Discovery Meadows

McMinnville has some of the best parks in Oregon. Between Discovery Meadows, City Park, and the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum your kids will be amazed at your super power park knowledge!Discovery Meadows Community Park I know it may be a bit of a drive, but summer is coming and Mcminnville is a great day trip.  Plus there are plenty of coffee shops along the way!

Discovery Meadows is one of my kids favorite parks mainly because it is big!  It has such a variety of play structures because so many manufactures are represented like KOMPAN, Landscape Structures and Play Power, Inc.  One thing I particulallry like is the big boulder because it is the largest rock climbing wall I’ve seen at an outside playground. Discovery Meadows Community ParkIn addition, KOMPAN has their amazing supernova along with some structures for children ages 2-5 years old.  Landscape Structure has a fun and rare log roll. Plus there is also a cool train and make-believe house from Miracle, a Play Power company.

The main structure consists of what I would call a playground castle, with 3 large twisty tube slides, a regular swoosh slide, an awesome fun spinner one can sit on, cool climbers that I haven’t seen at other parks, fun panels in which kids can learn about space or play tic toe and so much more. Last summer there was a fun stand up tetter-totter, but currently it is out. I hope they put it back because it is a unique feature. There is also a fun glider and the sand pit is phenomenal! In the middle of the sand pit is a little mountain in which my kids call the volcano. It is similar to the red hills at Murase except without the big slide and the small hill is surrounded by sand. I do advise you to inform you children to be careful because I’ve seen kids run up and down, and get hurt because there is sand on the red hill/volcano. Since this sandpit is so big and well designed it even has a digger in which kids can dig and move sand.  There is plenty of open space if you have bigger kids who would like to play soccer, or there is also a skate park off in the distance. Besides all the fun I’ve listed there are also water fountains. Discovery Meadows Community Park

The only down side to this park is some of the structures are a bit aged and the tables next to the sand could definitely be remodeled or updated for a fun game of checkers. Despite age, this park has it all!  There are plenty of benches and tables to sit and this park is truly one your kids will remember for a lifetime. So come check out the wonder and start to imagine what you and your children will discover at Discovery Meadows.

Click on the City of McMinnville to find out their description of Discovery Meadows Community Park.

Click on maps for directions to Discover Meadows Community Park

Barsotti Park

Barsotti Park is my new favorite playground structure.  In fact, it is so new that Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation’s website doesn’t list the new playground as a feature. Barsotti Park I’ve tried to pin point why this structure is my favorite, but I think there are a wide variety of reasons. For instance, it is one of the few playgrounds that has 3 sections, one for ages 6-23 months or for all abilities, one for ages 2-5 and one last one for ages 5-12. The structure is also bright and lively with new climbers and spinners accommodated by a soft surface (turf) making it more accessible for all. Please keep in mind the soft surface does break as the walking path nicely goes between the older and younger play structures. The only concern I noticed about this park is there is a tree that kids like to climb, and below it seems to be an old post almost like a bird bath that could be dangerous if a child fell on it from climbing the tree. However, precautions should be taken anytime a kid climbs a tree! Overall, this is a well-rounded park and one I think you and your family will enjoy.

Click on maps for directions to Barsotti Park.

Portland Train Rides

Portland Train RidesThis week my family and I celebrated National Train Day, and had a blast riding the Oregon Pacific Railroad. The Oregon Pacific Railroad currently offers train rides on Saturday through the fall, for $5.00 per passenger. The ride is approximately 40 minutes, with a 10 minute lay over at each station: Oaks Amusement Park station and Oregon Rail Heritage Center station. My family and I got on the train at the Oregon Rail Heritage Center station and loved riding towards Oaks Amusement Park. We saw the Willamette, downtown, other trains, a wetland, and bicycles and joggers on the Springwater Trail, a.k.a. Waterfront Loop. We happened to stay in the train car for the 10 min lay over because we had really fun seats where we had to climb up into the red car. We also viewed other cars and saw what it would look like if we took an overnight train, and sat in the trolly where we could feel the nice breeze. The museum was also fun to briefly tour and learn more about trains. Overall, it was an amazing experience in which I would highly recommend because for $5.00 a person, it is a great way to get out and have fun Playing in Portland. 

Portland Train Rides To find more about Portland Trains click on Oregon Pacific Railroad.

Click here for directions to Oaks Amusement Park.

Click here for directions to Oregon Rail Heritage Center.   Portland Train Rides


Shute Park

Shute ParkHillsboro has some nice parks, and Shute Park is one of the many. I previously visited Shute Park about 8 years ago, and it has definitely been updated in the last couple of years. The primary playground has two sections, one for children 2-5 years of age, and the other for children 5-12 years of age. The additional mini playground has an awesome tree climber, swings, a unique teeter-totter and bouncy rider, which are all located in the far corner towards the big Indian statue. The main playground is primarily a new structShute Parkure from Landscape Structures with three slides, a small climbing wall, latest spinners, fun monkey bars, numerous climbers (including the fabulous Hemisphere Climber also located at 53rd Ave Community Park), a gyro twister, a large climbing rock, and one of my favorites, the classic wiggle bridge. Kids especially love the fun Comet spinner, along with the nice sand pit, which has a waterspout coming out of the rock structure. The way the primary playground is set up is ideal for parents with kids playing at both the smaller structure, the sand pit, or the big structure because there is a sidewalk in the middle of the two structures, which enables you to see children who are playing on either side. The only negative thing I have to say about this playground is unlike other new parks, tires have not been placed under the main teeter-totter. This is a safety feature I would prefer to see at all newer parks. Despite this minor detail there is so much to explore, and it is a great park to walk around and behold the beautiful trees and learn a little of Hillsboro’s history by the bell as well as Indian culture. In addition, the Shute Library, located right across from the park has just been remodeled, and is a great place to check out books if you are Washington County card holder. Overall, Shute Park it is a fun park to walk around because the primary playground is phenomenal, and there are many things to explore like the huge Indian Statue I previously mentioned, a big bell, fire pit and more. My kids have asked to play numerous times at this park since we discovered it, and I’m sure your kids will be asking the same. It’s a great place to play. Shute Park

Click on Hillsboro Parks & Recreation to see their description of Shute Park.

Click on maps to find out directions to Shute Park.

Mt. Tabor

Mt. TaborOne of my favorite parks in Portland is Mt Tabor. It is a park that is fun for the whole family. You can ride bikes, climb stairs, bring your dog, have a picnic, play basketball, take a walk and of course play at the playground! In addition, although the restroom is a normal park bathroom on the inside, the outside looks like a quaint little cottage.  It is photo worthy – check out below. The actual playground structure is average, but it has some unique features. For instance, I haven’t seen a cool jeep structure at any other park, and it has fun classics like teeter totters and old fashion monkey bars. Mixed in with the classics is also the latest merry-go-round from Landscape Structures called Omnispin Spinner which is also at one of my favorite parks Harper’s Playground in North Portland. Lastly, it has a fun track sliding bar like at Happy Valley and other various parks. Overall, the beauty of this park is majestic. It is great park to go to on a sunny day because the trees provide wonderful shade, and if you want to add some education to your visit you could stop by the water reservoir and talk about our water supply and then Salt and Straw is just 3.2 miles away on Division which makes for a terrific treat.  All in one outing you can play, eat and educate. So get out and have fun Playing in Portland by experiencing the wonderful taste and beauty this great city has to offer.Mt. Tabor

Click on maps for directions to Mt. Tabor.

Click on Portland Park Parks & Recreation to see their description of Mt. Tabor.

OmniSpin Spinner

OmniSpin Spinner

These are the bathrooms

These are the bathrooms

The Park is closed to vehicles on Wednesday. You will have to park in the residential neighborhood and walk if you want to get to the playground.

The Park is closed to vehicles on Wednesday. You will have to park in the residential neighborhood and walk if you want to get to the playground.


Ridgewood Park

Ridgewood ParkToday we were at St.Vincent’s so we decided to go to Ridgewood Park and play. We have been there a few times and it has always been enjoyable. Sometimes there are dogs off leash, but it has never hindered us from having fun. I don’t know if it technically is an off leash park or not, but it is accommodating for dogs to run in the nice open corner. Overall dogs seem to be preoccupied if they are with his or her owner, and kids can play at the playground. Every time we’ve come there have only been a handful of kids and the big blue plane (maybe dolphin) seems to be the main attraction. The tire swing is also fun, because they can be rare. Another rarity is this playground is manufactured by a company in Grants Pass Oregon. So it is nice to see some features such as the climber and various panels which make this park unique. One thing Ridgewood doesn’t have is a bathroom, but there is a drinking fountain. The last mentionable quality is the park is primarily fenced in except lacking a gate. Overall, I really enjoy going to this park because it is calm and I too like the big bouncing blue plane.

Ridgewood ParkClick on THPRD to see their description of Ridgewood Park


Click on directions to locate Ridgewood Park via Google Maps

A.M. Kennedy Park

A.M. Kennedy ParkThere are a quite a few new or remodeled parks in the Beaverton/Aloha/Hillsboro area, which makes it hard to decide which park to blog about first. Since my family and I enjoyed playing at A.M. Kennedy Park because of a friend’s recommendation, I thought I’d start with this beauty. First it’s in an amazing location off of Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy (a.k.a OR 10, near Target) and tucked in a neighborhood off of 107th. Although this park is near a heavy commuted area, the park is remarkably placed in a natural beautiful environment! For instance, you might instantly forget you were stuck in traffic on OR 10 once you get to A.M. Kennedy. Your kids will also enjoy getting wrapped in nature, as they climb over logs, walk amongst trees, pick treasures and play on a brand new structure from Landscape Structures. Although the play structure itself is rather small, the park’s total fun is over 8 acres!  Amongst that acreage there is a community garden, soccer field, Porta Potty, drinking fountains, basketball court, a covered picnic shelter, and both a gravel and paved path.  One thing I like most about this park is the architecture and set up along the soccer field. It is the perfect park for one child to be having soccer practice, while another child plays basketball, and possibly your third or a friend is happily playing at the playground and all fairly visible. For instance, the amazing structural cement seating allows you to see one kid at the playground and another one playing soccer and possibly another playing basketball in the distance. While watching your children enjoy the latest spinners, the fun O-Zone climber (like at 53rd Avenue Community Park), a fun twist slide, great side panels, and my favorite new feature the RingTangle (specifically b/c younger kids such as 5-6 can use it as monkey barks  and any kid can enter then RingleTangle and climb through) you may also be gazing the beautiful scenery. So stop and enjoy the sights, sound, and adventure at A.M. Kennedy Park

Click on directions to locate A.M. Kennedy Park via Goggle Maps.

Click on THPRD to see their description of A.M. Kennedy Park.

Council Crest Park

On a sunny day, Council Crest Park is amazing! Council Crest ParkYou can see various cascade mountains including: Mt Hood, Mt St Helens, Mt Adams, Mt Jefferson, and Mt Rainier. In addition, if you want more than the amazing view, you can hike into the woods, bring a Frisbee, or play with your dog because there is an open space where many dogs roam on a nice day. There isn’t a playground, but it is a great place to have fun and learn about some of Oregon’s history.  For instance, “it is thought to be the highest point in Portland” according to The City of Portland Parks and Recreation, and known for being an amusement park in the early 1900’s.  Another awesome feature is if you stand in the center, where the large compass is grounded on the top of the mountain, and stand near or on the brass middle, your voice will echo. Kids especially love this unique characteristic, and if you happen to have preschoolers and work on a specific letter of the week, (like Ee – is for echo or Mm – is for mountain) this is the place to go! It would also be a wonderful place to have a picnic, but there aren’t any bathrooms so you might not want to stay to long. Overall, whether your 2 or 72 (and can handle hills) it is a must see for the magnificent panaramic view.  It is a little tricky to find, and parking can be limited, but you will know you are there when you keep going round and round in a beautiful circle. Check it out and have fun Playing in Portland.

Click on Portland Parks & Recreation to find out more about Council Crest Park.

Click on directions to locate Council Crest Park via Google Maps.

Playing in Portland’s Interview with Lincoln Graves from KATU

Yesterday was an exciting day for Playing in Portland as my kids and I were interview by Lincoln Graves. You may read the article, or watch the clip from KATU here. You may also read the article which originated the topic from Casey Parks written in the Oregonian.

If you want your kids to play on a classic merry-go-round before they go completely extinct here are some parks to check out:

Metzger Park

Wilshire Park

Portland Heights Park

If you are looking for fun new innovative merry-go-rounds check out these parks:

Harper’s Playground at Arbor Lodge Park

Marylhurst Heights Park

53rd Avenue Community Park

Raleigh Park

Willamette Park (Portland)

This summer while Playing in Portland my family and I noticed a Willamette Park we hadn’t played at. Willamette Park Portland We’ve played a few times at Willamette Park in West Linn, but never at the Willamette Park in Portland.  I guess, since the Willamette River is 187 miles long there should be a couple of parks named Willamette Park. This specific Willamette Park is quaint, quiet and nice.  It consists of a small modern structure with fun features such as a log roll, spinners, and a four-person-size teeter-totter.  In addition, you may enjoy walking down the path to the boat dock and possibly see boats and skip or throw rocks in the river.  One down side to this park is you have to pay to park.  However, it only cost a $1.00 an hour.  Really I think an hour is a sufficient amount of time to play at this particular park because it isn’t that big.  In fact, in one hour we had time to play at the playground, climb a tree, throw rocks, walk down the dock and get a little muddy in the sand and water.  So for a $1.00 I think it is totally worth a new place to play.  So come check out another Willamette Park and have fun Playing in Portland.

Click on Portland Parks & Recreation to see their description of Willamette Park
Willamette Park Portland

Click on maps for directions to Willamette Park.  (To get to the actual playground it is best to drive past parking lot where the boats dock and past the tennis courts.)