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1st Thursday, Last Thursday, 3rd Thursday, 1st Friday - what about the kids?

When we moved to Portland, we heard a lot about the First Thirsday gallery walk, where studios open late, pour wine, host live music, and welcome people flowing from one spot to the next in the Pearl District.  Sounded cool.  Later, we also found out about Last Thursday art walk on Alberta.  In fact, I think we had an urbanMamas gathering once, way back when, meeting up at Vita Cafe for some eats before meandering out along NE Alberta.  Second Thursday Music walk on N. Mississippi Ave has come and gone, but sometimes I see faves like Black Wagon opening up their doors late for art installations, snacks, music, and fun on some Second Thursdays.  Well, now, there's a Third Thursday in downtown Kenton, also featuring food, wine, specials, neighbors and fun.  And, a First Friday in the Central Eastside?

What I have always wanted to know: how kid-friendly is all of this?  Have you done one of these art/music walks with the kids?  Did they love it?  Didn't love it?  Perhaps you've made it a date night to enjoy without the kids?  Share thoughts and experiences - we've been wondering this for a while!


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NE Family Cooperative Community, located just off Alberta on 30th, is attempting to offer some kid friendly activities on Last Thursday. Join us tonite for potluck at 4 and then a Family Parade starting around 5. The coop will be open for the kids to play until 8pm. www.sustainableparenting.org

We haven't even considered going. The idea of what our two rambunctious boys could run/bump/jostle/jump into in an art gallery is all too easy to imagine.

I live close to Alberta, and have been taking my daughter up to Last Thursday since she was 4 (she's 6 now). We tend to go in the summer and focus on the outside activities. We do go into galleries, but not if they are too crowded, although I've been taking her to art museums and galleries all of her life.

Isobel's Clubhouse offers a First Thursday Gallery Tour in the Pearl. It's intended for children and their adults. We meet at the Clubhouse, talk about gallery etiquette, and then visit a carefully selected gallery or two. We follow it up on Saturday morning with an art activity related to the gallery tour. www.isobelsclubhouse.com

We live near Alberta and attend most Last Thursdays with our children and have done so since the oldest, now 3.5, was born. I find it to be a very family friendly event, especially when the street is closed. The only drawback is that they don't close the street till 7 pm (if i remember correctly) which is a bit late for us to enjoy the freedom of walking in the street. Our oldest loves seeing all the friendly people in fun costumes, art displays, yummy treats for sale on the sidewalk, dogs to pet, etc. We don't usually go in the galleries due to the kid/crowded/breakable stuff factor. Before kids we did go in the galleries more. I think it's fun either way (with kids or without), just a different experience.

I exhibited my photography at the First Thursday Street Gallery for years. (NW 13th Ave between Hoyt and Johnson) A lot of parents brought their kids with them and strolled through looking at all the artist's work. I always enjoyed the kids stopping by and asking questions. You should go. Like Last Thursday, there's always a variety of artwork and friendly faces, but the street gets closed off at 4:00 which is nice.

I think, as long as you go early, it is pretty family friendly.

I've lived just off Alberta since my son, now 8, was born, and we've had limited success with going to Last Thursday events. First, it's noisy and crowded, not good for sensory sensitivities. Then, the main activities seem to be saying hello to all your hip friends, recreational shopping, and watching street performances, none of which interest him in the least. However, I see kids there that seem to be having a good time and find all the things my son doesn't like really exciting. So I would say that it depends on your individual family make up and temperment.

We LOVE first Thursday down here in the Pearl! Isobel's is amazing and it is a kid friendly Gallery tour, then most parents drop off at WeVillage: Urban Playcare and go enjoy the night while the kids are safe and entertained at WeVillage.
We Love this!

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