Today my kids and I needed a much deserved break so we decided to find an adventure. We headed out to Newberg and visited Critter Cabana. We walked up and saw a kitten and some tortoises in the window. The kids were already enthralled by the tortoises but when we walked into the store they were amazed that there was no glass between us and these little tortoises in the storefront window. There were a couple of dogs that greeted us in a very loving manner as well. A little further into the store we found some much larger tortoises roaming around on the floor. They would poke their heads out for the kids to pet them. Even my 2-year old who is afraid of anything that moves enjoyed petting these giant, docile tortoises! There was a HUGE array of fun and exotic pets in this store ranging from snakes and lizards to hedgehogs and ferrets. Many of them were for sale but there were also a lot that had become permanent residents of the store.
Critter Cabana was a GREAT trip and we managed to spend almost 2 hours in the store playing with the animals and admiring the fish. The staff was very friendly as we watched them share their knowledge to help a small boy pick out a turtle that he was buying with his own hard-earned money. Critter Cabana offers field trips to the store during the week or they will bring the animals to your school. Also, teachers can "rent" and animal for a day to bring into the classroom. The animal comes will all of the supplies needed for its care. I was truly impressed with this visit and would recommend the short drive from the Portland area to any animal lover!!
On our way back from Newberg we stopped in Sherwood and went to Safari Sam's. I must say it was a little busy for my taste but the trip was so much fun. There is a HUGE indoor play structure, a glow-in-the-dark putt-putt golf course, and arcade along with a cafe. My 4 and 6-year olds were able to run around on their own just fine and I was able to navigate the mazes within the climbing structure while helping my 2-year old make her way. We managed to play for 3 hours there and could have gone longer except for the fact that we had passed nap time by 2 hours and the little one was losing it entirely.
My favorite thing about Safari Sam's is that they provide security at all of their entrances and exits. When you come in they stamp your hand with a stamp that matches your children. This way they can make sure that your children leave with the person they came in with. This security features allows me to relax a little bit and not feel like I have to be within an arms reach of my children at every moment. Also, their rates are very reasonable seeing as how you can spend hours and hours playing in their indoor jungle gym. There are classes, a preschool/daycare program, and many more features offered at Safari Sam's, too. It makes a great indoor adventure for a rainy day!