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When it rains, where do you go?

On a drizzly day like today, I wonder what other mamas and their tykes are up to. Are OMSI and CM2 overflowing with people? Do you head to the community center and visit the indoor play park? Do you clear of tables at home and set up crafts & activities? (If so, do share rainy day ideas!) Or, do you hole up in at a kid-friendly coffee shop, a la Sydney's or SohBet or Urban Grind? What's your favorite rainy day haunt?


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Our family often holes up at the Madrona Hill Cafe, a small but very kid-friendly place at the corner of Greeley and Ainsworth. (Not too far from SohBet, which we have not yet tried...) Madrona Hill offers Wi-Fi, a corner filled with books and toys, and out-of-this world baked goods. The owner is a French transplant and young mama herself.

I think we're usually at the Southwest Community Center indoor park, or I might take my DS to the nearby play place at the local McDonalds down the street.

The Bally Total Fitness in Milwaukie has a really nice childcare center. I haven't been impressed with childcare centers at gyms in the past, but I drive 20 minutes south to Milwaukie just to take my daughter to this one. The attendants (there is always more than one) seem caring and engaging, the facility is clean and not overcrowded, and my daughter seems to have a good time 95% of the time. Oh, and I can catch a yoga or pilates class too! It gets us out of the rain for a couple of hours at least...

Oh, another good rainy day activity for me is just letting my DS play with water and plastic cups in the bathroom sink. This activity can keep him busy and stimulated for up to 45 minutes sometimes! He likes filling up the cups with water and pouring it out. I just need to check in on him every 10 minutes to make sure that he hasn't turned on the faucet and flooding the floor! Usually after he's done playing, there is a fair amount of water that has been accidentally sloshed on the floor, but it's easy to clean up, and it's a small price to pay for 45 minutes of peace for me.

A trip to the library is usually good for 1/2 to an hour of chasing Tommy around. Someday he'll sit and read with me in the children's area, I just know it...

Thrift and antique shopping, usually a trip to STARS in Sellwood can take up half the day. But my little guy is (just barely) still small enough that he doesn't get into trouble.

Truth be told, rain has meant a lot of hide-and-seek playing... but I have lots of ideas for whiling away the rainy days in Berkeley: library time, kindergym at the YMCA, cafe pripri or caffe trieste, playdate at friends' house so he can explore someone else's toys.

Outside for puddle-stomping until Max's pants get so waterlogged they start to fall down. Then, a long, warm bath with some "moisturizing bath beads" (a gift from grandma) and a tea party with real (decaf) tea.

We like the kids area at the Barnes and Noble Lloyd Center. Uually we can kill an hour there by reading and playing with the train table.

I also will do bubble baths for my 1 and 3 year old daughter mid-day on rainy days and let them sit in for a good hour while we read and sing. My oldest also likes to help in the kitchen so I can get caught up on my baking.

We started taking my oldest daughter (4-years) to the ice skating rink at Lloyd Center about a year ago. There's always other girls there for her to play with, and if she gets too tired, we go to Barnes and Noble to read.

We also have tried roller skating at Oaks Park.

uMamas -- Any more advice on rainy day outings? With the rainy season upon us, we'd love to hear more thoughts.

We received a question from Lucy who writes:
"I am new to the PNW from the deep South. I would like any advice on regular things to do with the kids during the rainy season. I have been here since July and the weather has been glorious. I am a bit nervous about the rain, so any advice on cool stuff to do would be appreciated."

We're members of the Alberta Co-Op and sometimes it's nice just to hang there for awhile & chat w/ staff, other folks who come in & out. Not sure what's up w/ the "living room area" since the fire, but I suspect they'll make repairs soon, if they haven't already. And you can eat some tasty & nutritious treats while you're there. The staff are always oohing & aahing over my little one, who of course loves all the attention.

My rainy day standbys (if we actually leave the house) are OMSI, the Children's Museum, Indoor parks at the local community centers, Urban Grind and sometimes we just go to the Lloyd Center to run the 3rd floor.

I wrote about one of our favorite outings on a rainy day for NW Kids back in October: Ride the tram, cruise the halls of OHSU, and play on the covered playground behind the Starbucks at Doernbecher's. You get to be "outside" while staying warm and dry.

SIP N KRANZ! You know, in the Pearl District? Great food and coffee and beer. Kid's menu. Excellent playroom. I've camped out there with a mocha just outside the playroom for hours. My son loves it!!

I love all the suggestions for places to go when it rains. I however have a 3 month old. So where do we go? The community centers and classes are for infants starting at 6 months. So what can we do for the next three months?

OMSI is one of the best kept secrets in Portland. Upstairs is a children's play area with a spot for the wee ones. My daughter has been playing in the preschool area since she could walk and adores it.

Be warned, though, my daughter can't seem to go there without catching a cold.

Also, SWCC is starting to offer more classes for people with younger babies. And there's always the coffee shop scene.

There are three "swap and plays" on the east side where for a small monthly fee (15-30 dollars) your family can have access to in indoor play space from 8AM-8PM Monday through Saturday. The spaces also serve as places to bring in your child's outgrown clothes, toys and books and exchange them for new ones that other parents have brought in. A real money saver! Here are the links:


and http://swapnplay.org/


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The community centers all over town have play gyms stocked with toys, cars, balls, scooters ect they are open M-F and usually run for 3 hours. Cost is 1 dollar. Great exercise for mom and babes, great for rainy days.

We love the North Portland Community Centers

We head to our neighborhood indoor park, NE Indoor Park, regularly. It's perfect for the rainy days because the kids can still burn off energy on the slides, climbing dome, and riding toys. They also have smaller toys for those who enjoy "quieter" play. :-) It is a co-op membership which is how they keep their fees low.


When its raining it is just the time to be at a hill station. There is one near my place which is at a distance of about 3 hours drive. The place just looks beautiful drenched in rain. I wish that I could live there for ever.

This website might help you to think of ideas, especially if you have a full-family mix of kids and grandparents.


Its my birthday and i dont know where to go! can someone give me ideas! ASAP...

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