It’s the month where everything starts ramping up to the holiday craziness! Don’t forget to relax and enjoy the day with your kids by slowing down.Try having some yummy fun with our applesauce activity, or grab a map designed for family fun and explore Portland durning the fall season. You can even celebrate a different side of Halloween with the Mexican Day of the Dead fiesta! There’s lots to do around town—read on for more ideas!

photo: by Annette Benedetti

Explore Portland with Really Good Maps

Explore Portland in fall with a series of hyper-local kid friendly maps. Really Good Maps is from mom explorer Jenafer Matthews, created with local experts and illustrators to help get kids out into their city. Try a nature-focused celebration of of autumn plants in the Cully neighborhood, or head to the South Waterfront to explore Portland’s transportation options, like the gondola, the max train, and more. It’s a fun scavenger hunt for kids who love things on the go. What do your kids think Portland will look like in the future? How will people get around? Find the maps online, or at select stores around town. And keep an eye out for new versions!

Online: reallygoodmaps.com

Get Artsy with Nature

Attend the Wild Arts Festival. This festival is an annual celebration that benefits the Portland Audubon Society. Nature-prints, art, and books on poetry, non-fiction, and novelists are available to browse. Kids will love the chance to see the Audubon Society’s education birds up close and personal in the Nest Children’s Area. The American Kestrel, Great Horned Owl, and Turkey Vulture are all waiting to say hello! There will also be special storytelling and crafts from 12-3 p.m. Get your little nature-lovers out to explore!

Sat. Nov. 18, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sun. Nov. 19, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Montgomery Park
2701 NW Vaughn
Portland, OR
Online: wildartsfestival.org

Celebrate the Day of the Dead

Celebrate the Mexican Day of the Dead with the Centro Cultural of Washington County. This free event will bring all ages together for a family focused holiday. Traditional altars will be on display from local organizations, and Mexican snacks will be offered. Kids can join in the fun by making their own sugar skull!

Wed, Nov. 1, 5:30 p.m.
1110 N Adair St.
Cornelius, OR
Online: live-timely-485bbc8175.

Make Your Own Applesauce

Canning and preserving the harvest used to be a community’s main fall event. Even if you’re short on time, you can still make delicious applesauce in the microwave! Head to your local orchard, farmers market, or grocery store and let kids pick a variety of apples—some green and tart ones add a great element to the ‘sauce. Then get your aprons on and start cooking! Older kids could be trusted to chop, but even little kids can help sort, add to bowls, and stir. And for those short on time, don’t worry—you can make a delicious sauce in the microwave! Make a few batches with different spices to let kids pick their favorite. You’ll create a special family recipe along with yummy memories

photo: tonya via flickr

Ride a Train to Christmas Town

Take a ride on a holiday train with Mt. Hood Railroads! From the moment you get your tickets you’ll be immersed in a magical wonderland by the cast and crew. You’ll get cookies and hot chocolate onboard as you speed toward Christmas Town, where Santa and his elves will board the train to hand out gifts. Based on the popular book, the train ride brings to life the characters like Bumblebee the Bear and Zephyr the cat, all going to Christmas Town. On the way your kids will discover songs, games, and activities while aboard a historical train in the shadow of Mt. Hood.

Read about more seasonal train rides here.

888-797-7245
110 Railroad Street
Hood River, Oregon
Online: mthoodrr.com

Get Ready for the Holidays

Sadly, the downtown holiday parade is no more this year after Macy’s closed it’s store. But you can still get ready for the December holidays by watching the traditional lighting of the tree!  A 30 year tradition, the event features a holiday sing-a-long, special performances, and the crowning glory of a 75 foot Douglas Fir alit in Pioneer Square. Continue or start your own family tradition this year!

Fri., Nov 24, 5:30 p.m.
Pioneer Square
Portland, OR
Online: thesquarepdx.org

What’s your favorite November treat? Tell us in the comments below!

—Katrina Emery