A bright-yellow biplane soars through the sky, performs barrel rolls, and loops into the clouds—all while staying 10 inches above the ground. Across Imagine: Play's rooms and halls, a treasure trove of toy vehicles and themed areas lets children stretch their imaginations. Each pintsize visitor can transform into the captain of a 20-foot tugboat, conduct a 12-foot blue locomotive, or plunge down a bounce house's slides. Elsewhere, 50 puppets act out plays, and a 20-foot-long chalkboard hallway transforms into whatever scene springs from kids' minds. Imagine: Play's creators built each of these areas with low walls, which allow parents to keep an eye on kids from nearby picnic tables. The staff members' creativity also stretches to themed upstairs party rooms. Here, they hang colorful backdrops that can teleport guests into a jungle, a tropical beach, or a medieval-castle scene.
Originally established and overseen by a committee of parents, Sip! McMinnville Wine & Food Classic began in 1994 as a small community fundraiser for St. James Catholic School. Today, the annual festival draws nearly 10,000 people to the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum, requiring more than 300 volunteers to assemble regional winemakers, culinary masters, and artists. Vintners disclose trade tips as they peddle their ambrosial libations, all of which are ultimately ranked by a panel of professional judges into bronze, silver, gold, and best-of-show tiers. Guests can take wine-tasting classes, which teach sippers how distinguish fruity undertones from a banana hiding in their glass, or glean cooking tips from kitchen demonstrations and food booths. Throughout the weekend-long gathering, artists display their opuses in the form of tangible wares or live music.
BedMart furnishes restful sleep with an arsenal of slumber-inducing mattress sets. The solid support of King Koil’s Arlington model ($779.95–$1,199.95) relieves bodies of the aches accrued from overworking pressure points and napping in ball pits, and Serta’s Perfect Sleeper Arborwood ($979.95–$1,399.95) a memory-foam mattress that cradles snoozers with detachable arms. Three comfort options for Five Star Mattress’s Stanwyck ($479.95–$799.95) can accommodate sleepers of all persuasions, from the hibernation-ready extra firm to the fluffy pillow top.
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.
Web designer Kristy White and her developers Jaykob and Elizabeth draw on technical and creative expertise to design new websites and redesign old ones. Options range from simple splash pages to complex sites with content-management systems that allow for easy self-editing in the future. Kristy and her team also increase website traffic by tweaking language for search-engine optimization and submitting sites to hundreds of search engines and directories. A cloud-based hosting system operates at multiple locations, ensuring that websites stay live.
An FAA-certified flight school, Precision Helicopters welcomes aspiring pilots to earn their wings under instruction from real-world pilots. Though a helicopter outfit by name, the company actually operates a fleet of both helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft, which are put to use during training and tours. Training programs start with introductory Learn to Fly programs and progress up to full FAA licensing at Chehalem Airpark—which the company owns, though it rarely brags about it at parties. When not training new generations of pilots, Precision Helicopters whisks passengers aloft for tours of Oregon’s wine country, mountains, and rugged coastline and often deploys its choppers for services ranging from aerial photo and video shoots to law-enforcement surveillance.