FAVORITE INDOOR PLACE TO PLAY
For hands-on fun with science, you can’t beat OMSI. Watch for upgrades to the venerable Turbine Hall over the next few years, and for a new blockbuster exhibit on space exploration, opening this summer.
Southside Swap & Play, The Circuit Bouldering Gym, Portland Children’s Museum
FAVORITE PLACE TO THROW A BIRTHDAY PARTY
Winner: Oaks Amusement Park
Southern California can keep Disneyland. We’ll take the charm and history of Oaks Park anytime. Keep an eye out for a new indoor playspace with interactive games and wifi for parents, opening in June.
Oregon Zoo, Pietro’s Pizza, Mt. Scott Community Center Park
FAVORITE KID-APPROVED EATERY
Winner: Hopworks Urban Brewery/Bikebar
Ah, Hopworks. Still the best and biggest kid play areas in town, and they’ve given their kid menus a healthy update — you can now sub in steamed broccoli, carrots and celery, or apple slices. (And if you stick with the fries, they are organic!)
Laughing Planet Cafe, Laurelwood Public House & Brewery, New Seasons Market, Slappy Cakes
FAVORITE PLACE TO BUY KID GEAR (NEW)
Winner: Thinker Toys
Raise a glass to Thinker Toys, which turned 21 this year. Insiders know to keep an eye on this Multnomah Village institution’s Facebook page for special flash sales on great kid toys and gear.
Finnegan’s Toys and Gifts, Kids at Heart Toys, Oodles 4 Kids
FAVORITE PLACE TO BUY KID GEAR (RESALE)
You never know what gems you’ll find at Piccolina and our other honorees — the inventory of high-quality, gently used baby and kid gear is always changing.
Beanstalk, Bella Stella, Hoot-N-Annie
FAVORITE DROP-OFF CHILD CARE
Winner: Academy Theater
Go retro this summer at the Academy Theater’s celebration of vintage flicks from the 1970s, while the kids hang out at the cinema’s cool babysitting space, for just $9.50 per kid for the length of the movie.
IKEA Portland, The Children’s Gym, WeVillage, Little Gym of Lake Oswego
FAVORITE DESSERT SPOT
Winner: Cloud City Ice Cream
The flavors at beloved Woodstock scoop shop Cloud City change with the seasons — visit them this summer for roasted cherry marscarpone, a goat cheese/fresh lemon curd combo and mint chocolate chip with fresh mint.
Salt & Straw, Nectar Frozen Yogurt and Lounge, Pip’s Original Doughnuts
FAVORITE FESTIVAL AND FAIRS
Winner: Portland Rose Festival
The Rose Festival has been PDX’s signature summer event for over 100 years, and this year’s no exception — look for the MLS champion Portland Timbers as the Grand Marshals of this year’s Grand Floral Parade on June 11.
Multnomah Days, KidFest, Sunday Parkways, Oregon State Fair
FAVORITE LOCAL KID ENTERTAINER/ENTERTAINMENT
Winner: Northwest Children’s Theater and School
From the friendship-is-the-best tale of Elephant and Piggie to their feminist retelling of Snow White, it was a banner year for Northwest Children’s Theater and School. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2017!
Oregon Children’s Theatre, Red Yarn, Broadway Rose Theatre Company, Echo Theater Company
FAVORITE PLACE TO GET CREATIVE
Winner: Art School Studio
The lucky kids who visit Art School Studio may see their work on display around town; recently, student art was installed at the nearby New Seasons Market in Woodstock.
The Craft Factory, SCRAP PDX, Portland Children’s Museum
FAVORITE SUMMER CAMP
Winner: Trackers Earth
A generation of PDX kids has come home muddy and joyous after a summer camp session at Trackers Earth. Now the organization is prepping to open a “forest kindergarten” coming in September.
Oregon Zoo, Portland Early Learning Project, Friends of Tryon Creek
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