Portland Kids Bowl Free & Grownups Get a Deal Too!

There are some activities that you just don’t do if you’re not good at them or don’t have experience. For instance, bouldering without a harness is probably not a great idea if you’re not an experienced climber. Then there are activities that almost anyone can do, at any age, and it doesn’t matter if you’re experienced or a novice, coordinated or clumsy. Bowling is a prime example, and it appeals to almost everyone, whether you do it on a regular basis, or bowl so little that when you do, you wonder why you don’t go bowling all the time. Well now you can.

There is a program that exists to remind us what great fun bowling can be, and help keep us active and entertained all summer long. It’s called Kids Bowl Free, and it was created to promote the sport and make it accessible to children and families in an affordable way. By signing up for the program, up to 6 children per supervising adult can each bowl two FREE games EVERY DAY from late spring all through the summer. Shoe rental is not included, but is usually a nominal fee. To sweeten the deal, and get the grownups involved, you can pay a one-time fee of $28.95 to get the The Family Pass which allows up to 4 adults to bowl 2 games free each day during the summer too! Just choose and commit to one local bowling alley for the summer, and each week your bowling coupons will be emailed to you. All you need to do is print out the coupons and bring them with you. For an extra one-time fee of about $5, you can have your Kids Bowl Free coupons texted to your phone each Sunday if you prefer the convenience of paperless coupons.

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The greater Portland metro area has many bowling locations that are participating in the Kids Bowl Free program, and they are all accessible by bus. Continue reading

One Pass to See Them All: Portland’s Best Cultural & Historical Sites, Museums, Gardens, and Attractions

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Whether you’re visiting Portland from another city, or you live here and have a few days off to explore your own city, our friends over at Travel Portland can help you get the most bang for your buck while seeing some of the city’s most notable points of interest. They have created four different Attraction Passes that give you entry into all or a curated selection of Portland’s best museums, gardens, and cultural & historical sites. The passes are good for five days from the date of purchase, and can only be purchased online. The Attraction Passes cater to the needs of the traveler whether you want it all (the Big Pass) or just want a select few from the list (the Washington Park Pass,  the Downtown Pass, or the Garden Pass). Continue reading

Beyond Portland: Spring Break Traditions in Seaside, Oregon

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Falling in love with Seaside, Oregon was one of the easiest things I’ve ever done. With its unique whimsical charm and old-timey character, it has become one of my family’s favorite weekend destinations. It’s the kind of place that has the ability to appeal to everyone due to the fact that there is just so much to do, see, eat, discover, and experience. It inspires us to explore, and we take great pleasure in devouring as much of Seaside as we can possibly fit into our multi-day stays. This includes expansive, open beaches, vintage and modern arcade games, boutique shopping, an indoor carousel, delightful restaurants, a 1.5 mile boardwalk affectionately nicknamed the “Prom,” and hotel accommodations ranging from large resorts to small beach bungalows. Incredibly, this treasured beach town in all its splendor is easily accessible by bus.

Our trip begins at Union Station in Portland, Oregon, where we choose the morning bus, departing at 9:30 AM (there’s also an evening departure at 6:20 PM). The scenic ride aboard the NorthWest POINT bus is a comfortable one, with reclining seats, foot rests, free wifi, and an on-board restroom. Once in Seaside, Continue reading

Portland’s top restaurants & chefs offer $29 3-course meals for Portland Dining Month

One of Portland’s most anticipated culinary events is Portland Dining Month. For the entire month of March, over 100 Portland restaurants will be offering three-course meals for just $29 per person. Some of the participating restaurants scarcely offer one entree at that price, let alone THREE courses! Now’s the perfect time to try some of those restaurants that everyone’s been talking about, or that have been on your foodie to-do list since you read their acclaimed yelp reviews.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a truly Portland event unless there was a non-profit beneficiary involved. If you book your reservation using the provided Open Table links for the various restaurants below, Portland Dining Month will make a donation to the Oregon Food Bank. 72 of the 100+ Portland Dining Month restaurants are participating in the Open Table reservation system, and you’ll find the complete list by clicking here. To see the complete list of all restaurants participating in Portland Dining Month, including each of their 3-course menus, click here.

All of the restaurants are accessible by public transportation, but featured below are 31 of my favorites, along with TriMet links to the nearest bus, MAX, and streetcar stops. Don’t worry if the restaurant you want to visit isn’t on my list; just use TriMet’s trip planning page to enter your starting location, then the ending address of your desired Portland Dining Month participating restaurant and you’ll get a detailed trip itinerary. Enjoy!


Acadia 1303 N.E. Fremont St., Portland, OR 97212

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Photo by Pearl P.

4.5 stars on Yelp $$

Accessibility by bus:


Accanto 2838 S.E. Belmont St., Portland, OR 97214

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Photo by Feuy S. 

4 stars on Yelp $$ ~ Click here to make OpenTable reservations

Accessibility by bus:


Al Amir 223 S.W. Stark St., Portland, OR 97204

Photo by Al Amir on Facebook

4 Stars on Yelp $$

Accessibility by bus:

Continue reading

Winter Hiking on Mt. Talbert

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A funny thing happens when I mention the hike on Mt. Talbert: whomever I am speaking with tries to correct me by saying, “You mean Mt Tabor…” Nope. I mean Mt. Talbert, one of the many dormant or extinct volcanoes that dot the southeast region of the city. The fact that not many know about its existence inspired me to feature this little gem of a walk in the woods. Mt. Talbert is a forest-covered, 750-foot-tall, ancient, worn-down shield volcano located just a few miles southeast of Portland near Sunnyside, and resides within the Kellogg-Mt Scott watershed. With over 250 acres of conserved natural area, it is one of the most healthy wildlife habitats in the urban Portland metropolitan region.

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Mt. Talbert is seen by tens of thousands of commuters every day along Interstate 205, likely most of them not knowing that a beautiful park resides at the top. A network of 4 miles of trail covers the Mt. Talbert Nature Park. Even though the hiking trails are just feet away from neighborhoods and businesses, there is an abundance of wildlife that can be seen on this hike, including deer, western gray squirrels, pileated and hairy woodpeckers, white-breasted nuthatches and western tanagers. The forest is comprised of Douglas Firs and groves of Western Red Cedars and Oregon White Oaks. Continue reading

Restaurants on the Route: Bus Line 9 – Powell Blvd

TriMet bus line 9-Powell Blvd connects Gresham, SE Portland, and Portland City Center. Some of my favorite restaurants in Portland are along this route. And who knew downtown Gresham had so many fantastic restaurants?! Line 9 is a frequent service bus, runs early in the morning until late at night, and is available seven days a week. If the 9 is not your regular bus, I suggest finding a bus that connects to the 9 so that you too can experience these phenomenal eateries.

The closest 9 bus stops are listed for each restaurant below, and restaurants are in order of the route from Gresham to Portland. For additional trip planning assistance, visit TriMet.org and enter your starting location and the restaurant’s address as the ending location for a detailed trip itinerary.


Selma’s Mediterranean Bakery & Deli 184 Northeast 2nd Street, Gresham, OR 97030

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Photo by Don B. on Yelp

4.5 Stars on Yelp $

“Selma’s is located in the heart of Gresham’s Old town. You will find delicious food the whole family will love at affordable prices. Selma’s food is always fresh and healthy. She never uses any preservatives, or additives in any of her dishes. There is also a large selection in Gluten-free, Vegetarian and Vegan dishes. Step into the the family and enjoy a slice of the Mediterranean. Come and sample the large assortments of delicious, and nutritious Mediterranean delicacies. Eat in or take out.” ~Selma’s Mediterranean Bakery & Deli

Nearest line 9 bus stops:


The Local Cow 336 N Main St, Gresham, OR 97030

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Photo by Claire and Amy A. on Yelp

4 Stars on Yelp $$

“The Local Cow proudly serves Oregon Natural Meat’s pasture raised and source verified beef cattle. After being selected for the ONM program, they are then fed a high-quality ration consisting of “upcycled” brewer’s grain from local microbreweries. Animals in the Oregon Natural Meats program are born in Oregon, fed and processed in close proximity to Eugene, Oregon, by a small network of families committed to providing natural restaurant quality meat with minimal processing, no added hormones or antibiotics, and using sustainable and humane systems.” ~The Local Cow

Nearest line 9 bus stops:

Continue reading

Holiday Ale Festival: Go by bus & let TriMet do the driving

Beer lovers, rejoice! It’s time for the 19th annual Holiday Ale Festival. Craft breweries from near and far come together for this celebration, boasting over 50 different holiday ales. Whether you like porter, red ale, IPA, or stout, there’s something here for everyone. And because the event is located in the heart of downtown Portland at Pioneer Courthouse Square, it’s also easy for everyone to get there using public transportation.

Tasting packages can be purchased at the door for $35 (CASH ONLY), and include a souvenir mug and 12 beer tickets. Additional beer tickets can be purchased for $1 each. One beer ticket gets you a 4oz “taster” size pour of beer, and a few limited release and special tapping beers require two tickets. You can get a full mug of beer for four tickets, however some limited release and special tappings may not be available in full mug pours, or may require double tickets. On-site food will be available for purchase and will be provided by Urban German Grill and Bunk Sandwiches. Check out the complete event program that includes the names of breweries and beers they will be sampling. Continue reading

Holiday Gift Guide for Public Transit Commuters: Parts I & II

One of my favorite things in the world is giving gifts. I love to give gifts of all kinds, tangible and otherwise, to the special people in my life regardless of the time of year. So when the holiday season comes around, I revel in the experience of sharing joy, love, and gratitude, often in the form of buying gifts for my friends and family. One of the most satisfying things about giving gifts is achieving that delicate balance of what a person wants and what they will find useful … thoughtful presents with a purpose. Here you will find thoughtfully curated gifts for the public transit commuters in your life (or possibly your own wish list!).


Holiday Gift Guide for Public Transit Commuters Part I: $0 – $100

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Holiday Gift Guide for Public Transit Commuters Part II: $100 – $300

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Article by Stephanie Paris