Summer Fun for the Family on $50 a Day

From your a.m. sip to Happy Hour, with plenty of kid-friendly activities in between (rain or shine)

By Kasey Cordell June 2, 2013 Published in the June 2013 issue of Portland Monthly

Image: Nick Stokes

Coffee and Hot Cocoa  
Housed inside Mt Tabor Presbyterian Church, the nonprofit TaborSpace’s café serves Ristretto Roasters coffee and Nuvrei Bakery goodies on a pay-what-you-can scale. You’ll adore the ample space and stunning stained glass windows; the kids will love the building blocks, Legos, board games, and drop-in art classes with Vibe ($10 per class). Cost: $5–10 

Play Firefighter
The Historic Belmont Fire Station offers free, hourlong tours of the 112-year-old firehouse, which include an emergency response simulator, antique fire equipment like hand pumps and hose carts, and the ever-popular fire pole. Schedule ahead by calling 503-823-3615. Cost:Free!  

Between Multnomah County Library locations, Green Bean Books, and A Children’s Place Bookstore, you could visit a different storytime every day without repeats. But our favorite has to be the Tuesday session at Cedar Mill Library, where, from 6 to 7 p.m., preregistered kids read to therapy dogs (and sneak in a snuggle or two). Cost: Free! 

Midday Dessert
In the summer, ice cream officially qualifies as a meal in our book. Get yours at the old-school soda fountain at Fairley’s Pharmacy, which still sells relics like egg creams, a pre–World War II drink made with milk, chocolate syrup, and seltzer water. The quirky little shop celebrates its century this year with 100-cent ice cream cones. Cost: $1 per cone  

Get. Outside.
The Washington Park playground’s massive collection of castles, ramps, bridges, and slides lets little ones play Super Mario till their sugar highs are spent. Meanwhile, older kids can practice for the college quad at Pier Park’s premier disc golf course, featuring 18 beginner-friendly holes guarded by giant Douglas firs. Cost: A little shoe leather

Happy Hours
A popular (as in hour-wait) breakfast spot, Jam on Hawthorne is our secret go-to spot for early dinners with the kids. The lengthy happy hour (3–6) means we don’t have to rush, and the moderately priced menu (no entrée is more than $12) features delicious staples like meatball sandwiches and four different versions of mac and cheese guaranteed to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. Plus the stage full of books, props, and toys presents plenty of ways for the next generation to sate their curiosity while you slake your thirst with a Blemonade. Cost: $30 (dinner for four)

Still raining?
PlayDate PDX’s 7,500 dizzying square feet of indoor playground hold something for everyone: obstacle courses, ball cannons, dozens of other pint-size people looking for playmates, and seven different microbrews to help keep you sane. Cost: $4–10 per child, plus beer money 

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