Top 10 Reasons Why Lake Oswego Oregon is a Kid-Friendly Zone in Summer

Great summer weather gave my kids plenty of excuses to just sit on the porch and enjoy ice cream cones too.

Great summer weather is another kid-friendly aspect to living in Lake Oswego. It gave my kids plenty of excuses to just sit on the porch and enjoy ice cream cones.

Over the course of my 25 plus years selling real estate in Lake Oswego, I’ve worked with many clients who are looking to move to our town because they’ve heard it’s a good place to raise a family.

Three kids later I have to concur.

In fact, just this summer, all three of mine fantasized about how they’d all move back to Lake Oswego when it’s time to have kids and live on the same street.

That speaks to the good memories they have growing up here and judging by this lineup of summer offerings, you can see why.

1. Movies in the Park. Grab your blankets, pillows and low sand chairs and bring the kids to Millennium Plaza Park on Thursday evenings for the next four weeks for family-friendly movies. The lineup includes Super Buddies (July 24), Despicable Me 2 (July 31), The Karate Kid (August 7), and The Lego Movie (August 14). Movies begin at dusk. First and Evergreen. 503.675.2549.
2. Swim Parks. The Lake Oswego Swim Park at 250 Ridgeway Road is open to all Lake Oswego residents at no charge from July 1 through August 31, 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. 503.953.9325. The Lake Grove Swim Park at 3800 Lakeview Boulevard is open to residents within the original Lake Grove School District boundaries free of charge from 12:00 noon until 8:00 p.m. through Labor Day. 503.635.0356.
3. Masque Alfresco. Let the laughs begin as slapstick antics infuse Molière’s The Would-Be Gentleman for the whole family to enjoy. 7:00 p.m. Friday-Sunday through August 3 in front of the Iron Foundry at George Rogers Park, 611 S. State Street. 503.254.5104.
4. Library programs. From Wii gaming sessions to magic shows, the Lake Oswego Public Library has ramped up its programming to make sure kids in Lake Oswego have something to do. Check out their schedule.
5. Summer Camps. The Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation Department has tried to schedule something for everyone from Dancing Princesses Camp to Rocket Labs to Food Around the World. Check out their full listing.
6. Learn to Skate Night. Let LO Skate Park instructors give your child (ages 5-15) a mini-lesson for beginners and intermediates. Register for Course #3411041. Fee is $4. 5520 Willow Road.
7. Child Safety Seat Clinic. It’s not all about having fun—it’s about being safe too. Find out the proper way to install your safety seat. 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the main fire station, 300 B Avenue. 503.635.0275.
8. Rox in Sox Children’s Music and Book Festival. This is the music festival for the young set featuring entertainment by Aaron Nigel Smith and the One World Chorus as well as the School of Rock and others. Authors include Valerie Pearce and Philip Pelletier and be prepared for a guest appearance by Blaze the Trail Cat! Saturday, August 2 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. West End Building lawn, 4101 Kruse Way.
9. All Comers Track Meet. On your mark, get set, head over to the Lake Oswego High School Track on Wednesday, July 23 for a lineup of events your whole family can participate in. Registration at 5:15; events begin at 6:00 p.m. 2501 Country Club Road. $3 youth/$4 adults.
10. Calling All Teens. While teens are welcome at many of the above events, they might be especially interested in the lineup of volunteer/adventure activities available through the LO Teen Service Corps, as well as library programming that includes a Teen Drawing Class (from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon on July 24).

Don’t miss out on what there is to love about Lake Oswego Oregon! Sign up for weekly updates by clicking on the “Sign me up” button in the top right hand column.


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Three More Neighborhoods to Check Out in Lake Oswego Oregon

NeighborsLuckily, in Lake Oswego, most neighborhoods would have Mr. Rogers singing, “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood.”

Residents in the Palisades, Westridge and Hallinan neighborhoods have lots to sing about from a community pool (Palisades) to beautiful parks and as always, excellent Lake Oswego School District schools.

In the following chart, I’ve tried to break it down even more for you, but if you’d like to check them out for yourself in person, give me a call at 503.939.9801. I’d love to show you around.

Mom's screenshotPhoto courtesy of winnond at

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In Lake Oswego the “Sounds of Summer” Include Music in the Parks

The  Sounds of Summer Concert Series provides another excuse to enjoy the beautiful outdoor summer evenings in Lake Oswego, Oregon.

The Sounds of Summer Concert Series provides another excuse to enjoy the beautiful outdoor summer evenings in Lake Oswego, Oregon.

Here is my “Sounds of Summer” list: kids playing outside, lawn mowers, crickets, neighbors entertaining outside on their decks, and…because I live in Lake Oswego, music in the park.

Music in the parks, I should say. Although we are only a town of over 37,000 people, we have three different parks in our city that alternate hosting our summer concert series.

Each venue offers something a little different. You’re likely to find parents and children alike up and moving to the sounds in Westlake Park, while the river view at Foothills Park includes boaters who dock while listening to tunes. Try each one out and see for yourself.

Genita blog table
*MPP – Millennium Plaza Park, 200 First Street
*FP – Foothills Park, 199 Foothills Road
*WP – Westlake Park, 14165 Bunick Drive
**Join the City of Lake Oswego for a Public Safety Fair

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Lake Oswego Salutes Small Town Living with Fourth of July Festivities

The Lake Oswego Lions Club 4th of July pancake breakfast has been a Costello family tradition for a long time.

The Lake Oswego Lions Club 4th of July pancake breakfast has been a Costello family tradition for a long time.

Small town living doesn’t get much better than Lake Oswego on the Fourth of July. Perhaps that explains why our summer visitors usually time their stay during this holiday. Look what Lake Oswego has in store.

The Celebration Starts Early with the Millennium Concert Band. As band leader Dale Cleland explains, “It’s not that unusual for a community like ours to have a community band.” What is unusual is the level of excellence band members bring to the stage, which explains why last year Lake Oswego’s Millennium Concert Band won the Sudler Silver Scroll Award, North America’s most prestigious award for community concert bands. Come see what all the fuss is about on Thursday, July 3, at 7:00 p.m. in Millennium Plaza Park, 1st and Evergreen.

Fast forward 20 years and we are still showing up for those pancakes!

Fast forward 20 years and we are still showing up for those pancakes!

Lake Oswego Lions Club Pancake Breakfast. This event will make a believer out of you…a belief that there is no better way to start your day than with big fluffy pancakes hot off the griddle accompanied by banjo strumming music and what seems like half the town dressed up in every variation of red white and blue. 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at George Rogers Park, 611 S. State Street.

Star Spangled Parade. How many ways can you decorate a stroller or a bike? Find out as you watch Lake Oswego’s young set parade down A Avenue, finishing up at Millennium Plaza Park, 1st and Evergreen. 10:00 a.m.

Star Spangled Celebration. You can’t get much more small town than a pie-eating contest and Lake Oswego’s begins at 12:30 p.m. The party starts earlier with live music, face painting, food, and balloon animals to keep everyone entertained. 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Millennium Plaza Park, 1st and Evergreen.

Lake Corporation Boat Parade. The flag waving takes to the water starting between 12:00 and 1:00 p.m. as boats line up decked out in their patriotic colors near the Lake Grove Swim Park for a procession along the lake. Good viewpoints include the swim park and Oswego Canal bridge at the beginning, and Millennium Plaza Park, the decks off the Lake Theatre and Café and Stickmen’s Brewery and Skewery, and Sundeleaf Plaza at the end (parade takes close to two hours).

Fireworks on the Lake. Boats sit in waiting, displaying their red and green navigation lights, while crowds plant themselves at the Lake Grove Swim Park, Oswego Canal bridge and waterfront homes. At 9:45 p.m. the west end of Oswego Lake explodes with color as the Lake Corporation show takes to the skies.

The Party Continues with Lake Corporation Ski & Wakeboard Competition. Watch local hotshots show off their stuff in Lakewood Bay. 10:00 a.m. Saturday, July 5.

Portland Water Spectacular Ski Show. Festivities conclude with the pros showing us how it’s done in Lakewood Bay. 7:00 p.m. Saturday, July 5.

Lake Oswego knows how to do the 4th! It also knows how to do Farmer’s Markets, art festivals, public education….Subscribe to “52 Reasons to Love Lake Oswego” so you can keep up-to-date on what’s going on and why you might want to live here! Just click the “Sign me up” button in the top right hand column.

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Why the Lake Grove Swim Park Is One of the Best Things About Summer in Lake Oswego Oregon

My daughters decided they loved summers at the Lake Grove Swim Park so much that they worked there as lifeguards for several years.

My daughters decided they loved summers at the Lake Grove Swim Park so much that they worked there as lifeguards for several years.

Even though we live on the lake, the Lake Grove Swim Park was our family’s favorite hangout during the summer when our kids were growing up. Why?

•It’s beautiful. Situated at the south end of the lake, the view from the swim park is hard to beat. And you don’t have to pay waterfront prices to enjoy it! Just be a resident within the Lake Grove swim park boundaries which you can find here.

•It’s a social spot. Whether you’re a kid or an adult, odds are by summer’s end, you will have forged some new friendships at the swim park. “The regulars” (of which we were included) get to know each other’s idiosyncracies—where you like to park yourselves, who brings the best snacks, who has a running tab at the concession stand, whose dad will play ball with the kids, what mom brings the best magazines to read and share, who has an extra towel-water bottle-sunscreen if you need it.

•It’s well supervised. We were hands-on parents, always taking the “tough” shift of laying out in the sun watching our kids while they played. But it was nice to know that we could visit with friends or read a chapter of our book without risking our kids safety—park lifeguards keep a constant watch on all three pools. They enforce rules too like “no running on the dock” or “no flotation devices” which give the illusion of safety and also can make it harder for them to see all the swimmers in the water.

•It’s refreshing—and I’m not just talking about the dip in the lake you can take here. I’m referring to the fact that it’s a place that encourages you to unplug (from technology) and connect with people and nature. You won’t find a lot of kids checking their Facebook posts here or plugged into their headphones. Instead they are engaging the old-fashioned way—in person.

The Lake Grove Swim Park is open now through Labor Day weekend seven days a week from 12:00 noon until 8:00 p.m., weather permitting. Half hour swim lessons are offered Monday through Friday, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. Registration is required. Call for information. 503.635.0355. 3800 Lakeview Boulevard.

Give me a call if you’d like to look at some homes in the Lake Grove Swim Park district boundaries so you and your family can enjoy this magical spot in Lake Oswego. 503.939.9801.

And check out what others are saying about the Lake Grove Swim Park.

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Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts is Full of Surprises

SurpriseThere is a reason the Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts has been around for over 50 years.

Actually, there is more than one reason, but in looking over the schedule for this year’s rendition, I’d have to say it has to do with the element of surprise.

This is not just a show where artists hang their work.

It is a celebration of the arts where artists hang their work, demonstrate their work, talk about their work, and invite the audience to engage in their work.

It’s not just for the stuffy art snobs…it’s also for the rest of us who know what we like when we see it or hear it but may not know why. It’s for the natural artist in our kids who just need a venue and permission to get their hands immersed in clay or their faces decorated with paint.

It’s a place where you’ll find beautiful artwork hanging on walls, mounted on pedestals, hung from ceilings or displayed in booths. But it’s also a place where you’ll find events such as these:

●Martini Mingle with the Artists (Friday and Saturday evenings from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on the Lakewood Center Deck)
●Panel Discussion on The Creative Response (Friday at 7:30 p.m. on the Headlee Main Stage)
●Art Demonstrations on Playing with Paper, Totem Animals and Paper Making (check schedule for actual times and locations)
●Clay and Painting Activities for Kids (Saturday from 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m. in the Lakewood Center Keybank Pavillion Tent)
●Concert by Animotion featuring 80s New Wave music (Saturday at 8:00 p.m. in George Rogers Park)
●Alice in Wonderland performance by Missoula Children’s Theatre (Friday at 4:00 p.m. and Saturday at 10:30 a.m. in George Rogers Park)
●Costume Parade and Contest (Saturday at 2:45 p.m. in George Rogers Park)

So you see, this is not your average arts festival. It informs, entertains, engages, and surprises you year after year. Don’t miss it.

If you don’t want to miss out on “Reasons to Love Lake Oswego,” then click the “Sign me up” button in the top right hand column to receive weekly updates.

Photo credit: Stuart Miles at

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Playground Grand Opening and Rotary Auction Offer Something for Young and Old Alike This Weekend in Lake Oswego

Youth Action Council crew are excited to unveil their custom made hopscotch game at George Rogers Park's playground Grand Opening this Saturday.

Youth Action Council crew members Emily Liu, Elizabeth Hill and Cydny Fletcher, are excited to unveil their custom made hopscotch game at George Rogers Park’s playground Grand Opening this Saturday.

When my kids were on the playground circuit, George Rogers Park in Lake Oswego was one of their favorite stops.
With the new and improved playground due to debut this Saturday, June 14, it promises to be one of your kids’ too.
Here is what you’ll find:

  • Separate play areas for older and younger kids, each with its own age appropriate climbing and spinning activities. This is a big improvement from the people powered merry-go-round my kids both loved and hated that was not a one-size-fits-all attraction.
  • Larger sandbox area perfect for digging things, hiding things, and scooping things.
  • Twister game. Take a classic favorite and bring it outdoors—it’s bound to be more fun.
  • Covered picnic shelter in prime viewing area which should prove a big hit with parents.
  • Teen designed hopscotch area. Lake Oswego’s Youth Action Council designed a space-themed take on this popular game that offers kids challenges when they land on the rocket (jump four times), Saturn (spin five times) Earth (touch your toes), and Sun (strike a pose).

Come see for yourself between 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon this Saturday at 611 S. State Street. Festivities include free hot dogs and ice cream.

You can check out some of my earlier blogs here and here if you’re needing a reason to attend this annual event from 5:00 to 10:00 p.m. on June 14 at the Lakewood Center for the Arts, 368 S. State Street. Add some of these great auction items to the list:

  • Catered winemaker’s dinner for 50 at Hawks View Vineyard includes bus ride, barrel tasting, tour and dinner.
  • Barbecue for 100 at Happy Trails Riding Center on August 16 featuring Buster’s BBQ, line dancing and the Cowboy Poet.
  • Summer party for 16 on Oswego Lake hosted by Lake Oswego’s Mayor Kent Studebaker.
  • A week for 3-6 people at the Pueblo Bonito resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

The list is long and fabulous. Buy a ticket for a chance to join in the fun and get in on some of these one-of-a-kind experiences!

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