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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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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Grand Central Bowling

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Grand Central BowlingWhat’s to Love:  Simply stated, this is one of the nicest bowling alleys you’ll ever visit in the greater Portland area. I haven’t been to all of them, but Grand Central is head and shoulders above most of the ones I’ve visited. Your family will certainly enjoy the leather couches, tables and food service right at your lane, upstairs game room, and cleanliness of the entire establishment.

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Cheese & Crack Food Cart

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What’s to Love: Yes, the food was excellent; however, I love that owner William Steuernagel funded this project via the “Kickstarter” website, which means many other people saw a need to take the lunchables concept to a whole new level.  Let’s face it, kids love cheese and crackers, so why not give them something higher quality, handmade, and locally sourced.  To learn a bit more, watch William’s Kickstarter video, which is very clever and fun!

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The Source Climbing Center – Vancouver, WA

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The Source Climbing CenterWhat’s to Love:  For climbers, especially with kids, it doesn’t get much better than here in the Portland area.  We have some world-class bouldering and climbing gyms all within a 15 mile radius of downtown Portland.  Opening November of 2011, The Source Climbing Center in downtown Vancouver, WA is the latest addition to the climbing community.  Beautifully designed, The Source was built from scratch and offers a totally separate area for young children and beginners interested in climbing.

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Little Big Burger

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Little Big BurgerWhat’s to Love: Portland has some great burgers, and we’ve sampled many of them.  Is “Little Big Burger” Portland’s best?  I don’t know, but it’s currently my favorite spot to indulge in a burger and fries.  My kids love it too, and even though very cramped, it’s a kid-friendly spot (two locations).

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John’s Incredible Pizza

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John's Incredible PizzaWhat’s to Love:  Open just a couple of weeks now (Grand Opening on Tuesday, March 29th, 3PM to 9PM), we spent nearly 3-hours at John’s Incredible Pizza playing games, enjoying the rides, and eating.  This place is HUGE (46,000 square feet) with over 110 games, but it’s the little things that actually make John’s worth a visit.

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Foster Burger

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Foster BurgerWhat’s to Love:  Foster Burger hand-grinds local (Lexington, Oregon) beef into some of the best burgers we’ve had in Portland.  They are just ridiculously good.  If you don’t believe me, perhaps you’ll believe Bon Appetit Magazine who named Foster Burger as one of the Top 10 Best New Burger spots for 2010!  “Burgers here taste of local artisanal ingredients: house-ground beef from Lindsey Ranch, Beecher’s cheddar, and Rogue Creamery blue cheese. The buns are made in-house as well as pickled vegetables, hand-cut fries, and some very good coleslaw.

Read More http://www.bonappetit.com/magazine/2010/07/top_10_best_new_burger_spots#ixzz1BAjxOayw
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Burgerville

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What’s to Love:  I know I might catch some flack for putting a fast food restaurant on my site.  However, Burgerville has clearly distinguished itself as a company with a local/regional focus on sustainable practices, which aligns well with our Guiding Principles at Portland Family Adventures.  I remember an E coli outbreak in beef a few years ago.  In response, Burgerville was “…the first fast food company to join Food Alliance and feature all natural, grass-fed Oregon Country Beef in all its burgers, Burgerville has a reputation for taking sustainability to the masses.” (source

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Hopworks Urban Brewery

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Hopworks Urban BreweryWhat’s to Love:  You may think you know where to find the best burger in Portland.  Well…you’re wrong!  Unless of course, you were thinking “Hopworks Urban Brewery.”  I generally don’t single out restaurants for their food ONLY, but I couldn’t resist mentioning the burger.  Usually, when I check-out a restaurant, I’m looking for good value with an atmosphere that is “family friendly” (i.e., they won’t kick you out if your kids has a meltdown, or you won’t get dirty looks while breastfeeding your kid). 

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New Seasons Market

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New Seasons Market “Seven Corners” store in SE DivisionWhat’s to Love: This is not only a great place to get groceries, but has become one of our favorite places to eat; thus, that’s why it’s in the restaurant section of this site. In my opinion, Portland should be very proud of New Seasons Market. In many ways, it epitomizes the Portland spirit of independence, supporting local businesses, the organic lifestyle, sustainability, and community building. When we were thinking of moving from Portland, New Seasons Market was probably the place we’d miss the most! We’re there nearly everyday – I know people in my local store, and they know me. It feels like a big family there.

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Bob’s Red Mill

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Bob’s Red MillWhat’s to Love:  Is Bob’s Red Mill a Portland Family Adventure?  Sure!  You know Bob’s Red Mill – they process the most gluten-free grains you’ll find this side of the Mississippi, if not the entire country.  Where else could you possibly find Amaranth, Date, Tapioca, Quinoa, Teff, Brown Rice, Millet and Kamut flour?  Many of these products are certified organic and kosher.  This little shop offers a couple other pleasant surprises, if you’re out that way.

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Timberline Lodge

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Timberline LodgeWhat’s to Love:   This could easily turn into another generic article on the iconic Timberline Lodge.  Built during the Great Depression, it has been in operation since 1937 and literally every aspect of the lodge has been covered by a multitude of articles, documentaries, Hollywood films, photographers, etc.  Even folks disinterested in the history or craftsmanship of the lodge are genuinely moved as they enter the lobby.  Can I possibly say something fresh and new about Timberline?

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McMenamins: Kennedy School

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What’s to Love: This is my favorite McMenamins in Portland city limits. I’ll admit, I’ve never been a big fan of their food, and my wife the Naturopath isn’t too keen on bar food, but they do have a few items worth mentioning. I always enjoy the Captain Neon Burger with spicy fries, and their fish-n-chips are pretty good. If you enjoy a good soda, definitely have their draft root beer, which is like a dessert.

While the food doesn’t knock my socks off, don’t let it deter you from making a trip with the whole family to the Kennedy School. The atmosphere and the “cool factor” more than make-up for any shortcomings. Located in NE Portland near 33rd and Killingsworth (see Website), the Kennedy school is a revamped elementary school complete with quirky bathrooms, a detention room bar, soaking pool, gym for larger events, plenty of classrooms turned into meeting rooms, and an amazing outdoor fireplace.

My son just enjoys wandering around the halls looking at all the different pictures. Accessibility-ramps have been added to maneuver around stairs, and children love running up and down these big ramps. As parents, you’ll admire all this whimsical art/tile work. The main dining area has a good family vibe, and when you’re done eating, you can always go check-out a movie!

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