noisy you have to leave.

Well here is a chance to see a movie for free. We are planning to try this out and see how Arora does. I have heard you should plan on arriving around 15 minutes early to get a good seat because they do fill up.

Here is the website to find a movie theater that is doing this in your area.

**At what age did you first take your little one to a movie? Have your taken your kid to a movie in 3D and how did they like it?**

Cultural pass

If you live in Clackamas County you can sign up for a free library card. This card is good at any library in Clackamas County. Each library has a selection of family cultural passes.  These are amazing!  There are passes to many different venues in the Portland area. Not all of the libraries have a pass for each venue, and each only has one pass for each venue. To use a cultural pass simple sign up for a day to check it out. You will have to fill out a form saying you agree to return the pass and if the pass is not returned you will be responsible for the replacement cost.

Each pass is only checked out for one day. You can pick up the pass the evening before the day you are signed up for it, one hour before the library closes. Or you can pick it up the morning you have it reserved. Be aware that some libraries open later on some day of the week. Then simply returned the pass one hour before the library closes.

We have used the pass for the Children’s Museum around 15-20 times. There is no limit how many times you can check them out. We normally will sign up for the pass again when we return it. Last summer we would go about 2-3 times a month. If we would have paid to go each time we would have spent between $300-500!

The busier libraries will have their passes reserved for weeks in advance so I suggest going to the smaller libraries for the passes.  There are about 5 libraries within 20 minutes of our home. There has never been a time when I wanted a pass and could not get one.  I just had to be willing to drive to a library we don’t usually frequent.  You can see which passes are check in and where here. Type Cultural Pass in the search bar.

Each pass will let a certain number of people in. The Children’s Museum lets in 3 people.  You need to check how many people the pass will let in before going. Also the pass should have the hours, address and phone number of the venue.  I would call ahead as many of the gardens will have different hours depending on the season.

Passes available:Rhododendron Garden, Portland Art Museum, Japanese Garden, Pittock Mansion, Chinese Garden and Children’s Museum.

Portland Children’s Museum

Where: Portland Children’s Museum, front of museum

4015 SW Canyon Road

Portland Or 97221

(503) 223-6500

Hours : 7 days a week, 9-5

Cost: $8 per person,  kids under 1 year are free.

Description: Wonderful place to learn and explore for young children.  Mostly aimed at ages 1-5, some activities for older children but most kids over 8 will be bored. Most exhibits are just the right size for toddlers/preschoolers to manipulate. The traveling exhibit which is Kangaroo crossing right now is aimed at older kids.

We have visited the museum many time starting when Arora was around 18 months. She loved this little flower patch back then. Where you can pick the flowers then re-plant them. flower patch Now her favorite is the water room. In fact she calls the museum “The Water Room”.  I have learned to dress her for the water room.  Pants that are a little too short and short sleeve. They have vests to cover the kids, but they still end up wet. We saw a boy on this last trip who was nearly soaked!water room at CM There is also a little grocery store and deli. A theater for dress up and stage play. There is a train table, play Tri-met bus and story areas throughout. If you have very little ones there is a baby garden that is designed for 0-3 years.

Another favorite spot is the face painting corner. Kids can color on their faces and it will easily wash off (except the red). Arora loves to paint Mommy’s and Daddy’s face too.painting mom's face

The best and worst things about the museum are :

Pros: Lots of different activities for children to play with. Arora loves it, so I do too. Plenty of parking.

Cons: The price! We only go when we can get in for free. (see tomorrows post on using cultural passes.) The bathrooms are always  in need of maintenance. Either the stalls are without locks, or are out of order. The toilets are small and close to the ground which are perfect for kids, but couldn’t they have a taller one for parents too? Weekends are always packed! There are often large school groups that flood the museum too. We have found that a Monday or Tuesday morning is the best time to go.Arora's face painting.