Kindie Rock (East Portland)
In the last year there has been a boom in cafés and restaurants hosting kindie rock musicians in the Eastside of Portland. Kindie rock is indie rock for kids and the musicians mix original compositions and familiar covers. While geared to entertain kids under ten, the musicians entertain parents as well. Most of the shows do not have a cover but donations are encouraged.
If you want to feel like a night out, E.A.T. at Milepost 5 and Jam on Hawthorne are both good options. Both host musicians on Saturday evenings and feature happy hour drink specials as well as lots of dinner options for children and adults.
E.A.T. is in a converted church space. The area in front of the stage is open and there is plenty of room for children to dance and run around. The pews serve as seating and there is a play area with toys. E.A.T. also has music on Thursday mornings.
Jam is a traditional restaurant space but also has a stage with a small dance area in front. There is no longer a play area but several of the table tops have been painted with chalkboard paint. It features table service with servers who bring water in sippy cups and are accustomed to navigating around little ones. Recently some Friday night performances have been added to the calendar.
Flying Cat Coffee and Warehouse Café are great options if you like your kindie rock served with your morning coffee. They feature coffee shop/café fare and host musicians in the morning (both during the week and weekends).
Flying Cat hosts musicians on Thursday and Sunday mornings. The space is a little tight but there is a small area in front of the musicians where children can dance. The music can be heard in the play area in the back if you can’t tear your kiddo away from the rocking horse.
Warehouse currently has music every Wednesday morning, but other programming including other music events and storytime are regularly scheduled. Check out the calendar to find an event that suits your interest and schedule. This café is a bit more spread out and also has a play area.
Café Au Play was conceived to be a gathering place for families and has much more than just a play area. A sandbox outside as well as a filled book case and train table give children lots to explore as you sip your coffee. There is weekly music programming in addition to other events. Consult their Facebook page or sign up for its newsletter as the website is not regularly updated.
There are lots of great options and with any luck you may escape parenthood without ever hearing Barney’s “I Love You.” I did endure a period during which my children requested “Elmo’s Song” on repeat. But thankfully this stage was short lived and now my children most often request music from one of Portland’s own.
Sionainn is a single momma to 3 year-old boy/girl twins and lives in SE Portland.
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