No matter where you live, parenting is a zany, occasionally surreal experience. So what’s it like raising a family in Stumptown, which is known as much for its health-conscious, eco-friendly culture and jaw-dropping landscape as it is for its insistence to “Keep Portland Weird?” Read on for 16 signs you’re a Portland parent, then add your own in the comments.

#1 Your kids are embarrassed on the days they have to drive, not walk or bike, to school.


Photo by Jason Lander via flickr 


#2 Going to watch a parade means watching a lot of kids on unicycles.


photo by npGREENWAY on flickr 

#3 Your kids don’t comment when they see someone with pink hair. Or tattoos. Or even dressed as Darth Vader, on a unicycle, playing the bagpipes. (Seriously, this guy is everywhere.)


photo by John Biehler via flickr

#4 Your kids play in the front yard, not the back. (Oh, and lolling about in the neighbor’s yard? Totally okay, too.)

kids in wago

 photo by Stephanie Booth


#5 Getting ice cream from a truck doesn’t mean ordering tasteless, frozen things on a stick. Coconut lemon saffron, anyone? Salt and Straw

 photo by Salt & Straw via Yelp

#6 You heart the Rose Room at Powell’s. Especially on rainy days.


Photo by Tea via flickr 


#7 Your kids know what dinosaur kale is.  And they like it. (Thank you, Laughing Planet.)


photo by Jen V. on yelp

#8 Someone in your house has an allegiance to a Beaver or a Duck.


 photo by Jen K. on yelp


#9 Acupuncturist? Naturopath? Chiropractor? Your little yogis stay healthy in countless ways.


photo by Amanda Hirsch via Flickr 

#10 You know the importance of rain boots from November to June. But really, who needs an umbrella?


photo by Scooter Lowrimore via flickr 

 #11 You don’t go to the coast to get a tan. (That’s what those non-stop flights to Hawaii are for.)


photo by Monica P via yelp


#12 Younguns master a scoot bike by preschool and hit summer bike camp by elementary school.


photo by Jason Wilson via flickr 


#13 The library is a twice-a-week stop. 

reading book

 photo by Stephanie Booth


#14 Your family’s on a first-name basis with Beezus, Ramona, Henry, and Ribsy.

 ribsyphoto: Beverly Cleary Sculpture Garden at Grant Park by Rinky via Yelp


#15 You reserve campsites nine months in advance. (And you’re laughing aloud as you read this, because you know it’s true.)


 photo by Kathleen M via yelp

#16. You know that this article really could have been five stories — Signs You’re a SW/NW/SE/NE/N Parent — because we each love our own section of the city that much. 


photo by Alex R. via yelp 

What do you think makes us Portland parents? Feel free to add to our list in the Comments section below!

— Stephanie Booth