Portland hiking

Wednesdays with Logan

 

This post is geared toward Portland area readers with kids, so if that doesn’t apply to you, feel free to skip!

Since February I’ve been home on Wednesdays to spend time with Logan. I’m still considered full time and get full time benefits at work, but I took a pay-cut to have this day each week with just me and my Little Dude. I’ve LOVED having my one day off a week to be with him. Sadly, that is coming to an end soon. Starting in September I’m going back to work full-time. I’ll have a new schedule working longer hours so I can have every other Friday off. We’ll see how it works out.

My goal was to do fun stuff each Wednesday just the two of us — hopefully out of the house. The first few months it was winter and gross out, so we did a lot of activities that were inside. Once the weather got nice we started doing outdoor things. I tried to find something new and fun each week. We did do some repeats of things that were fun and Logan really liked.

This website is really great for finding activities and there’s a daily calendar of events all around Portland. There are fitness classes, like group stroller walks and runs, Baby & Me Pilates class, reading classes, etc. I’ve used this website a lot to find things to do.

Logan usually wakes up pretty early so 6am we are up and at ’em! We have breakfast and play a little bit and if the weather is decent, we go for a run together. It’s a great way to have a change of scenery when Logan starts to get a little fussy and I get my workout in! We stop at our favorite coffee shop on our run. Sometimes we hang out and Logan plays in the kid’s corner. After our run, usually 1 hour long, Logan takes a nap and I do some laundry, clean the house and take a shower. Then we are on to our Wednesday activity!

Here are some of the things we’ve done that were particularly fun. Also, I tried to find free things as much as I could! Sometimes there was small fee for the activity. (We haven’t done the zoo or Children’s Museum yet because both are kind of expensive.)

LIBRARIES

Multnomah County Library – Tiny Tots and Storytime

The local libraries have a ton of activities for kids and toddlers. When the weather was really ugly, we were going to the library every other week! There was a toddler class that Logan loved going to. We sang, read books, played games and at the end of each class the teacher dumped two boxes of toys in the middle of the room for the little kids to play with. It was really fun and interactive and we both liked it. It was also free!

Each library offers the classes at different days and times. One time our library had cancelled the Tiny Tots class for the day so we went to a different library and checked it out. The class was a little bit different than our normal class, so it was a nice change!

Oregon City Library Art Class

One time we went to the Oregon City Library for an afternoon kid’s art class. It said “all ages” on the website and there were some younger kids there but Logan was just a little too young when we went, so we haven’t been back. But I plan on going again once he’s a little bit older.

The Oregon City Library is actually pretty amazing. They have a huge kids section on the main floor with tons of kids books, toys, a train set, legos, a reading nook, and those kid’s “kitchens” and “grocery store” toys. It’s a pretty nice library and we’ve hung out there a few times just playing with the toys and trains.

MUSIC

Chirp! Music Class

I wanted to include this class even though it was really expensive and we’ve only been once–because it was SO much fun. It was a really great class (first class is only $10) and Logan had so much fun. I really wish it wasn’t so spendy because I would have bought the punch-card and gone back again. Maybe in the future.

The class is lead by a music therapist. It’s interactive and geared towards fun, learning and brain development. She played songs on her guitar, passed out maracas and drums and tambourines for the kids to play with the music. Logan had a blast. (And my mom bought him some maracas to have at home since he loved them so much at class!)

Know Thy Food

This is a funky little food co-op in inner SE Portland that happens to have musicians come in and play for kids. We’ve gone to the Wednesday morning music class and the afternoon music class (different performers). It was fun and they just ask for a $5 donation, so not too expensive. There are toys and a train set, too.

WATER FUN

Mount Scott Community Pool

A friend of mine has a daughter who is about 2 months younger than Logan so we often meet up on Wednesdays to do stuff together. In the grossest winter months we were going to the Mount Scott pool at least once a month. It cost about $4 I think (Logan was free) and from 9am-11am the little kiddie pool section was open for toddler swim time. So we’d just go and hang out in the pool and float around. Logan was freaked out the first time we went and clung to me like an octopus, but then he warmed up to it. I’d like to go back and try to teach him how to float but he hated it when we tried before. Maybe he needs to be a little bit older…

Splash Pad — Oregon City Library

It was a particularly hot day and so we went to the Oregon City Library to check out their splash pad! (We had tried to go to the one in Happy Valley and it was closed when we got there.) It was a lot of fun. Logan wasn’t quite sure about it at first but once I showed him how to splash around in the fountains he really had fun. Also, free!

 

PARKS

Westmoreland Park

What a cool park! It’s really big with lots to do. The kid’s area is huge and there are so many neat things to explore. There are things to climb, rocks and “trees”, there is a sandy area and toys with a slide. There’s a picnic area. We’ve been a few times and the place is always packed with kids playing. There’s plenty of parking, and it’s free.

The only downside is the play area is out in the open, no shade, so if it’s a really hot day it gets warm fast.

Tryon Creek Park

Our plans for one particular Wednesday fell through so as a last minute idea we went out to Tryon Creek Park for a “hike.” It was fairly close to our house, so it was nice to discover a new place to go!

The park is really big and I think all the nature trails add up to about 7 miles. We didn’t really get a chance to explore much because Logan was leading the way. ๐Ÿ™‚ We “hiked” about 1.5 miles in an hour. Except a lot of that was just walking a few feet in one direction, turning around and walking back, then turning around and going back again. Ha! But it was cool to just let him explore nature and figure things out. He climbed trees, benches, logs, explored, played in the dirt, and just had a fabulous time.

It was pretty shaded, in the woods, with lots of trails and different paths to take. There is also a little store/interactive museum as part of the park. The park has bathrooms and it’s free to explore.

Mount Tabor Park

Mount Tabor is a Portland gem. It’s a fun park, in the middle of SE Portland, with tons of running and hiking trails, paved trails, several areas where kids can play and lots of kids toys. There are places to have a picnic or just hang out and the views of downtown Portland are phenomenal.

OTHER

JJ Jump

What a cool find! We discovered this place almost by accident and it was so much fun and so cool! For only $4 Logan got to play with all sorts of cool toys and climbing things and slides. They had open play and there were kids running around everywhere. He spent most of the time in the toddler room, which was super cool and very big. So much stuff to choose from.

There were a few other rooms. There was a bouncy house room with about 5 bouncy houses. Some big ones with giant slides, some smaller ones and a toddler sized bouncy house. There was also a black light room with bouncy houses and other cool things, plus a kid-sized rock climbing wall. It was definitely worth $4!

Hike It Baby

I discovered this group on Facebook and joined the local Portland branch. It looks like it’s all over the country now, so check our your local branch!

There are different kinds of organized hikes. Sometimes it’s parents hiking with babies/toddlers. Sometimes it’s “toddler led” meaning–the toddlers just roam around and you aren’t really doing much hiking! LOL But I love the idea. I want Logan to grow up curious and loving nature, so this is cool. It’s also a good way to meet other people! Just join your local branch and they post hikes and get-togethers on the calendar or their Facebook page.

Sauvie’s Island — Kruger Farms

Recently we met our friends at Kruger Farm’s on Sauvie’s Island for a picnic lunch and then time to just roam around the farm. They had some animals for the kids to check out. They had a giant pig (Matilda) that we were able to feed, a few smaller pigs, and chickens. The kids loved walking around the farm and checking things out.

Logan is too young to go berry picking, but I’m thinking next summer we will be able to try.

 

I hope you enjoyed this post! If you have any suggestions on stuff to try in Portland, please leave a comment! ๐Ÿ™‚

First Camping Trip

There was a bit of a dark cloud over my August. But summer wasn’t over, yet, and we had some stuff that we’d planned a long time ago, so that was a nice distraction from my sadness, too.

We did some camping in the Stub Stewart Park. We rented one of the rustic cabins and friends joined us. This was the first time we went “camping” with Logan and Bella. We’re hoping to go actual camping next summer! It was nice to get out of the house.

We’ve been to Stub Stewart park a bunch of times for day trips/hiking/picnics and it’s super cute and fun! We booked a cabin back in February (they book out far in advance!). The cabins are really cute. They are sort of private. They are pretty rustic–there’s electricity and a ceiling fan but that’s it. There was a bunk bed and a futon with mats on it, so it was better than sleeping on the ground.

We got cabin #8 at the end and it was a more private spot and it was pretty shaded, too, which was nice because it was in the 90’s again.

So I’m not going to sugar-coat it. Yes, the pictures and videos I posted looked good and we had fun but……….camping with a toddler was HARD WORK. Logan was into everything. He was fascinated by the fire pit and got covered in ash. He did not want to sleep in his crib in the cabin and we basically spent 2 days just chasing him around the campsite. Gone are the relaxing days where I get to sit back in a camping chair with a book and a beer and relax. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Despite the hard work it was to chase Logan and keep him out ofย everything, he was obviously having a fabulous time and loved every single minute of it! That was kind of cool to see and made me happy. It will be a little bit easier next year, I think, when Logan is a little bit older and understands more stuff.

We were there Sunday–Tuesday. Our friends joined us with their dog (which Bella loved having a playmate around!) and their 4 year old daughter. Logan LOVED chasing after the big kid! There was a trailhead right by our cabin and the kids just ran up and down the trail in a loop. ๐Ÿ™‚

On Monday it was going to be 95 degrees and since Logan wasn’t sleeping great in the cabin, we knew he wouldn’t nap so we decided to take a day trip to Seaside. It was a great idea. Logan got a 1 hour nap on the way there (perfect) and we hung out in much cooler weather on the beach!

This was the third beach trip this summer! Logan is now an expert. ๐Ÿ˜‰ This time he didn’t try and eat any sand! But he did discover how much fun it is to dig around in wet sand and get all dirty.

Logan loved running around on the beach, chasing daddy, chasing Bella…

It was so cool to see how much fun everyone was having! Bella was having a blast, too. She loves the beach. This time we brought her ball and let her off leash. She’s been doing so much better off-leash, so she got to run amok and wear herself out.

It was kind of the perfect day. We had a picnic lunch on the beach, had some beers. This was the most fun (and most relaxing) part of the camping trip. It was just fun to chill out and let the kids and dogs go nuts on the beach.

After that we got ice cream in Seaside then drove back to the campground. Logan got another nap, perfect timing! We got back and took showers. The facilities at Stub Stewart are really nice! It felt awesome to take a cool shower.

Monday night was hot. We had planned on going on a hike all together but it was just too hot for dogs and babies to hike. So we took it easy. We had burgers (with goat cheese, grilled figs and arugula) for dinner and sat by the campfire until pretty late. It was another rough night with Logan. He didn’t want to sleep.. ๐Ÿ™ It was just hot and weird and out of the norm, I guess.

Tuesday morning we had pancakes for breakfast, lots of cold brew coffee for this tired mama, packed up the campsite and our friends left and we did a quick (and short) family hike in the park before heading home.

I think our hike was just over 2 miles. ๐Ÿ™‚ Logan crashed immediately. And then when we put him in the car to head back to Portland, he slept the whole way too!

Man, that first shower at home after camping was so amazing. ๐Ÿ˜€ Even though it was hard work, it was a lot of fun and I am already forgetting the stressful moments and only remembering the happiness on Logan’s face. I know it will get easier next time!