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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

“The Bucket List” was made popular in 2007 thanks, in part, to the wonderful on-screen chemistry between Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson. Millions of people created their very own bucket lists, or things to do before they die. If you have kids, help them create a bucket list. There are things in Portland that every kid should do before they grow up.

1.Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI)

There’s nothing like getting hands-on when it comes to kids. Little ones love being able to touch and manipulate things. You and the family enjoy the planetarium, the theater and even a tour of a submarine. The museum also hosts various changing events throughout the year. Check out the website at OMSI to see what will be happening soon.

2.Portland Aerial Tram

Spend the day pretending that you’re a tourist in your city with a bird’s eye view of the region. The Portland Aerial Tram is popular among tourists when the weather is cooperative. Pick a Sunday afternoon to get a good look at the city, including Mount St. Helens, Mount Hood and Mount Adams.

3.Oregon Zoo

What kid doesn’t love the zoo? Take your kids, and the rest of your family, out for a fun-filled day with the animals that call the Oregon Zoo home. Your children will delight in the antics of monkeys, elephants and bears. The zoo has permanent exhibits as well as changing exhibits; there is something new to see every time you go.

4.Mount Tabor

Your kids have always wanted to see a volcano so make sure that they do. Mount Tabor is an extinct volcano that is perfectly safe for you and the family. Hike to the top, and let your kids enjoy an afternoon on the volcano’s playground.

5.Sauvie Island

City kids don’t often get the opportunity to learn where their food comes from first hand, let alone pick it themselves. Take the kids over to Sauvie Island, and let them pick peaches and fresh berries. In the fall, the island is home to a glorious pumpkin patch and a fantastic corn maze. Make it a competition to see who can make it through the maze first.

6.Peacock Lane

Looking at holiday lights is a tradition in many families. Skip searching for lights that you may never find; Peacock Lane is known for its spectacular light displays. Nearly every home on the lane is lit up to welcome the season. The last two weeks of December are the best time to go. Bundle up the kids and walk the lane for the best views.

7.Count the Horses

sculpture of horse in Portland, Oregon
If you’ve ever walked along the city streets, you’ve undoubtedly seen the metal rings. These used to be used to tie horses to when these animals were the main mode of transportation. Today, miniature, toy horses are chained to these rings, thanks to the artist, Scott Wayne Indiana. Walk the streets of Portland and count the horses that you find.

There are hundreds of things for you and your kids to do together in Portland. Help your children construct their own bucket lists, and make a commitment to cross at least one thing off the list each week. You and the kids will enjoy the time you spend together.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want to make great memories with their kids.

Images courtesy of jeffgunn and maureendidde via Creative Commons license, some rights reserved.