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outing- Enchanted playhouse and a great deal!

Outing- Enchanted Playhouse

Located:  11520 82nd ave, just a block from the Clackamas mall.

Phone # (503) 908-0633

We went with our friends Shannon, Lexi and Owen last week. We had a great time! The boys napped and otherwise chilled in the baby swing or in the Moby Wrap. The girls were all over the place. Lexi was more adventurous to try all the toys Arora stuck with her few favorites : bouncy house and slide, and the roller coaster car.

I had to help her up the first time or two but then she liked it so much she was motivated to try a bit harder and master the skill.

There were a few older kids (5ish) and a few other toddlers but it was mostly empty. We played for around 2 hours, but once you pay you can play all day. We will absolutely be going back. It is a great place to go on a rainy day.

Normally it is $7 per child to play but you can get 3 passes for $10, a $11 savings! I’ll take it! But you have to act today. Trust me you kids will love it. A great things to put in your kids/grand kids stocking. (hint hint to Arora’s grandmas. 🙂 )  Click on the deal here .

outing-CHAP

Outing- Children’s Healing Art Project

Art Factory located at: 1030 NW Marshall in Portland’s Pearl District.

Open to the public: Friday- Tuesday 10-6. Sunday 10-5pm

Cost: $5/hour per child. Cash only.

We recently visited the Art Factory with my sister in law and her two kids (5 months and 20 months).  The babies hung out in baby carriers and the toddlers painted and played for an action packed hour.  There are two rules at CHAP, no painting on the windows or walls and no painting on the floor. You can basically paint/ decorate any other surface there, including a really cool castle, push cars, or even on paper.

Arora was all about the glue, colored glue, glitter glue, or just plain white glue. We normally use glue sticks at home so squeezing and touching the liquid glue was fascinating for her. I put somethings on the glue, but most of her first masterpiece was glue on paper.

Then we moved on the paint. We painted with brushes, cotton balls, pipe cleaners and feathers. As well as fingers of course. Arora did not want to wear a smock and I was surprised how clean her clothes were afterward.

Pros: Really great for art minded kids. The other toddler we went with was more interested in the toys then the paint. I love that the fee goes to help pay for their amazing program the brings art to kids in our local children’s hospitals. You can leave the art there while it dried and go back after lunch or a few days later.

Cons: My husband would hate going here, glue! paint! glitter! EEK not for some people!

 

 

Safari Sam’s

Last week we had some family in town from the Bay area. It was so nice to see them, and to try and convince them to move to Portland next year. We had a Monday morning outing planned but then the forecast of heavy rain ended our excitement of going to the zoo. Another sister in law, Ashley, had heard of a place called Safari Sam’s. We decided to check it out.

Safari Sam’s

16260 SW  Langer Dr, Sherwood Or 97140

(503)928-8000

Hours vary, see website.

Price: Adults and children under 2 are free. Kids 2-5 $4.95, Kids 6-18 $6.95. This includes the jungle gym only.

They also have:

Mini golf: unlimited play for 2-5 $4.00 & 6 years and up $6.00

Arcade games: Tokens are 4 for $1.00

Bouncy houses: open to ages 3-12 only, 1 15min jump $3.50 or unlimited jump for $6.00

Here is how their website describes the Jungle gym.

“Our centerpiece is the largest play structure in Oregon. Your kids will have hours of fun discovering all the different features we’ve built into our jungle gym, and we built (it) strong enough for the parents to enjoy too!”

Sherwood is a little far for our normal outings, especially because I got lost. The place is difficult to find. It is in a shopping center that is behind another shopping center. The map on their website is not detailed enough unless you are familiar with the area.

Once we arrived we were told that 2 year old were free for the jungle gym and went in with no cost. We met up with our group, 4 adults, one infant and 4 kids ages 1 to 4 1/2 .  The kids had a blast! Arora is normally timid when playing in close quarters with other kids. But she was having too much fun to be timid here.

One of the slides in the "littlest kid" area

The structure was huge! There was plenty of room for adults to be playing with their kids. I had feared it would be all plastic tube tunnels but that was not the case. The two 4 1/2 year olds were off like a flash and were all over the place.

We shared a large pizza and drinks and the food was really good.  The price was a bit higher then you would pay for a pizza at say Pizza Hut, but the drinks had free refills and boy did we need them.

We played for around 2 hours and then were ready for nap time. It was a great outing. We planned on going back again. Even though it was far away, I figured, since we get in for free we can just buy our lunch here and make it a regular “rainy day” outing.

L-R Ashley, Me holding Arora, Nate, Angela holding baby JJ. Front row Blake, Sam and Audrey.

Angela, my sister-in-law, said “I think this place is great for small kiddos when it is not very busy.  Definitely a place to come with a friend to help you usher kids back and forth to the restroom, or help them if they get stuck in the maze or need a boost… Surprisingly good pizza and great for a rainy day!”

Ashley, another sister-in-law, said ” It was a great place for parents and children to interact. The huge indoor jungle gym is a great place to bring the kids to let some energy out, especially because it rains so much here. I also liked how they had the glow in the dark inside putt-putt and the games. We also think the pizza was really good! And last but not least it was a good price, they don’t charge to play until they are 2 and even when they do the prices are very reasonable. As far as Blake’s (1y/o) opinion he appeared to have a really good time and loved being able to just run around and let out energy. It was also nice for him to be able to climb all over things which really excited him, not to mention wore him out. We had a great time as a family there and would recommend it to anyone with children of walking age and above!”

Fast forward to Thursday of the same week.

I had promised Arora that we would go swimming as a reward for going to bed nicely the night before. Then I found out that both our nearby indoor pools are closed on Thursday!  I decided to ask Arora if she would want to go to Safari Sam’s instead, she readily agreed. We called a friend of ours and planned to car pool out there.

When we arrived, we were told that 2 year old are not free.  I explained that we had been there just the other day and she was free. The clerk then said I should have to pay for today’s trip and the trip on Monday because she should not haven gotten in for free.  So we paid $4.95, for Arora to get in. The clerk was also rude to the other mom who came with us. Asking if they got in for free last time too.

Then the next clerk who wanted to stamp our hands and put a paper wrist band on my daughter was also rude. Arora tore off the paper wrist band and he told me she could get in trouble if she didn’t wear it.  Let me say, we were the ONLY people there. It was not like someone has sneaked her in.

When we were leaving the door clerk was rude again,  commenting to be sure we pay next time too. I felt much less satisfied with our trip. I think paying $5.00 for my two year old who can only do 1/2 of the activities was too expensive. I certainly wasn’t going to pay $5.00 to get in and then pay $10.00 for lunch. The staff was rude enough to not make me feel welcome.

EDIT *We decided to give this place another shot and I am glad we did.  We went with some friends and split the “Fun Pack” which includes one large pizza 4 drinks and 40 tokens for $29.95. So we spent $4.95 for admission, and $15.00 for lunch, drinks and 20 tokens. Not something we will do often, but not too expensive for lunch and hours of jungle fun.*

battle of the pools

I love to swim. Some of my earliest memories are of swimming in our backyard pool. A few weeks ago I decided to take Arora swimming.  The North Clackamas Aquatic Park is close to our home so that is where we went.

7300 SE Harmony Road
Milwaukie, OR 97222

(503) 557-SURF

Hours:  We attend the parent preschooler swim. Which is M,W&F 9-10:30.  See all hours here.

Price: It cost us $2.50 to attend the parent/preschooler swim. You can see all prices here.

We had a good time for the first 1/2 hour, then it started to get really busy. The area open for P/P is not very big. There were probably 20 families there and it was crowded.  There is a 1 foot pool with a small seal slide that my daughter really liked. There is also a wading pool with a big spray/water bucket feature. This part of the pool is 0-2 1/2 feet deep. The wave pool is not open for P/P swim times.

We left tired and happy. Actually Arora was NOT happy to leave and cries the whole way home to go back. Seeing how much she enjoyed it I figured we could afford the $2.50, once or twice a week.

The next time we went we did not have as much fun. The heater was not working the the pool was very cold. We ended up leaving because Arora’s lips were blue.

My step-sister Lisa told me she had taken her toddler to the pool at the Mt Scott Community Center. We decided to check it out this week.

5530 SE 72nd Ave, Portland Or

503-823-3183

Hours: See the website. The parent/preschooler swim is M, W &F 9-11:30. The hours will be changing to summer hours in late June. The summer hours are also posted on the website.

EDIT * We are on summer hours now. The only parent preschool swim is on Saturday at 9:30-11:30.*

Cost: It cost us $4.50. Prices are on the website, and vary by age.

The swim area is much larger then at the aquatic park. One side of the pool starts at 1 foot then gradually gets deeper to around 3 1/3 feet. There is also a spray/bucket/pipe water unit in the shallow end. There is an area with a current and a whirl pool too. Also it is warm.

So which pool is better????

Aquatic Park: Only thing they did better is the price.

Mt Scott Pool: Warmer, more room to play, actually deep enough for adults to swim in, longer play time, had plenty of floaty/noodle toys for the children to use. Also the current area is a lot of fun. In the deep end children could jump in with out hitting the bottom.

So I had to ask myself is the extra cost worth it?

Yes!

I actually had fun at Mt Scoot whereas at the Aqutic park I was cold and there wasn’t room for actually swimming. It was basically a cold splash pool.

We went back a second time to Mt Scoot and had even more fun then the first time. We plan to go around once a week, for fun and exercise.