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Portland Area with kids

Indian Rocks Beach
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Portland Area with kids

We are visiting family in Portland the last 2 weeks in June. What are the funnest things to do in the area with our kids (aged 3, 5 and 9)?

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1. Re: Portland Area with kids

Hi Marianne. I'll try to get you started here, but watch for more experienced advice to come along from "locals". Assuming that you mean the immediate Portland area ( i.e. "metro") then here are some places to start:

OMSI- great interactive museum that will have activities that would appeal to all your children and have interest for the adult(s) as well. A bit pricey for admission, but a good afternoon or morning of fun can be had here.

Washington Park- Offers a number of activities for all ages: the zoo, the Children's Museum, the Rose Test Garden and the Japanese GArden. Accessible via the light rail system, you can pile a bunch of adventures into one lump here.

Powell's Books- good for any age group, even the little ones as its got so much "stuff".

Picnic at Riverside park

Perhaps a boat ride on the river- Portland Spirit has several options available

Watch horse racing at Portland Meadows- its cheap, clean, uncrowded and lots of fun for all ages. You don't have to bet to enjoy the race and they do have dining facilities. There is a huge shopping center across the highway, too.

Saturday Market or the farmer's markets are always a good time

A bit farther afield:

Day trip to the coast for sure

Drive to Timberline Lodge and ride the ski lift

Mt. Hood Railway trip might be fun

Head to the Gorge area for sightseeing- especially the waterfalls, and maybe get lucky and see kiteboarders on the river

That is a fair list for starters.....its pretty hard to be bored around here. If you have family in the area then they probably have some thoughts as well.

Portland, Oregon
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2. Re: Portland Area with kids


We have kids that age and I agree with the previous poster. A few other things I would add:

In town:

Oaks Park Amusement Park is fun for kids and they have a super old roller skating rink.

Jamison Square in the Pearl District has a fun fountain for kids to play in and its close to lots of good places to eat

Silver Falls State Park is one of our favorite places to go out of town - a gorgeous place to walk and see 11 waterfalls, some you can walk behind.

The Laurelwood Brew Pub is a very kids friendly place with good food and beer, we go a lot - a few locations, even in the airport!

Portland, Oregon
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3. Re: Portland Area with kids

Portland Children's Museum been added yet? We have a membership and go all the time. Take the MAX there so you can get the whole "train ride" and "massive elevator" thing done in the same trip.

Today my son and I ended up going to Pioneer Place Mall of all places. There is absolutely nothing there for anyone unless you like the Louis Viuitton and the Saks Fifth Avenue. But your 3 and 5 year old might have fun with the interactive watchamadinger on the basement level next to moonstruck chocolates. I don't know how to describe it, really. It's a mat on the floor about 8 feet by 10 feet with a projector above it. And somehow you can play Frogger with it. Totally weird but every kid I saw there today was going absolutely bonkers over it.

Your 5 and 9 year old might like Mississippi Pizza. They have spelling bees and other cute kid stuff every once in a while--with fabulous prizes. It's kinda like pub trivia but without all the beer and nudity.

Also, check out this website often for updates: http://www.nwkids.com/nwkidscalendar

That site has a wide array of activities for locals and tourists alike.

I would just like to point out that I find it absolutely ridiculous that I know this stuff now. Three years ago I could have told you the names of 15 strippers, and now this. Oh, how I have fallen.

Buenos Aires...
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4. Re: Portland Area with kids

oregone, years from now, when you will be too old to really enjoy it again, you will be able to do all that fun stripper stuff again... well, some of it .... unless by then you have come to believe that Frogger is actually more fun than strippers.

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5. Re: Portland Area with kids

I would make a visit to the Oregon Zoo a top priority, it's great fun. Heading over to the coast to Seaside would also be a good time for the kids. www.seasideor.com

I hope you have a wonderful time on your travels with your family! :)

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6. Re: Portland Area with kids

While spendy, this might be fun. Not sure how your dates match up. You might have to drive to Astoria to catch it. Something tells me if kids like pirates they would get a kick out of the battle sail.


Most of the other bases have been covered by everyone else, Zoo, OMSI, Saturday Market, Children's Museum. There is ice skating in the mall at Llody Center that might be fun for the 9 year old. Both of mine like to go and watch them. Suppose that would be considered cheap thrills.

If you head towards the Gorge, I always recommend stopping at the Bonneville Fish Hatchery and feeding the trout. My kids always have fun with that. Again, cheap thrills. Just take a pocket full of quarters for the fish food.


Since you are from Florida, you might want to also try making a day trip up to Mt. Hood. End of June there should still be snow to be seen up at Timberline. Kids would get a kick out of that I am sure.

Along the way, stop at Wildwood Recreation Area. Great place for a picnic, nice playground, and easy hiking/walking trails for the little ones.


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7. Re: Portland Area with kids

BTW...Oregone, before I had kids I could tell you all the best places to go and party. Now I have come to this. I think my liver thanks me though.

portland, OR
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8. Re: Portland Area with kids

Take a day trip to Sauvie's Island (about 15 minutes from downtown) and go blueberry picking (or whatever is available - could still be strawberries), bring a picnic or go to one of the farmers' markets for lunch.

Jupiter, Florida
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9. Re: Portland Area with kids

I am currently in Portland today (from Florida) visiting family with my 3 and 5 year olds. Tomorrow we are set to go to the tidal pools at Cannon Beach. Don't forget to check your tides calendar!!! We went today and the tide was too high and all the tide pools were underwater around Haystack Rock on Cannon Beach.

We also went to Seaside today and, as well as having lots of fun in the many arcades, we visited the very old Aquarium. Very small and kind of creepy, but still cool and the kids loved it. The touch tank was fun and they have some crazy looking stuff in there! Also the swings on the beach were really neat for the kids. That was a first for them!

I think my 5 year old daughter was most impressed (as I always am) at just the gorgeous forests in the Cascade mountains on the way to the coast. So beautiful. I think kids really appreciate parents pulling over at a safe stop and checking out the pristine forests along the way.

10. Re: Portland Area with kids

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