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Portland Winter Light Festival -Travel with Children

Portland Winter Light Festival -Travel with Children

Overcast skies are perfect for viewing light sculptures early enough for children to enjoy them, though a quarter of an inch of rain in the hour and half we were at the Portland Winter Light Festival was a bit more than we anticipated! Along the banks of the Wilamette river, the Portland Winter Light Festival was designed to celebrate the spirit of winter and warmth of community.  There was everything from sculptures made completely of light, to sculptures of fire, glass and metal.   Lights played across Fleeting by Jen Fuller and the rain, making the 100 glass “paper” planes really look as if they were about to take off over the river.       Hypnotron by Axiom Custom Products lived up to its name with a series of light sculptures representative of Portland with spinning colors behind.  It was all I could do to pull the children onto the next exhibit!       One of the great things about the Festival was that the sculptures kept changing.  We wandered back and forth along the river watching how the carefully chosen plays of light made everything look so different. [gallery_bank type=”images” format=”masonry” title=”true” desc=”false” responsive=”true” display=”all” sort_by=”sort_order” animation_effect=”” album_title=”true” album_id=”2″] Many of the artists chose the spot where their pieces were shown and incorporated the surrounding architecture into their works.  The artists were available to chat and were great at describing what had inspired them and how they had made their pieces.  It was fascinating. This was definitely a whatever the weather type of adventure though the pouring rain certainly didn’t keep the crowds away! Even completely soaked, the Portland Winter Light Festival is already on our schedule for next year. Find out what's going on in the places you're planning on visiting Many cities/states have a monthly/weekly magazine listing upcoming events. You can frequently find their event calendars online.  They’re great places to start your search. Look at the Facebook pages of places you’re planning on visiting. Often the Facebook page will highlight upcoming events and may be easier to navigate then some websites. Set up a Twitter list following the places you’d like to visit while you’re in town. Most places start talking about upcoming events they’re having a few weeks out...

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Whales Passing

Whales Passing

Whales Passing by Eve Bunting was published in 2003.  It’s a cute story about a little boy standing with his father and watching the orcas go by.  The little boy wonders about the orcas and how they find their way and imagines what they are saying about him in return.  Whale watching can be a lot of fun with kids and can be done both from the shore as well as on a boat tour.  There are whale watching tours available in the San Juan Islands, Port Townsend, Washington and multiple locations in Oregon.  The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department trains volunteers who are staitioned at whale watching sites during the winter and spring migrations (roughly the end of March and...

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Apples to Oregon

Apples to Oregon

 Apples to Oregon by Deborah Hopkinson and Nancy Carpenter was published in 2004 and is a tall tale loosely based on the story of a pioneer named Henderson Luelling who left Iowa for Oregon in 1847 with his family and a wagon carrying seven hundred plants and young fruit trees (you can find out about the types of plants he brought here http://www.ars-grin.gov/cor/cool/luelling.html).  Told from the perspective of Delicious,  Apples to Oregon describes the difficulties encoutered along the Oregon Trail.  Delicious and her family cross the Platte River with the wagon, encounter hail storms, the heat of the desert, walk past Courthouse Rock and Chimney Rock in Nebraska, “and lots of other rocks that didn’t have names,” fend off the frost and finally reach the Columbia River and “a pretty place near Portland.”  The plants that Henderson Luelling brought with him are believed to be the basis for many homestead orchards in the Oregon Territory.  The Hood River Fruit Loop is a 35 mile scenic byway with lots of orchards full of fruit that you can pick or just buy and eat, just like the ones on the...

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