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  • Writer's pictureKristina Browning

Summer of Surprises Idea List

Updated: 5 days ago

On a day when I felt inspired and creative, I made a master list of outing ideas for "Summer of Surprises." My son loves surprises and so if I can afford to get away for part or all of a day (I'm a Realtor and Home Functionality Coach® so my days vary a LOT) - we go somewhere together...just the two of us. He doesn't find out what we are doing until we arrive. The list has all kinds of ideas so no matter how much time we have, there is something there sure to hit the spot. If there is something I don't want to miss that summer, I add that to my calendar in advance like an appointment.



Creating one master list is helpful because I don't have the bandwidth to do all the research for finding ideas each time we have time to do something. He was 10 years old last summer and I didn't think I'd have many more summers where he "wanted" to hang out with me so I created this and he loved it so much that he wants to do it again this summer. We'll see how many "extra" years of quality time I can get out of it!


This is my list, specific to Portland, Oregon geography.


Wonderwood Springs: Part art gallery, part restaurant & bar with putt-putt golf too! Coffee shop, themed drinks and ice cream and board games. Yes PLEASE! WEBSITE

Coffee Shop & Restaurant: 8811 N Lombard St, Portland, OR 97203


Suavie Island: Beach day, take shovels, pail, lunches, sunblock, earbuds for me, blankets for sand, chairs, sun umbrella, water guns, change of clothing for everyone.

Address for Navigation: 38798 NW Reeder Rd, Portland, OR 97231


Donkey Sanctuary with a friend WEBSITE

15900 S Thayer Rd, Oregon City, OR 97045

Goat Yoga: WEBSITE


Bridge Loop Walk/Run/Bike downtown Portland


OC Taco! 1128 Main St. Suite F, Oregon City, OR 97045

Corner 14 Food carts with fire pits, optional axe throwing, boba tea & great options for beer, cider, wine and mixed drinks. 508 14th St., Oregon City, OR 97045


PickleBall at Hillendale Pickleball courts in Oregon City or

The Peoples Courts 270 NE 82nd Ave., Portland OR 97220


Hike at Newell Creek Canyon Nature Park 485 Warner Milne Rd, Oregon City then go to Oh My Gelati just two minutes away 1630 Beavercreek Rd C, Oregon City, OR 97045


Go to restaurant Langbaan: just won a James Beard award and discuss what is a James Beard award along with the history of Chef Earl Ninsom (this is SPENDY but absolutely an experience)

Yacht Tubs: cruise around the Willamette in a boat that is also a hot tub. Reservations required. We did this for Father's Day and it was a HIT!


Portland Pickles Baseball game: WEBSITE

Hillsboro Hops Baseball game: WEBSITE


Free Concerts in the Park (they are specific dates so add them to your calendar in advance)

Ever Out Website as a reference for lots of live music in Portland


Go hang at George Rogers park then to Salt & Straw in Lake Oswego 12pm-11pm // This park contains two baseball fields, a soccer field, access to the Willamette River, a memorial garden area, restrooms, a playground, and two outdoor tennis courts.

George Rogers Park: 611 S State St, Lake Oswego, OR

Salt & Straw: 100 A Ave, Lake Oswego, OR 97034


Hike to Witches Castle in Washington Park with a friend - take picnic lunch 400 SW Kingston Ave., Portland


Everyone’s favorite summer appetizer becomes even more refreshing at ¿Por Qué No? Taqueria This cheery and bright taqueria offers tacos on homemade flour tortillas. Get a margarita or a beer to complement your meal, and enjoy it in their colorful outdoor patio. Next time you order guacamole for the table, swap housemade chips for sliced cucumbers topped with fresh lime juice and chili salt.

3524 N Mississippi Ave, Portland, OR 97227

Opens daily at 11am


Go to Vintage bowling alley Milwaukie Bowl 3056 SE Harrison St Milwaukie, OR 97222 and then Sweet Treats at VooDoo Doughnuts 14620 SE McLoughlin Blvd, Milwaukie, OR 97267


Ride the Portland Aerial Tram - The four minute ride between South Waterfront and Marquam Hill offers picturesque views  of the city and kids will enjoy the novelty of taking a ride on an aerial tram. The backdrop of the iconic Mount Hood steals the show and, on a clear day it is possible to see Mount St Helens.  Round trip ticket $8 each.   3303 S BOND AVENUE, SOUTHWEST PORTLAND, OR, 97239


Hopscotch; a Lit-up art Museum  - might be fun to take a friend // 1020 SE 10th Ave, Portland, OR 97214  MONDAY-TUESDAY: Closed, Wed Sunday  12pm - 10pm


Oaks Park - 7805 SE Oaks Park Way, Portland, OR 97202

Portland Saturday Market\ the Portland Saturday Market is open Saturday’s (10am to 5pm) and Sunday’s (10am to 4:30pm) from March to December.


Eb & Bean: organic frozen yogurt. They offer frequently rotating flavors, dozens of toppings and a wide variety of vegan options. 3040 SE Division St, Portland OR 97202


Multnomah Days // Saturday, Aug. 17, 2024

9 a.m.–6 p.m. SW Capitol Hyw between SW 31 Ave and SW 37, Portland, OR 97219  This beloved annual event incorporates a one-day open-air, family-friendly street festival with scheduled musical acts, a community parade, an art fair and over 125 vendor booths, and food and beverage services available via outdoor street dining and food carts — plus outdoor street dining.


Pips & Bounce: Ping Pong Bar reserve table in 30 minute increments, 833 SE BELMONT ST, PORTLAND, OR, 97214  Ph: 503-928-4664


Leach Botanical Garden 6704 SE 122nd Ave, Portland, OR 97236 Admission $5

a 16-acre botanical garden located in outer southeast Portland. WEBSITE

they have tours, music etc. too outside of just admission


Festival of Balloons: June 21–23, 2024  $15

Cook Park 17005 S.W. 92nd Ave., Tigard, OR 97224

more than a dozen brightly colored, colossal hot-air balloons to the sky every June. Enjoy balloon rides and a fair-like atmosphere, including a beer garden, live music, and kid-friendly activities. http://www.tigardballoon.org


Lunch at Bistro Cubano + talk about the history of Cuba. 709 Main St, Oregon City, OR 97045


House tour of Bruce Campbell, former engineer & pilot // Lives in an airplane house in Hillsboro: WEBSITE 15270 SW Holly Hill Road, Hillsboro, OR


Putt Putt Golf at Sah-Hah-Lee Golf Course: 17104 SE 130th Ave, Clackamas, OR 97015

Putt-Putt Golf at Aerie / Eagle Landing: 10220 SE Causey Ave, Happy Valley, OR 97086


Golf at The Campbell Course, Home of The Children's Course: (adults can play too.)


K-1 Racing (indoor go carts) with a friend: Note adult cannot race at the same time that kids can so if you go, know you cannot race with them and often there is more than an hour wait. Helps to call ahead to see how busy they are. 5579 NE Huffman St Suite 2, Hillsboro, OR 97124


Play Catch + Picnic at Memorial Park in Wilsonville: 8300 SW Memorial Drive, Wilsonville, OR 97070


The Willamette Shore Trolley is a heritage railroad or heritage streetcar that operates along the west bank of the Willamette River between Portland and Lake Oswego

Saturdays and Sundays from Memorial Day thru Labor Day.

Departure Times: Noon, 1 pm, 2 pm & 3 pm


Portland Japanese Garden: $18.98 for Adults, $13.50 for Youth


Rainy day?? Studio One Theater//  3945 SE Powell Blvd., Portland OR 97202     35 minutes away.  (Maybe take a friend?)


Bike Lake Loop (7 miles) : A circular route around Oswego Lake (take a compass!)This is the most popular loop in Lake Oswego. The beautiful waters of Oswego Lake are visible from many vantage points as the route weaves west from Stafford Road along South Shore Blvd. At Lakeview Blvd. you can branch west to the Bryant Road path or take the main loop route east to the stairway on the north side of Lakeview. Go up the stairs to Upper Drive and continue east to the Lake Oswego Hunt Club. Proceed along Iron Mountain Blvd. to Chandler Road, and then to A Avenue. Turn east and continue to State Street. Head south on State Street to McVey Avenue and follow McVey to South Shore to complete the loop.


Rent a Surrey from Kerr Bikes at Tom McCall Waterfront Park (take our own bike helmets!) 1020 SW Naito Pkwy, Portland, OR 97204  (503) 808-9955

Double Surry $45 for one hour. Get lunch at Elephants Deli.


Riverboat Tour: Don't have a lot of time, but feel the need for some speed, spins and splash? Experience a taste of what makes jet boating so fun! Great way to spend time on the water with friends and family. See Portland's scenic waterfront, bridges and more on the quick and exciting adventure. Adult (Ages 12+): $22.95 - 26.95Child (Ages 4-11): $15.95 - 19.95


The Circuit Gym for rock climbing

6050 S Macadam Ave, Portland, OR 97239 / Sat & Sun only /must make reservations


Half off @ Top Golf every Tuesday, no coupon necessary. Reserve a Bay in advance.


Frog Pond Farm - Open from 9am until 5pm Friday- Sunday.

OPEN WEDNESDAY-SUNDAY!!!!! Visit the farm and meet nearly 60 animals of 12 species as well as play in our farm zone with 14+ activities. Animals include- llamas, camels, alpacas, goats, pigs, sheep, cows, tortuous, emu, donkeys and chickens. Admission is $12 per person 2 years of age and older. You are sure to have a great experience, its fun for the whole family. Visit our gift shop when you visit as well as our birthday space areas available for reservation. Address- 2995 SW Advance Rd, Wilsonville.


Canby Rodeo: held traditionally the 3rd week in August. https://canbyrodeo.com


Bullwinkles: 12pm - 7pm  $43.00  3 HR Unlimited Pass: Unlimited Attractions, plus 20 arcade chips (bowling not included) 29111 SW Town Center Loop W, Wilsonville, OR 97070 Some Rides like bumper cars, bowling, an aerial ride, Putt-Putt WEBSITE  (a great place to meet another family)


To Oregon State Fair 

Friday August 23, 2024 Monday September 02, 2024. Can buy tix in advance on 24 hour “Cheap Ticket Day” usually around May 30th


To Slappy Cakes, a restaurant where you get to make your own pancakes

4246 SE Belmont St, Portland, OR 97215


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