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Hip Parents, Cool Kids

Chic shops offer stylish finds for parents and their kids alike

It’s no surprise that the ubercool and super stylish often raise offspring that are the same breed of beatnik, and both parent and child are always on the hunt for the perfect trendsetting finds. No matter your age—or whether you’re traveling with kids in tow—Portland boutiques offer the coolest of the cool. Many seemingly “grown-up” shops also offer whimsical delights for little ones. For families dreaming of a quick getaway or a spring break trip—especially as more kids get the Covid-19 vaccine—the boutiques below are evidence to why Portland is the place to go for hip households.


Downtown

Woonwinkle, which translates to "living shop” in Dutch, is a must-stop for a downtown shopping day. The goods are simultaneously modern, functional and almost always colorful. While the store is most well known for its home décor, budding artists appreciate the imported art supplies, aesthetically pleasing puzzles, pop-art sticker books, and kits for DIY 3D beetles in flamboyant colors.

Continuing a bop around downtown, the next stop should be Canoe. The boutique is focused on long-lasting beautiful pieces—often with an outdoor edge. To that end, the children’s items that are intermixed with the adult ones are minimalistic and artful. A simple silver baby rattle is a thoughtful heirloom gift for new parents. For something a slightly warmer in sentiment and style, little bootie made from Patagonian sheep wool and salmon skin leather include a QR code that allows one to read up on the production details and actual person that handcrafted the sustainably made shoes.

A plethora of family-friendly hotels are available downtown including the Kimpton Hotel Vintage with its supped-up game room.

Northwest

Bringing her London girl attitude to Portland, Sarah Radcliffe’s The Yo Store is a cheery spot for clothing and home goods with a European influence on them. Sarah herself is a mom of two and many of the items in the store are kid-approved by her very own. Mothers can browse the airy dresses, quilted jackets and fine jewelry. Littles will find their way to the Montessori-style acorn sorting set.

Aimed to bring well-designed goods at an affordable price, Budd + Finn hits the sweet spot for hip parents and cool kids. World maps, wood-bound notebooks and an impressive collection of pennants are fit for an office with a “scholarly outdoorsman” vibe. Similarly for the kids, a log building set allows little lumberjack-architects to construct a cozy campground of cabins. Grab a white pine candle and one of the many outdoor-themed board books for an elevated bedtime routine.

In the Northwest, the Pearl District’s Hampton Inn & Suites is a win for families with its indoor pool that includes a water-spouting whale sculpture for cute photo-ops.

Southeast

Across the bridge in the Central Eastside Industrial District, Cargo has been a shopping institution since 1996 for all forms of décor, art, and wearables. The historic warehouse operates as an emporium with mini stores from small business vendors all operating under one roof. Notably, Hello! Good Morning! is a wakeup call to how chic kids stuff can be. Eclectic and imported treasures with playful pops of colors promise a one-of-a-kind take home souvenir. We’re talking handmade slippers from Greece, washi tape galore, and so-sweet hand-carved wooden toys, unique clothing sets, and a crayon set with 12 shades of skin colors.

Nearby, KEX’s recent remodel included families in mind. The “family rooms” include one queen bed along with two sets of bunk beds, extra closet storage, and a mini fridge and freezer.

Opened June 2021 just off SE Division Street, Black-owned Third Eye Books is an amazing resource for African-centered books. Owners Michelle Lewis and Charles Hannah work to raise awareness for African-centered books and antiracist literature in the community. The children's section highlights stories by Black authors and with Black characters because representation matters.

Northeast

In the family-friendly Beaumont neighborhood, The Arrangement is one of those spots that has a little bit of everything. In the neighborhood for over 40 years, it feels like a for-locals-only hidden secret with thoughtfully curated clothes, gifts and home décor. Classic brands like Eileen Fisher are intermixed with pieces from local designers. Around the holidays, the corner store is buzzing with locals buying goods for just about everyone on their list—luckily there’s an attached stationary store for cards and gift wrap. The kids corner is always rotating in new items of artisan dolls, bath products and play pretend props (ahem, sparkly wand and crown).

While you peruse The Arrangement, put your name on the waitlist at Little Griddle just across the street. You’ll feel like a local as you dine on benedicts, shakshuka and curry hash. If any children come hungry, but with a simpler palate, then they can still indulge in a breakfast sandwich, bacon cheddar hash, or the classic chocolate chip pancakes. Hot tip: always sub the toast for a biscuit. Beyond the food, Little Griddle also sells nearly all the plants happily thriving there. Fall in love with one? Add it to your order.

Exploring a city with the whole family doesn’t have to mean solely sticking to the kids museums and pizza shops (though, those are great). The chic boutiques with locally made goods are plenty family-friendly, too, and know that kids—much like their parents—have loads of style, too.