I’ve noticed a couple of things over these past few weeks: The kids are inundated with end-of-the-year school projects, and the sun is starting to hang around a little later in the evening.  This can only mean one thing: Summer is here!  

Covid-19 not only reshaped our school year, it is drastically changing how we will navigate the summer break. I don’t know about the rest of you, but we typically fill our days camping, checking out local events and sending the kids to a few summer camps.  We try to make it to the zoo, play at the parks and check out as many of the activities offered by our amazing city as we can.  So you can imagine how sad we were to hear that Portland Parks & Recreation have decided to close all of the city pools and cancel the Concerts in the Park, Movies in the Park and the other summer events they typically put on.  These are a few things that have been adjusted or reimagined for the summer of 2020.

The good news is that the city of Portland is still providing some amazing resources to help during the summer months.  One notable resource they’ll be moving forward with is the Free Lunch + Play program.  According to the Portland Parks & Recreation website, “57% of young Portlanders qualify for free or reduced-price lunch during the school year. Without school lunches, summer becomes the time when nearly 50,000 Portland children face hunger daily.” 

Rather than offering lunch and crafts in the park setting, this year they will offer drive-through options.  Each site will be passing out to-go options for breakfast and lunch as well as take home craft packets. These drive-through options will be offered at thirteen different parks and three mobile stations.  The mobile program has two vehicles that will  bring lunch and craft packets to children at apartment complexes in areas where parks and playgrounds don’t exist. The program is expected to begin on June 22 and the exact locations will be announced later this month. 

Another offering that will look a bit different this year will be the Portland Sunday Parkways.   This event started back in 2008 to help families get to know the city while promoting a more active lifestyle.  Families who participate in this activity are used to getting the family out on bikes and safely cruising through the streets of Portland while enjoying activities, food and music from local vendors.  There won’t be any streets closed off or large crowds this summer;  however, there will be opportunities to connect with the local community and stay active with your family.  The city has partnered up with Kaiser Permanente to offer all-digital events this year.  The activities range from bike repair tutorials and gardening classes to workout classes and sports training. You can find information about past and upcoming events at Portland Sunday Parkways.

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