Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My Top 5 Summer Outings

Welcome back!  As I continue onto day 2 with 31 Days to a Better Blog, I look at creating a post in list format.  I had wanted to share with you some of my favorite outings with Superman and this seems like the perfect format so here we go....

5. Baby Boot Camp
There is nothing like getting in shape in the summer sun!  The fact that I can do it a bunch of other moms and bring Superman makes it the perfect activity for me.  Sure, I am going to do boot camp all year long, but getting outside and feeling the rays shine on our (sunblock protected) bodies is fabulous and just want I need to keep me charged all day.

4. Lunch out with my husband
I love being able to share my day with him and provide him a few extra minutes of Superman time.  Again, this is something that we can do year round, but is a lot more fun during the summer. We get to sit outside and watch the cars go by (one of Superman's favorite activities) while we enjoy an easy meal.

3. Jameson Square
superman at jameson
If you are in the Portland area and haven't checked out Jameson Square yet, you are missing out!  This city park (read: FREE) in the Pearl District has a good sized lawn for having a picnic or hanging out and fantastic fountain that kids of all ages will like to play in.  Because of its beach style entrance to the fountain, I am able to have Superman sit in the water at whatever height I am comfortable with.  My nephews (4 and 9) loved laying down in the water and walking around with their hands.  This place will be a "must do" for many summers to come.

2. Oregon Zoo
     I doubt that I need to convince anyone that a zoo is a great outing with your children during the summer, but I will still share my favorite things about this zoo.  I love that it opens early!  My sister told me once that she never understood why kid focused businesses didn't realize that they should open earlier so parents can get them there before the first nap.  This zoo? They get it.  During the summer they open at 8am (although I could never make it there that early).  I have found that getting there earlier in the day not only fits into our nap schedule better, but it is a lot less crowded. 
     Another great feature of this zoo is it's train.  We have only ridden it once so far, but Superman loved it!   The 35 minute round trip ride through Washington Park spends most of its time outside of the zoo entirely (it goes out to the Rose Garden and back).  On the way out to the Rose Garden, Superman was looking around and squealing with excitement as he looked around.  On the way back, he slowed down and was sound asleep thanks to the repetitive motion of the train engine.  It was a nice little nap for him before we finished up the zoo for the day.
     Finally, my favorite thing about the Oregon Zoo is the animals (of course!).   I love watching Superman watch the water animal the most (I don't think he grasps what he is seeing with the other animals since they are farther away).   I imagine that it will get more and more excited as he gets older, so you can bet that this will also be on our "must do" list for summers to come.
1. Farmer's Markets
Portland does Farmer's Markets (and other similar markets) like no other city could.  The city itself has 7 farmer's markets and 1 arts and craft market that runs both Saturday and Sunday.  We live on the west side of the city in a suburb so we stick to the markets in Beaverton and Hillsboro.

Beaverton has my favorite Saturday market (they also run a smaller version on Wednesday).  We go with the intention of getting our veggies and possibly our meat for the week, but we end up coming home with so much more.  Breakfast is always a "must do" there and there are enough options that you could probably go every Saturday during the summer and never eat the same thing twice. 

Hillsboro (a suburb of Portland) has a market everyday but Monday and Friday (although Tuesday's has less produce and more food and music).  We love going to the Tuesday Marketplace whenever possible.  We bring a blanket to sit on, sandwiches for dinner, and sit and listen to the live music and people watch.

Do you have summer outings that are on your "must do" list every year?  Please leave me a comment and tell me about them.  I would love to get more ideas from all of you!


Mommy C


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