KidsOutAndAbout's weekly e-newsletter for Portland
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Portland Newsletter
July 8, 2021

In-person events in and around Portland this weekend

VIRTUAL events this weekend
VIRTUAL events next weekend

In-Person Summer Camps
Virtual Summer Camps
Local Private Schools
Local Preschools
101 Local Family Day Trips

How to post your organization and events (it's all free!)

Dear KidsOutAndAbout readers:

The hottest trend in North America this summer is a cool shade of purple.

I'm not sure how we as a people decided we were nuts for lavender, but this summer it's all the rage to visit a lavender farm. It's appropriate for the times, too: Lavender is one tough little perennial; it does fine in the heat, doesn't need much fertilizer, just needs the opportunity to grow without too much rain in the way. It smells great, and it's known for its calming effect. So we want lavender this year, and our farmers have responded by planting fields of the stuff for our wandering pleasure. KOAA's editors have boosted any lavender experiences within driving distance to the top section of our 101 Local Family Day Trips article—it's the most popular page on KidsOutAndAbout these days.

I take a lot of inspiration from farmers: Farmers face facts without fuss. They know that wasting energy on wishing about the weather does nothing to help lavender grow…. Just as wishing 2-year-olds didn’t have tantrums does you no good when he’s face down on the floor of the frozen food aisle. Navigating calmly around the flow of the facts that present themselves is what farming is all about, and it's what adulthood is all about, too.

“We take what comes,” a 6th-generation farmer told me recently as she was contemplating the dry spell that’s slowing the growth of her sunflower field. "And we do what we can with it. There are easier ways to make a living, but we do it for the love of it as much as for the challenge and the tradition."

Children are forces, each with their own nature. There are storms, there are droughts, there are times when the lavender is blooming. We help make opportunities for them to grow without too much rain in the way. And we weather it all, for the love of it.

Debra Ross, publisher

If you like my publisher's column, you can easily scroll through past columns in the "Notes from Deb" section of our site.

Free, Almost Free and Bargain Summer Movies 

Summer time is a great time to watch a movie with your family! Either inside a cool theater or outside on warm nights, movies and summer go hand in hand. KidsOutAndAbout knows all the best places to see free, almost free and bargain movies! A bit of advice: Make sure the movie is appropriate for your family and arrive early as seating in some cases is extremely limited.

Click here for more information.

Wander Clark County Historic Walking Tour

Summer is the right time to wander through and learn the stories of people who have lived, worked, and carved out their place in Clark County. Our history tours offer a fascinating glimpse through the windows of time, offering a mix of memories, research, and architectural details. Tours are held 9:30 am most Saturdays throughout the summer. Each weekend highlights a different destination.

Click here for more information.

Discover Lan Su Audio Tours & Scavenger Hunt!

Explore the garden's history, culture, and beauty with the Discover Lan Su visitor mobile app. Taking a relaxing stroll at Lan Su Chinese Garden is always nice, but we know you would like to learn beyond the ornate pavilions and our exquisite plant collection. Here is a new way to explore the garden that's contact-free, but full of fun! Introducing Discover Lan Su, a mobile app made for our garden visitors of all ages. Visitors can access the app from their mobile devices and enjoy! Try the Lost Treasure Hunt: a series of interactive scavenger hunts, photo challenges, and multiple choice trivia questions. It's fun for small groups, young visitors, and families with little ones.

Click here for more information.

Vanport: A Surge of Social Change

Home to a multiracial and multicultural community of over 40,000 residents, Vanport was built to house migrant workers and their families who relocated to the Portland region during World War II. At its peak, Vanport became the largest wartime federal housing project in the nation and second largest city in Oregon. On May 30, 1948 a devastating flood destroyed the entire city, killing 15 people and leaving thousands houseless. Vanport was never rebuilt, but its legacy lives on.

Click here for more information.

Hooray for Summer!

Looking for summer fun? We've got you covered!

Featured in-person camps for 2021 for the Portland area:
Avid4 Adventure 
Code Ninjas - Hillsboro
Easterseals Oregon
Lovegood Performing Arts Company

Featured virtual camps for 2021:
Arbor Chess
Clubba Inc
Creative Brain Learning
iD Tech
IMACS (math & computer science)
KidzToPros STEM, Sports & Arts
Sarah's Spanish School
The Daydreamer's Academy
Written Out Loud

Check out our Master Guide to Local Summer Camps to see what's available week by week and subject by subject! If you're looking for virtual summer camps, click here for Online Summer Camps and Programs.

Virtual Art Workshop with Sandy McDermott: New England Animals on Saturday, June 10, at 12 pm Eastern

Teaching artist Sandy McDermott will be conducting a Virtual Art Workshop for families about how to draw your own illustrations of animals inspired by New England! No prior skills are necessary for this workshop, where you will learn the tools needed to draw your own scientific illustrations of the variety of animals that live in New England. Sandy McDermott is a natural sciences illustrator from New England. Her passion includes field sketching, and she has worked with several other museums prior. Participants will receive a list of materials required for the workshop prior to the program.​ Advanced registration required.

St. Louis Mercantile Library Anniversary Educational Series

The St. Louis Mercantile Library is excited to announce its new Anniversary Educational Series! Learners of all ages are invited to expand their knowledge and make history come alive with our new three-part self-guided education program. Take a free virtual field trip and explore the 175 year old library and its collections. Use primary sources to discover stories of individuals and communities who changed the course of American history. Subjects include early American immigration, Westward Expansion, and American slave narratives. New topics are being added regularly! The program is an excellent tool for home educators.

Shark Bait Hoo Ha Ha 1 Mile, 5K, 10K, 13.1 Mile, or 26.2 Mile Run or Walk

Okay people! Did you know that Shark Awareness Day takes place on July 14th?  We want to celebrate in our own way…with our fifth annual Shark Bait Hoo Ha Ha 1 Mile, 5K, 10K, 13.1, 26.2! Will you be able to run (or walk) fast enough to not be shark bait? Don’t forget, “Fish are friends, not food.” We will be donating at least 20% of every registration to The Ocean Foundation, which “is a unique community foundation with a mission to support, strengthen, and promote those organizations dedicated to reversing the trend of destruction of ocean environments around the world.”

Eastman Opera Theatre: Elizabeth Cree

Eastman Opera Theatre (EOT) is thrilled to premiere Elizabeth Cree, released for on-demand streaming starting July 9.This suspenseful and highly theatrical opera, with music by Pulitzer Prize-winning Eastman alumnus Kevin Puts ‘94E and a libretto by Mark Campbell, is based on the novel The Trial of Elizabeth Cree by Peter Ackroyd. This production will be directed Stephen Carr and music directed by Timothy Long. 


VIRTUAL events this weekend

Click here for hundreds more 24/7 activities, tours, etc.

Click here to search for online classes by subject & age.

101 Family Day Trips

Looking for a new place to explore that's still close to home?  Kids Out And About has tons of ideas for family travel, with places to explore, learn, and have fun! Find free activities and splurges that are worth it. We've collected the coolest stuff for a staycation in town and road trips for less than a tank of gas from here.

Click here for more information.

How to Choose a Preschool That's Right for Your Family

Did you know that most preschools and nursery schools are registering students in January and February for the new academic year in the fall? Preschools vary widely in their educational philosophy and day-to-day routines, and the school that's a perfect fit for your neighbor or friend might not be just right for you. But how can you navigate through the preschool search process to find a place that will be best for you and your child? KidsOutAndAbout offers a list of specific factors to ponder and ask about as you attend open houses and school visits.

Click here for advice on How to Choose a Preschool That's Right for Your Family.

We have a list of local preschools to help you as you search for the perfect place for you and your child to start this new adventure. 

Private Schools

Are you considering private school for your kids? As you contemplate what might be best for your family's upcoming education needs, we're here to help! You can always find our list of Private School on the menu you'll find on every page of Just click Local Lists, then Schools & Preschools.

It's private school admissions season. The admissions offices of most private, charter, and alternative schools are employing a combination of virtual open houses, virtual consultations, and safe in-person tours. So browse our list, check out their websites, then connect with schools that sound like they may be good fits. 

Here's the KidsOutAndAbout list of private schools. You'll find options for different ages and educational philosophies, and hopefully, someplace just right for your family.

Are you a member of an organization that offers events, camps, or classes?

Organizations that offer family and kid-friendly activities in the Portland area can receive a FREE listing on, manage it easily, and post events to our extensive online calendars at no cost.

For more information about listing your organizationclick here.
Boost your visibility to our readers with low-cost paragraphs in our newsletter or ads on our site see our local advertising page.

And REMEMBER... Don't keep us a secret!  We're sure you can think of other folks who would enjoy finding out what's up for kids and families every week, so please, think of a few friends and forward it along!
Here is the direct link they can use to sign up, themselves.

Wishing you and yours good health.

Debra Ross
Mom to Madison and Ella

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