Autumn

Portland Japanese Garden

What: Portland Japanese Garden
Where: 611 SW Kingston Ave, Portland

When: Winter Mon. Noon to 4 pm and Tues.-Sun. 10 am to 4 pm; Summer Mon. Noon to 7 pm and Tues.-Sun. 10 am to 7 pm (Member hours earlier)
Why: The lush, meticulously-maintained gardens are breathtaking and peaceful
Cost: Children 5 and under FREE, Ages 6-17 $10.45, Students $11.95, Adults $14.95, Seniors $12.95

A Good Gray Portland Japanese Garden

My sister, who’s been an Oregonian for a few decades now, recently told me she’d never been to the Japanese Garden. I hadn’t been either, but she was especially frustrated it’d been on her bucket list forever, taunting her. Well the beautiful fall weather this week was just begging for an outing, so we decided to make. it. happen! I’m happy to report that my son, my sister, and I fiiinally made it to the Japanese Garden.

As my sister said afterwards, it met AND exceeded our expectations. It was absolutely gorgeous. Designed and started in the 1960s by a Japanese professor, this 9-acre garden has been called the most authentic of its kind outside of Japan.

You’ll find the towering evergreens and mossy grounds like any Northwest forest, but there are also plenty of water features, trees, and bushes that must look lovely in each season. There are two large rock gardens that are serene and peaceful. The grounds also include a cafe, gift shop, gallery, and learning centers (and the architecture is delicious).

Children are welcome, but they may need help navigating the quiet spots where you’ll find people seated and contemplating. You can do the whole garden quickly in 30 minutes, but allow more time to soak it all in. There are many stairs throughout, but if needed you can skip a lot of them if you use the shuttle from the parking lot.

The garden is located in Washington Park, right by the International Rose Test Garden. Parking is tricky and can be time-consuming, especially at peak times. Also brace yourself: the entrance fees are steep! Cultural Passes are not currently available to the gardens, but this could change because they’ve been available in the past. Also, families that receive SNAP benefits can get FREE admission.

Treat yourself to a gorgeous bit of a nature, whether it’s the vibrant changing trees or the bursting spring blossoms. I really think you and your family will love it!

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Halloween Haunts 2017

A Good Gray Halloween 2017 Portland OR

Here’s what’s spooky and silly this year on Portland’s west side:

OCTOBER 20 (FRIDAY)
Great Pumpkin Hunt at Garden Home Recreation Center (Portland, 6 to 8 pm, $10): Come for games, crafts, a bouncy house, and bring a flashlight and hunt for pumpkins out back. Register now.

OCTOBER 21 (SATURDAY)
Monster Mash Morning at Bridgeport Village (Tigard, 8 to 9:30 am, 9:00 to 10:30 am): Ways & Means Oyster House and California Pizza Kitchen are each hosting a fun morning for kids. Registration required.

OCTOBER 26 (THURSDAY)
Night-time Walkabout at Jackson Bottom Wetlands (Hillsboro, 6 to 8 pm, ages 8 and up): Register for this FREE event

OCTOBER 27 (FRIDAY)
Squishing of the Squash (Oregon Zoo, 11:00 to 11:30 am, FREE with zoo admission): Some of the world’s largest animals squish some of the area’s largest pumpkins
Enchanted Trail and Haunted Trail at Mary S. Young Park (West Linn, 7 to 11 pm, various prices): Bring kids 8 and younger to the charming storybook-themed Enchanted Trail, or wait later to bring the big kids to the freaky Haunted Trail.

OCTOBER 28 (SATURDAY)
Howloween at the Oregon Zoo (Portland, 10 am to 3 pm, FREE with zoo admission): Dress in costume and participate in this fun but educational scavenger hunt at the zoo, collecting treats and prizes.
Harvest on Main (Hillsboro, 10 am to 1 pm): Downtown Hillsboro’s former “Safe n’ Sane” event is now Harvest on Main, and includes more activities and longer hours. You can still bring kids for trick or treating at local businesses as well as fun activities.
Villains in the Village at Bridgeport Village (Tigard, 11 am to 12:30 pm): Wear your costume and come fight villains at this fun, free event
Dia de los Muertos Crafts (Beaverton Library, 11 am to noon)
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (Beaverton, 11 am, 1 pm, 3 pm): The funny, family-friendly retelling of a spooky classic.
Oaks Park Halloween Spooktacular (Portland, 1 pm and 7 pm): Skate in costume to Halloween music–games and costume parade too
Spooky Dance Party at Shute Park Library (Hillsboro, 7 to 8:30 pm): Dress in costume and come shake it to spooky (but not scary) music. For preschoolers and elementary schoolers.
Enchanted Trail and Haunted Trail at Mary S. Young Park (West Linn, 7 to 10 pm, various prices): Bring kids 8 and younger to the charming storybook-themed Enchanted Trail, or wait later to bring the big kids to the freaky Haunted Trail.

OCTOBER 29 (SUNDAY)
Howloween at the Oregon Zoo (Portland, 10 am to 3 pm, FREE with zoo admission): Dress in costume and participate in this fun but educational scavenger hunt at the zoo, collecting treats and prizes.
Not-So-Scary Halloween (Portland Children’s Museum, 10 am to 2 pm): Trick-or-treating, crafts, and games
Oaks Park Halloween Spooktacular (Portland, 1 pm and 7 pm): Skate in costume to Halloween music–games and costume parade too

OCTOBER 31 (TUESDAY)
Candy-Free Halloween (Portland Children’s Museum, 10 am to 1 pm): Trick-or-treating, crafts, and games
Spooky Babies Dance Party (Beaverton Library, 10:30 to 11:15 am, up to age 6): Bring your little ones in costume for a parade and fun.
Halloween Dance-o-Rama (Tualatin Public Library, 10 am to 11:30 am, ages 6 and under)
Trick-or-Treat at the Streets of Tanasbourne (Hillsboro, 1 to 3 pm or while supplies last, ages 12 and under)
Trick-or-Treating at McMenamins’s Grand Lodge  (Forest Grove, 4:30 to 6:30 pm, all ages)
Mall-o-ween at Cedar Hills Crossing (Beaverton, 5:30 to 7 pm): Trick-or-treat at participating stores

 

Anything fun I missed? Please comment below!

Thanksgiving Play 2016

It’s Thanksgiving again! Somehow! (Is it seriously almost 2017?? WHAT IS HAPPENING?!) Whether you’re planning a family run or looking to kick off the Christmas season, there’s plenty going on this week on Portland’s west side.

November 23 (WEDNESDAY)

Turkey Trot 5k Run/Walk + Kids Trot (Portland International Raceway, 5:30 pm): Register to run through the raceway’s holiday lights. Dogs welcome.
Harvest Month (Portland Children’s Museum, November): Participate in different harvest-related activities with your kids all November long.

November 24 (THURSDAY)
Turkey Trot at the Oregon Zoo (Portland, 8:00 to 9:45 am): This 4-mile fun run or walk winds through Washington Park and ends at the zoo. Children events included, and jogging strollers welcome. Register today.
Bridgeport Village Turkeython (Tigard, 8:30 am): This fun morning includes a 5k, 10k, and Kidathon. Register online.
Give ‘n’ Gobble (Sherwood High School, 9:00 am): This 5k walk or 10k run with a food drive is a Thanksgiving tradition. This race sells out, so register in advance.

November 25 (FRIDAY )
My Macy’s Portland Holiday Parade (Portland, 9:00 am): Kick off the holidays with Portland’s own Macy’s parade. Geared towards children.
Tree Lighting Ceremony at Pioneer Square (Portland, 5:30 to 6:30 pm): Witness the lighting of the 75-foot Christmas tree with holiday music and festivities.
Holiday Express Train Ride (Portland, weekends Nov. 25 to Dec. 18): Take a 1-hour ride along the beautiful Willamette with Santa on this holiday-decorated train. Made possible by the Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation.
Winter Wonderland Holiday Light Show (Portland International Raceway, Nov. 25 to Dec. 25, 5:00 pm): Drive through one of the largest light shows in the country. $20/car.
Zoo Lights (Portland, Nov. 25 to Jan. 1, 5:00 pm): Come see your favorite zoo all lit up for Christmas.
Christmas Festival of Lights (Grotto, Nov. 25 to Dec. 30, 5:00 to 9:30 pm): This family-oriented tradition includes dozens of choirs and hundreds of lights.

November 26 (SATURDAY )
Hillsboro Holly Days (Downtown Hillsboro, 1:00 to 6:00 pm): A Christmas extravaganza featuring Santa from 2:00 to 4:00 pm, live reindeer, train rides, the tree lighting at 5:30 pm, shopping, music, activities, and more.
Cinnamon Bear Cruise on the Spirit (Portland, weekends Nov. 26 to Dec. 27): Take a 2-hour ride on the Portland Spirit with Cinnamon Bear and friends. Enjoy snacks, drinks, and holiday activities.

Eek! It’s Halloween 2016

Halloween 2016Get the spooky scoop on all of Portland’s westside activities this Halloween.

OCTOBER 21 (FRIDAY)
Great Pumpkin Hunt at Garden Home Recreation Center (Portland, 6 to 8 pm, $10): Come for games, crafts, a bouncy house, and bring a flashlight and hunt for pumpkins out back

OCTOBER 22 (SATURDAY)
Monster Mash at Bridgeport Village (Tigard, 9:00 to 10:30 am): California Pizza Kitchen is hosting a fun morning for kids. Registration required.
Villains in the Village at Bridgeport Village (Tigard, 10:30 am to noon): Wear your costume and come fight villains at this fun, free event

OCTOBER 26 (WEDNESDAY)
Safe Trick-or-Treat at Pacific University (Forest Grove, 4 to 7 pm): This 18th annual event has free treats and activities for all
Night-time Walkabout at Jackson Bottom Wetlands (Hillsboro, 6 to 8 pm, ages 8 and up): Register for this free event

OCTOBER 27 (THURSDAY)
Night-time Walkabout at Jackson Bottom Wetlands (Hillsboro, 6 to 8 pm, ages 8 and up): Register for this FREE event

OCTOBER 28 (FRIDAY)
Squishing of the Squash (Oregon Zoo, 10:30 to 11:30 am, FREE with zoo admission): Some of the world’s largest animals squish some of the area’s largest pumpkins
Spooky Dance Party at Shute Park Library (Hillsboro, 6:30 to 8 pm): Dress in costume and come shake it to spooky (but not scary) music
Enchanted Trail and Haunted Trail at Mary S. Young Park (West Linn, 7 to 10 pm, various prices): Bring kids 8 and younger to the charming storybook-themed Enchanted Trail, or wait later to bring the big kids to the freaky Haunted Trail.

OCTOBER 29 (SATURDAY)
Enchanted Trail and Haunted Trail at Mary S. Young Park (West Linn, 7 to 10 pm, various prices): Bring kids 8 and younger to the charming storybook-themed Enchanted Trail, or wait later to bring the big kids to the freaky Haunted Trail.
Howloween at the Oregon Zoo (Portland, 10 am to 3 pm, FREE with zoo admission): Dress in costume and participate in this fun but educational scavenger hunt at the zoo, collecting treats and prizes.
Dia de los Muertos Crafts (Beaverton Library, 11 am to noon)
Oaks Park Halloween Spooktacular (Portland, 1 pm and 7 pm): Skate in costume to Halloween music–games and costume parade too
Halloween Carnival (Beaverton Library, 3 to 4 pm, grades 1 to 5)

OCTOBER 30 (SUNDAY)
Howloween at the Oregon Zoo (Portland, 10 am to 3 pm, FREE with zoo admission): Dress in costume and participate in this fun but educational scavenger hunt at the zoo, collecting treats and prizes.
Not-So-Scary Halloween (Portland Children’s Museum, 10 am to 3 pm): Trick-or-treating, crafts, and games
Oaks Park Halloween Spooktacular (Portland, 1 pm and 7 pm): Skate in costume to Halloween music–games and costume parade too

OCTOBER 31 (MONDAY)
Spooky Babies (Beaverton Library, 10:30 to 11:15 am, up to age 6): Bring your little ones in costume for a parade and fun.
Halloween Dance-o-Rama (Tualatin Public Library, 11 am to noon, ages 6 and under)
Harvest on Main (Hillsboro, 5 to 9 pm): Downtown Hillsboro’s former “Safe n’ Sane” event is now Harvest on Main, and includes more activities and longer hours. You can still bring kids for trick or treating at local businesses as well as fun activities.
Trick-or-Treat at the Streets of Tanasbourne (Hillsboro, 1 to 3 pm, ages 12 and under)
Halloween at Orenco Station (Hillsboro, 3:30 to 5:30 pm): Trick-or-treat in Orenco Station, and enjoy games and crafts with Fancy That and the Dentists at Orenco Station
Spooky Storytime (Beaverton Library, 4 to 5 pm)
Trick-or-Treating at McMenamins’s Grand Lodge (Forest Grove, 4:30 to 6:30 pm, all ages)
Mall-o-ween at Cedar Hills Crossing (Beaverton, 6 to 7 pm): Trick-or-treat at participating stores

Anything I missed? Please comment below!

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Thanksgiving Play 2015

I’m grateful (get it?) that Thanksgiving is one of the simplest holidays. It gives you lots of family time and often lots of free time. Winning!

So if you’re looking to get out and kick off the holiday season in Portland’s west side, check out my list of fun Thanksgiving activities below. image_1

November 23 (MONDAY)
– Thankful Crafts at Shute Park Library (Hillsboro, 6:00 to 7:00 pm): Come make some free crafts with your friends at the library.
Gratitude Month (Portland Children’s Museum, November): Participate in different gratitude activities with your kids all November long.
The Magic of Wintertime (Pittock Mansion, Nov. 23 to Jan. 2): Enjoy the annual holiday exhibit at Pittock Mansion with local musicians. Children welcome.

November 24 (TUESDAY)
20th Annual Hillsboro Youth Turkey Trot (Hare Field, 3:30 pm): A FREE fun run for youth up to the 8th grade. Come rain or shine!

November 25 (WEDNESDAY)
Turkey Trot 5k Run/Walk + Kids Trot (Portland International Raceway, 6:45 to 10:00 pm): Come run through the raceway’s holiday lights. Dogs welcome.

November 26 (THURSDAY)
Turkey Trot at the Oregon Zoo (Portland, 8:00 to 9:45 am): This 4-mile fun run or walk winds through Washington Park and ends at the zoo. Children events included, and jogging strollers welcome. Register today.
Give ‘n’ Gobble (Sherwood High School, 9:00 am): This 5k walk or 10k run with a food drive is a Thanksgiving tradition. This race sells out, so register in advance.
Winter Wonderland Holiday Light Show (Portland International Raceway, Nov. 26 to Dec. 27, 5:00 pm): Drive through one of the largest light shows in the country. $20/car.

November 27 (FRIDAY )
My Macy’s Portland Holiday Parade (Portland, 9:00 am): Kick off the holidays with Portland’s own Macy’s parade. Geared towards children.
Tree Lighting Ceremony at Pioneer Square (Portland, 5:30 to 6:30 pm): Witness the lighting of the 75-foot Christmas tree with holiday music and festivities.
Holiday Express Train Ride (Portland, weekends Nov. 27 to Dec. 20): Take a 1-hour ride along the beautiful Willamette with Santa on this holiday-decorated train. Made possible by the Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation.
Zoo Lights (Portland, Nov. 27 to Jan. 3, 5:00 pm): Come see your favorite zoo all lit up for Christmas.
Christmas Festival of Lights (Grotto, Nov. 27 to Dec. 30, 5:00 to 9:30 pm): This family-oriented tradition includes dozens of choirs and hundreds of lights.

November 28 (SATURDAY )
Hillsboro Holly Days (Downtown Hillsboro, 1:00 to 6:00 pm): A Christmas extravaganza featuring Santa, live reindeer, train rides, the tree lighting, shopping, music, activities, and more.
Cinnamon Bear Cruise on the Spirit (Portland, weekends Nov. 28 to Dec. 27): Take a 2-hour ride on the Portland Spirit with Cinnamon Bear and friends. Enjoy snacks, drinks, and holiday activities.

 

Halloween 2015!

What’s haunting this Halloween? Check out the calendar below to maximize your spooooky fun on Portland’s west side. (And don’t miss my ideas for pumpkin patches here.)

A Good Gray: Halloween 2015

OCTOBER 23 (FRIDAY)
Great Pumpkin Hunt at Garden Home Recreation Center (Portland, 6 to 8 pm, $10)
Enchanted Trail and Haunted Trail at Mary S. Young Park (West Linn, 7 to 10 pm)

OCTOBER 24 (SATURDAY)
Villains in the Village (Bridgeport Village, 9 to 10:30 am): Come fight villains at this fun, free event
– Halloween Yoga Storytime (Beaverton City Library, 11:15 am to noon, ages 4 to 12): A special storytime with movement and play, featuring yoga poses inspired by Halloween.
– Spooky Stories with Jacques (Hillsboro Main Library, 2:30 pm, ages 7 and up): Storyteller Jacque will share some of the spookiest, most scary stories she’s ever heard. Costumes are welcome.
Zombie Halloween Party (Cedar Mill Library in Bethany, 5:30 to 7 pm, ages 11 to 18)
Enchanted Trail and Haunted Trail at Mary S. Young Park (West Linn, 7 to 10 pm)

OCTOBER 27 (TUESDAY)
Baby’s First Halloween (Portland Children’s Museum; 9:30 to 11:30 am; $16 for members, $18 for non-members): digital portrait, costume parade, snacks, costume contest

OCTOBER 28 (WEDNESDAY)
Safe Trick-or-Treat at Pacific University (Forest Grove, 4 to 7 pm): the 17th annual event has free treats and activities for all

OCTOBER 29 (THURSDAY)
– Spooky Storytime and Movie (Beaverton City Library, 4 to 5 pm, ages 2-10 with family): Come hear a not-too-spooky storytime and follow it with a short Halloween movie in the Auditorium.
Night-time Walkabout at Jackson Bottom Wetlands (Hillsboro, 6 to 8 pm, ages 8 and up): Register for this free event

OCTOBER 30 (FRIDAY)
– Squishing of the Squash (Oregon Zoo, 10:30 am): some of the world’s largest animals squish some of the area’s largest pumpkins
Halloween Dance-o-Rama (Tualatin Public Library, 11 am to noon, ages 6 and under)
– Spooky Dance Party (Shute Park Branch Library, 6:30 to 7:30 pm, children in preschool and elementary school): wear costumes are shake it to some spooky (but not scary) tunes

OCTOBER 31 (SATURDAY)
Howloween (Oregon Zoo, 9 am to 3 pm)
– Trick-or-Treat at the Streets of Tanasbourne (Hillsboro, 1 to 3 pm, ages 12 and under)
Not-So-Scary Halloween (Portland Children’s Museum, 10 am to 3 pm)
– Oaks Park Halloween Spooktacular (Portland, 1 pm and 7 pm)
– Spooky Crafts (Hillsboro Main Library, 2:30 to 3:30 pm)
– Trick-or-Treat at Orenco Station (Hillsboro, 3 to 5 pm)
Halloween Carnival (Beaverton Library, 3 to 5 pm, grades 1 to 5)
– Safe ‘n’ Sane Halloween (Hillsboro Main Street, 3 to 6 pm): trick or treat downtown with live music and activities
Trick-or-Treating at McMenamins’s Grand Lodge (Forest Grove, 4:30 to 6:30 pm, all ages)
Mall-o-ween at Cedar Hills Crossing (Beaverton, 6 to 7 pm)

5 U-Pick Fruit Orchards in WA County

U-Pick Orchards in WA County

I’ve highlighted U-pick berry farms in our county before, but now it’s time to talk tree fruits: apples, pears, peaches, cherries, and more.

Late summer (or mid-summer if it’s been a hot one!), you can start bringing your family to local farms and orchards to gather some of the juiciest, sweetest fruits out there.

Always check their sites for hours and availability.

1. Jossy Farms: Hillsboro
Apples, peaches, and pears of many varieties. This orchard is large, easy to get to, and well-organized. The trees are short and don’t require a ladder, and the paths are clear and clean. They have boxes or you can bring your own containers. Use their wagons to carry your fruit.

2. Grossen Peaches: Hillsboro
Peaches galore. This is a family farm in the beautiful Helvetia area. They have wagons and boxes available, or you can bring your own containers. They also have a store and host events like weddings (for real!).

3. Bells Orchard: Beaverton
Peaches, apples, pears, and cherries. They’re proud to be a short orchard with trees short enough to not require a ladder (even your kids can pick!). This relatively new orchard (started in 2005) also offers honey from their own bees.

4. Sherwood Orchards: Sherwood
Cherries, peaches, nectarines, plums, prunes, apples, pears, quince, and persimmons (yes! I know! they have approximately 2000 trees!). This a strictly u-pick farm that’s been around for 150 years. They have some of the cheapest prices around, but bring your own containers. Cash or check only.

5. Bays Farm: Banks
Peaches, plums, nectarines, apples, pears, and kiwis. Fruit can be picked from the ground. Call for availability 503-324-0261.

A Good Gray: U-Pick Orchards in WA County

A Good Gray: U-Pick Orchards in WA County

Thanksgiving Play 2014

I’m on the brink of having another baby (he’s 5 days overdue, and so is my patience!). We haven’t been out-and-about much lately, but here’s how YOU can get out and celebrate this giving season while I stay in and snuggle our new little guy.
A Good Gray: Thanksgiving Play 2014NOVEMBER 22 (SATURDAY)
Beaverton Farmer’s Market (Beaverton, 9:00 am to 1:30 pm): Squeeze in one last farmer’s market outting this year and stock up for Thanksgiving.
Thankful Crafts at Shute Park Library (Hillsboro, 2:30 pm): Come make some free crafts with your friends at the library.

NOVEMBER 25 (TUESDAY)
Hillsboro Youth Turkey Trot (Hare Field, 3:30 pm): A FREE fun run for youth up to the 8th grade. Come rain or shine!

NOVEMBER 27 (THANKSGIVING DAY)
Give n’ Gobble Turkey Trot (Sherwood High School, 9:00 am): 5k and 10k run/walk plus food drive. Bring the whole family–strollers welcome!
Oregon Zoo Turkey Trot (Portland, 8:00 am): This 4-mile fun run or walk takes you through Washington Park and ends at the zoo.
Turkeython at Bridgeport Village (Tigard/Tualatin): There are a variety of races that morning, including a Little Turkey Trot for kids. They’re also accepting donations for Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.

NOVEMBER 28 (FRIDAY)
My Macy’s Portland Holiday Parade (Portland, 9:00 am): Kick off the holidays with Portland’s own Macy’s parade. Geared towards children.
Tree Lighting at Pioneer Square (Portland, 5:30 pm): Bring your kids to see Portland’s iconic tree lighting, complete with sing-a-longs and local choirs. FREE.

NOVEMBER 29 (SATURDAY)
Hillsboro Holly Days (Downtown Hillsboro, 1:00 to 6:00 pm): A Christmas extravaganza featuring Santa, live reindeer, train rides, the tree lighting, shopping, music, activities, and more.

A Good Gray: Thanksgiving Play 2014

Photo courtesy Give n’ Gobble race site

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all!

Halloween F-u-n 2014

What’s fun, cool, and hip to do this Halloween? Check out the calendar below to find some spooky October fun in the Portland area/western burbs. (Don’t forget to see my post about local pumpkin patches too!)
A Good Gray: Halloween F-u-n 2014I’ll keep updating as I hear about more totally awesome things to do.

OCTOBER 24 (FRIDAY)
– The Great Garden Home Pumpkin Hunt (Garden Home Rec Center in Portland, 6:00 to 8:00 pm): Pay $10 and your child will enjoy games and treats, and then head outside with a flashlight for a pumpkin hunt.

OCTOBER 25 (SATURDAY)
– Howloween (Oregon Zoo, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm, ages 3 to 11): Bring your kids in costume and learn about wildlife in a fun scavenger hunt throughout the zoo (free with zoo admission).
– “Sherlock Holmes” (Northwest Children’s Theater in Portland, 11:00 am and 3:00 pm): Come see this kid-friendly production of mystery-solvers Sherlock Holmes and John Watson.
– Trick or Treat at the Streets (Streets of Tanasbourne in Hillsboro, 1:00 to 3:00 pm, 12 and under): Trick or treat at participating merchants while the candy lasts. Must be in costume.
– Scary Stories with Jacque (Hillsboro Main Library, 2:00 to 3:00 pm, ages 6 and above): Storyteller Jacque Denton shares spooky stories. Costumes welcome!
– Halloween Safari (Oregon Zoo, 5:00 to 10:00 pm, ages 6 to 13): Wear costumes and explore the mysteries of the zoo animals with a guided safari. Pizza dinner, games, and treats. Additional cost and registration required.
– Villains in the Village (Bridgeport Village Mall in Tigard, 1:00 to 4:00 pm): Join some famous villains for a costume contest, music, and games (no Trick or Treat this year).

OCTOBER 26 (SUNDAY)
– Museum Monster Mash (Children’s Museum, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm): Halloween activities and games throughout the day (free with admission)
– Howloween (Oregon Zoo, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm, ages 3 to 11): Bring your kids in costume and learn about wildlife in a fun scavenger hunt throughout the zoo (free with zoo admission).
– “Sherlock Holmes” (Northwest Children’s Theater in Portland, 11:00 am and 3:00 pm): Come see this kid-friendly production of mystery-solvers Sherlock Holmes and John Watson.

OCTOBER 27 (MONDAY)
– Make Your Own Monsters (Beaverton City Library, 4:00 to 5:00 pm, ages 2 to 12): Make silly, scary or just plain fun monsters.

OCTOBER 28 (TUESDAY)
– Spooky Babies (Beaverton City Library, 10:30 am and 1:00 pm, ages 0 to 6): Dress in costume and parade through the libary to fun, spooky Halloween music.
– Zombie Party (Beaverton City Library, 7:00 to 8:00 pm, grades 6 to 12): Wear zombie garb and party with activities and snacks.

OCTOBER 29 (WEDNESDAY)
– Spooky Storytime (Shute Park Library, 6:30 to 8:00 pm, ages 0 to 6): Hear spooky (but not too scary) stories, enjoy a treat, and make a craft. Wear your costume!

OCTOBER 30 (THURSDAY)
– Spooky Storytime and Movie (Beaverton City Library, 4:00 to 5:00 pm, ages 2 to 8): Come hear a not-too-spooky storytime and watch a short Halloween movie.
– Members-Only Boo Bash (Children’s Museum, 4:00 to 8:00 pm): Halloween activities and games all evening for members and their guests.

OCTOBER 31 (FRIDAY)
– Tiger Birthday + Trick or Treat Party (Oregon Zoo, 9:00 am to 2:00 pm): Celebrate Mikail the Tiger’s birthday and do some fun Halloween crafts as you visit the animals at the zoo.
– A Not-So-Scary Halloween (Children’s Museum, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm): Halloween activities and games throughout the day (free with admission).
– Halloween Skate (Oaks Park Roller Rink in Portland, 1:00 to 5:30 pm, 7:00 to 10:30 pm): Skate to your favorite Halloween songs and participate in the costume contest.
– Trick or Treat Indoors (Avamere Assisted Living Center in Hillsboro, 3:00 to 4:00 pm): Trick or treat to the residents, and let your kids visit and show off their costumes
– Halloween Carnival (Beaverton City Library, 4:00 to 5:00 pm, grades 1 to 5): Carnival games, costume parade, and special treats.
– Safe ‘n’ Sane Halloween (Main Street Hillsboro between 2nd and 4th, 5:00 to 7:00 pm): Trick or treat in downtown Hillsboro.

4 Pumpkin Patches to Discover this Fall

I can hardly believe itautumn is here! I usually dread this rainy Northwest season, but after such a hot summer I think I maybe, kinda, sorta might be ready for it. (DID I JUST SAY THAT?!?! WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME???)

A Good Gray: Pumpkin Patches

My little child-of-the-corn haunting Lakeview Farms last October

Rain or shine, one thing I always look forward to in the fall is pumpkin-hunting. I’m always happy to hit up a patch. Many pumpkin patches will be opening up in the next week, so head out soon to start celebrating the season.

1. Lake View Farms (North Plains): This affordable farm is one of my favorites. They offer a large patch with breath-taking views, as well as a boat ride, train ride, corn maze, and more. We love it. Bring your rain boots because it can get muddy on wet days.

2. Roloff Farm (Helvetia): The Roloffs are famous for more than just their TV show; they also know how to put together a heck of a pumpkin fest. The patch is free, and the awesome play area is $7/person (under 2 are free). This spot is super popular so go early in October (although parking has been expanded and should be less crazy).

3. Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm (Woodburn): We’ve never gone to this fall festival, but if they do things like their tulip festival it should be worth the drive. You can pick your pumpkin and then go play. They have rides, slides, and games, all in a beautiful place.

4. Bauman’s Farm (Gervais): My sister swears this place is epic. It’s pricier, but it is the Granddaddy of pumpkin patch fun. There are tons of activities nearly every day of the week, and you’ll get worn out before you see everything. Check out the map to get a feel for how large and spectacular this place is.

A Good Gray: Pumpkin Patches