Activities in Portland

Children's Museum

Address 4015 SW Canyon Rd., Portland, OR 97221 Map, Tel (503) 223-6500 Call, Hours at this writing, Mon-Sat 9am–5pm; Sun 11am–5pm; hours change seasonally, so please call to confirm Website

There's plenty of fun, indoor play here for kids. We loved the garage (ages 5 and over) where older kids can drill, glue, draw and build their own creations. The water works is a great attraction for all ages (bring a change of clothes). A Dig Pit is filled with rubber "gravel," plus plenty of buckets, shovels, dump trucks and a conveyor belt, perfect for toddlers. more

Jamison Square

Address 810 NW 11th Ave, Portland, OR 97255 Map, Hours 5am to midnight, Notes Swim diapers available at Posh Baby Website

This fantastic public wading pool is fed by a waterfall that can be climbed even by early walkers. We've spent hours here, romping in the water and having the kind of loud, giggly fun that brings back fond memories of my own summer vacations as a child. more

Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI)

Address 1945 SE Water Avenue, Portland, OR 97214-3354 Map, Tel 503.797.6674 Call, Hours Vary, but at least 9am-7pm daily, check website or call for additional hours, Costs Adults $9 Youth (3-13) and Seniors $7 plus extra charges for many areas of the museum. Tickets available online Website

The science museum includes a planetarium, omnimax, a submarine tour, laser shows, and lots of hands-on exhibits. Even early walkers can enjoy the main museum (with some help from mom and dad), and older kids will get a lot out of the hands-on-exhibits and the opportunity to do experiments in a real chemistry lab. more

Oregon Zoo

Address 4001 SW Canyon Rd., Portland, OR 97221-9704 Map, Tel 503-226-1561 Call, Hours 8am-6pm Summer (Memorial Day Weekend - Labor Day), 9am-6pm April 15-Sept 15 (except Summer), Cost Adults (12-64) $9.75, Seniors (65 and over) $8.25, Children (3-11) $6.75, Infants (2 and under) Free Website

This huge zoo has a variety of different natural habitats for its animals to live in. Highlights include the Great Northwest Exhibit which features native animals and Packy the baby Asian elephant. There are also three trains (including a steam train!) to carry you around the zoo. more

Powell's Book Store

Address 1005 W Burnside 97209 Map, Tel 503-228-4651 Call, Website

Powell's has been one of my favorite Portland destinations since long before I had children. The huge bookstore has a diverse collection of new, used, and out of print books. The children's section is no exception, and this is a wonderful place to pick up unusual books on a topic your chid is particularly interested in. Small tables in the children's section provide a spot to read when your child needs a little break from sightseeing and the staff is welcoming and helpful if you are looking for something unusual. more

Skiing on Mt. Hood

Address 10755 Cooper Spur Road, Mt. Hood, OR 97041 Map, Tel 503-222-2211 Call, Website

Mt Hood is a ski area for all levels of ski skills or snow boarding. It is easily accessible from Portland and surrounding Oregon, Washington areas. It is open for many months of the winter and spring ski season. Our family budgets our ski weekends for ultimate pleasure and exercise at this most beautiful, friendly ski mountain. more

Trimet Free Ride Area


Busses, MAX (the lightrail system) and the Portland streetcar make up Portland's excellent public transit system. It's easy to get to most popular destinations from downtown, and it will save you from packing everyone in and out of the car, navigating, and finding parking at each site. more

Washington Park

Address 4001 SW Canyon Rd., Portland, OR 97221 Map, Hours 5am-10pm. Closed to vehicles at 10pm. SW Washington Way closed Mon-Thu, Notes Washington Park has its own MAX Light Rail stop which lets you off right at the Zoo entrance. Trains run from downtown and stop approximately every 10 minutes. Bus #63 is slower, but more scenic than MAX and lets you off at any one of several locations in the park. There is a free shuttle to transport you around the park. Website

This huge park is a great place for a picnic and many fun activities for kids, including the Rose Test Gardens, the Rose Garden Children's Park, the Zoo and Children's Museum. more

World Forestry Center

Address 4033 SW CANYON RD, PORTLAND OREGON 97221 Map, Tel 503.228.1367 Call, Website

The World Forestry Center is a fun and interactive way for kids to learn about forests in the Pacific Northwest and beyond, logging, and the environment. Even young kids will enjoy climbing on model vehicles while older kids can participate in the activities and go on a scavenger hunt where they search for answers to questions in the exhibits (ask for a copy at the front desk) more

Reader Favorites

Audobon Society Care Center

Address 5151 NW Cornell Rd, Portland, OR 97210 Map, Tel Wildlife Care Center: 503.292.0304 (Mon-Sun 9-5) Call, Website

We took our thirteen-month-old to the Audubon Society Wildlife Care Center not too long ago, and she loved it! Not only can you meet their educational birds, including Julio the Great Horned Owl, but there are walking trails in the surrounding sanctuary that are perfect for taking little ones on a "hike." I have a friend who is coming to visit from Arkansas, and I plan to take her and her little ones there. There is truly something for all ages, including mom and dad. It's right in town, but feels like you're getting away since it's right up against Forest Park. more

Audubon Society Wildlife Care Center

Address 5151 NW Cornell Rd, Portland, OR 97210 Map, Website

Kids and parents can go and meet the animals who are recuperating and/or permanent residents in the care center, and then go on a beautiful, very kid-friendly walk/hike on the adjoining trails. It's right in town and a fantastic outing for residents and visitors alike. more

CHAP art factory

Address 1030 NW Marshall St Portland, OR 97209 Map, Tel 503.243.5294 Call, Website

An art free-for-all! They supply the paints, glitter, glue, pipecleaners, crayons, pompons etc... and do all of the clean-up. Your kids just have fun. $5 per kid per hour. more

Chinese Garden

Address NW 3rd and Everett, Portland, OR Map, Website

We spent a recent sunny afternoon at the garden. The staff has prepared a nice scavenger hunt to help families enjoy the garden. There is also a nice self-guided tour with staff wandering around answering questions as needed. I find this much nicer than a guided tour when traveling with small children. more

Drop-in-and-Make! at the Museum of Contemporary Craft

Address 724 Northwest Davis Street Portland, Oregon 97209 Map, Tel 503.223.2654 Call, Website

Join The Museum of Contemporary Craft on the second Saturday of every month for Drop-in-and-Make! This program is geared towards the youngest of our museum visitors! Drop-in-and-Make features a drop-in and drop-out craft activity in the Lab organized by a local artist or designer.
In March, Liz Harris, ‘12, presents Ceramic Cup Spectacular, an program that invites youngsters to explore the issue of sustainability by decorating a ceramic mug to take home. It’s Liz’s hope to reduce the number of paper cups in our landfills. Her ongoing project, C.U.P., mobilizes youth through art!
Stop by anytime between 1-3pm to create a unique keepsake to take home! This program is for children accompanied by an adult. more

Eastbank Esplanade


Great walking / biking / stroller-ing along the river in downtown Portland. Path makes a big loop between the Hawthorne and Steel bridges. Water views, no traffic and a great leisurely way to see the city. There are sculptures and even a floating section of the walkway on the east side of the river. The west side is all along Waterfront Park. Plus, you can walk to OMSI on the Esplanade! more

Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum

Address 500 NE Captain Michael King Smith Way, McMinnville, OR 97128 Map, Tel 503-434-4180 Call, Website

The Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum is home to Howard Hughes' Spruce Goose and more than 150 other aircraft, spacecraft and exhibits, as well as an IMAX 3D Theater that shows educational films. It also has an interactive section for children, a biplane merry go round, and an outdoor play structure. To experience the place best, make sure to talk with a docent in a green vest. Many of them have actually flown the planes they are talking about! more

Finnegan's Toys & Gifts

Address 820 SW Washington St Portland, OR 97205 Map, Tel (503)221-0306 Call, Website

This place is amazing, I spent a week in Portland and took my then 17-month-old daughter there nearly every day, just to hang out and play! We also found some great Christmas gifts. They have a huge selection, fair prices and friendly, helpful staff. There are also toys to play with in addition to the items for sale, including a train table. Great fun! more

Finnegans Toys & Gifts

Address 922 SW Yamhill, portland or, 97205 Map, Tel 503.221.0306 Call, Website

No trip to Portland is complete without riding the street car to Finnegans! This is a fabulous toy store -- definately not the R Us variety. There's a train table (of course) along with various wind up toys to browse through. Yes it's technically a store, but my 3 yr old is happy to spend his time browsing and looking at all the great things they have. more

Katelyn's Closet

Address 7429 SW Capitol Hwy Multnomah Village Portland Ore 97219 Map, Tel 503/293-4333 Call, Website

It is a wonderful resale shop with clothing for Kids, Mom's and the mom to be! There is a great play area and when you are finished shopping you can walk around Multnomah Village and get pizza, ice cream or visit the local toy store! Great place to visit and stroller friendly! They also offer baby equipment rentals if you need to rent anything while you are visiting. more

Keller Fountain Park

Address SW 3rd Ave & Clay St, Portland, OR Map, Website

A beautiful and very fun fountain across the street from the Keller Auditorium. It was designed after the northwest's waterfalls. Kids can play in the little pools, climb on the huge concrete stairs as water cascades down them, swim under the waterfalls, and jump from stone to stone above the water. If you're taking a younger kid, you will have to monitor them constantly as there are lots of climbing areas and they could get hurt. more


Address 2713 SE 21st Ave. Portland, OR. 97202 Map, Tel 503.236.6850 Call, Website

Leave your kids with your spouse or a sitter and head to Löyly for a spa getaway that won't break the bank. For as low as $15 you can purchase a basic entry to a communal sauna and steam room but you'll probably want to splurge on a massage. This low key Scandinavian spa is spotless and friendly. more

Munchkin Playland

Address 18335 NW West Union Road, Portland, OR 97229 Map, Tel (503) 553-5438 Call, Website

It's for the 42" and under crowd. My 1 year old loves cruising the cushioned play area with slides, animals to climb on, and a boat, which is sectioned off. There are also other areas for all kids to play, like a small kitchen area, a grill, and a car table, to name a few. Parents watch their children, but can relax and enjoy a coffee or snack. Another plus: they don't mind at all if you bring your own food and/or drinks. more

Northwest Children's Theate

Address 1819 NW Everett St., Portland, OR 97209 Map, Tel (503) 222-2190 Call, Website

Not only does the NW Children's Theater have great original play productions, they also have classes and summer camps for children. They have put on great plays like "Go Dog Go!" Their productions and classes are a great positive outlet for children in the metro Portland area. more

Peninsula Park & Rose Garden

Address 700 N Rosa Parks Way, Portland, OR 97217 Map, Tel 503-823-3620 Call, Website

There is a new fountain/water area, two playgrounds and fields for the kids and a huge, beautiful rose garden with a fountain in the center for the adults to explore. Lots of trees and picnic tables. The community center at the park has an outdoor heated pool for use. more

Playdate PDx

Address 1434 NW 17th Ave, Portland, Oregon 97209 Map, Tel (503) 227-PLAY Call, Website

Indoor slides, three story play stucture disco floor, foam ball launcher, healthy food, wine and beer for mom and dad-great place more

Portland Farmer's Market at Portland State University

Address SW Park Avenue and SW Montgomery St, Portland, OR 97201 Map, Website

PSU has a phenomenal farmer's market...the BIGGEST, FRESHEST and most INTERESTING for our kids! (Keep in mind there are 6 other farmer's markets too in Portland...) more

Portland Parks

Address 6000 SE Salmon St Portland, OR 97215 Map, Website

Portlanders love our parks! Three that are very kid friendly are Mt. Tabor (trails for bikes and a big play area, plus how many other parks are on top of volcanoes?), Laurelhurst (separate playground and pond areas, with lots of room to run around), and Grant Park (in the summer check out the Beverly Cleary fountain with sculptures of Ramona et al that kids can touch, play with, etc). Lots of city parks have wading pools open in the summer. Perfect for a little break with hot and tired little travelers. more

Portland Saturday Market

Address 108 W Burnside St, Portland, OR 97209 Map, Tel (503) 222-6072 Call, Website

Our kids loved the variety of items being sold: hip children's clothing in fabulous materials, beautiful stained glass for indoor/outdoor use, stylish teacup and saucer bird feeders, etc. more

Roloff Farms

Address 23985 Northwest Grossen Drive, Hillsboro, OR 97124 Map, Tel 503-686-5752 Call, Website

Explore the fun landscape and exhibits during the holidays at the Roloff Family Farm from the TLC show "Little People Big World". more

Sky High

Address 11131 SW Greenburg Rd, Tigard, OR 97223 Map, Tel 503-924-JUMP (5867) Call, Website

trampolines galore for about $10 per hour - adults can jumnp too or just watch. They have a restaurant (which we did not sample). more

The Art Cubby

Address 1500 NW 18th Ave. #115, Portland, OR, 97209 Map, Tel (503) 446-1237 Call, Website

Its a fantastic idea. A drop-in child care center and children's art studio combined! Moms get to drop of their kiddies for some fun art exploration while mom runs errands, makes an appointment or just sits and relaxes with a book and cup of tea! The kids are fully entertain and engaged in creative artistic learning opportunities. They paint murals, create fabulous sculpture, make jewelry and so much more! Defiantly worth checking out when you are in town. more

The Bishop's Close

Address 11800 SW Military Lane Portland, Oregon 97219-8436 Map, Tel 8004522562 Call, Website

For older toddlers and kids of all ages the Bishop's Close is a memorable place to visit. The north end of the garden has more manicured paths, but the south end has a path that goes along the river (in fact, watch kiddos because of a drop-off which is protected by low-boulders), where you can find a goldfish pond stocked with newts! It's a beautiful, unique place in SW Portland. more

The oregon zoo

We love the zoo. We got a family plus pass this year so all 6 of us plus a friend can go when ever we want. The pass was the equivilant of 2 visits for a family our size so I think it was worth it. Our zoo has so many activities throughout the year. more

VooDoo Doughnuts

Address Voodoo Doughnut, 22 S.W. Third Ave. Portland Oregon 97204 - ph 503.241.4704 Map, Tel ph 503.241.4704 Call, Website

It is a fun and different type of doughnut shop that has unique things. Fun for kids and adults more

WeVillage Drop In Child Care

Address 424 NW 11 Portland, Or Map, Tel 503-935-5590 Call, Website

WeVillage opened it's doors 4 months ago and is the only drop in Child Care in the area. It's located in the Pearl District just blocks from Jamison Square and is a fantastic place for children ages 3 - 12. The State Licensed facility is run by Owner Karen Beninati and Director Anikka Halladay. They have wonderful activities, Wii tournament games between the kids, and of course Chuwe the center dog. They're open till Midnight on Friday & Saturdays and 10pm for "First Thursdays". more