Something I love about living in the Pacific North West is the weather. It’s usually never too hot and we certainly don’t mind the overcast days. If there’s a breeze it’s even better. A little bit of rain doesn’t scare us! That’s what jackets are for! Any day is a good day for going to the park. Our trip to the pictured park over the weekend was impromptu. We had planned on visiting a science museum but it was incredibly busy. The next best thing was enjoying some family time at a new to us park. Continue reading
The Portlandia Cookbook is a must have for any fan of the popular hit TV show. It’s a wonderful array of everything most celebrated about the city of Portland with amusing twists and humorous turns throughout. I feel that this book truly captures the saying most native Oregonians know about keeping Portland weird. It’s clearly not to be taken seriously so if that’s what one is expecting from this work, they’ll be quite disheartened. It brings the very best of the show from the characters to the unique locations together to deliver some pretty amazing recipes that any skilled level cook can pull off! Continue reading
It’s not really Fall until we make a trip to the Portland Oregon Zoo. Over the weekend, my family of four took part in the Howl-O-Ween trick or treat scavenger hunt event. We had been last year and knew this year we definitely not want to miss out. The event ran from October 25th & 26th from 10am-3pm. I believe it always happens one weekend before Halloween. So if you are planning on participating in the future, keep that mind! Also, Howl-O-Ween is completely free with zoo admission which makes it an even sweeter deal if you are already a member too. Upon entering the zoo gates, the friendly staff told us about the event and gave both my kids a scavenger hunt paper each. On this paper, there were seven clues on where they would need to go to get the paper stamped and receive prizes. I believe children as young as 3 years old could probably guess some of the answers. My kids age 3 and 6 knew the answer to most and only needed a bit of help from both my husband and I. The clues on this years scavenger hunt were:
- 1. Oregon Wild
- Halloween-colored cat who celebrates his birthday on October 31.
- Learn to see like a spider….if it doesn’t bug you too much!
- These huge scavenger birds are threatened by tiny pieces of trash!
- Dynamic redheads need your help to protect their homes. Their name means, “People of the forest”
- A group of these is called a “pride,” and Oregon’s pride just got bigger.
- Did you know? These long-necked animals have many different spot patterns?
The stations where children get their papers stamped were set up to offer an activity, a prize, and information about the corresponding animal. My kids were pretty excited about their prize whether a trinket, sticker, or candy. My 6 1/2 year old on the other hand was also pretty eager to ask about the animals from what they ate, where they lived, and a few other things. In fact, this is the first time we’d been to the zoo where she was following the map, locating where we were, and reading all the signs and information! I was very pleased that the Safe Kids Coalition made an appearance at this event. They had their own station with a volunteer from FedEx reminding children and adults to be safe and seen on Halloween. They handed out reflective treat bags, and slap on bracelets! My kids will be using these when we go out on Halloween trick-or-treating! The animals were all pretty lively and it was fun to see that the zoo’s enrichment team provided animals with holiday-themed treats like jack-o’-lanterns stuffed with snacks during this time of the month. I love visiting the zoo during the Fall, the weather isn’t too hot and even if there’s a little rain that’s nothing an umbrella, boots, and good rain jacket can’t remedy. We plan on attending again next year as we’ve deemed it a must visit attraction for our Autumn family traditions. Also, though not required, lots of kids were in costumes as well as parents too. I think this event is also a great alternative if perhaps you don’t want to take your kids out trick-or-treating on Halloween around those late evening hours. This event is not only educational but a lot of fun as well! I highly recommend checking it out next year! Though this event has passed there a birthday party for Amur tiger Mikhail, and a trick-or-treat party for tykes on October 31st at the zoo. For more details on that event click here (http://www.oregonzoo.org/events/tiger-birthday-trick-or-treat-party) Parking at the Zoo: $4.00 all day or 1.25 per hour. Get Connected with the Oregon Zoo: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Google+ | Flickr | http://www.oregonzoo.org/
DISCLAIMER: Through the Cascadia Connect group of bloggers I became aware of this event and was given free tickets for my family to go. Thanks to the zoo and others involved for this opportunity. My thoughts are mine and my family’s own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for this promotion.
Autumn has officially arrived and for my family, that meant a trip to The Original Corn Maze at the Pumpkin Patch on Sauvie Island! We had visited last year for the first time and made some great memories! My kids this year knowing Fall was right around the corner started asking me when we’d be taking a trip out there again. Even though we visited early in the season this time there was still much to do and we all had so much fun. Honestly, I couldn’t think of a better way to kick off the very first full day of the Fall season and spend time with my family.
This year, Portland’s original cornfield maze is celebrating its 16th season! The maze design is of the iconic Big Red Animal Barn, 100 year old oak tree, and tractor pulling in a load of pumpkins. It’s a classically appealing design that reflects the Pumpkin Patch at Sauvie Island perfectly. The twist and turns overall make up about two miles in this five acre cornfield! My kids thought it was really cool the design included some of their favorite attractions at the farm!
We knew the drill since we’d been last year but if you have any questions or are wondering how to get through the Maize a helpful staff member will fill you in. It’s unique and adds an element of fun on how you can get through. Basically upon entering the Maize, my family and I opted to grab a passport. The passports are filled with helpful trivia questions that if correctly answered, will point you toward the next path on your way out of the Maize.
There are passports of all kinds, we grabbed the Tiny Tots ( perfect for young children, it was actually a little to easy for our 3 1/2 year old and 6 year old daughter). You answer each question at a numbered check point in the maze. If you answer correctly you’ll be told which path to take next. Now, you don’t have to use the passports at all but I think they add to the experience. Also if you think you’ll need a map, be sure to scan the QR code with your cellphone at the entrance.
While exploring the Maize, there are fun CORNundrums to read and if you can locate them all, I believe you enter a grand prize drawing at the Maize exit (you can enter even if you don’t find them all, but you only have a chance to win if you mark all the correct answers). There are a couple of bridges in maze in which you can see for miles mountains and the pumpkin patch.
There are actually two parts of the maze. Once you get through the first section, you are brought back to the ticket and refreshment area in which can rest and have a snack before going into the second more challenging path! There were many twist and turns throughout the Maize that proved not just fun but challenging too. Roughly it took us about an hour or so to get through with my 6 year old daughter and nearly four year old son. I was very impressed with their endurance and we trekked through.
The paths in the maze were pretty dry right now but since it’s been raining and will rain more, I would highly recommend rain boots considering our experience last year. Also if you have little ones, an extra pair of clothes might be a good idea as well. It’s a farm, they are bound to get messy! It doesn’t hurt to plan ahead.
If you plan on visiting know there’s a lot to do! There’s the Big Red Animal Barn full of chickens, peacocks, emus, sheep, a goat, and more. There’s a hay maze for the tots, a giant hay climbing pyramid, and cow train rides! There are also many places to take fun fall photos of the kids! The free hayrides to the patch to pick out pumpkins are opening this weekend and that was a lot of fun for us last year!
Be sure to visit the gift shop, farm fresh market, and there are food vendors during the weekend. I picked up several decorative gourds, pumpkins, and a couple of mums for my yard from the farm. We love the Maize at Sauvie Island and will continue to come back every year. We are always excited to share about how nice it is out there. It’s great fun for the whole family.
SPECIAL: My Readers Save $2.00 off coupon for regular maze tickets. Limit 4 person customer. —– Order tickets online at http://www.portlandmaze.com/buy.php
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“Keeping Portland Lost Since 1999 Maize”
September: Open every day: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
October: Sunday thru Thursday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
October: 4-5, 11-12, 18-19, 25-27, 30- 31 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Open Sunday, Oct. 27, Wednesday, Oct. 30 and Thursday, Oct 31 until 10pm
**Disclosure: We were given tickets for The Maize to facilitate this review. My opinions are my own and have not been altered by anyone.**