5 Date Ideas for the Portland Pet-Lover

January 24, 2020

We’ve all seen it happen.

One minute you’re standing tall and proud, impressing the people around you with your sharp intellect and witty charm. Then, all of a sudden, a small fluffball comes yapping around the corner. It’s likely one of those mix breed pups -- something that sounds drastically contrived, like a Cockapoo (Cocker Spaniel + Poodle) or a Chiweenie (Chihuahua + Daschund). And don’t even get us started on the Schnoodle.  

The next thing you know, some unknown force pushes you to your knees and your voice climbs seven octaves higher than where it usually sits. Your hands reach forward and you scratch this small, fluffy, mammal whilst squealing a string of endearing phrases. You overutilize rhetorical questions such as “aren’t you just the cutest?” and “I could just eat you up, couldn’t I?”

After minutes pass, you regain your sense of self and stand up to continue your credible points. What just happened? Did you black out?

No, no, no. You’re just a Portland pet lover. As you should be -- because you’re in the city that has designated a whopping 33 off-leash areas for dogs.

Love your pet you might, but there comes a time when the dog, rabbit, cat, hedgehog, or whatever creature you decided to domesticate, must stay behind. Maybe when you’re going on a date, for example.

Well don’t worry -- you may not be able to bring JJ the hedgehog along with you, but we’ve still got the perfect Portland date ideas for an animal lover like yourself.

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    Hot Air Balloon Adventure

    Oregon is strange and beautiful. That makes it one of those places where you've just got to go with the flow. Let the wind carry you away on this scenic hot-air balloon ride over the state's burgeoning wine country. You'll be enthralled by the scenic Willamette Valley below and mountain vistas all around as you float languidly along. Since hot air balloons work by becoming lighter than the air around them, balloon rides are gentle and turbulence free. This makes for a serene escape that will leave you feeling inspired and rejuvenated. This opportunity is also the perfect chance to add some stunning aerial pictures to your photograph collection, flying low over the Willamette River and many vineyards that populate the fertile lands on either side. If you're looking for an genuinely thrilling experience, this is one adventure that isn't over inflated!
    Hot Air Balloon Adventure

    1050 Commerce Pkwy, Newberg

    • Take off on a high-flying and heart-thumping balloon adventure over lush Willamette Valley
    • Capture stunning photographs of the grounds below and mountains in the near distance
    • Follow up your adventure by celebrating with a brunch buffet and champagne toast
    • Indulge your intrepid side with an aerial excursion that will stay with you long after
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    Haunted Pub Tour

    Ghosts and gangsters? Nothing gets in the way of the quest for frothy libations during this Haunted Pub Tour! You'll be exploring Portland's Old Town District, a historic neighborhood awash with 1800s architecture and lined with cobblestone streets. As you walk, your guide will scare you silly with stories of Old Town's shadowed past, when it was considered the most dangerous port city in the United States. Come and hear stories of gangsters, prostitution, gambling, and opium dens, painting a stark contrast to this now charming district. All told, you'll walk for less than a mile over the course of 2.4 hours of thrills and chills. Highlighting the tour is a stop at the old Merchant Hotel, widely considered Portland's most haunted locale, and featured on Travel Channel's "Ghost Adventures." You'll also pay homage to two reportedly haunted pubs, said to be home to the ghosts of a drug dealer, a prostitute, and a fireman (which sounds like the opening to a really good bar joke, but is really no laughing matter). There, you'll have time to soak in the atmosphere while tipping back seven included beer samples for liquid courage. Still, you might want to bring your binky for this one. Beer afraid. Beer very afraid.
    Haunted Pub Tour

    112 SW Second Ave, Portland

    • Tour Portland's Old Town District for a peek at the city's dark past of crime and murder
    • Visit three reportedly haunted locales, including the infamous Merchant Hotel and two historic pubs
    • Enhance the fun and fortify your courage with seven beer samples
    • Enjoy bone-chilling tales of mayhem and tragedy from a local guide
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    Sail, Wine and Dine Cruise

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    There's nothing this package doesn't cover for a special night out, regardless of the occasion! Enjoy the amazing views as you sail up river past the exclusive Waverly Country Club, the Palatine Castle, and the volcanic caldera near Elk Rock Island. Afterwards, walk around the volcanic caldera and enjoy a fine wine with appetizers at Wine 30. Pretty romantic and impressive, right? Afterwards, sail back down the river and feel the glow in your face (and your stomach) from all that delicious wine. What more could you ask for?
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    Sail, Wine and Dine Cruise

    800 SW Idaho St, Portland

    • Embark on a stunning sail up river past the exclusive Waverly Country Club, the Palatine Castle, and the spectacular volcanic caldera near Elk Rock Island
    • Explore the dining and drinking treasures found at the one and only Wine 30
    • Enjoy a starlit sail back after dinner
    • Experience a night that will fulfill your stomach and the rest of your senses
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    2 positive reviews
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    Murder Mystery Show (The Stockpot Broiler)

    It's 1929 and you're hanging back at The Shanghai Club, a crowded speakeasy rife with illegal booze and inspiring jazz music. With a decidedly strong drink in hand, you're making rounds, stirring up pleasant small talk, until... MURDER!! Detective Eddie May storms into the scene, exclaiming that a murder has just taken place! Who do YOU think did it? Seeing as you were mingling at the scene of the crime, it is now YOUR job to act as a member of the jury! You'll discuss everything you saw, heard, and found earlier in the night. At the end of the night, you'll cast a ballot to guess the murderer. Bonus: You'll win cool prizes if you guess correctly!
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    Murder Mystery Show (The Stockpot Broiler)

    8220 SW Scholls Ferry Rd , Beaverton

    • Join the crowd at a 1920s speakeasy for a round of drinks and mingling
    • Solve a murder that suddenly takes place amidst prohibition-era excitement
    • Cast your ballot and win cool prizes if you guess the murderer correctly
    • Enjoy an evening of jazz, food, "illegal"booze, and -- of course -- mystery
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    Argentine Tango

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    Dancing in your bedroom mirror has its perks, but it takes two to tango. Find a partner and conquer the dance floor during this tango workshop! This is the perfect chance to perfect your form and build your confidence while dancing with partners of various skills levels in a supportive learning environment. As you dance, your instructor will be there to help with feedback and encouragement, guiding you on your way to new heights of sauve danciness. Meet some new dance friends, develop your ability, and twirl your way across the dance floor! It's tango time!
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    Argentine Tango

    720 SE Sandy Blvd, Portland

    • Work on your tango dancing skills during a group practice class
    • Meet and dance with partners to develop your ability to dance with others of varying skill levels
    • Receive guidance and support from an experienced instructor while you dance
    • Develop your confidence and skill while dancing in an energetic and supportive environment
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    2 positive reviews
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    Sunset, City Lights or Afternoon Charter

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    Celebrate life in style on this chartered sailing adventure! You and your friends will enjoy private use of a sailing vessel on the Willamette River, helmed by an experienced captain who will try to accommodate your destination wishes. You can sail upriver to escape the city, or visit the riverfront for a closer look at it- the choice is yours! To add to the fun, you can bring along your own snacks and adult beverages. This is a great way to enjoy some quality time with close friends or family, and to bring a little adventure into your life. It's also the ideal opportunity to break out that sailor's cap!
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    Sunset, City Lights or Afternoon Charter

    800 SW Idaho St, Portland

    • Enjoy a sailing adventure along the Willamette River with up to seven friends
    • Pick your own destination, whether it be upriver or along Portland's bustling riverside
    • Bring your own adult beverages and snacks to add to the fun of the experience
    • Get out of the city and enjoy some fresh air on the water
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    2 positive reviews
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    Prison Break Escape Room

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    So, you don't look so hot in orange, afterall. Who'd have thought? Oh, and the food! You expected so much more. Spare yourself a life of pink goo and terrible fashion, and bust your way out of the Big House! Immerse yourself in an exhilarating escape room game that puts your wits to work, and challenges your cool! The local mastermind has hatched a plan of escape, and with a life sentence ahead of you, you want in on the out. But without an official invite, you're going to have to put your own noggin to task! Scour your surroundings to piece together the plans of escape, and find the objects you need to bring it to fruition. Work with your friends, or pair up with strangers. With a success rate of much less than 50 percent, you're going to need all the help you can get! But don't drag your manacled feet! With only 60 minutes to crack the mystery, you've got to beat the clock, or do the time!
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    Prison Break Escape Room

    2636 NW 26th Ave, Portland

    • Immerse yourself in an interactive adventure based on a prison escape
    • See how far your observational and critical-thinking skills will take you
    • Work your fellow game-players to make your escape before time is up
    • Spark your imagination with a nail-biting escape from reality
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    35 positive reviews
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    Portlandia: Bikes, Brews & Puzzle Room

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    Curious doesn't quite cover this escape room experience! Delve into the world of weird that is Portlandia, and put your wits to work! Find yourself trapped in a virtual shrine to the city, scour your surroundings for the strange and unusual, and put your wits to work to solve a series of puzzling puzzles. But make your way out before your sixty minutes is up, or you'll be stuck in Portlandia forever! Bring your smartest buddies to up your chances of escape, or team up with strangers. With a success rate below 50 percent, you're going to need all the help you can get! Something weird this way comes!
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    Portlandia: Bikes, Brews & Puzzle Room

    2636 NW 26th Ave, Portland

    • Immerse yourself in an interactive adventure devoted to Portlandia
    • See how far your observational and critical-thinking skills will take you
    • Work your fellow game-players to make your escape before time is up
    • Spark your imagination with a nail-biting escape from reality
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    35 positive reviews
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    Moonlight Snowshoe

    Sometimes we want to get a taste of the wild without that whole "wild" thing -- just a calm evening in the outdoors. Well, this is just the thing. In fact, some say this is one of the absolute MUST DO experiences in Portland. Snowshoeing in the moonlight is a magical experience that you can enjoy with a large group or one special person. Heck, even solo! It would certainly be good for reconnecting with your inner chi. You'll get to break your own trail, and then about an hour through you'll stop for some hot drinks and snacks while stargazing and storytelling. If you don't have any stories -- we assure you, your guide has heard a few! When you get back you'll have plenty of time to watch Cliffhanger and play some good ol' ATV Offroad Fury. That way you can have a different outdoors experience -- without actually doing so yourself.
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    Moonlight Snowshoe

    906 NW Corporate Dr, Troutdale

    • Strap on some snowshoes and go on an incredible moonlit journey through Mt. Hood
    • Enjoy a magical experience, perfect for a date night, girls' night out, office Christmas party, or just a great night with family and friends!
    • Stop for some drinks and snacks while stargazing and storytelling
    • Take a moment to sit and take in the stillness of the remote mountain environment
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    Painting (Marquis Tualatin)

    Totally unimpressed by the Mona Lisa? Maybe you can do better! Learn to paint during this step-by-step instructional series in which a professional painter will show you how to recreate works of art. These hands-on lessons will give you an understanding of color theory, plus help you build your brush techniques. Classes are designed for all levels, and offer a vibrant, supportive atmosphere in which to learn and expand your creative horizons. Each class features a different work, and once you're finished, you'll have a great new work of art to take home with you ... or maybe put on loan at the Louvre!
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    Painting (Marquis Tualatin)

    19945 SW Boones Ferry Road, Tualatin

    • Learn to paint by recreating pieces, following along with an instructor stroke-by-stroke
    • Walk away from the class with a brand new painting you've created yourself
    • Enjoy developing your artistic side in a bright, collaborative atmosphere
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