The dog days of summer can drag by, especially when trying to entertain tots who need a break from the heat. From tumbling to story time to kiddie concerts and more, Portland has a fun array of daily activities designed to keep little ones happy and active, and parents relaxed. So pull out the gym shoes or get ready to groove, with the following options to choose from, there’s plenty to do! Read on to find out which options are best for you.

photo: Rain0975 via flickr

Hammer and Jacks

More than just a toy store, Hammer and Jacks offers a welcoming play space for the community, and plenty of action to join in. The large room is stocked with quality toys that are cleaned every night for the germ-conscious among us. They offer Open Play every day, as well as a roster of great fun like Music Quest, “a music and movement adventure,” and Portland’s own Olive & Dingo, an energetic clown duo that entertains with antics, balloons, silly stories, and more. You might catch a glimpse of them riding around town on their magical tall bikes—here’s your kid’s chance to see them in person!

Music Quest: Mon. 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Olive & Dingo: Thurs. 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Open Play: Daily 10:30 – 11:30 a .m.
$4 entry
6416 Southeast Foster Rd.
Portland, Or
(503) 894-9150
Online: hammerandjacks.com/

The Children’s Gym

The Children’s Gym focuses on quality gymnastic equipment and instruction. You’ll find plenty of classes to sign your little gymnast up for, but for a more low-key approach you can take advantage of their weekly Open Gym times. Send your bundle of energy in to play to on the long beams, rings, spring boards, parallel bars, and trampoline, all surrounded by thick mats and special gym flooring for safety.

Open Gym
Members: $5/child; Non-members: $10/child
Tues. & Thurs. 3:20 – 4:20 p.m.
Sat. 1:15- 2:15 p.m.
1625 NE Sandy Blvd.
Portland, Or
(503) 249-5867
Online: childrensgym.com/open-gym/

Upper Westside Play Gym

A safe, fun playspace for kids ages 0-5. Soft foam mats and play toys let children bounce around safely, and the large room provides a comfortable place to meet new friends and run around! The play gym prides itself on offering developmentally appropriate space to allow movement, as well as quality leaders for their classes. Weekly activities include ukulele and kazoo music, baby sign language, Spanish instruction (no knowledge required, all welcome!), and parent-focused classes like the Pinot and Pages book club for moms. Check out their online schedule for more!

Baby Sign Language: Tues. & Thurs. 10- 10:30 a.m.
Spanish Nino Time: Wed. 10- 10:30 a.m.
1509 SW Sunset Blvd.
Portland, Or
Online: upperwestsideplaygym.com/schedule/

photo: smit via yelp

New Seasons Market Storytime

Of all places, New Seasons is a surprising but solid location to find free classes for parents! There are a few parent support groups for toddlers (’cause we love ‘em, but we need it!), but top of the list is the Storytime at the Woodstock location. An entire hour of stories, activities, and snacks, all found in their Treehouse Bar in the community room. Get some wiggles out and pick up dinner all in the same trip!

Woodstock Storytime
Tues. 10 – 11 a.m.
4500 SE Woodstock Blvd.
Portland, Or
Online: newseasonsmarket.com/events/

Multnomah County Libraries

Each of Multnomah County’s libraries has their own slew of classes, story times, and fun events—the list is seriously extensive. Check out the whole thing here! And here are a few choices to help you dive in:

Family Storytime is at the large Central Library downtown, with a beautiful big children’s space.
Mon. 11:15-11:145 a.m.
801 SW 10th Ave.
503-988-5123

Curious Minds at the Kenton Library uses activities and experiments to introduce kids grades K-5 to great African American scientists, engineers and inventors.
Sat. 3-4 p.m.
8226 N Denver Ave.
503-988-5123

Book Babies at the Hollywood Library offers songs, rhymes and playtime for babies 0-12 months.
Mon. 10:15-11 a.m.
4040 NE Tillamook St.
503-988-5123

Tiny Tots lets new walkers play, dance, and enjoy songs and stories at the Midland Library
Tues. 10:15-10:45 a.m.
805 SE 122nd Ave.
503-988-5123

Online: multcolib.org/events

Milagros Boutique

This store hope to be a supportive beacon to new and soon-to-be families. A key part of that is their classes and support groups that meet every week in-store. Expecting mothers and families can find plenty of options from the doula-led classes, but we all know once the little one shows up, the fun really begins! The New Moms Group offers a place to help adjust to life with a newborn to three-month-old, and an older babies group offers playtimes and support for parents of babies up to a year old.

Older Babies Group, 3-12 months
Thurs. 1 – 2:30 p.m.

New Moms Group, 0-3 months
Tues. 11 a.m.- 12:30 p.m.

5433 NE 30th Ave.
Portland, OR
503-493-4141
Online: milagrosboutique.com

Micah and Me

What do you get when you cross ukulele, bass, drums, some rockin’ dads, and a bunch of kids? A crazy toddler dance party! Portland based group Micah and Me brings high-energy music and movement to venues all over the city, focusing on the love of music in kids 0-7 years old. All three musicians are stay-at-home dads who are passionate about music, and each show offers a “Petting Zoo” for kids to try out the instruments themselves. With weekly shows all over the city, you’re never far away from some dance party fun!

Wed. 10 a.m.
Seahorses PDX
4029 SE Hawthorne Blvd
Portland, OR
Online: micahandmerocks.com/shows/

What’s your favorite weekly activity? Tell us in the comments below!

—Katrina Emery