Our Portland area correspondent, Kate Webber went to the Tulip Festival & is here to give us all the dirt (& flowers!).
Name of the place you visited:
Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival
How did you hear about it?
Learned about the festival from my friends posting pictures from their visits on social media.
What made you want to check it out?
The pictures on their website were incredible and made it clearly a family friendly place to go. As a lover of tulips I knew I had to take my kids and see it. The colors are so vibrant and the flowers go on and on. The first year I was able to take just one kiddo and the next time I was able to take all three.
Best things about it
1- The tulips! It is pretty incredible to see rows and rows of colorful tulips with the background of Mount Hood.
2- Super kid friendly. There is a small playground, a couple of sand pits, slides, giant clogs to climb in, hay rides, tractors, ice cream and food carts! There are also carnival type games open on some days.
3- Booths with local art and foods. I bought a delicious jar of local honey the last time I was there.
Not so great things about it
1- It can be crowded, which makes parking and navigating the play areas tough on weekends. It also means it can be hard to get a perfect picture of just your kids and the flowers.
2- The weather. It’s Oregon and the weather can be rainy one day and sunny the next so planning ahead for perfect weather can be tough if you are travelling from a distance.
3- Porta potties. There are lots of them and hand washing stations but they are the only option.
I'd totally tell Everyone to go here.
Here's what I really think: It’s worth it! Totally worth all the challenges for the view of the beautiful flowers. It is really beautiful. They made it a family friendly outing that is worth the drive. We had to drag our kids to the car when it was time to go.
Parking situation: Gravel parking lot.
Cost: $5 13+
Kids 12 and under Free
$20 for carload, perfect if you have more than 4 13+
Age recommendation: All the ages...everyone can enjoy it
Indoor or Outdoor? Outdoor.
Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival
Near Woodburn off of I5
33814 S Meridian Rd, Woodburn, OR 97071
March 23–April 30, 2018
It looks so beautiful & fun!
We are so lucky to have Summer Nature School camps in our area. Our awesome summers mixed with their fun, educational curriculum equals smart, dirty, happy kids! We talked to Matt Bradley, the co-founder & executive director at Whole Earth Nature School about the neat things they are doing.
What can parents expect their kids to learn at your Nature Camps?
Parents often tell us that their kids are transformed by their experience at nature camp. Kids come home inspired and engaged with learning and playing outdoors in a whole new way. They are learning to be at home in the outdoors.
How are your camps different than other camps in the area?
One key difference is that our camps are all outdoors so that kids are learning directly from nature. Also, we have an excellent ratio of staff to students (as low as one to four) which allows us to mentor kids to grow and challenge themselves while receiving lots of hands-on attention.
Tells us about the youngest campers you have & My First Nature Camp.
We are always striving to meet kids where they are at and then encourage them to expand their horizons. For the 3 and 4 year old campers, that means creating an environment where they can begin to be comfortable out in nature. From that place of safety they can begin to feel free to explore and discover.
Tell us about the oldest campers you have & the Coyote Training Camps.
These kids make us so proud. A few of them have been coming to our camp for years and it’s amazing to see how they have grown and matured. Our Coyotes in Training (teen leaders) not only are developing their own leadership skills, but they are important role models for the next generation of campers.
You have some really fun themed camps! Tell us about those.
We have found that attaching a story to our nature camps often helps kids to more easily engage with the curriculum right away. Kids get to role-play as wizards, ninjas, gnomes, Jedi, and more. Plus, teaching outdoor skills through the realms of fantasy, magic, and adventure is a ton of fun!
Sometimes the cost of camps can be restrictive for families, do you have anything to help?
We offer scholarships! We know that camp and childcare can be a financial burden on families. We are happy to be able to support those families through discounted tuition. (Click here for more information)
Thanks so much, Matt!
Don’t these Summer Nature Camps sounds so incredible? I’m going to be fully honest & say that I really regret not sending my 14 year old to these camps when he was younger. He went to camp (& totally loved it) but a fully immersed nature camp would have made his little heart sing! Thankfully it’s not too late because Whole Earth has Camps for older kids, too. Hooray!
Whole Earth Nature School is giving away an entire week of camp.
You did not misread that!
Pretty awesome, right?
To enter comment here & tell us if you went to camp when you were a kid, if you didn’t but wanted to, if you didn’t & are just fine with it... basically your own feelings about camp when you were a kiddo!
You can also enter by:
Liking this Facebook post
Sharing this blog post &/or this Facebook post
Commenting on this Facebook post
We will draw the winner on Friday April 20 at 8pm.
Whole Earth Nature School Summer Nature Camps
various weeks throughout the summer
Your votes are in and the winner is MT. BALDY! (If you're wondering which vote you missed out on, head over to Instagram and follow us at @gomomgohike for even more hiking fun.) Growing up here, I have heard of this trail, and just never figured out where it was. When I finally went looking for the trailhead, I couldn’t believe how easy it was. What took me so long?! Also – I love exploring new places in my hometown and seeing how everything is connected. I had to go home and GoogleMaps a satellite view to figure out how it all wound together.
How to Get There:
Drive south on Hilyard. Turn left onto E. Amazon as if you were driving to Mazzi’s/Hideaway Bakery. Turn left onto Dillard Road. Drive up Dillard Rd for about 2.5 miles – turn left onto Hidden Meadow Rd. Turn left again immediately into the small parking lot.
This is a very versatile trail that you can make what you need it to be. I was given insider tips from a friend who lives within walking distance and runs this trail frequently. I will walk you through what we did and then explain what else you can do. From what I can tell, there are three options.
Option #1: Mt. Baldy
This is the shortest loop that is offered. It’s right about a mile round trip. The beginning of this trail is groomed gravel/packed dirt with beautiful views of the city and large, sprawling estates. This part of the trail is the steepest. It is a pretty steady climb. Thinking about carrying a little, it would definitely make you breathe a little harder, but it’s short and the perfect distance to see what you are capable of with littles.
There is a bench near the top that you can sit and look out over the city in a new way.
Just beyond this bench, you will see a fork in the trail. At this point, we went left. (I cannot speak to what happens if you go right – if any of you explore this direction, let me know in the comments below!) By going left, the trail turns to bark and you can loop back around and head back to the car. Turning around here, you will have hiked just about a mile and been rewarded with beautiful views.
Option #2: Spring Creek Blvd.
If you continue down the barked trail, it begins to wind around a bit downhill, becoming more woodsy and covered, until you reach the end of Spring Blvd. (This is the part that BLEW. MY. MIND. How the heck did we get here? Clearly I know nothing about this town.) At this point, you will see another trailhead and the path leads back into the wooded area.
Technically, you could just turn around and head right back up the way you came, but I love exploring and loops. So off we went. This trail quickly becomes narrowed and ungroomed and at this time of year, muddy. We did our best to walk on each edge of the trail to avoid as much as we could.
We followed this until it reaches a clearing and followed an even less marked trail to the left. It did look as if the trail we were on continued ahead (another area we did not explore). This wound through the meadow and then connected back with the bark trail. At this point, we were walking parallel to and just up above Dillard Rd. This quickly joined back with the gravel trail and dropped us back at the car.
Option 3: Dillard Rd.
From what I can tell, if you continued straight on the meadow trail, you will connect with Dillard Rd. My assumption at this point is that you would walk along Dillard Rd. back to your car.
Here’s what we loved:
Close to home. Easy to get to/find. Versatile. Accessible to all levels. Views. Kids loved that the "hard part" was right near the beginning and the rest was easy going, downhill/flat.
Hours: Dawn to Dusk
Parking: Well marked parking lot
Passes Needed: NONE
Distance: .92 - 2.2 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 300 ft
Trail: Gravel and bark paths
Cell Service: Yes
Potential Dangers: None
Safe to Hike Alone: YES
Animals: Dogs must be on a leash
Carrier: Ergo or light carrier
Shoes: Running Shoes
Kid Shoes: Running Shoes
Backpack: Small/Something for water
In the pack: Bare necessities
While I stated that there weren’t any potential dangers and that it is safe to do alone, PLEASE do what feels safe and comfortable for you. As I said, my friend runs this trail often and has never had any issues. There are, however, signs at the beginning of each end of the trail to warn of cougars and bears. As is true of any uninhabited area, there are things you should watch out for and be aware of. Also – when we were in the meadow area, we began to hear an odd sound which later turned out to be a man, partially hidden in the brush, using a metal detector. This gave us pause and definitely startled us. While there were 5 of us and we were fine, this was a good reminder that you should always be cautious and aware of your surroundings whenever venturing out – alone or otherwise.
Jenna Eads is a full-time Special Education teacher, wife to a photographer, and mom to two kids ages 10 and 6. Their life is anything but slow or boring. She loves going on adventures with her kids and listening to them as they see and experience new things and new places. See all of her hike posts here.
Being a tween girl is rough.
Raising a tween girl is rough.
It’s just a little rough all around. Especially when it comes to body stuff. You know like, are these parts too big, are these parts too little, should I cover this, show that & on & on.
I’d like to get this out of the way first: I am really crappy mom a lot of the time. We all are right? We are trying , but man, it’s rough (Some days everything is rough.). That said, one thing I really want to try hard at is helping my daughter have a healthy body image. It’s too easy to have a negative one & if I can give her some good stuff to replace that I’m all in.
One thing that we unknowingly did (isn't parenting so many clueless choices that go really great & an equal amount of well thought out choices that go completely differently than you so thoughtfully planned?) was get her into sports. I mean, we knew we were putting her in sports, that wasn't an accident but the reason we got her into them wasn't to improve her body image. & yet that is what is happening & I couldn't be happier.
Here are some things that sports have given her in relation to her body image:
Our family has found that sports are the best way for us to witness & live these things but I believe that this can be accomplished in other non-sports ways, too. Art, writing, creating videos, designing furniture, almost anything a person is interested in can contribute to those good thoughts. Confidence in something that isn't looks or weight dependent seems like a good start.
Because we are a sports family I'm super excited to see The Miracle Season. I love sports movies & I'm so ready to see one that's focused on a girls team. (I'm also psyched to see Helen Hunt in the role of the coach!)
Here's the trailer & the movie description so you can get excited, too :)
Based on the inspiring true story of West High School girls' volleyball team. After the tragic death of the school's star player Caroline "Line" Found, the remaining team players must band together under the guidance of their tough-love coach in hope of winning the state championship.
I'd love to hear if you see The Miracle Season, let us know in the comments!
Painter and decorator by day, Mr. Popper spends his time dreaming of Antarctic adventures. He is astounded when one day a packing crate arrives on his doorstep and a penguin waddles out!
With original songs and performing penguin puppets, this delightful, action packed musical adaptation of Richard and Florence Atwater’s popular book (also made into a Hollywood film starring Jim Carrey) is the perfect family treat!
Mr. Popper's Penguins
Sunday, April 8, 2018 at 2 pm
Silva Concert Hall
For ages 4–104!
Running time – 60 minutes, no intermission
We are super excited to get to giveaway 4 tickets to this show!
It looks so fun & such a great way to kick off spring.
To enter, comment here with the animal you wouldn't mind having at your house for a couple of weeks :)
You can also enter on our Facebook & Instagram!
We'll draw for the winner on Wednesday April 4 at 8pm.
All Advent Amy At Home Books Camp Christmas Christy Cup Of Tee Downtown Emily Encouragement Eugene Fall Picks Farms Gift Guide Giveaway Halloween Happy Adventuring Healthy Kids Happy Homes Hike Hike Mom Hike Holiday Holiday Picks Inside Play Jenna Junction City Lane County Library Mama Makes Martial Arts Megan Merry Reviews Museum Music Outside Parent Interviews Parks Portland Pumpkin Patch Recipes RiverPlay Road Trip Shopping Springfield The Very Best Thrifting Water Feature Yearly Event