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Fright Town!

It’s Halloween, or at least the stores seem to think so. The season of merciless peddling of goods for a holiday a month in the future has begun, and the season begins with Halloween. Though lucky for us, there is one perk to the pre-Halloween fiasco, and that’s Portland’s biggest and most effective haunted house, the one they call Fright Town.

As a kid I couldn’t watch televised ads for Fright Town because I was so scared. The first time I saw the aforementioned ad I was riveted to the floor in fear, and actually stopped watching that channel for the rest of the month. Growing up changes Halloween fear into fantasy fun, and now I find each year at Fright Town better than the last. I don’t know how they do it, but it’s just the right amount of clever mixed with terrifying. All the way in (including in the line) expect to be plagued by sinister ghouls on stilts, with saws, vomiting, you name it.

This year's showcases are set with two returning exhibits, called “The Madness,” and “Baron von Goolo’s Museum of Horrors,”plus a new attraction called “The Witch House.” “The Madness” is inspired by HP Lovecraft and is filled with nightmarish creatures. “Museum of Horrors” is their rock of Gibraltar, rearranged but the same as in previous years. Whatever new traits the old exhibits have and whatever lies inside The Witch House, I don’t expect my sixth year at Fright Town to let me or any of their other fans down.

—Ben Rutter

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Fun, Kid-Friendly Attractions in Portland!

Has there ever been a weekend where the kids won’t stop bouncing off the walls? And nothing at home seems to satisfy their desire for activity and creativity? Portland is full of exciting places for children to visit with their parents when their energy levels are through the roof or they just need something new to explore. The Portland Children’s Museum (http://www.portlandcm.org) provides 11 different interactive exhibits and studios. Whether your child wants to build like a construction worker or dress up and play pretend on a stage, this museum will keep kids busy for hours.

If you’re looking for something with much more physical activity, Sky High (http://por.jumpskyhigh.com) in Tigard gives kids a place to literally bounce off the walls. With walls and floors of trampoline, the kids can jump and flip to their heart’s desire. Sky High also features trampoline dodge ball, a foam pit, and a small area of trampolines for the little ones. If the kids get hungry while bouncing, there is a wide range of options at the snack bar.

If you’re hoping to get outside and participate in a traditional festive event, head over to Lee Farms (http://www.leefarmsoregon.com) for their annual fall pumpkin patch. Not only do they provide a wide selection of pumpkins for each member of the family, but they also feature a a hay maze, hay rides, pony rides, face painting, bounce house, giant slide, barrel wagon rides, pedal carts, and a corn maze. There are also many animals in the farm animal display, as well as animals visitors can pet and hold. Get into the spirit of fall with some hot apple cider and pumpkin donuts. Enjoy this time with your kids!

—Chandler Paterson

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Free Things to Do in Portland

If you’re tight for money and tired of spending so much on entertainment and activities, this list of places to visit will be the perfect solution!

  • The Jamison Square Park fountains are a favorite for kids of all ages. The different levels of fountains allow children to climb and explore, right in the heart of the Pearl District. Adults are welcome to enjoy the fountains, too! It’s the perfect spot to dip your toes in the water on a warm Portland day.
  • The Portland waterfront has so many beautiful views and wonderful hangout spots. Walk, jog, or ride a bike along the water, taking in the incredible city skyline on one side, and the natural beauty of the river on the other.
  • The International Rose Test Garden at Washington Park is a must-see. The vibrant colors of the roses captivate guests of all ages. Walk up and down the rows of beautifully grown roses and take in their fresh scent. It’s the perfect location for nice photos as well!
  • Pioneer Courthouse Square, also known as “Portland’s Living Room,” is home to many free events for Portlandians. Flicks on the Bricks is a popular event, where movies are projected onto a large screen in the square. Other festivals and events are held there year-round. Visit thesquarepdx.org for the event schedule.
  • If you are a resident of Multnomah County, you can visit the Oregon Historical Society for free. Learn the history of the beautiful state we call home with both permanent and traveling exhibits. Utilize the research library for sources full of information about Oregon and its history.

Enjoy these free events!

—Chandler Paterson

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