Portland would be perfect, but for the busybodies.
Ours is a wonderful city for many reasons, but it's also crawling with fun police and lifestyle shamers, anti-science chemophobics who'll oppose vaccines until the next pandemic and True Parents who wring their hands about the importance of celebrating Ukrainian Christmas by introducing their kids to pampushki.
This parenting issue is not for those people.
Instead, we've created this issue as a guide to celebrate the things that make this city great—with your offspring.
The best things about life in Portland? The city has great pubs, fantastic local music and excellent thrift stores. We're surrounded by immense natural beauty, and there's something fun going on every day of the year.
Your kids deserve to enjoy that, too. So we've got a guide to tot-friendly pubs, those fourth places where you can enjoy a local craft beer as your children become full members of their community, as in Europe. We've also got a primer on the local kindie music scene and the best shops for picking up quality kids' clothing at deep discounts.
We also assembled a calendar of activities to do with your kids all year long, and talked to a local advocate of free-range parenting, who argues that you probably shouldn't spend every waking moment supervising your kids if you want them to turn into self-sufficient adults. She argues for character-building, a responsibility-teaching method of kiddie empowerment common in this country until the helicopters took off—and shares her biggest fear, which is those busybodies calling Child Protective Services.
Debates about lifestyle come with life here, which is why we've put together a primer on the most controversial issues in Portland parenting circles, from the ethical imperative to send your kids to troubled neighborhood schools to the problems caused by bringing your kids to a museum when they have the sniffles. Learn the talking points so you know when someone is making a passive-aggressive critique of your parenting decisions, then move on.
They grow up so fast—the last thing you need to do is spend these precious years worrying about getting the side-eye from a well-meaning but obnoxious neighbor when you could be grabbing a pint at Biddy McGraw's before checking out a kiddie reggae show or watching elephants smash pumpkins at the zoo.