I just finished listening to Martin Luther King Jr.’s, “I Have a Dream” speech to remind myself of his incredible ability to inspire positive change in the world. What is even more incredible about him is that he did so without complaining about the problems, but rather elevating people to a higher way of thinking and painting a picture of what he desired the world to look like. Listening to his words brings tears to my eyes and when I hear it now, I’m driven to take it even farther. I want everyone to be hand in hand and sit at the table of life together. I have a dream of taking his speech beyond race and religion and applying it to all of humankind, regardless of social status.
I challenge myself to look in to the eyes of every person, particularly homeless people or those asking for help. They are human, just like me. We are no different. I challenge myself to do what I can to help others in need and shine some light into the darkness.
How about we take it beyond humankind and we also hold hands and stand on equal ground with Mother Nature and even animals? What if we extend this passion towards our treatment of the planet and the animals around us? What if we are kind to every creature, great and small? I challenge myself to be kind to all creatures on this Earth. Maybe I will start by giving my dog and nice belly rub. Perhaps I will bring some needed supplies to an animal shelter or volunteer my time. Imagine a world with fair treatment of animals. I’m not even sure what that looks like. I don’t even know if we know how to treat animals fairly or what that means.
With every act of kindness we permeate the world with a little light. It will spread because it is contagious. All we need sometimes is a little reminder of what’s most important in this life. Each other. All creatures. Our home, Earth. Let’s love each other with all of our hearts. Happy Birthday MLK. Thank you for shining your light into the world.
Roloff Farm is owned and operated by the family that aired on TLC’s reality show Little People, Big World. Visiting their farm during pumpkin season, you will catch a glimpse of their creative wonderland that they have built. The pigs live in a pig house, part of which is made of straw, part is made of twigs, and part is made out of bricks. The goats live in a Gotel and they have a plank that walk up onto so that when the tractor rides through for the tour, the goats are up over our heads. They have a miniature town there with a barber shop, jail, bakery, bank, doctor’s office, etc. It is a play land. We were able to explore around this area a bit because the tractor stopped and let us off for a while until the cowbell wrangled everyone back onboard. There is a giant tree house that is built so that
the tree is able to continue growing uninhibited. If you are a fan of the show, you will catch glimpses of the TLC stars walking around the farm while you are exploring. Matt waved to us as we passed by on the tractor tour.
There is miniature golf, a massive haystack, a couple of slides, a tricycle race track (which I made a couple of loops on), and some giant slingshots with targets. The slingshots were a lot of fun for both kids and adults. I’ve only named a few of the many fun activities to do at Roloff Farm. This is definitely worth checking out with your friends or family. There are food carts and also beer and cider on tap.
Finish it off by picking out a pumpkin and getting something to eat on the way out. Their farm is located in Hillsboro, which is a short drive from Portland, and it is $14/person for everyone over the age of 2. However, that price includes the tractor tour and all activities available on site. We felt like it was worth every penny.
Once we got home, my husband, Kendall, and my son, Judah designed and carved the pumpkin while I roasted the seeds and we lit some candles inside our jack-o-lantern and snacked on the yummy seeds, simply seasoned with salt and olive oil. It was the perfect ending to the perfect day.
I really enjoy living in the city of Portland. My family and I currently live in SW Portland in the Raleigh Hills area and there are so many family-friendly things to do in close proximity. My son is turning 5 years old next month.
We have had a consistent membership to the Zoo and the Children’s Museum since we arrived here 3 years ago. Because these two attractions are accessible from the same parking lot, we often hit up both places in the same day. If you plan to do this, get there early so you can get a parking space and select maximum time at the pay station. They are located throughout the parking lots and at the Zoo and/or Children’s Museum entrances. You must remember your parking space number to pay at the pay station. Get your child to help you do this. My son likes to type the numbers into the pay station and press enter.
In my opinion, I think it best to go to the Zoo first because there is so much running around involved. I strap on my FitBit and my running shoes and get ready for action! My son likes to fly through just about every part of the Zoo and check in with each animal briefly. However, his main objective is the sand box! On a hot summer day, a seat in this shady area is popular real estate! It’s a great pit stop for snack or lunch. I have even ventured to bring a book and read while he’s playing in the sand box.
I think our record time spent in the sand box was 2 1/2 hours. I always like to pack my own lunch and bring lots of water in a backpack or oversized purse. That way, whenever he gets hungry, we’re ready to go without waiting in any lines or spending any money. There are food and drink carts and snack bars located throughout the Zoo so it’s not hard to find food if needed. They also serve beer and wine during peak seasons.
He never misses the crocodiles. They are a must see. The porcupines are also tucked away a bit and easy to miss so make sure to look out for them. The feeding times are usually in the morning, which is another reason to come here first so you don’t miss out on these opportunities. Look for signs posted outside of exhibits for feeding/interaction times.
You can also ask the ticketing person for advice on this. The lions put on a mating show for us one day!! 😉
The train and/or carousel are his other favorite things to do. The only downside is that, even with a membership, you still have to pay a fee to do these things, but it is at least a reduced cost to members.
After he has finished running around the Zoo, we walk over to the Children’s Museum where he can relax in the clay moulding studio and hammer out some artistic creations.
The beauty of this area is that they sometimes have a special class going on, such as making race cars out of zucchini, which you can then test out on the ramp. We have also made mobiles and painted ready made pottery pieces, which they then glaze and place in a kiln for a small fee, and you get it back in a couple of days. You can have them do this to any pottery piece that you make in the clay studio.
There is a always a rotating special feature at the Children’s Museum so it really keeps things fresh to those of us who frequently visit. They also update certain features annually. They just renovated the market area where children can use carts or baskets and shop for produce and other groceries. There is a new food cart as well. The current special feature is Circus Zirkus and they have a trapeze area that all of the children seemed to enjoy.
There is an outdoor water play area for warmer times of year and they often have bubbles, hula hoops, and sidewalk chalk. There is an indoor water play area as well, but enter at your own risk! You’re probably going to get sprayed! It is wonderful for developing engineering skills as well as social skills. We spenda fair amount of time in the race car/train area each time we go.
Luckily, there is a Tri-Met bus replica set up with seats where you can sit and rest your weary legs. Maybe if you’re lucky, your child will enjoy performing in the theatre and you can grab a pillow and relax in the audience with a felt ice cream and plastic hot dog from the pretend concessions stand. Their cafe is so wonderful and my son loves their vegan chili. They make coffee drinks or tea and their menu is tasty. You can order a plate of food and sit down or grab a Clif Bar and a drink to go. Lidded beverages are ok in the museum.
On your way out, play the piano near the entrance or make one last sprint through the Zany Maze outside. This is a magical place. Last, but not least, you can make an actual grocery store run on the way home and have the most peaceful shopping experience imaginable, as your little one will be completely exhausted from the day’s adventures. Happy shopping!