Enjoying the onslaught of rain or how to have fun anyway.
Summer seems to have left us quickly this year in Portland. With the shorter days we have added an early onslaught of rain, lots of rain. Early season power outages, standing water, downed limbs and debris in the streets and bike lanes, welcome to fall ’13. (http://www.kgw.com/news/Record-setting-storm-to-more-rain-wind-Sunday-evening-225711901.html)
Looking back through a cup over half full it was a great summer, huh? May and June where unusually warm and we didn’t suffer through a week of triple digit temperatures in August this year. Summer is in the rearview for our kids, they reluctantly begin studying again, return to a reasonable bedtime and get involved in extracurricular activities. This can mean more stress for parents as they return to the endless task of “taxi” driver, event coordinator and morning child prodder. The hardest aspect of the Fall season can be the loss of quality family time. It often feels like our children are passing vessels, okay demanding passing vessels and we are the tugboats required to get them to distant harbors…NOW. They are living in the moment and expect their parents to do the same. Try to remember that mindset when you remind them to grab their soccer cleat for the tenth time.
The start of school has begun for all of our students, with College students making this big transition a few weeks ago. Although this transition can cause anxiety and trepidation, with support your student will thrive and embrace the new challenges they face.
It is important to remember and embrace the seasonal change for the adventure that it brings. Don’t look toward the holiday season that is looming on the horizon; instead take time to remain engaged in fun family activities. Here is a short list of activities that are close to Portland that shouldn’t be missed. (Raincoats and boots are recommended)
- It’s raining so make it fun. When was the last time you jumped in a rain puddle with your kids? Sure your toddler through kindergartener is all in for this activity but what about older kids. I guarantee if they are removed from their phone and you “sell it” correctly it is the most liberating experience. This is a participation event so no standing on the sidelines, get in there and jump.
- Go to a Cyclocross race. Cross is huge in Portland and Cross Crusade is upon us. Go as a participant, includes kiddie cross for the youngsters, become a part of the action. Riding your bike on a muddy course is super fun and great exercise or just go to watch the madness. It is family friendly, action packed and they serve amazing waffles and Cross Fries, which is reason enough. http://www.crosscrusade.com
- Visit the Portland Nursery for the Apple Tasting Festival. The line is worth the huge selection of apples to sample or take home. I had no idea there was this many variety of apples to choose from. Make it a day and enjoy music and activities in the kid’s tent. This is their 26th year and a great Portland tradition. http://www.portlandnursery.com/events/appletasting.shtml
- Visit your local corn maze and pumpkin patch. Sure the lines can be long and it is wet but again embrace your inner kid and be in the moment. Everyone will have more fun that way. From Sauvie Island to Lee’s Farm there are countless memories waiting to be made. If you don’t have a favorite patch, check out this link for a ton of options plus some history on the Halloween holiday. http://www.pumpkinpatchesandmore.org/ORpnw.php
- Take a family trip to the Oregon Coast. It will be windy, raining sideways and chilly. Which is the point. A trip to the Oregon Coast is a must adventure in the Fall. The outdoor possibilities are endless for the prepared family. Visit a lighthouse, eat chowder at Mo’s, climb the Astoria Column, watch the waves crash in Depoe Bay, visit the Oregon Aquarium and Hatfield Marine Center, walk on the beach collecting sand dollars and sea shells and/or attempt to fly a kite. Whether you are successful is secondary because you are gaining memories. This link will provide you with lots of ideas and locations. Hug Point State Park near Cannon Beach is amazing during low tide, great tidal pools. Plus a waterfall on the beach, how can you top that! (Use caution, bigger waves can be dangerous. Set strict rules prior to hitting the beach, that way everyone understands their boundaries and it doesn’t become a flash point for discipline or whining). http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g1438848-Activities-Oregon_Coast_Oregon.html