Are you looking for a delightful place to spend a couple hours (or the whole afternoon) with your favorite little person?
Has this precious little one exhausted you with repetitive running up the hill and down the hill, singing “Old MacDonald” 150 times or watching a favorite Thomas and Friends Adventure over and over? Even though every moment spent is a joy, you should mix it up a bit and head for The Portland Children’s Museum right away.
Grandson #3 (2 years old) and I went for the first time this week and boy, did we have fun!
This museum was created especially for ages 0-12. The rules state that anyone outside that age group has to be accompanied by a 0-12 year old person. I love this rule! This insures that Grandmas can have some real, little child fun! There is lots of sensory input from floor to ceiling in all areas. Every themed activity has it’s own delineated space, yet is arranged in a way that has an “open” feel.
My favorite was the Mini Market (probably because I loved playing “Store” when I was little.)
They have mini carts, baskets and play credit cards. Rubber food in beautifully realistic displays that is so authentic you want to take a bite. (My little man had a hard time resisting the slice of wheat bread.) Each one of these items has a chip that when scanned at the mini check out makes the appropriate “beep” and registers a price on the screen. How cool is that? When we visited the store, there were about 10 kids present. I was so impressed with how they each took a roll as shopper, cashier or bagger with essentially no conflict. The sharing, helping and ease of roll-change was inspiring. This happened with almost no adult intervention or guidance other than a parent or grandparent offering a short remote suggestion or warning.
My little partner’s favorite was the modified for kids old steam engine located just inside the entrance. It had knobs, toggles, cranks and pulls producing “hoot, hoots” and “chooga, choogas”. Since he is a train man, this engine quickly became his base of operations which he consistently returned to before rushing out to the next adventure.
There is an animal hospital with kennels housing a variety of stuffed animals. An operating table and exam tools help complete the veterinarian experience. We enjoyed watching the budding actors perform on a real stage. The wet, water room was amazing! There is a construction room and an excavation area that is filled with rubber “gravel” and lots of mini earth moving equipment. A giant alligator stretches out on his back at the dentist’s office with a big toothbrush at hand. The kids can brush his enormous teeth while sitting on his belly. Story telling, crafts and face painting happen at intervals throughout the day. This is a wonderful place!
Don’t miss this fantastic opportunity to spend some memorable play time with your favorite “Grand…”. Friday is free day and over 55’s always get a discount on admission, so there’s no excuse not to choose The Portland Children’s Museum for your next day of fun with your little one. If you’re not near Portland there might be something like this in your neighborhood too. Google “Things to do with small children” and explore. If you find yourself in our neck of the woods make sure you come and have some fun at our museum!
About the Author
For 40 years, Beverly has worked in the fine-dining restaurant industry. From Chicago to Salt Lake City to Portland, she has contributed to the success of each city’s most highly acclaimed restaurants. As a result, her knowledge of wine and food is vast, both of which she is passionate about. She currently co-manages one of Portland, Oregon’s most historic and prestigious restaurants. Her position allows her to mingle with some of today’s most exciting winemakers and chefs.
When she isn’t chatting with a wine rep or putting together a food and wine pairing menu, you’ll find Beverly working hard in her beautiful vegetable garden, baking fresh goods and spending time with her three grandsons.