Summertime Suggestions: What can kids and families do around here? Plenty!

The calendar made it official on June 21: Summer is here.

Kids got out of school on June 12, and parents can always use some ideas for healthy and fun activities for kids and families. We’d like to help.

Here is a selection of suggestions for things happening in the next few weeks; check with each for advance registration requirements.

Between outdoor sports, movies and concerts in the park, and the area’s rich history, the mid-Columbia region is full of great things for kids to do in summer.

n June 26-28 — Kids History Camp: Dig into history at The History Museum. Learn natural and cultural history of the mid-Columbia through a simulated archaeological dig, field trip and hands-on activities; for students going into 4th, 5th and 6th grades. General camp fee is $30 ($25 for family museum members) and includes all activities and lunch.

For details contact Carly Squyres at or 541-386-6772.

n July 6 — History through Yoga, 9-10 a.m. at The History Museum, taught by Angela Logan of Root Down Yoga. Children will learn different yoga postures that tell the story of Hood River County. Free admission for current members; $5 for nonmembers. Children need to bring their own mats. For more info contact Carly Squyres at or 541-386-6772.

n All summer — Hood River County Library District welcomes everyone to participate in the libraries’ special reading programs this summer. Prizes will be given out to those who reach their goals. Other events are:

June 22 — Matinee Movie at the Library, 2 p.m. The timeless summer tale of Tom Sawyer, Becky Thatcher and Huck Finn. One copy of the book will be given away at the movie.

June 25 — Dr. Seuss Live! at the Hood River Library, 2 p.m. Join professional Broadway actor Duffy Hudson for his one-man show of Seuss’ best-loved tales.

June 26 — CelloBop music for kids and their families, 5:30 p.m. at the Hood River Library. Gideon Freudmann — composer, songwriter, improviser and all-around great guy — makes the cello his playground and invites you to come join the fun.

June 29 — Matinee Movie at the Library, 2 p.m. Eloise loves living at the Plaza Hotel! Julie Andrews stars as Nanny. One free anthology of the Eloise stories is given away at the movie.

For more information contact the Library District at 541-386-2535 or, or visit

n June-August — Mid Valley Elementary is hosting a summer reading program again this year, with the school library open every Monday and Tuesday through Aug. 6, from 6-7:30 p.m. Prizes will be awarded, and both students and their families are welcome to attend.

n June 28 — Wy’east Middle School also has a summer reading program, with students competing to see how many books they can read and report on during the break. Students will have periodic check-in times to turn in completed bookmark summaries and receive prizes.

Check-in times are as follows: June 28 at Wy’east, July 22 at Mid Valley, and Aug. 23 at Wy’east. More information was sent home with report cards, or parents can call the school at 541-354-1548.

n June 27 (Thursdays through October) — Gorge Grown Farmers Market, 4-7 p.m. at Hood River Middle School, featuring kids activities each week while the grown-ups shop for fresh fruits, veggies, grass-fed beef, cut flowers, cheeses, fresh salmon, bread, eggs and more.

n June 30 — Free block party, 3-6 p.m. at the River of Life Assembly, 979 Tucker Road, Hood River. Hot dogs and hamburgers for the first 700 people. Food, face painting, balloons, five inflatables and lots of fun.

n July 13 — Free movies in the Park start at Jackson Park, with Madagascar (Escape to Africa); shows start at dusk, and are sponsored by Hood River Community Education. (“Hoosiers” will be shown July 20.)

n July 26 — Cascade Locks Movies in the Park starts with Homeward Bound,” at dusk, in Cascade Locks Marine Park, sponsored by Port of Cascade Locks and Hood River Commission on Children and Families. The series runs through Aug. 23.

n Families in the Park starts Aug. 1 in Jackson Park, with Jacob Merlin’s seven-piece band.

n July 20 — Fort Dalles Days, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Fort Dalles Museum and Anderson Homestead in The Dalles, 500 W. 15th and Garrison. Activities for kids include pony rides, rope making, wagon rides, 4-H animals, raptor demonstration and kids games. Admission is free.

n July 27 — Radio-controlled car practice begins at HR Skate Park, Saturdays from 9-10 a.m. Learn about electric R/C cars, how to drive and maintain them and practice your skills at the skate park. Cost is $10; sign up through Community Ed, 541-386-2055 or or at HR Hobbies, 110 Fourth St., downtown. For more info email

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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