family

Family Easter Brunch at Beaches

Locally-owned Beaches Restaurant and Bar—with two locations, one in Vancouver on the Columbia riverfront and another location at PDX—is hosting an Easter Brunch at both locations. The restaurant will offer all its usual breakfast items, plus some special Easter Brunch dishes, such as shrimp Benedict with bacon, spinach and tomato topped with Béarnaise sauce, and blackberry-hazlenut pancakes with orange-maple syrup and rough-cut bacon.

While you are licking the Béarnaise sauce off your fork, your kids can visit with the Easter Bunny; bring cameras for photo ops! Each child who dines at Beaches on Easter morning will also get an extra Easter treat. Reservations are recommended; call 503-335-8385.

Plan to return on Tuesday, April 22, when Beaches is hosting an all-day fundraiser for the Hough Foundation. Just say “Cashback for Hough” to your server, and Beaches will donate 50% of the check to the Hough Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides support for programs and projects that enhance Vancouver's historic Hough Neighborhood and Hough Elementary School.

World Water Day “Walk for Water”

Saturday, March 22, is World Water Day, an annual global event established by the United Nations to promote sustainable practices in the realm of water and energy and to help the millions of people across the planet whose daily survival is determined by access to clean, safe drinking water. In a region where we have an abundance of freshwater, both to drink and as an energy source, it's easy to forget that so many others lack this basic necessity. That's why the Water Resources Education Center has organized the Walk for Water. Children and families are welcome to join this easy, stroller-friendly walk, which will be held rain or shine. For more details, call 360-487-7111.

Jurassic Quest Dinosaur Expo

Jurassic Quest is the largest exhibition of lifelike, moving, museum-quality dinosaurs in North America. This family-friendly dinosaur adventure is coming to the Clark County Event Center, allowing you and your children to safely explore the world of dinosaurs. Jurassic Quest is an interactive experience that takes participants from the Middle Triassic to the Late Cretaceous eras with the help of over 50 animatronic dinosaurs. There are also lots of kid-centric activities beyond the exhibit, giving young paleontologists a chance to see, touch, ride, and dig up their favorite dinosaurs.
 
Tickets are $15 for kids ages two to 12, $20 for adults, and $18 for seniors and those with military ID. To purchase tickets, click here, or buy tickets at the door. The ticket price includes the exhibit, crafts, and coloring stations. Tickets for rides, inflatables, and fossil digs are $5 each. VIP tickets ($24) are also available and include the exhibit, crafts, dinosaur cinema, and unlimited rides, inflatables, and fossil digs. For all ticketholders, there's an addional cost for face painting and green-screen photography. Parking is $6.

Family Science Festival at Clark College

To help Clark College celebrate its partnership with Southwest Washington MESA (Math, Engineering, Science, Achievement), OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry) will host a free Family Science Festival with 12 tables of fun and engaging family-friendly activities, from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 22. Families are invited to stay and watch the MESA Day Engineering and Design Competition—especially the Prosthetic Arm Challenge events, in which students will test the prosthetic limbs they've designed for use by children in developing countries who've lost arms to landmines.

MESA is a national initiative that works with school districts and higher education institutions to provide educationally disadvantaged students with opportunities to excel in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math). One hundred and sixty students from local schools will compete at Clark College to advance to the state finals at Microsoft—and on from there to the national competition.

Families might want to bring their own lunches or plan to eat off-campus because Clark's food services are closed on weekends. On the plus side, parking is free! For more details, click here.

Jurassic Quest

What's really, really, really, really, really, really big, has lots of teeth, and is coming to the Clark County Event Center? Dinosaurs! Jurassic Quest is the largest exhibition of lifelike, moving, museum-quality dinosaurs in North America. On Saturday, March 22, and Sunday, March 23, this family-friendly dinosaur adventure will be in Ridgefield, allowing you and your children to safely explore the world of dinosaurs. (Unlike the movie "Jurassic Park," no goats or lawyers will be harmed.)
 
Jurassic Quest is an interactive experience that takes participants from the Middle Triassic to the Late Cretaceous eras with the help of over 50 animatronic dinosaurs. There are also lots of kid-centric activities beyond the exhibit, giving young paleontologists a chance to see, touch, ride, and dig up their favorite dinosaurs.
 
Tickets are $15 for kids ages two to 12, $20 for adults, and $18 for seniors and those with military ID. To purchase tickets, click here, or buy tickets at the door. The ticket price includes the exhibit, crafts, and coloring stations. Tickets for rides, inflatables, and fossil digs are $5 each. VIP tickets are also available and include the exhibit, crafts, dinosaur cinema, and unlimited rides, inflatables, and fossil digs. For all ticketholders, there's an addional cost for face painting and green-screen photography.
 
Jurassic Quest is located in the main exhibition hall at 17402 N.E. Delfel Rd. in Ridgefield. It will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday. Parking is $6. For more information, visit www.jurassicquest.com.

GameStorm 16

Are you game? Then you might want to check out the GameStorm gaming convention, which will bring thousands of gaming fans to Vancouver from Thursday, March 20, through Sunday, March 23.

GameStorm is one of the country's largest game conventions, held annually since 1998. For the last several years, Vancouver has hosted this incredibly popular event in the Hilton Hotel and Convention Center across from Esther Short Park. In addition to hundreds of board games, GameStorm also features panel discussions about games and gaming-related topics and provides space for designers to play-test new products. Attendees can also participate in role-playing games, live action role-playing games or LARP, miniature figure gaming, collectible card games, and video console gaming. GameStorm is run entirely by fans, with no paid staff, and is sponsored by the not-for-profit Oregon Science Fiction Conventions, Inc. (OSFCI).

Gamers are invited to stop by for a day, or register for the full event. The cost ranges from $15 to $60, depending on the package you choose. Children and families are welcome; after all, this is a convention about losing yourself in play! Early registration has closed, and the hotel is nearly full, but registration will still be open at the door on the days of the convention. And of course you'll want to wear a game-related costume. (May we recommend that you come as a Shadowcaster, Swashbuckler, or Duskblade from Dungeons & Dragons? No? OK.)

Muddy March Madness

Time for truth-telling: when you see a muddy track, you secretly want to run around on it, don't you? (Assuming someone else could do your laundry.) Well, Woodland MX and Northwest Personal Training are appealing to your inner child—and your actual children—with Muddy March Madness, a cycle cross-style footrace to be held on Saturday, March 22.

The course is only one mile—one very wet and mud-slicked mile—and the object is to see how many laps you can do in 45 minutes. The course contains various obstacles and fitness challenges to keep you on your toes…or off your toes, as the case may be. But your kids will get jealous if they see you having all the fun, right? So sign them up for Mini Madness: about a mile of fun, muddy trails with kid-sized mini-challenges, designed for children age 12 and under; parents should accompany children age six and under.

But wait! There's more! This is a disco-themed race, so Woodland MX encourages you to come dressed in your favorite disco outfit. (…as though you have several to choose from. And maybe you do!) Prizes will be awarded for the best costume.

Participants are asked to arrive at 9:30 a.m. for some preliminary instruction, and the race starts at 10 a.m. sharp. The cost is $40 for adults and $15 for kids. The cost includes finishers' gifts, refreshments, and band-aids, because you'll probably need them. Woodland MX is located at 3232 Lewis River Road in Woodland. To register online, visit Northwest Personal Training's website.

 

Vancouver Farmers’ Market

What's the number one tourist destination in Southwest Washington? The Vancouver Farmers' Market, in downtown Vancouver on Esther St. between Sixth and Eight Streets. This year, the market runs from Saturday, March 15, until Sunday, Oct. 26. The market is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays. The kids get to play in the park and the grown-ups get fresh, local, and mostly organic produce. There's wine and olive oil and coffee and cheese and jam and roasted nuts to taste, pastries to sample, strawberry shortcake to consume, and kettle corn to munch on. Plus, there are fresh flowers and one-of-a-kind creations from local artists to buy and wear, display, or use. With over 250 vendors, there's always something new to discover.
 
Admission is always free, and dogs are welcome. For more information, visit the market's website at www.vancouverfarmersmarket.com, or call 360-737-8298.
 

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Friends of Trees Tree Planting

Friends of Trees is a local nonprofit organization with a mission to put more trees in urban areas. They're hosting plantings all over northeast Vancouver on Saturday, March 15. Planters should arrive at 8:45 a.m. to enjoy coffee and breakfast treats, and planting will get underway by 9 a.m. and end about 12:45 p.m. Friends of Trees will provide gloves and tools, so all you need to do is show up dressed for the weather and wearing sturdy shoes. All that digging will probably make you hungry, so Friends of Trees volunteers will provide a free potluck lunch for participants after the planting is complete. This is an ideal activity for families, and kids are welcome. To register, click here—or just show up at LeRoy Haagen Memorial Community Park. For more details, call Jenny or Ian at 503-595-0213. Neighbhorhoods scheduled for planting include Airport Green, Burnt Bridge Creek, Countryside Woods, Fircrest, Hearthwood, Image, Landover Sharmel, North Image, Parkside, Parkway East, and First Place. This planting is sponsored by Whole Foods.

Water World

Saturday, March 22, is World Water Day, an annual global event established by the United Nations to promote sustainable practices in the realm of water and energy and to help the millions of people across the planet whose daily survival is determined by access to clean, safe drinking water.

In the middle of spring's customary deluge and in a region where we have an abundance of freshwater, both to drink and as an energy source, it's easy to forget that so many others lack this basic necessity. That's why the Water Resources Education Center has organized the Walk for Water, starting at 10 a.m. at the Water Center, 4600 S.E. Columbia Way. Children and families are welcome to join this easy, stroller-friendly walk, which will be held rain or shine. For more details, call 360-487-7111.

Open Season: Vancouver Farmer’s Market

Question: What's the number one tourist destination in Southwest Washington? The Fort? Officer's Row, the Barracks, Pearson Air Field? Nope. It's the Vancouver Farmers Market, right in downtown Vancouver on Esther St. between Sixth and Eight Streets. Sadly, it packs up and leaves during the winter months, because frankly, there's not many fresh vegetables to be had in January (old cabbages, anyone?) and not many people enjoy buying or selling in near-freezing temperatures and a steady, soul-drenching rain.
 
But never fear! The Mother of All Markets is on its way back! It will make its spring debut on Saturday, March 15, and stick around every weekend until Sunday, Oct. 26. The market is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays. It's a popular destination, because everyone leaves happy: the kids get to play in the park or get a balloon or chew on an elephant ear, and the grown-ups get fresh, local, and mostly organic produce. There's wine and olive oil and coffee and cheese and jam and roasted nuts to taste, pastries to sample, strawberry shortcake to consume, and kettle corn to munch on. Plus, there are fresh flowers and one-of-a-kind creations from local artists to buy and wear, display, or use. With over 250 vendors, there's always something new to discover.
 
Admission is always free, and dogs are welcome. For more information, visit the market's website at www.vancouverfarmersmarket.com, or call 360-737-8298.
 

 

Eighth Annual Children’s Festival

When you have young kids, Saturday can sometimes be the longest day: you're all home together from work and school, and what can you do with all that kid-energy? You can take that energy to the Eighth Annual Children's Festival, to be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Westfield Vancouver Mall. There'll be face painting, balloon art, dance performances, martial arts demonstrations, and lots of kid-and-family-centric activities, games, and prizes. And it's all 100% free! The festival is presented by Vancouver Family Magazine and sponsored by GET (Guaranteed Education Tuition) and PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center.

If you own or work at a local business and you think this would be an ideal place to connect with your customers, exhibit space is still available. Contact Nikki Klock at 360-882-7762 or nikki@vancouverfamilymagazine.com.

Annual Children’s Festival

When you have young kids, Saturday can sometimes be the longest day: you're all home together from work and school, and what can you do with all that kid-energy? Well, on Saturday, March 8, you can take that energy to the Eighth Annual Children's Festival, to be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Westfield Vancouver Mall (and then, when the festival is over, maybe you can get a Cinnabon and check out the newest Jodi Picoult book from the Mall Library Connection, and then buy those cute boots at Nordstrom, or that new power drill at Sears. That's called the Grown-Ups' Festival).

But back to the kids. There'll be face painting, balloon art, dance performances, martial arts demonstrations, and lots of kid-and-family-centric activities, games, and prizes. And it's all 100% free! The festival is presented by Vancouver Family Magazine (an excellent local publication to peruse if you have kids anywhere from newborn to—well, let's say early 40s) and sponsored by GET (Guaranteed Education Tuition) and PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center.

If you own or work at a local business and you think this would be an ideal place to connect with your customers, exhibit space is still available. Contact Nikki Klock at 360-882-7762 or nikki@vancouverfamilymagazine.com.

 

Volunteer for Invasive Species Survey

You and your family can help locate incursions of English ivy and other invasive species by becoming "scientists" at Columbia Springs, an evironmental eduction center and outdoor recreational area. You'll learn about all sorts of invasive species (besides ivy) and, after a crash course in scientific survey techniques, you'll go off-trail in Columbia Springs' 100-acre natural area to find invasive species.

Volunteers of all ages and abilities are invited to join, including children under 14 (if accompanied by a parent or guardian) and teens from 14 to 16 (with written parental permission). Snacks will be provided. Bring sturdy shoes, appropriate outdoor work clothing, enough water to stay hydrated, and your enthusiasm for helping the community! Columbia Springs welcomes anyone who shows up on Saturday morning and wants to pitch in, but registration is encouraged. To sign up, e-mail volunteer@columbiasprings.org or call 360-882-0936 ext. 230.

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Competition

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra's 20th annual Young Artist Competition allows students to compete against each other before a live audience. The top three contestants will perform with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Salvador Brotons at Skyview Concert Hall on April 12 & 13. In addition, the winners will share $5,000 in prize money. The competition's master of ceremonies is Edmund Stone, host of the nationally syndicated show The Score on All Classical Radio. The competition (which was rescheduled from a previous date due to inclement weather) is sponsored by the Anna C. MacAskill Schwab and Dwight Schwab, Sr. Charitable Foundation and will be judged by a panel of professional musicians.

The concert is completely free and open to the public. Children are welcome.

 

“Love Dash” Fundraiser

A three-mile fundraising run for local nonprofit Children’s Center.

Starting point: Torque Coffee Roasters, 501 Columbia St. in downtown Vancouver, across from the Hilton.

End point: Northwest Personal Training, 1011 Broadway.

There is a suggested donation of $10, but it is not required in order to participate. This is a family activity and children are welcome!

Awards will be given for the fastest couples in the following categories: spouse/partner, parent/child, siblings, BFFs, and kids. Runners are encouraged to wear red and pink, or to sport a Valentine's-themed costume.

For more information, click here: Love Dash fundraiser.

Washington State Horse Expo (Day 2)

Highlights of this three-day event incldue the Equine Extravaganza, Extreme Cowboy Race, The BlackPearl Friesian Dance Troupe, Marvin Pierce's Cowdogs, and Steve Rother’s Western Doma Vaquera.

Other attractions: a "Chuckwagon and Saloon" where food and beverages may be purchased, kid- and family-friendly activities, and hundreds of vendors selling everything from horseshoes to horse trailers. The Horse Expo also offers a demonstrations and seminars on topics ranging from how to pack a saddlebag to career options for those who love to work with horses. The complete schedule of activities is available (and downloadable) online at www.wastatehorseexpo.com.

Tickets are available online and at the gate.

Hours:

12 noon to 9 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 14

9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 15

9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 16