Time to March forth (see what we did there?) with our latest new issue. Kick off spring with our handy guides to Portland’s many Facebook tribes for parents and the best kid-friendly theater of the season. Then, plan your kid’s summer with our comprehensive camps guide, filled with advice from local experts on what to look for in a camp, plus listings of the best camps the metro area has to offer.
You’ll also find a fun project on making your own cherry blossom tree at home (after you’ve gone to see the ones at Waterfront Park, of course) and a recipe for an oh-so-French chocolate tart from our friends at Pizazz Sweets. And we’ve got tips on the housing market for families in Hazel Dell, Wash., our picks for the best St. Patrick’s Day parades in town and advice on the best joints around for takeout food that’s NOT pizza, for a change. Happy reading!
App picks for potty training, the stats on C-sections and our fave places for kid haircuts, plus a SAHD blogger you should know.
The definitive guide to Portland’s ever-expanding social media scene for parents.
By Kat Merck.
Standing ovations, please, for the shows spotlighted in our spring performing arts preview.
By Ryan White.
Don’t just eye the stock market from afar. Get in on the action, with MP’s help.
By Darcy Cronin and Miel Hendrickson.
Close to Portland, but a world away in Hazel Dell, Wash.
By Heather Lee Leap.
Let your kids paint their little hearts out at messy art studios all over town.
By Alison Wilkinson.
No trust fund, but so many family riches to pass along.
By Catherine Ryan Gregory.
Go see the cherry blossoms at Waterfront Park, then make your own with this fun tutorial from the Children’s Healing Arts Project.
By Grace Littig.
A new address for comfort food in NoPo, with a takeout twist.
By Denise Castañon.
Who needs Paris? Try this straight-from-the-patisserie chocolate tart from Pizazz Sweets.
By Barbara Wood.
Beach cleanups, superhero action and St. Paddy’s Day fun.
Portland in pictures.
Let’s start this month’s note with a rousing welcome to Cruz Whitmore Parker, born to MP’s managing editor Denise Castañon and her husband, Trevor Parker, on February 7, weighing in at eight pounds, 10 ounces and a lanky 21 inches long.
Just a few weeks before the little dude’s birth, President Obama threw his support behind a federal paid parental leave policy in his annual State of the Union address. For us at MP, the money quote of the night was this: “It’s time we stop treating child care as a side issue, or a women’s issue, and start treating it like the national economic priority it is for all of us.” Amen. You’ve likely heard the statistics already, but they always bear repeating – the United States is one of only two nations in the world to provide no paid parental leave. (The other one, in case you were wondering, is Papua New Guinea.) In Britain, by comparison, new parents can take up to a full year of paid leave. Still, there are some encouraging signs out there, some of them here in our own backyard. On the heels of the president’s speech, Intel, Oregon’s largest employer, announced that it would offer its employees eight weeks of paid “bonding” time after the birth of a new baby, in addition to the 13 weeks of paid leave it already provides. On a smaller scale, the mini-chain Laughing Planet, beloved by local families for its fusion burritos and healthy kid meals, said it too would offer 12 weeks of paid parental leave to employees. May this be a sign of good things to come for the next generation, including little Cruz. Welcome to the world, baby boy, and hang on, because the times, they are indeed a’changing.
– Julia Silverman
This Month’s Cover
Portland kids (and their grownups) love soccer — they don’t call us Soccer City, U.S.A for nothing, you know. Just ask our cover model, Hawk Baxter, captured showing off both his skills and his Timbers pride by awesome local photographer (and his mom) Debbie Baxter. See more of her work at debbiebaxterphoto.com.