Kids' activity calendar rescues parents


Kids' activity calendar rescues parents


by Pat Dooris

Bio | Email | Follow: @PatDoorisKGW

Posted on March 23, 2012 at 3:54 PM

Updated Friday, Mar 23 at 5:19 PM

Its Friday morning at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.

Kids and parents are having a blast at this classic family gathering spot but many wish they knew about other family friendly events.

“Coming to OMSI’S great, going to the zoo's always good. But other than that it’s hard if you don’t want to spend a lot of money,” said Margaret Jeffries.

It’s a common frustration for parents.

“I know there's gotta be stuff out there," said mom Brittany Stover. "But some days it seems like there's nothing going on."

Which is where Ali Wilkinson and Tabitha Rhodes come in. As Portland area moms with young children, the women struggled like everyone else.

“It was frustrating to go through the process,” said Ali Wilkinson. “I just want to do something at 10:00 with my kid," she said. "He has a very short window before he needs to go and nap. Let’s just find something."

Ali,a lawyer on leave, decided to do something about it.

In August, 2010, she launched the website "PDX Kids Calendar." It’s a list of things for kids and families to do year-round, from camps to arts and crafts, library reading sessions, hikes and much more.

“There's so much to do in Portland, it’s kind of insane!" She said.

Tabitha Rhodes joined Ali after briefly launching a competing site. Both women understand their audience; each mom realized that kids constantly pull their parents to different activities. It even happened during our interview, when Tabitha’s 3-year-old convinced her to stop talking and pull down fresh paper for him to paint on.

The calendar helps move that kid energy outside the house.

Tabitha and Ali work on the site during nap times and at night. They update it with free and low-cost events from 50 other sites. They also allow organizers of kids' activities and events to send in information about their programs. All are within 20 miles of Portland.

They're proud of the result.

"I think it’s wonderful. I use it when I need something to do," said Tabitha.

Back at OMSI, moms like Emily McClelland look forward to checking out the site. With five kids--from an infant to a fourth-grader--she's always looking for activities.

“I think it’s great because it takes the pressure off of me to think of new things," she said.

Click here for more from PDX Kids Calendar