My husband and I go to the Bagdad for a cheap date whenever we get a chance. You can see movies that were just recently at the theatre for $3, plus grab a beer and pizza. The lines for tickets and food can be quite long, but it is totally worth it to have a chance to kick back in the comfortable seats, eat, and watch movies on a big screen. The theatre is big enough to seat 700 people so you don't have to worry about people getting in your way. You should watch out for the railings on the balcony, they can block your view. We love to visit the Bagdad and plan to take our daughter there when she is older for the matinees.
I gave birth at OHSU in the Spring of 2003 and it was a wonderful experience. The staff and team of midwives, as well as the midwifery students were all amazing! The hospital offers a birthing tub, and fully supports parents being vocal and aware where their birth plans are concerned. I was impressed with the care and attention I received. They also have lactation consultants who visit your room (baby rooms in at all times) and work with you to answer your needs/questions. I also recommend the parenting/birth classes that OHSU offers. They were wonderful!
Stars was one of the first shops I visited when I moved to the Brooklyn neighborhood four years ago. It is a cluster of three shops along Milwaukie avenue that has many vendors in an antique mall setting. The prices are very reasonable and the merchandise is always changing. The upstairs of the biggest Stars location has a great selection of mid-century furniture at affordable prices. The staff is friendly and doesn't hound you as you browse through the store. I have found great bargins on furniture and home furnishings here. Visit during the holiday season for a selection of great decorations!
Oaks Park is a historic amusement park, but it has seen better days. I have brought my daughter here several times for Chipper's Preschool mornings and she is bored after only a few minutes. The one good ride is the little train that travels along the cliffline. The other rides are not very entertaining and there isn't a big variety. They took out the Haunted House and put in a Lewis and Clark ride that is just awful. The bathrooms are filthy and cobwebby and the workers can be a little surly. Might be more fun for grownups who want to go to skate on weekends.
I still haven't decided whether it is worthwhile to cough up the nearly 100 dollars for a year-long pass to the Portland Children's Museum. The museum has rotating exhibits (The Mr. Rogers one was especially entertaining), lots of activities, and is located by the Zoo. But, the Musuem is always overrun and crowded, and it is somewhat lackluster if you have ever visited children's museums in other states. A lot of the exhibits, like the Dentist's office, are outdated and a bit decrepit. The water area can be packed to headache level during the weekend and bigger kids often pay no attention and stomp over smaller kids. Save your money for OMSI!
If you have a spare rainy afternoon and a lot of patience, you should visit the Goodwill Bins. You can find forgotten toys, clothing, and books, at a steal of a price. Be prepared to sift through broken glass, dirty underwear, and abandoned hypodermic needles. Wear gloves and wash your hands afterwards profusely. A lot of the patrons aren't too big on hygiene and you will smell this as you shop, but you can walk away with a huge bag of designer clothes like Hanna Andersson, Christmas decorations, evern furniture, if you are lucky and have the time.
People who live in the Woodstock neighborhood flock to this cozy branch of the County Library. The building is airy and bright and has a small but acceptable children's section. The staff is helpful and will always help answer questions, big or small. The storytime at Woodstock is magical due to the "Storytime Lady"--Joan. She has a true gift for making storytime special for each and every child. She was even featured in Portland Monthly. The Woodstock library also has a meeting room for community needs.
You can literally spend days in this bookstore and never get bored! This bookstore is massive and has everything arranged and organized concisely (and by map even) The children's section is inviting and has several small tables and chairs for younger readers to look at books. There is a huge section of parenting books and even a small section of toys and small, special gift type items for children. They always have tons of specialized magazines for every interest and the best part about Powells is that you can bring in your old books and trade them in for new ones. Several times a month, Powells has visiting authors, which are always very popular events. Check it out!
Fabric Depot is well worth the drive out to 122nd and Stark. They have an overwhelming assortment of fabrics, notions, and sewing supplies. The best time to visit this store is when they are having a 40/50% off sale and you can score tons of amazing fabric at a great savings! They carry Michael Miller fabric and many other unique fabrics that you can use to make clothing, gifts, and home furnishings. The best thing about this store is that they are always getting new material, patterns, and supplies and you won't get bored of their selection.
If you love to wear comfortable shoes that aren't entirely hideous, you should check out Clogs N More. They have a huge selection of Danskos and many other feet friendly shoes. Their prices are reasonable and it seems like they have many sales throughout the year. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable. It is worth it to your feet to pay the extra money to be comfortable, and Clogs N More carries the best selection of comfortable, stylish clogs, boots, and shoes. I can't wear any other shoes now that I have tried Danskos.