Date Night | Broadway in Portland – Riverdance

I don’t know what it is, but finding a reliable sitter has been a challenge for us. So, getting to go out on a date night is a rare treat. Friday night we finally had a long overdue date night that included a trip to Keller Auditorium to see Riverdance.

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We didn’t really know what to expect, except a whole lot of Irish step dancing. Neil was open to going, but a little less enthusiastic than I was about the whole thing. But, in the end we had a really great time.

We arrived a bit early and were able to grab a drink, chat and just enjoy each others company. Once we found our seats we just soaked up the time sitting together having an uninterrupted conversation before the show started.

Once the show started, I was instantly drawn into the music and the dancing. While Irish step dancing isn’t really my thing I couldn’t help but be impressed by the dancers; how in sync they were, how fast their feet moved and just how beautifully choreographed the production was.

When intermission came, Neil and I both took out our phones (I know not so date night appropriate) but we were curious to learn more about the show and started googling the back story of the show and how it came to be. Once we learned a little more we put our phones down and picked up the program and read all about the amazing musicians and dancers.

The show started back up and once again I was hypnotized by the dancers quick feet. It was almost like they were floating at times. The second half of the show included our favorite scene, Trading Taps, which was a tap off between the Irish step dancers and two American tap dancers. The two American tap dancers were so engaging, hilarious and talented. The entire scene had us laughing and clapping because it was just fantastic.

Overall, I was very impressed with the show. It was so well done and the music director/fiddler was both of our second favorite parts of the show. Just so much talent in one show. I definitely left the show with more of an appreciation for Riverdance than I had come in with.

Don’t forget to check to see if the Riverdance 20th Anniversary tour is coming to your city!

We had a wonderful date night out at the theater and we can’t wait to return again!

Holiday Events This Week In PDX | 11.23.15

Who is ready to to kick off the 2015 Holiday Season? We are! I have been taking stock of all of the fun activities going on in the Portland area this week and thought I would share a few with you.

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November 26th: You have probably heard of a Turkey Trot but how about a Tofurky Trot? Join Tofurky for a 5k pre-Thanksgiving dinner race. Especially great for plant-based families!

November 27th: It’s the annual My Macy’s Holiday Parade on Friday morning. This has been a yearly tradition of ours and we are looking forward to attending once again this year. The parade runs from 9-10am and goes through downtown Portland – you can find all the route details hereTip: DRESS WARM. I don’t know what it is about the day after Thanksgiving but it is always freezing in Portland so make sure you dress nice and warm for this parade.

November 27-28th: This is one of my favorite weekends of the year because Little Boxes! Little Boxes is a city wide event that really takes Black Friday and Small Business Saturday to a new level. This event encourages you to check out participating local shops and they make a game out of it by including a raffle with really amazing prizes.

November 27th-January 3rd: Another annual event for us is Zoolights at the Oregon Zoo. Another event to bundle up for but it’s so much fun to see all the lights, ride the train and visit the bats. Also checkout their value nights if you are looking to attend but want to save a few dollars.

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What holiday events are you looking forward to this year? If you’re in Portland what are you favorite holiday events?

I hope you enjoyed this post and if you’d like me to post one weekly for this holiday season let me know! 

Adventures at Mt. Talbert Park | PDX with Kids

Adventures at Mt. Talbert Park | PDX with KidsOf the two of us Neil is the outdoor explorer. He is the hiker, the backpacker, the adventurer. For him it’s a passion. Me? I love camping and hiking but usually only after complaining or looking for excuses to bail on things. That’s until we had children. 
Adventures at Mt. Talbert Park | PDX with KidsHaving children put the outdoors in the forefront of my mind. I want them to spend as much time as possible enjoying the great outdoors, exploring, getting dirty, breathing in the fresh air and using all of their senses to become more familiar with the world around them. So about a 8-months ago I decided that we would have at least one dedicated nature walk each week on top of the neighborhood outings and weekend family adventures. Adventures at Mt. Talbert Park | PDX with KidsOne of our more recent adventures was to Mount Talbert Park in Clackamas, Oregon. I hadn’t planned this outing in advance but after a few long days solo parenting and a cranky afternoon I threw my hands up and said “we are getting out” so I packed us up and out we went. 
Adventures at Mt. Talbert Park | PDX with KidsIt was a chilly day but the fresh air was just what we all needed and the kids were geared up in their Cozey 7 Trailhoppers so they were cozy and warm. 
Adventures at Mt. Talbert Park | PDX with KidsThere is a small loop just to the right of the picnic area that was perfect for both A and E to run around and explore. They spent time drawing with sticks in the dirt, playing with the gravel and chasing each other. 
Adventures at Mt. Talbert Park | PDX with KidsWe also made our way to the paths on the left which were a little steeper and rockier. The path was on the skinny side which is a little more challenging with littles but we made it up about 1/2 a mile before heading back down to have a snack and to do the loop once again. 
Adventures at Mt. Talbert Park | PDX with KidsOf course we had to stop and say hello to the squirrel friend as well. 
Adventures at Mt. Talbert Park | PDX with KidsOverall I really enjoyed this nature area however I will say to do the paths that go up in the woods I would feel a little more comfortable wearing A and/or having Neil with us to do those paths but the loop is great and I love that their is a covered picnic area.

Disclaimer: Cozey 7 provided us with their trailhoppers at not cost. We were not required to review them but I’m sharing them because I think they are fantastic.

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Why do I love Cozey 7 – the trailhopper? I love the wide neck on them that allows them to be worn over most anything without restricting the neck. I also love their little carrying bags and just how high quality they are. Also they run a bit big but that’s a good thing because it allows them to fit over even bulkier clothes and will last your little ones longer. For reference Edith is around 38 or so inches tall and 28lbs and she fits perfectly (with extra room) in the 18m-2T size.

Adventures at Mt. Talbert Park | PDX with KidsYou will surely be seeing them regularly on our blog and instagram over the cool months.

Cozey 7 has a kickstarter running right now and I encourage you to check them out. If you love spending time outside with your family and you want to keep them nice and warm these outfits are perfect!

Apple Picking | Mt. View Orchards

Fall is my absolute favorite time of the year and growing up we always went apple picking in the Fall. I can remember piling in the car and heading to Grand Isle (Vermont) for the yearly apple festival and we would stop at the orchards to pick apples, eat apple cider doughnuts and sip apple cider.  While you won’t find apple festivals in Oregon, apple cider doughnuts and you don’t get that Fall smell (New Englanders/Upstate New Yorkers know what I am talking about) you can still find a few u-pick apple orchards most of which are in the Hood River area.

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We had a bit of trouble finding an orchard that still had apples because due to the hot weather the apples have ripened 2-3 weeks earlier than normal. After finding out that our first two picks were out of apples we finally (at 11pm the night before) we found Mt View Orchards and it certainly lived up to it’s mountain view name.

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Once we arrived at the orchard we found out that they had not only 70 varieties of apples to pick but also Italian plums and a few different varieties of pears. The best part they were only $0.50 per pound!! We ended up heading home with 40lbs of fruit – I see lots of dried fruit, pies, baked apples and stewed fruit in our future.

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We picked and picked and picked. The kids had so much fun picking the fruit, munching on plums and running through the orchard. Mt View even had a hay ride through the orchard, a few animals including a Texas longhorn and a play area for the kids. The staff and owners were friendly and helpful as well which just made the experience even better. The only thing I could have asked for was a crisp Fall New England day (haha).

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Howell Territorial Park + Matt’s Munchies Snack Date | PDX With Kids

2015_05_27_Howell Territorial Park-signHere I am once again catching up on posts from adventures we have taken over the past few months. This time it was a trip to Howell Territorial Park on Sauvie Island.

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This was one of those adventures that I honestly had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. All I knew was that there was an old house, an apple orchard and some trails to walk on. 2015_05_27_howell territorial park-group Things started off pretty well until we started to look for a trail to walk. The trail we found was covered in hay and for out littles it wasn’t the easiest to walk on. Edith had on sandals and after awhile we realized that maybe this nature walk just wasn’t the right fit for us. We never real found a good trail and in the end the overgrown grass was too much for everyone. So we decided that heading back to the picnic tables for a snack and running around was a better idea.2015_05_27_Howell Territorial Park-edith

For this snack date we had Matt’s Munchies fruit snacks. These are basically fruit leathers but in little squares which make them easier and more fun to eat. Now this wasn’t my first time enjoying Matt’s Munchies but it had been years so I was excited to try them again.
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I tell you they were even better than I had remembered. We all were pretty hungry so we ended up trying every flavor. While we really enjoyed most all of them the ones that stood out were the Island Mango (coconut and mango), Banana Coconut and Banana were the hands down favorites. The only two flavors that weren’t popular with the adults or littles were the Mango Acai and the Mango Ginger, however if you are a big fan of ginger or are looking for a tummy tamer the mango ginger would be perfect for you. Overall Matt’s Munchies was a snack date winner! 

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Powell Butte Nature Park | PDX With Kids

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I don’t know why it took us so long to visit Powell Butte Nature Park but we finally made it there. I had no idea what to expect but it ended up being a really great hike especially with littles. 2015_06_14_PowellButte-drink2015_06_14_PowellButte-E&NI have to admit that we hiked Powell Butte a few months ago now and I am just getting around to posting about it and I tell you Edith has grown up so much just in the last two months. Looking at this photo of her and Neil at the trail sign and I can’t believe how much she has changed.
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One of the really fun things about this hike was all of the nature signs that showed you what creatures and plants you might see in the various areas of the park. It was so interesting to see all of the plants, animals, reptiles, insects, ect that live there. 2015_06_14_PowellButte-drinks

Now the actual hike up to the butte is pretty easy for little legs so it made it the perfect hike for our family. Once you make it to the top there is a spot that lays out all of the mountains that you can see (on a clear day) from the top of the butte. Plus it mazes a great spot to run in circles. 2015_06_14_PowellButte-circles

We didn’t end up making the loop around the butte but we will be back soon to give it another go. The only thing you have to be aware of are there are also bikers on these paths so keep your eyes peeled! 2015_06_14_PowellButteTandem

While this is a great hike for little legs sometimes those legs want to ride back down the hill. 2015_06_14_PowellButte-walkOverall this was a great toddler friendly hike with lots of informational spots, the hike was easy for little legs and it had a great view. There are also learning centers on site as well however they were not yet open during our visit.

Who else has visited Powell Butte? Thoughts? What are your favorite Portland area hikes? 

 

35 More Days of Summer | #summerbucketlist

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There is officially a few more weeks before Summer turns into Fall. While we are in the midst of trying to get ready to move I can’t help but think about trying to fit in a few more fun things before the summer is officially over and the rainy season starts here in Oregon.

So I reviewed our bucket list and we have actually accomplished most of the items on it.

Visit a new park or playground. CHECK.

Visit a new park or playground. CHECK.

Go for a bike ride. CHECK.

Go for a bike ride. CHECK.

Enjoy a big bowl or cone of ice cream. CHECK.

Enjoy a big bowl or cone of ice cream. CHECK.

…but we still have a few things to cross off such as:

Attend an outdoor music event.

Attend an outdoor movie.

Make popsicles and enjoy them outside.

Have a lemonade stand.

Stay up late and lay under the stars. – 8/27 perfect day for this 

Go for a train ride.

Feed the ducks/geese at the pond.

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What is/was on your bucket list for the summer? How many have you accomplished? Any musts before the summer is over? I think that attending an outdoor music event and going for a train ride are highest on our list.