Tag Archives: kid fun

Playdate PDX. When the fun must be contained indoors.

I was pretty skeptical about Playdate PDX the first time I took my kiddos there. I much prefer being outside, roaming free in the open, as opposed to an indoor play park, packed full of screaming kiddos. I also balked at the price, especially for what I saw as a glorified McDonald’s playplace. I mean, I can take my kids to play there for the price of a medium  fry. But I was wrong. So very, very wrong.

Playdate PDX looks tiny, from the outside. And, on a crowded day, it even feels kind of tiny and cramped on the inside. But, there were a few redeeming qualities of this place that finally won me over. Let me highlight those point for anyone who has yet to step foot in this wonderful oasis of kiddy fun.

  1. It’s always open, rain or shine.  Can’t go to the park? Fine. Playdate PDX it is.
  2. The kids eyes, upon seeing this colorful monstrosity for the first time, is just magical. Have your camera ready, cuz this will probably be the last time you see them as anything but a blur of motion for the next few hours.
  3. Adults can play too. SWEET. Seriously, don’t you sometimes miss climbing around that smelly McPlayplace, with all those tunnels and ball pits and windows to wave incessantly at your mom and dad?
  4. Air cannons. You can shoot foam balls at people. At your own kids, even. SCORE.
  5. Their slide is literally the fastest, craziest, most adrenaline inducing slide I have EVER been on. Just watch out for the bump at the bottom, it’s a pain in the butt. Seriously.
  6. THEY SERVE ALCOHOL.  No, I am not messing with you. Wine and beer, people. It’s liquid sanity in these kinds of places. These people are geniuses.

One thing that I always appreciate is the willingness of establishments to allow outside food or drink. Playdate PDX doesn’t really allow this, but to make up for , they do serve some  pretty tasty and health-conscious choices for snacks, like hummus and veggies,  and  everything from paninis to pizza to sweet potato or green bean fries. Not to mention coffee from Stumptown Coffee and and baked goods from Gabriels’ Bakery.

They even have a dollar deal menu with small snacky items like GoGurt, Hardboiled Egg , Mozzarella String Cheese , Banana, Orange , Apple Sauce , Apples Slices , Baby Carrots , Slices of Cucumbers, and Snap Peas.

I already mentioned that I thought the admission was kinda spendy. But after spending an entire afternoon there, and leaving with happily exhausted kids, I was a bit less put off by all the mula I had forked over. For all the fun and running they had, and the actual kicking back I got to do,  it was well worth the cost.  I even made a couple of mom friends while hanging out on the couch watching our kids run around like monkeys!

Plus, there was wine.

Admission: Toddlers 3 and under are $5 on Saturday and Sunday, and also on school holidays, $4 all other days. All other ages ( kids) are $10 sat/sun/school holidays, and $8 all other days.  I didn’t have to pay to play on the jungle gym with the kiddos, so that was great.

Hours are 9-8 Sunday- Thursday, 9-9 Friday and Saturday

( Photo courtesy of Summer Balcuns)


Fun For Pennies Tips: 

  • Wild Wednesdays offer free admission for each child bearing 2 cans of food to donate to the food bank.
  • Make sure to wear or bring socks! Kids will not be allowed to play without them. They can be purchased at the counter, though, if you do forget.
  • Fridays feature a complimentary performance/reading by the Dragon Theater Puppets.  These will start at 6:30 p.m.



* Featured photo is courtesy of Playdate PDX.

NEXT UP: Outdoor festivals and events!





OMSI. Go Ahead. Geek out on science!

OMSI is a great destination for some hands on learning fun. Their upcoming exhibit is the Mummies of the World exhibit, opening on June 14th. They have ongoing tours of their submarine, a state of the art planetarium, laser light shows, and the OMNIMAX theater. Tickets for these are sold separately.

Omsi Turbine Hall, Photo credit : Wikipedia
Omsi Turbine Hall, Photo credit : Wikipedia

The rest of the museum has five halls of(over 200) different  labs and exhibits. The Science Playground, The Earth Hall, The Turbine Hall, The Life Hall, and The Science Labs all exist for kids to experiment, explore, and test the world around them, in areas such as renewable energy, global climate, health and wellness, chemistry, engineering, technology, and more.  OMSI has even has the forethought to add a separate room for the toddler crowd.

Omsi Science Playground, photo credit : Wikipedia

Omsi Science Playground, photo credit : Wikipedia

OMSI SS-581 Submarine, photo credit: Wikipedia

OMSI SS-581 Submarine, photo credit: Wikipedia

                     Regular museum Admission ~ Submarine ~  OMNIMAX® ~ Planetarium / Laser light

Adult $12.00 $5.75 $6.00 – $8.50 $5.75 – $7.50
Youth (3-13) $9.00 $5.75 $5.00 – $6.50 $5.75 – $7.50
Senior (63+) $9.00 $5.75 $5.00 – $6.50 $5.75 – $7.50
Member (Join OMSI) FREE! $4.75 $4.00 – $7.50 $4.75 – $7.50

OMSI is another one of those great places that can, and probably will, take you all day, and you STILL won’t be able to see or do everything. If you and the kids really enjoyed it, I highly suggest buying the membership pass. Then you can come back again and again! Also, you get amazing discounts on admissions to all OMSI features and exhibits, AND it’s considered a charitable donation on your taxes, to boot! Definitely worth the money!

Fun For Pennies tips:

  • OMSI discount Sundays are the first Sunday of each month. Regular museum admission for each individual is just $2! Admission for additional features such as OMNIMAX, planetarium, featured exhibits, and submarine tour, are separate, but also sold at a discount on the first Sunday discount day. A great time to spend the day checking out all that OMSI has to offer before buying a family membership!
  • This is also another one of those wonderful places that allow you to bring your own food and drink in. Pack in a cooler with good foods for lunch and snacks, store it in one of their lockers provided ( for an extra small fee) and save some money! Or, you can hit up their cafe if you prefer not to bring your own.

UP NEXT: Portland Aquarium!

*( featured photo front of OMSI building. credit: Wikipedia)