For a couple of days, the Washington County Fairgrounds transforms into a jungle. Large cats. Venomous snakes. Reptiles of all types. Those and other animals sprawl across the Pacific Northwest Reptile & Exotic Animal Show, where more than 100 vendors display exotic creatures and related merchandise. In addition to the animals and products on sale, the show doubles as an educational attraction. Interactive reptile and mammal displays teach visitors about new creatures, while an exotic animal petting zoo lets visitors discover which animals secretly know how to shake hands.
Oregon Dream Ponies sits surrounded by hillside vineyards and orchards that pose as a serene backdrop for pony rides, horse rides, and special events. The roster includes ponies of varied sizes and ages that ensure kids of all ages can ride comfortably and confidently. While visiting the ranch, children as young as two years old learn how to interact with ponies, how they're groomed, and what they eat. Pony rides hand-led by staff members either at the ranch or during on-location pony parties give children a supervised opportunity to learn to ride. Other sessions allow children to guide ponies through a series of obstacles, from crossing a bridge to trotting over logs to solving complex algebraic equations.
The Portland Japanese Garden is a haven of tranquil beauty nestled in Portland's Washington Park. The 5.5 -acre garden includes meandering streams, intimate walkways, a traditional Japanese pavilion, and an unsurpassed view of Mt. Hood. Open year-round.
Audubon Society of Portland's mission was solidified in 1902, when a few like-minded conservationists came together to found the organization. In their own words, this group set out "to use any and all lawful means for the protection of the wild birds and animals for the State of Oregon and elsewhere."
Their first success came quickly, when the Society helped pass the Model Bird Law in 1903, which protected native birds from being shot and sold. Since then, the Society has advocated for countless creatures, from northern spotted owls to wild salmon, the latter of which kind of look like birds if you squint really hard.
Today, the Society stands more than 14,000 strong. The support of these members helps maintain nature sanctuaries with hiking trails, fund educational initiatives, and run a care center. The care center is an especially vital resources, as it rehabilitates approximately 3,000 animals every year and responds to thousands of wildlife-related injuries.
Some of the Northwest's leading suppliers of childhood glee gather every year at KidFest, a celebration of all things adventurous, educational, entertaining, and fun. Kids can get down to entertainment on the Radio Disney stage and bounce off the walls in the inflatable fun zones, and adults can enirch themselves with healthy eating demonstrations, health & wellness education, and resources for the family. Other kid-friendly zones include a laser tag, a mad science exhibit, and a petting zoo and reptile habitat.
The athletic-themed SportsFest allows kids of all ages and their parents to explore different sports by participating in interactive activities, talking to sports experts, and finding out where to play. Within the three experience Zones?team sports, specialty sports & fitness, and outdoor adventure?novice as well as more practiced athletes can check out exhibits and workshops about sports from basketball and soccer to pickleball.
Along a 100-acre parcel of land on Sauvie Island, Bella Organic Farm and Winery's farmers tend to and oversee a huge variety of certified organic crops. Throughout the year, the land yields harvests of juicy blueberries, summer squash, herbs, and 20 types of pumpkins in the fall, though not the magical kind that turns into carriages. Visitors to the farm store will find the shelves stocked with baskets of freshly picked fruits and vegetables, as well as jams, syrups, and pickles. Depending on the season, U-Pick crops invite families to wander through the fields and gather their own blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and pumpkins.