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Portland Rock Gym – Private Guiding

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What’s to Love:  A couple of years ago, I wrote an article called “Gym to Crag,” where I highlighted Portland Rock Gym’s (PRG) excellent outdoor climbing program that is specifically designed to get indoor climbers out on real rock. By heading out to local crags, climbers can start to build an appreciation and love for the environment, what it takes to maintain crags, how to climb responsibly, and definitely gain a new appreciation for the grade of 5.9+. For those of you who want to “kick it up a notch” and personalize your outdoor fun, or who want to take the whole family out, I recommend hiring a private guide at Portland Rock Gym.

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The Toy Trains – 2015 & 2016 Shows!

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Come and check-out my band the Toy Trains’ (Facebook) 2015/2016 shows at Mississippi Pizza Pub! We’ve been at this since 2005 – playing music for the whole family.

Listen to our entire Debut CD: http://thetoytrains.bandcamp.com/

All shows (4PM – 5PM) and $5/adult and EVERY 3rd Saturday of the month.

Saturday, September 19th
Saturday, October 17th
Saturday, November 21st
Saturday, December 19th
Saturday, January 16th
Saturday, February 20th
Saturday, March 19th
Saturday, April 16th
Saturday, May 21st

Come and see us sometime!


Butte Creek Falls

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IMG_2280What’s to Love: By far the best waterfall swimming I’ve had in Oregon period. It’s off the beaten path a bit, but it’s a lovely drive through Oregon farm country and only about an hour from downtown Portland. It’s the type of place you want to keep a secret, but since it was already published in Portland Monthly (and other publications), I thought I’d join the club.

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Wild Waves Theme Park

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IMG_2212What’s to Love: Another place it’s taken me forever to visit! I don’t know how many times I’ve passed Wild Waves on my way north to Seattle. I’m sure you’ve all seen it, especially if you have kids. The roller coasters and huge water slides are hard to miss, even speeding by on I-5. While it lacks the charm of Enchanted Forest, and the extreme cleanliness of Disney Parks, I was still impressed and look forward to our next family visit.

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Punch Bowl Social

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IMG_2019What’s to Love:  Punch Bowl Social is not a local company, and it’s located in the Pioneer Place Mall in downtown Portland. To many Portlanders, this may be two strikes against this national brand. I have to admit, the first time I headed over to scope-out the place for a possible article, I was skeptical. On my two visits to Punch Bowl Social, I observed a super clean space that provides indoor activities for a range of ages, and it’s definitely worth checking-out, especially for families.

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Wilsonville Family Fun Center & Bullwinkle’s Restaurant

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Frog Hopper Ride with Kidopolis Indoor Playland Play Structure in the backgroundWhat’s to Love: We’ve been going to the Family Fun Center for the past 8+ years, and it remains one of our absolute favorite destinations. I cannot say enough good things about the place. The staff members are friendly and responsive, the entire place is clean, there are SO MANY options for fun both indoor and outdoor, and they continually upgrade the attractions. Since we first went back in 2007, they’ve added a Sky Trail ropes course, Soaring Eagle Zipline, a new Kidopolis playland, cool new arcade and video games, and the awesome XD Dark Ride. Check out all the attractions here.

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Hiking Lower Macleay Park to Pittock Mansion

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IMG_1854What’s to Love:  This is an area classic! It’s a challenging 5 to 5.5 miles round trip, depending on a couple factors. There are also many options from the Lower Macleay trailhead. Check-out this hike I suggested in an article back in 2007 – it’s a 2 mile loop that is much better for younger kids. However, if your kids are up for a stiff challenge, the hike up to Pittock Mansion from Lower Macleay is a step up on the Forest Park hiking scale. Since it’s an “out-and-back,” you can always turn around if your kids revolt.

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Ultrazone: Portland’s Best Laser Tag

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IMG_1844What’s to Love:  We recently had a birthday party for our oldest son at Ultrazone, Portland’s best laser tag venue. After a delightful experience with their party planner, staff, and facility, I must agree with their moniker. The entire experience from start to finish was well organized and fun for all. Just be warned, if you’re a parent playing with kids, you have no chance of winning a game. The kids will follow you around  and tag you every chance they get! It’s a venue where adults and kids can play safely together.

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Mississippi Pizza – Family Music!

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IMG_0244What’s to Love:  If you’re looking for a place to enjoy pizza, beer, and family-friendly music, you cannot beat Mississippi Pizza Pub (MPP). I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to get MPP on my site. I have a longtime relationship with this flagship business located on North Mississippi Avenue. It was the first venue I ever played in Portland, which was way back in 2001. At that time, my band was called “Vince Schreck & The Expendables.” Things have changed so much in the past 14 years, but what continually shines through with the MPP is their commitment to live music.

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Hiking Council Crest

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Council CrestWhat’s to Love:  From the Marquam Trail Shelter Trailhead, it’s a stiff 1.7 mile walk uphill to Council Crest Park. The trail crosses several roads, and passes closely to nearby homes. Despite the close proximity to civilization, this hike offers a nice challenge to hikers of all ages and certainly is worth doing at least once.

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