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Get Out this month: Holiday Performance Guide Gift Guide: TOYS! Best of Jess Says: Great Stuff from Local Designers www.nwkids.com

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Packing a Lunch? LET US SHOP FOR YOU Shop online at www.New SeasonsMarket.com

Listings Birthdays

The Little Gym 3 Frills to Fairy tales 21 Penny’s Puppet Productions 11 Pigtails & Crewcuts 21 Rice’s Horses & More 11 Sit Still Salon 18

Books, Toys, Goods, and Clothes Arbonne 17 Backyard Adventures 19 Chic Eye Designs 25 Clementine NW 11 Friendship Prints 15 Generations 19 Green Ink Holiday Stationery 25 Little Lark 27 Hand Print Tiles 15 Lulu and Lola 23 Miminko Apparel 17 Powell’s Books 21 SpielWerk Toys 17



Steiner Storehouse 17 Violet 17 Ziva Salon 13

New Seasons Market 2 Me Too Cafe 13

Community, Social Moms Like Me 31 Wendy’s Wonderful Kids

Pigtails and Crewcuts 21 Sit Still 21 Ziva Salon 13

Childcare

Health & Fitness

A Mother’s Love 7 Fruit Flower 7 Little Wiz Kids 27 Play Boutique 11

Events & Seasonal Breakfast with Santa 25 Hand Print Tiles 19 Boutique Soiree Grotto Festival of Lights 27 Penny’s Puppets 11 Sample Sale 27 Wizard of Oz 30

Food & Restaurants Grandma Leeth’s 11 Hopworks Urban Brewery 29

Haircuts

Barre3 15 Baby Boot Camp 13 The Little Gym 3 Ruby Sky Sleep Coaching 9 Tiffany Ueltschi Massage Therapy and Doula 11 World of Smiles 15

Horseback Riding Rice’s Horses and More 23

Music, Theatre & Dance Sound Roots Music 13 Childbloom Guitar13 Magic Music Studio 13 Bennett Suzuki Violin 11

Lakewood Theater 19 Northwest Children’s Theater 25 Billings Dance 25

Photography

Caron Dutro Photography 27 Kiddie Kandids 32

Services

Candice N. Alston, attorney 31

Schools

Childroots 24 Escuela Viva 24 German American School 24 Goddard School 23 Happy Hollow School 25 Little Fruit Farm Montessori 22 Portland Wiz Kids 9 Social Thinking Groups 9 Sunshine Montessori 23 Taisei Learning Center 25

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Call 503.282.2711 for advertising information




Editor’s Corner

fun topics

more serious topics

8

Editor / Publisher Jessica Davis jessica@nwkids.com

It’s the time of year for taking stock, counting blessings, expressing gratitude, and reflection. We are all blessed by the abundance of options and the dedication of the wonderful people serving our families. I’d like to give thanks to all the professionals we’ve been so honored to work with over the year. These aren’t the best of times for anyone, and many of those hardest hit by the slumping economy are the small businesses in our area that cater to children and families. Each of our advertisers is making the tough choice to put precious resources on getting the word out to you about their business. So to them I say thank you. And to you I ask that when you make your tough choices about how to enrich, entertain, and educate your child, you consider these fine local businesses. You have undoubtedly heard about the virtues, both ethical and economic, of shopping locally. Certainly when it comes to food, Portlanders appreciate locally sourced produce, dairy products, and meat. But at this time of year, when you are perhaps purchasing gifts for others, I urge you to consider the positive impact you can have on our community by shifting your spending from chains to locally owned merchants. Even a shift of 10% can increase economic output, in the form of such things as taxes and wages, by millions of dollars annually. These tax revenues directly impact local budgets. (Or to be blunt, money spent at Target, Toys R Us, Wal-Mart, etc. does not help finance our schools.) Believe me, I am in no position to judge, and I’d never want any of you parents to feel guilty about the choices you’re making for your family. I know budgets are tight. And I am not asking you to stay away from Target altogether. But even that small, incremental change (10%!) in where you spend your money can make a huge difference in the community. And we have such amazing alternatives! 

Editorial Assistant Julie Shamblin julie@nwkids.com Business Director, Web Pete Davis pete@nwkids.com Advertising Michelle Snell michelle@nwkids.com Maria Perry maria@perrystarmedia.com Artist Erin Sorenson Contributors Judy Berck, Dawn Sorem For Photography submissions photos@nwkids.com Every effort is made to ensure accuracy; sometimes we make errors. Please let us know when we do and accept our apologies. Printed locally; please recycle.

Shopping in the fabulous local shops is a lot more fun. I’ve had the pleasure of consulting with owners and managers at several toy stores for the annual NW Kids gift guide. These people care about toys, they care about how your children can benefit from play, and they care about things such as where toys are made and from which materials. So I encourage you to visit these shops. It’s a treat. Plus, you are likely to get free gift-wrapping and you’ll never have to pay for shipping! Of course, the holidays are about much more than what we buy or where. May yours find you safe and warm, amongst loved ones and filled with sweet delights. From our family to yours, Happy December! —Jessica Davis, jessica@nwkids.com Say you saw it in the pages of NW Kids


contents

in this issue...

The NW Kids Annual Toy Guide: Local shop owners and managers share their favorite gifts for the season (pp 6- 9). Craft: Matching tags, bags, and cards for your crafty kids (p. 10) NW Kids profile: Local Artist Bishop Lennon creates fabulous letter block room art for tots (p. 12) Best of JESS SAYS: Editor Jessica Davis highlights some of her favorite picks from the past year or so (pp. 14 - 18) Birthday Party Venue: The Little Gym (p. 20) Killer Pop-Up Books (p. 22) Resource Guide: Holiday Performances (p. 26) Calendar of Events (p. 26) Mama Says: Finding Grace in Raining Leaves (p. 26)

on the cover and above ... Photos courtesy of Reversed Lens Photography

www.reversedlensphotography.com Cover art by Erin Sorenson

on the web... Local Toy Shops:

www.nwkids.com/toy_stores Holiday card-makers and stationers, photographers, haircuts for kids, birthday party ideas, indoor play parks, and much, much more:

www.nwkids.com/resources Sign up for our newsletter for more great ideas on outings, goings on, and cool stuff around town! View previous newsletters:

www.nwkids.com/newsletter Call 503.282.2711 for advertising information




Our

2008

Toy Guide The toy shop owners and managers we consulted for this gift guide say that parents this year are looking for value. You are looking for toys that will capture your child’s attention, spark their spirit and endure long past the holiday season. If this is important to you, look for open-ended toys that will grow with your child. Think of the classics - train sets, blocks, dolls... kids will find new ways to interact with these toys. Avoid character-driven items that are tied to a movie or a character, as kids tend to get bored with these once the novelty has worn off. Our contributors this year: •

Michelle, owner, Piccolo Mondo Toys (PM)

Rebecca, manager, Mudpuddles Toys (MP)

Stacee, co-owner, Spielwerk Toys (SW)

Sarah, manager, Kids at Heart (KaH)

Jessica Davis, parent (JD)

Silke Traditional Doll The SILKE Collection comes from a small family-run company in Germany where their tradition has always been creating lovingly handcrafted soft playthings. This brand is world-renowned for its high quality standards. The beautiful materials used are beneficial to child development in providing a special charm and personality, and their warmth adds a feeling of security. These are truly heirloom quality. Soft cotton, mohair and granule weighted tummies. $160 (SW)

Find addresses for these, and other, local toy stores: www.nwkids.com/toy_stores

Wooden Blocks Haba and Plan Toys both make great versions of this classic, and what many agree is still the best toy. Every little one should have a set of unit blocks. Build high towers, lay out streets for your cars, anything your mind can create -- and learn mathematical concepts at the same time. Shapes, fractions, proportions, widths, and lengths, become second nature as you design with blocks. Ages 3 and up. (ALL) 

Ping Pong Catapult and Castle Pull down the catapult throw arm and fling a ping pong ball at the cardboard castle. It will accurately toss balls up to 14 feet. Comes with six balls and extra rubber bands. Made locally by an independent company in Corvallis, for 5 and up, $25 (KaH)

Say you saw it in the pages of NW Kids


Teaching Cash Register Comes with OgoSport Mini Super Sports Disk The OgoSport Sports Disk

is sure to get you and your family up from the couch! Indoor and out, in teams, or individually, the Sports Disk provides safe, year-round fun. Great for advanced play or to develop motor skills – the play possibilities are endless! Ages 4+; comes in two sizes - one disk is $15 and a set of two is $40 (PM)

play money, scale and credit card. It features a coin slot that can read real coins as well as its plastic ones, an LCD screen that displays the tally and four multi-level math games. The built-in scanner generates prices and says them out loud. Great fun for learning math while engaging in creative pretend play. Ages 3-6. (MP)

Erzi Wooden Play Food Erzi has the most incredible line of wooden play food. Yum! Great for kitchen or market play, while also encouraging healthy eating habits. Child-size, just right for little hands. Erzi wooden food is crafted to look whimsical yet real. The natural texture and beautiful hues from their natural bio paints add delightful charm. (Tin boxed food also available.) Ages 3 and up. Eco-friendly manufacturing, made of birch wood from managed forests. $3 – 5. (SW)

Quirkle The eye-catching, mind-boggling strategy game combines the action of dominoes, scrabble and set. Players lay tiles to create rows and columns of matching colors and shapes. Mix, match, score and win. If you love Blockus, you’ll love this one. All ages can play and be challenged (6+). $23-ish (PM). Note: Piccolo Mondo has a toy library that lets you borrow and try out games at home before purchase. (MP) Call 503.282.2711 for advertising information




The

2008

Toy Guide Fairy Forest Mushroom Furniture Set

Plan Toys Kitchen Center This all-in-one Kitchen Center has turning knobs and comes with oven, storage area, sink, dishwashing unit, and cooking utensils holder. Uniquely designed to have two sides open for play––one side for washing the dishes the other for cooking. Fun for hours of imaginative play! Ages 3 and up. All wooden construction, sustainably and safely made. $250. (SW; note, all experts chose something from the PLAN line)

Papa Don’s Lawnmower Push Toy A lovely six-piece woodland dollhouse fairy furniture set, perfectly sized for the Fairy Forest lodge (not pictured, also available). A lovely set to go with any set of wooden or flexible soft dollhouse dolls. Also available is the most charming family of fairies you’ve ever seen! They come complete with whimsical elfin outfits and colorful fairy wings. Four furniture sets are available, one family, and a complete Forest Fairy Lodge. Furniture sets range $10 – 20. (SW)

More toy ideas from the 2007 issue: www.nwkids.com/holiday_toy_guide_ 2007 

A revolving “barrel” full of wooden balls that bounce around when tots push it makes a satisfying sound. Made locally by an independent company in Eugene. For beginning walkers (1 year) through the toddler years. $34.95 (TaH)

Wikki Stix Tons of Fun

Hours and hours of activities for tons and tons of fun! Wikki Stix provide, clean, creative fun with no glue, no paste, no mess! Made in USA. Ages 7+. The Activities Kit is perfect for younger children. Both make great travel companions and both are no mess! prices vary. (JD, PM) Say you saw it in the pages of NW Kids


Face Off Frenzy Power Band Hockey High-speed action without a lot of loud air. It uses patented Power-Band Technology to create fast ricochet action on any carpet or hard floor. Simply set up the game frame, put in the power band, and begin firing the puck and protecting your goal on a large 34” x 49” rink. Ages 6 –Teen. (MP)

Hape Quadrilla Last year, we wrote about how much we coveted this marble run. Well, as luck would have it, Santa left one at our house! High-quality natural wood, brilliant colors, cool marbles. . . It’s all here, in one timeless, top-notch innovative plaything. Stable, easy to construct, and beautiful to behold. Our little ones need help setting it up, but it’s a fun family activity. Starter sets run around $60; Ages 4+ recommended. (JD)

Form

ups ing Gro Now!!!

“for special needs kids” Enroll NOW for groups starting in January!

Come join us for some fun! Build language and socialization skills in a small group setting Preschoolers: 3-5 Language movement and sensory activities will be used to facilitate appropriate turn-taking, play and communication skills School Age & Adolescents Role playing, game playing and project planning will be used to facilitate appropriate conversational skills.

Contact us at 360-573-7313 erskinespeechpathology@yahoo.com

Under the direction of Barbara Erskine M.S., C.C.C and Brenda Hiegel M.S., C.C.C—Certified Speech Pathologists

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Crafts

then glue this onto the front of the bag.

A BAG, A TAG, A CARD Now that the holidays are here, what better way to show someone you care than by making them a matching gift bag, tag and greeting card. This may sound complicated, but it is super easy! All you need to do is come up with a theme and make everything match!

Materials • Undecorated paper and/or colored gift bag (with or pencils without handles) • Liquid or dry • Heavy cardstock in glitter, other a variety of colors embellishments (optional) • Ribbon, string, yarn, twine or floss • Stamps and Ink (optional) • Scissors • Glue • Markers, crayons

• Tissue Paper (optional)

Steps to make a snowman themed bag, tag and card: • Draw and cut out several different sizes of circles on white cardstock for your snowman’s body. Make a big snowman to fit on the front of the gift bag, a medium sized snowman for the card and really small one for your tag. • Measure the front of the gift bag and cut a light blue piece of cardstock to fit the front of the gift bag.

• Using the same color of light blue cardstock cut it 5 ½” x 8 ½” and fold in half for your greeting card base. • Glue the snowman to front of card and decorate with markers. • Write or stamp something on the inside of your card, make sure you sign the back, so whoever gets it knows who made it. • Using the same color of light blue cardstock cut out a small rectangle 3” x 6” and fold it in half; punch or poke a hole in the corner of it. • Glue the snowman to front of tag and on the inside of tag write who it is to and from. • Tie the tag to the bag handle, using ribbon. If bag does not have a handle, punch or poke a hole in the bag and then tie the tag to bag. • You can put tissue paper in the bag and put a present inside to give to someone special! An alternative to this project: You could make any theme you wanted: Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza or any special occasion throughout the year. This project would also be great for a special someone’s birthday!

Supplies Step 1

Step 2 Finished Project!

• Glue the big snowman to the blue cardstock, decorate with markers, crayons or colored pencils (you can cut out a top hat and nose with paper or just draw it all in) and 10

Say you saw it in the pages of NW Kids


Dawn Sorem teaches arts and crafts classes and she does private classes/parties for both children and adults. If you would like more information or to set up a time to have her do an art project for a group you can contact her at envelopcards@gmail.com. Dawn is also the owner and designer of Envelop Cards, you can view her latest designs and see a list of her upcoming classes at:

www.envelopcards.com

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NW Kids readers receive 10% off orders placed online. Use discount code NWKIDS10 at check out. www.munchkindesigns.com

Voted “Family-Favorite Restaurant” World Comfort Food; NW Wine, Beer, Coffee; Free WiFi; Supervised childcare. Book now for crafts, afternoon tea, parent-child dance, live jazz and much more!

Horseback riding for all ages; indoor riding area; call for a reservation.

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Hip organic gifts for mama and baby. Save 10% off your total purchase by using coupon code 10NWKIDS by December 31.

www.ediebennett.com; 503.246.9945

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PLAY Boutique: a Modern Family Piazza: the place where parents and children can play, learn and grow together. PLAY Boutique provides creative play, lifestyle & wellness services, enriching activities, and a profound sense of community all in one chic social space. www.playboutique.com

Check my website for performances; available for birthday parties Call 503.282.2711 for advertising information

Bring this in for a FREE STAY & PLAY CLASS

11


Profile Bishop Lennon Knows Her Letters might normally see for young children. Is that intentional? I try not to make things that are blatantly “baby-ish;” I avoid rattles and items that scream “baby.” I also strive to keep my designs gender-neutral. There aren’t “blue” and “pink;” they’re just fun. Are some letters more popular than others?

If you see one of these darling letters sitting on a shelf, you’ll notice the fun playful designs and vibrant colors. Bishop Lennon, the artist behind the squares, chats with NW Kids about her art. So how did you get started with the letters? I just think letters are so perfect for children’s rooms. They are learning the letters, they are learning the names of animals, and they are learning about themselves. And letters have a universal appeal. I started making them as gifts for my friends’ babies; the personalization of letters makes them perfect presents. So what is your inspiration for the designs? Birds are one of my biggest inspirations. I enjoy learning more about them, watching them in the wild, and then creating unique, colorful, and quirky images. I have done an all-bird alphabet, and I generally always put an Owl on the “O” – I update with different owls, but “O” is for Owl.

Everyone likes to have a local spin. In Portland, the “R” for Rose is quite popular, as is the “T” for tree in the style of a Doug Fir. All the letters are 4-inch squares. Why do you work with that size canvas? There is something relatable about that size. When you see it on the shelf, it invites you to get close. I like small paintings, little pieces of art you can hold in your hand. There’s an intimacy to that. Bishop Lennon is a trained illustrator living in Portland. Her letters are sold at Black Wagon, Sit Still Salon, Spoiled Rotten and Crafty Wonderland. www.bishop-art.com.

Working with people to design custom letters is one of my favorite things. I enjoy the challenge of creating a completely unique work of art. In the past I have painted letters in Spanish and Hebrew, as well as an entire name with a Hawaiian theme (R is for rainbow, D is for dolphin, etc.) All I need is a few areas of interest (space, animals, under the sea, San Francisco, for example) to create completely personalized paintings. The letters are quite different than what you 12

Say you saw it in the pages of NW Kids


CUTS-FOR-TOYS! Sunday, December 7th 10am-6pm

ZIVA Salon-Store 610 NW 23rd Avenue Portland, OR 97210 503.221.6990 ▪ www.zivanet.com Schedule your reservation today!

Lessons and CLasses for aLL! 412 NE Beech St., Portland (503) 282-9999

All service proceeds go to Portland's Toy and Joy Makers for holiday gifts for children in need.

www.soundrootsmusic.com

Toy Drive – bring by a new unwrapped toy through December 13th

GUITAR LESSONS FOR KIDS!

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The Childbloom® Guitar Program for young people 5-12, is a fun and inspiring way to learn the skill of making music.

(503) 896-0433 www.childbloom.com

257226.120707

• Highest quality instruction! • Great for kids new to lessons! • For kids ages 5-12 • Small group classes • Located in NE Portland

Give the gift that lasts a lifetime. Music instruction for Christmas! Gift certificates available

Call 503.282.2711 for advertising information

13


Shop 2008 Review Looking back at some of my picks from the past year or so, I think I did a pretty good job these are still great picks! In the next few pages, you can see some of my favorites. In case you missed them in any given month, check out JESS SAYS online, www.nwkids.com/blog

Décor Simply Silhouettes Destined to become heirlooms, these portraits are created with classic styling, handcrafted warmth and a touch of elegant whimsy. Simply Silhouettes offers a variety of styles and custom-designed products, including prints, canvases, clothing, stationery sets, and more. Prices vary; www.simplysilhouettes.com.

Custom Art from Kiki and Polly Kiki & Polly has grabbed the attention of parents looking for an artistic twist for their children’s photographs. By inserting digital images of individual faces into acrylic paintings, Lisa Golightly, the artist behind Kiki & Polly, creates modern and whimsical pieces of art that both capture the spirit and wonder of childhood and the personality of the subjects. www.kikiandpolly.com

Rock ‘n Roll Birth Announcements from Rattle ‘n Roll Announce the birth of your wee rockstar in a manner that says “yes, I was at the show and have the poster to prove it.” www.rattleandroll.com

Giraffe Art by Jennifer Mercede The artist’s love of color is one of her biggest inspirations for these giraffe paintings. In a range of happy, playful, and fun colors, these striking pieces look great in a child’s room, or any room. www.jennifermercede.com 14

Say you saw it in the pages of NW Kids


Pediatric Dental Specialist

Complimentary exams for children under the age of 2

DO SOMETHING WONDERFUL! Spontaneous and sanguine, Austin welcomes an action-packed repertoire. Constructing clubhouses, scaling trees and building bike ramps are just a day-in-the-life of this adventure-seeker. Sweet-natured and affectionate, Austin socializes smoothly with both adults and kids. He works hard to garner the loving attention that fuels his wellbeing. “I want a losses have left Austin family who will let Accumulated longing for a permanent family.

me get my own dog…or a fourwheeler because I really like fishing and hunting.”

Positive reinforcement and skill building help Austin to rein in his impulsive spirit. He will do best in an active, sports-minded family who supports his creative endeavors with gusto. Austin, as he himself proclaims, is truly a great kid!

Adopt a Wendy’s Wonderful Kid Brook Puckett Call Boys 503.542.2330 & Girls Aid today! bpuckett@boysandgirlsaid.org www.boysandgirlsaid.org

Now open in the Pearl! cbmmfu!cbssf!nffut!zphb!boe!qjmbuft Get longer, leaner + energized. Classes 7 days/week with childcare (at select times) 3 classes for $30 (new clients only) 1000 NW Marshall St. at 10th Ave. barre3.com 503.206.8308

Call 503.282.2711 for advertising information

15


Shop 2008 Review Visit www.nwkids.com/blog for more great picks!

Toys & Stuff

Nutcase Helmets

This Portland company wants you to love your brain. And these helmets are fun to wear while protecting your noggin or that of your tiny two-wheeler. “Little Nutty” helmets fit tots aged 2-5 Around $40-ish; available at independent bike shops locally; also Freddies and Target. www.nutcasestore.com

Stubby Pencil cards Color ‘n Kids notecards let your little one color them in and follow the dotted lines to trace the lettering: perfect for veteran colorers and novice letterers. Cute, fun, interactive and earth friendly. Sold in packs of six for $7.95. Holiday sets available, as well as many other themes. www.stubbypencilstudio.com

I Spy Bags by Ainsley & Oswald There are 40 treasures inside each I Spy Bag, which come in fun prints with a laminated window opening. Filled with tiny polybeads perfect for little hands to manipulate as they uncover hidden items. Perfect traveling or quiet time toy for all ages. $18. www.ainsleyandoswald.etsy.com

Panjo Capes Super capes for super kids! Design your own cape for your little hero - choose an icon or initial for the back and design the inside to match the personality of your caped wonder. They attach with velcro at the neck - sound effects sold separately. $30. www.panjokids.com 16

Say you saw it in the pages of NW Kids


spielwerktoys.com

Waldorf Inspired:

Find out why NOW is the time to be a part of this amazing company. Home based business and all products are botanically based. To learn more about Arbonne's pure, safe, and beneficial products: Call Kami @ 503-577-5055 or email kami1416@comcast.net

Toys Remedies Skin Care Books Portland-made felted wool creations

Steiner Storehouse

Locally owned and operated 5915 SE Division m-sat 9-5, Sunday 12-5

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17


Shop 2008 Review Visit www.nwkids.com/blog for more great picks!

Clothes Zah Baby Collection from Go Natural Baby

Soft… just sooooooft. You know that thick, thick yummy cotton that never wears out and is so delicious to the touch? The kind you ooh and aah over at the baby showers? Now imagine it in 100% certified organic cotton. This small-scale boutique clothing line is continually growing, and this season’s styles are just too cute. Little scrub pants, onesie dresses, lap tees… essentials, naturally. Prices vary, www.gonaturalbaby.com

Monkey Bar Buddies Girls these days can do it all. They can play tough on the playground, twirl, jump, swing, and hang out... and never need to change out of their dresses. Like a modern-day corset, the shorts from Monkeybar Buddies go under skirts and keep girls modest and comfy with no sticking to the fabric or bulk. Perfect for those mini princesses who refuse to wear pants. Find them at Dolci or Haggis McBaggis. www.monkeybarbuddies.com

Cool Local Tee-Shirt Lines

Proud: Made in Oregon Tees from Chirp & Tweet

www.chirpandtweet.com

Whimsical: Eclectikid Stylish: Little Lark

www.eclectikid.com

www.littlelark.com 18

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FALL

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NW Kids 10.08

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19


Birthdays The Little Gym The Deal If you’re looking for an active party for your wee celebrant and guests, you might consider hosting it at a gymnastics facility. The Little Gym’s two locations (Lake Oswego and Beaverton) offer private use of their gyms—complete with Airtrak, bar, beam, tumbling mat, parachutes—for weekend parties. These outings are completely instructor-led, down to the food serving and gift opening (if you choose to do so) and tailored to your specific age group. A pirate-themed fete, for example, frames the Little Gym’s movement challenges so the little ones “swab the decks,” “man the pumps,” “pull up anchor,” and so on to increasingly faster and faster music. The parties are 90 minutes, which includes gym time and 30 minutes in the (fully decorated) party room.

What You Get • The Little Gym Invitations (addressed, stamped and mailed for you!) • A qualified birthday leader, plus an assistant; they’ll lead the party, serve the food, write down the gifts, and so on. They are also instructed to sing “Happy Birthday” at least five times! • Set-up and clean-up • Paper goods (plates, forks, cups, napkins), juice, and water • A “The Little Gym” T-shirt for the birthday boy or girl

Parental Fun Factor This is a hassle-free party for the hosts. All you need to do is bring cake and/or food. Witnesses say the instructors are what make the party fun – they interact with children to help them participate in the equipment and will gently encourage shy or nervous kids to participate at their comfort level. All parents can watch from the sidelines, hang out in the party room or lobby, take photos, 20

whatever; however, children under 3 do need an adult present with them in the gym. Parties for this age group are parent-participatory, so remember to wear your socks!

The Fine Print

· You should reserve early - six weeks out is recommended, especially in the rainy months. Parties are held only on the weekends. · Cost is $225 at the Lake Oswego gym and $250 at the Beaverton location, with member discounts offered at each site. Fee covers up to 15 children. Additional children may be invited (for $12 per child). · You can bring outside food – a fridge, microwave, and full kitchen are available for use. · Thirty minutes in the party room can be tight – if you want to serve a meal, and cake, and open gifts, think about cutting your time in the gym so you have enough time. · The first and last timeslots of the day can be extended so children have more time to play in the gym.

The Little Gym Lake Oswego 503-595-9702

www.tlglakeoswegoor.com Beaverton 503-579-0859

www.tlgbeaverton.com More ideas for birthday fun:

www.nwkids.com/resources/birthday Say you saw it in the pages of NW Kids


Princess, Diva, Spa, Pirate, Fairy, Luau And many more! Frillstofairytales.com (503) 522-8449

Real Style, Real Fun *haircuts, coloring, styling *mini-manicures & pedicures *birthday parties *fun accessories & unique gifts 5656 Hood St. Suite 105, West Linn, OR 97068 503-657-3975 www.sitstillkids.com

walk-ins welcomed—appointments recommended

Party With Pigtails &Crewcuts!

The Streets of Tanasbourne 2219 NW Allie Avenue • #1430 (located behind the REI building) Hillsboro, OR 97124 503•336•4778 www.pigtailsandcrewcuts.com Call 503.282.2711 for advertising information

21


Book Picks Eye-POPPING Gift Ideas There’s no better gift than books this season. They’re affordable, fun, and educational, and reading together around the fire is so much fun! The great folks at Powell’s give us their top picks this holiday season.

ABC3D Marion Bataille This 3-D rendering of the alphabet makes for a psychedelic, well-oiled machine of a popup book. Marion Bataille’s ABC3D is a feat of paper craft that will inspire young artists and have kids of all ages entranced with its new spin on the ABCs.

Swing! Rufus Butler Seder Rufus Butler Seder, whose patented Scanimation technology first boggled our eyes in last year’s Gallop!, now gives us Swing!, a mesmerizing optical experience that will delight kids and adults alike.

600 Black Spots David A. Carter David Carter’s 600 Black Spots is a funky popup that blends abstract art and counting concepts. With bold primary colors and whimsical words, this book is an invitation to play. And like Carter himself says: “please touch the art.”

Proud Oregon Parents Name Baby After Powell’s Books Powell’s books is such a favorite destination for one local family that they named their baby after it! That’s right, Powell Finley DeKam was born to an Albany family in early October. Michael Powell was so thrilled by the news that he personally arranged for a special baby gift. No word yet on baby’s favorite author.

Winter’s Tale Robert Sabuda Paper-engineer extraordinaire Robert Sabuda brings us Winter’s Tale, a simple yet magical story of animals enjoying a snowy day in the forest. With its glitter, foil, and intricate paper craft, this book is a piece of wintry eye candy. 22

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Say you saw it in the pages of NW Kids


Portland City Search Winner 2005, 2006, 2007 4455 SW 99th Ave. Beaverton, OR 97005

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Holiday Performances THE SINGING CHRISTMAS TREE

THE NUTCRACKER The sparkling lights of a towering tree, a sweeping crescendo from the full orchestra*, and a magical journey to the candycoated realm of the Sugarplum Fairy... Dec 12-14 Oregon

Ballet Theatre, Keller Auditorium www.obt.org

TUBA CHRISTMAS THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS A Holiday play with a memorable story line and dancing entertainment for the whole family; presented by MVP Dance. Dec 6 Portland Center for the Performing Arts, Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay St. www.pcpa.com

SCROOGE: THE MUSICAL Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol” is brought to life on stage as the miserly Scrooge is taken through Christmases past, present, and future. Dec 5 14 Washburn Performing Arts Center at Washougal High School www.cytvanport.org

BIGLITTLETHINGS From the NW Kids review:

“Biglittlethings is a splendid assortment of creative and original vignettes, performed by all manner of oversized critters, including, but not limited to polar bears, aardvarks, and some seriously confused seven-foot bunny rabbits ... Biglittlethings keeps you guessing and wondering all evening.” Read full review: www.nwkids.com/biglittlethings Dec 12 - Jan 3 Imago Theatre, SE Portland

www.imagotheatre.com 26

Rejoice in the sound of nearly 200 tubas playing the festive music of the season. Dec. 13 Pioneer Courthouse Square, Downtown Portland, 1:30pm

THE WIZARD OF OZ Follow the Yellow Brick Road - you know this story! Dec. 13 - Jan 4; special holiday matinees Northwest Children’s Theater, NW Portland. http://nwcts.org

THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER A classic play about the Herdmans, who

were absolutely the worst kids in the history of the world taking part in the town’s Christmas pageant, it surprised just about everybody. dec 18 - 23 Lakewood Center for the Arts in Downtown Lake Oswego www.lakewood-

center.org

THE NUTCRACKER TEA A Nutcracker Tea is an abridged, familyfriendly adaptation of the Nutcracker ballet for ages 4 and up. Snacks and drinks provided. Dec 19-21 Northwest Dance Theatre, PCC Sylvania Campus Performing Arts Center, 12000 SW 49th Ave.

www.nwdt.org

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TUBA: Courtesy of Pioneer Courthouse Square & Duane Morris Photography; NUTCRACKER: Blaine Truitt Covert, Courtesy of Oregon Ballet Theater

One of Portland’s most beloved and longest running holiday performances will open their doors for the 46th season starting the day after Thanksgiving. Each year a vibrant new story line is intertwined with over 300 adult and youth choir voices. From Santa and Rudolph to Shepherds and Kings…there is always something for everyoneyoung or young at heart. through Dec 6 Portland Center for the Performing Arts, Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay St. www.pcpa.com


TUBA: Courtesy of Pioneer Courthouse Square & Duane Morris Photography; NUTCRACKER: Blaine Truitt Covert, Courtesy of Oregon Ballet Theater

liGht DiSPlAyS iNDoor chorAl coNcertS PettiNG Zoo ' PuPPet ShoWS liviNG hiStory ' cArolerS

November 28–December 30, 2008

Open 5:00–9:30 Nightly'Closed Christmas Day General Admission: $7.50'child Admission: $3.00 (3–12 years old)

Ne 85th & SANDy boulevArD iN PortlAND

www.thegrotto.org'(503) 261-2400'Please bring canned or dry baby food for Snow-CAP

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December CALENDAR Through Jan 1 LIGHTS:

WINTER WONDERLAND Tons of fun for the whole family, the Winter Wonderland is thought by some to be the “largest holiday light show west of the Mississippi.” The price is $16 per car and the fun takes place at the Portland International Raceway. Weekdays 5-10pm and weekends 5-11pm. 503 821-4354.

Weekends in December

MCMENAMINS BREAKFAST WITH SANTA What better way to celebrate the holidays than with Kris Kringle himself. McMenamins is hosting several Breakfast with Santa events at their various locations. Come enjoy a breakfast buffet and a chat with Santa and leave with a free keepsake photo. Reservations are required and ticket prices range from $10-13. Check online for times and locations. www. mcmenamins.com

Various Dates in December CHRISTMAS SHIP PARADE

Come enjoy a Portland tradition over 50 years in the making. The Christmas Ship Parade is full of festive boats decorated for the season. Parading both along the Willamette and the Columbia, the times and routes vary by night so check online for details. www.christmasships.org

Through Dec 31 PITTOCK

MANSION ‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS Each of the historic mansion’s 23 rooms will be festively decorated to reflect a different part of the famous holiday poem for this holiday season. Kids and kids at heart alike will find the décor and the atmosphere enchanting. 3229 NW Pittock Drive. 503-823-3623 or www.pittockmansion.org

Dec 2 & 7 HANDMADE NW AR-

TISAN FAIR Handmade NW is hosting two great holiday festivals with tons of goods and gifts made by local artisans. The first, on December 2nd is from 10am-6pm and will be at the World Trade Center Plaza, 121 SW Salmon St. and the second, a more formal affair, will be held on December 7th at the Chelsea Ballroom, 1510 SE Hawthorne.

www.handmadenw.com

Dec 3 OMSI AFTER DARK A great way to explore all of OMSI’s fantastic stuff without feeling like you are stealing away some kiddos turn at the activities. Just for the 21 and over crowd, this event brings out the kid in everyone because after all – science is fun! 6pm-10pm. Ad28

mission is $10 for non-members and free to members. OMSI, 1945 SE Water Ave. 503-797-4000 or www.omsi.edu

Dec 5 & 6 FESTIVAL OF TREES With more than 100 trees and holiday displays, the Providence Festival of Trees also hosts live entertainment and kids’ crafts. Friday, 10am-9pm and Saturday, 10am-6pm at the Oregon Convention Center, Hall C, 777 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Admission ranges from $3-5. 503- 215-6070 or www.providence.org/festivaloftrees

Dec 5-7 AMERICA’S LARG-

EST CHRISTMAS BAZAAR More than 1,000 booths chock full of unique gifts, handmade holiday decorations and much more. Admission is $6.50 for adults, juniors are $3.50 and kids under 12 are free. Portland Expo Center, 2060 N. Marine Drive. www.expochristmasbazaar.com

Dec 5-23 & 26-29 CHRISTMAS

FANTASY TRAIL The Christmas Fantasy Trail at the Wenzel Farm has tons of Christmas scenes loaded with festive lights, a 40-ft. castle, a crooked house and a maze. Hours are 6-9pm. Children under 12 are $3.50 and all other are $4. 503-631-2047 or www.fantasytrail.com

Dec 6 FAMILY HOLIDAY

SINGALONG A percentage of all the proceeds from Airplay Café’s fun holiday sing-along goes toward the Children’s Relief Nursery. There will be stories and songs and special holiday snacks. The fun starts at 6pm and the cost is $5 for a person or $10 for a family. Call ahead for tickets. Airplay Café, 701 E. Burnside St. 503-808-7908 or www.airplaycafe.com

Dec 6 FROGTOWN A live performance of “One Night in Frogtown” with live music and animation. See the NW Kids interview with Frogtown creator Philip Pelletier for details on the show:

www.nwkids.com/Nov08_Frogtown McMenamins Bagdad Theater, SE Hawthorne, Doors open at 1pm; event starts at 2pm, $5 advance and day of tickets, all ages welcome. www.mcmenamins.com

Dec 6 HOLIDAY SHOPPING

SOIREE Grab your girlfriends and join us for an evening of shopping - it’s all mom-designed products and it’s all great! Saturday evening from 4pm - 7pm. Enjoy wine, champagne, and yummy appetizers while discovering fabulous boutiques! Me Too! Cafe, 16755 Baseline Road #102, Beaverton.

www.nwkids.com/soiree

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Dec 6, 13, 18 HANDPRINT TILES Make a special gift of little hand or feet prints, Hand Print Tiles will be at Mother Natures, Dec. 6, 10:30 to 5pm, 2627 SE Clinton; Generations, December 13th, 10am - 5pm, 4029 Hawthorne St; and a special evening event (5:30 to 8:30), December 18th at All About Kids, 130 Main St. Gresham. www.handprinttiles.com

Dec 10, 12, 15, 17, 19 & 20

CHRISTMAS LIGHTED BOAT PARADE TROLLEY TRIP

pricing. Beaverton location: Beaverton, (503) 579-0859. Lake Oswego location: (503) 595-9702 or www.TheLittleGym.com and search for Oregon locations.

Dec 18 & 22 HOLIDAY BREAKFAST WITH BOB THE BUILDER

Kids will love having a breakfast with everyone’s favorite handy man and the fact that the folks at Portland Children’s Museum adds a holiday theme make it even better. There are various seating times so be sure to call either scheduler at 503-471-9911 or www.portlandcm.org

Dec 19 STORY AND STROLL Join in

A memorable way to see the Christmas Ships Parade mentioned above, the Willamette Shore Trolley takes festive folk along the river to see the ships. Reservations are required and tickets are $25. All trains depart from The Willamette Trolley Lake Oswego Station, 311 N State Street, Lake Oswego. 503-697-7436 or

http://oerhs.org/wst/excursions.htm

on the winter fun at Tryon Creek State Park by helping them celebrate the winter solstice. A fun and free event for the whole family, there will be crafts and goodies and a guided short winter walk in the woods. The event goes from 4-6pm and pre-registration is required. Tryon Creek State Park, 503-636-9886 or 11321 SW Terwilliger Blvd. www.tryonfriends.org

Dec 13 GIFT MAKING EXTRAVA-

Dec 21 CHANUKAH WONDER-

crafty holiday gifts for their parents and pals, the Portland Children’s Museum is hosting gift-making studios where they provide tons of ideas and materials for kids to let their creativity go wild. 9am-5pm at the Portland Children’s Museum, 4015 SW Canyon Rd. 503-223-6500 or

Chanukah Wonderland will have menorahs, candles, gifts, music and so much more. There will be special programming for the little kidlets from 2-4 years old. The fun takes place at Maimonides Jewish Day School, 6612 SW Capitol Hwy. 503-977-9947 or www.chabadoregon.com.

GANZA Helping kiddos get started on making some

LAND With over 2,000 square feet of fun, the

www.portlandcm.org

DEC 13 & 20 PARENTS SURVIVAL NIGHT

On Dec 20 (Beaverton) and Dec 13 (Lake Oswego) The Little Gym is making it easy for parents to have a date night sans the kidlets. Ages 3-10, call for times and

Check out tons more events and activities; promote your own event; email your friends with ideas; download items to your personal calendar; and most important - check the site often, as it’s updated frequently!

www.nwkids.com/calendar

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Mama Says By Judy Berck

Last year, the sidewalk in front of our house cost us a whole lot of money, thanks to a letter from the city telling us to fix the cracks, or else. The contractors cost a lot and did a crappy job, leaving a patchwork of squares, some with corners cut off and jagged edges. I sometimes fret about it and curse the sidewalk when we walk outside. And then we bought Dustin, our 18 month old, a blue mini-scooter that won’t tip over. To him, our sidewalk is a whole world to conquer. He grips the handlebars with fierce determination as he pushes himself along with one foot, quiet and proud. There is nowhere he’d rather be than on that sidewalk with his scooter. I know, because he screams when we go in. I can’t hate something that makes my kid so happy, so I forgave the sidewalk. Last week, when I was on a walk around the block with my sons, the wind blew slightly, rustling through the trees near our house. Red and yellow leaves fluttered down all over our sidewalk. “Oh, what a pain,” I said to myself. “More leaves to sweep up before they get wet and somebody slips.” Dustin looked up from our walk and pointed at a falling leaf. “Daaah,” he said, with some urgency. “Look, mommy, it’s raining leaves,” said Jeremy, my six year old. And so it was. Jeremy grabbed a big red maple leaf from the sidewalk, and then a bigger one. “I’ll bring a leaf bouquet to school.” Some call it grace, some call it mindfulness, the awareness of beauty and newness our children can bring back to us. In the dark season, how important it is to let our children point out to us other ways of viewing the world, and teach us about what’s in front of our eyes.

Judy Berck is a Portland writer. She lives in NE Portland with her husband and two sons. 30

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NW Kids December 2008