Sports

Harlem Globetrotters

Chicken and I are the least sporty of the non-sporty people. We do not play them, we do not watch them. Unless it’s the Portland Timbers. They are a special exception. But as a general rule, sports are a no-go. Nugget, on the other hand, is all in. He loves all things sporty and can’t get enough. Dad is a pretty big fan, too.

When I heard the Globetrotters were coming to town, up came vague memories of seeing them as a child. I couldn’t remember much, but I remember thinking they were funny and that I enjoyed going. So I decided this could potentially be a fun family outing- sporty enough for the boys, entertaining enough for the girls.

After showing our proof of vaccination and scanning our tickets, we were in. Music played while we waited for the game to start, and we soon learned that the music was played by the team’s first female DJ. An MC worked the crowd as game time approached, engaging us in cheers, the wave, and generally keeping us amused.

After the teams were introduced and players had a chance to show off some of their best skills, the game officially started. One player had a mic and told jokes as the team played, flirted with audience members, even proposing marriage to one special lady, teased the ref, and kept things fun and moving. The team’s famous passing skills were showcased several times, and it was pretty impressive. Players did backflips, tricked the other team into running off the court, climbed up on top of the hoop, gave the ref a wedgie, and made the entire experience really fun.

Nugget, who takes his sports very seriously, was initially flustered. He leaned over and said “That guy keeps getting distracted! They need to sub him out!” I tried to explain that it was part of the show, but he wasn’t buying it. By the second quarter, he said “Is this scripted? I feel like it’s scripted. Why would you want to see a game that is scripted?” By the end of the half he had given up expecting an NBA style game and was laughing along with the rest of us. Chicken bought in immediately, and especially loved that there was a woman on the team.

The quarters were 10 minutes each, and there was a brief halftime. With the pauses due to the silliness of the game, Globie the mascot doing his thing, granny interrupting to give the players hand sanitizer, and videos about the history of the team and legendary players, the game lasted about an hour and a half.

The entire atmosphere was very family friendly. The merchandise store was feet from the court, and children were encouraged to play in the space behind the basket. Both adults and kids were pulled from the audience to participate in various antics and were given merchandise and other rewards for their efforts.

After the game was over, people were invited to come down and get free autographs. Nugget had purchased a basketball with his own money, and he excitedly made the rounds and got the autograph of every single player on his new ball. He even got the autographs of the DJ and the granny!

What it’s not: a serious NBA style game, inexpensive

What it is: fun, silly, entertaining, full of talented players, as much ‘show’ as game, very family friendly, engaging

Do we recommend it? Yes! We all had a great time and would definitely go back

You can check out the tour schedule here, and tickets are available for purchase via Ticketmaster.

Day Trips, Fall Activities, Outdoor Activities, Sports, Spring and Summer Activities

Eagle Landing Golf Course

Nugget is a huge fan of mini-golf. Having only gone to the courses at Bullwinkles and Oaks Park, he was ready to try something new. After checking a few websites, we decided to try out Eagle Landing with some friends. Located not too far from Clackamas Town Center, Eagle Landing has a variety of courses, including two par-3 courses, mini golf, and even a dedicated soccer golf course. We learned we did not need reservations, and therefore selected a day and time that worked well for all of us, choosing mid-morning on a week day.

When we arrived, we entered the golf shop and were able to quickly pay and get started. We were able to choose either 18 or 36 holes of mini-golf, and we chose 18. I paid the $29 total for the three of us, we grabbed putters and golf balls, and we were off!

In front of the golf shop

The kids and their friends immediately got to putting and burned through the course in a blaze of glory. I have never seen such spunky and speedy golfers! I didn’t know it was even possible to golf that fast. The other mom and I took things at a more leisurely pace. The course itself was quite pretty. Rather than typical obstacles like windmills and castles seen at many mini-golf courses, Eagle Landing incorporated plants, bridges, rocks, and flowers, creating more natural challenges. We particularly enjoyed the water traps, which involved rescuing our golf balls with small nets.

It was not too busy while we were there. While we did see a few other groups, it never felt crowded and we never had to wait. It took us less than an hour to play the 18 holes, although you could definitely take longer if you don’t play at warp speed like these guys did.

After we finished, we wandered around to check out some of the other amenities. The par 3 course nearest the mini golf looked nice. And while the soccer golf course was quite simple, it also seemed like it could be a fun way to pass part of a day. While we did not go inside the club house, it certainly looked beautiful from the outside. A small area aptly named the cave, looked like an amazing place for a corporate party or wedding reception.

What it’s not: a stereotypical mini golf course with gimmicky obstacles, a particularly challenging course

What it is: a lovely outdoor setting, reasonably priced, kid friendly, a relaxing way to spend some time with friends, fun!

Do we recommend it? Yes! Chicken and Nugget both said they preferred courses with more over the top obstacles, but I loved the more natural setting. Regardless of preference, we all had a great time!

Day Trips, Sports, Spring and Summer Activities

Providence Park Open House and Game Viewing

This week, for a variety of reasons, we have spent much more time at home than we typically do.  It was a great reminder of why we choose to stay so busy.  So when an event notice popped up on my Facebook feed indicating that there would be an open house and Timbers away game viewing party in the new section of Providence Park, it was like a life-preserver I just had to grab.

Not knowing what to expect, we donned our Timbers gear, colored Nugget’s hair, and showed up at the designated time and found a small crowd waiting to get in.  As we entered, we were offered free tickets for the T2 game following the Timbers away game.

We were directed to take the elevator to the top floor.  Upon arrival, we were allowed to sit anywhere in the Duracell Deck area (the top level of the new expanded park section).  Out on concourse, Timber Joey was there to meet people and food samples were available- Chicken couldn’t get enough of the noodles that reminded me on pancit and Nugget ate more than his fair share of hot dogs.  There were also a few vendors promoting and sampling goods.  Two concession stands were open as well as beer and wine stands with items for purchase.

The game itself was played on the giant new scoreboard as well as another video screen in the stadium.  The whole experience was very cool and laid back.  The crowd was small and mellow and definitely had a viewing party vibe as opposed to a game day vibe.

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I happened to snap a picture while they were advertising the T2 game, but this is the screen the game was played on.  It’s huge!

Ironically, the Timbers game started late due to inclement weather where they were playing.  Then the T2 game was delayed due to the storm here in Portland.  This pushed things out later than expected, so we decided  to head home rather than stay and watch the T2 game.  This did not make me popular with Nugget.  As a side note  the Duracell Deck area is covered and we remained completely dry.  Yay!

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What it’s not: even close to the energy level of a home game, engaging for kids who don’t enjoy soccer games on TV

What it is: free!, a fun way for kiddos to experience the stadium, a unique way to watch an away game

Do we recommend it?  Sure!  What’s not to enjoy about watching a game outside on a beautiful Portland day?  If the Timbers continue to host these events, we would encourage you to check one out!  And if weather cooperates, stay for the the T2 game.