March is all about Pi Day, Spring Break — and our annual summer camps issue. This year, we looked high and low to find camps at every end of the budget to help your annual Tetris game of summer camp scheduling. March also brings a look ahead at spring concerts and plays at our favorite local theaters, plus our writer takes a deep dive into the screen-time choices Portland parents make every day. Plus, SW Portland’s best new wood-fired pizza joint, an allergy-friendly take on that classic after school snack, milk and cookies, and an adorable DIY hair-tie tutorial.
Great gardening gear, the lowdown on car seats and tips on cleaning out the clutter from a local blogger.
No screen time or learn to code? Keep your kids off Facebook or turn them into Instagram stars? Three Portland families work through the choices.
Art Springs Eternal
Behind-the-scenes with the city’s best kid-friendly performing arts groups as spring productions get underway.
Paying for college without breaking the bank.
Braving the waterslides at Great Wolf Lodge, plus other places to make a splash.
No-sew and embroidery tutorials for making your own hair ties, for little kids and bigger ones, too.
As the chore wheel turns.
Checking out PDX’s new wood-fire pizza palaces.
Milk and cookies, reinvented.
Greetings from Camp
Our editors help you navigate the matrix of summer camps
I was pretty late to the Facebook bandwagon. I waited until mid-2009 to jump in, and then only because I wanted a quick way to share pictures of my kiddos with family members on the East Coast and beyond. My first-ever profile picture shows me holding my then 4-month-old twins, my daughter screaming with rage, my son beatifically dopey, which was pretty much their default expressions for the first year or so of life. Almost all of my profile pictures since then have featured the kids — though always with me, too. (Because even though they are a huge part of my life right now, they don’t get to subsume me.) And yes, they’ve grown up digitally on Facebook, and via other social networks, as I’ve posted Halloween pictures and crowd-sourced opinions about the best preschools. Now that they are in elementary school, it’s seems like the right time to re-evaluate. Knowing that they’ll most likely have their own social media profiles one of these days, should I stop posting anything without their express consent? What’s the right age for a kid to get an email address, or learn to code, or get their own phone? I want them to live in the modern world, but I also want them to step away from the ubiquity of screens and be kids, for just a little longer. I thought of all these questions when I read this month’s feature on the different choices that Portland families are making for and with their kids as they navigate our always connected world. Read on and then let us know what you think (via Facebook, or Twitter, of course) and how your family is walking the digital tightrope. Meanwhile, I’m sure Ben and Elly will want their own Facebook accounts some day. I just hope I can be in their pictures.
— Julia Silverman.
On our cover
Local photographer Kersten Green snapped this sweet shot at Tanner Springs Park in the Pearl District — just one of many great spots around town where urban kids can get their nature fix. She also took the cover photo for our summer camps guide, on a sunny day at Lewisville Regional Park in Battle Ground, Wash. See more of her work at kerstengreenphotography.com.