Hello fellow penguins, I hope your summer is going well. Summer is a wonderful time of long days, great weather and sunburns. If you have kids, you might be like me; going crazy on how to keep them entertained this whole time. Since my child (now 2 years old) is very active, we like to go do outdoorsy stuff.
When I do have a full day off, we like to make the most of it and go to a local park or watering hole to cool down.
Our top places around Vancouver are:
Lewisville Park in Battle Ground, WA: We like this area because it has lots of grass for her to run around and not feel crowded. The park also has some playground equipment that my daughter loves, as well as a merry go round that is fun for both her and me. Since there are a lot of trees, the park provides plenty of shade to lay out a blanket or have a nice picnic. The stream is nice and slow so you can float down it and there are good trails to walk on. One thing we have learned going here is to come early and fully prepared, because if you forget something it’s pretty certain that once you get back you won’t find a parking space.
Frenchman’s Bar in Vancouver, WA: We like this place because we can usually find a place to lay out a blanket in the sand that is under shade. It also has a great view and the passing boats provide entertainment for my daughter. Since my daughter doesn’t like the sand we typically end up on the grassy areas, or bring a large blanket to lay on top of the sand so she has a place to play. We bring small toys for her to play with and once in a while she will ask me to take her to the water’s edge so she can get her hands wet.
Klineline Pond in Salmon Creek, WA: We like this location because it has a nice trail. My daughter loves to take a slow walk through it and then have a small meal afterwards to replenish energy. Here we also enjoy watching the ducks, being chased by ducks, and playing on the playground. This place doesn’t feel crowded either and has a nice atmosphere.
Blue Lake in Fairview, OR: We have gone here once and the highlight of this place was the canoes and paddle boats you can rent. We loved it. We had a nice relaxing trip and my daughter enjoyed looking at her reflection in the water.
And of course,
Clark College in Vancouver, WA: We are waiting for the Andersen fountain to be turn back on, but between the shady trees, the Japanese Friendship Garden and the art sculptures, there is plenty for a toddler to explore in the wonderful park atmosphere.
Places in Oregon we like include:
Multnomah Falls in Bridal Veil, OR: A place I would not recommend for toddlers, unless they are in a stroller and you are willing to push that thing all the way up and back down. Or if you are like me, you are willing to carry your child all the way up and back down. On the plus side great workout and your child will sleep like a baby once you get home.
Bonneville Fish Hatchery in Cascade Locks, OR: We have goldfish at home that my daughter likes to observe, so I thought why not take here to the fish hatchery. She was excited about the fish and the wide open space there let her run around to her heart’s content. The trees there make it fun by allowing a quick game of hide and seek, without the danger of an actual game of hide and seek. You know the one you played one time and ended up losing them for 10 minutes and almost lost it, yea you know what I’m talking about.
The Oregon Zoo in Portland, OR: This is another great place to go if you have an active child. With all that space and animals to look at, even the most energetic child will be asleep in the car on the way back. Remember to always bring a stroller, even if you think you won’t need it. If you go the 2nd Tuesday of the month, admission is only $4. Of course with all the other things they sell there you might end up spending more.
You don’t have to go far to have a good time with family, you can also go to your local park and play with your children. After work we typically head over to our neighborhood park and swing on the swing set, toss a ball to each other, run around or go down the slide. No matter where you go the point is to spend it with your children so you both have a good time.