Things to do in Portland with Kids

Thins to do in Portland with kids

Looking for fun things to do in Portland with kids? You’re in luck! This vibrant city offers a wide range of options that will keep the whole family entertained. From exciting outdoor adventures to engaging indoor experiences, there’s something for everyone. Let’s discover what Portland has in store for you and your little ones.

If you and your family love the great outdoors, Portland has plenty to offer. With its abundance of parks, playgrounds, and nature trails, you’ll have no shortage of opportunities to enjoy the fresh air and beautiful scenery.

Portland, known for its lush green spaces and eco-friendly ethos, is a haven for families seeking outdoor adventures. The city’s commitment to preserving nature is evident in the well-maintained parks and playgrounds that dot its landscape, providing a perfect blend of recreation and relaxation for kids and adults alike.

Parks and Playgrounds: A Breath of Fresh Air

Portland is home to numerous parks and playgrounds that cater to kids of all ages. Whether you’re looking for a quiet picnic spot or an adventure-filled playground, you’ll find it here. Some popular options include Forest Park, Laurelhurst Park, and Washington Park.

Forest Park, one of the largest urban forests in the United States, spans over 5,000 acres and offers endless opportunities for exploration. With over 80 miles of trails, families can embark on leisurely walks or challenging hikes while immersing themselves in the sights and sounds of nature. Laurelhurst Park, on the other hand, is a favorite among families for its picturesque lake, playgrounds, and vibrant flower displays. Washington Park, home to the iconic International Rose Test Garden, is a must-visit for families looking to bask in the beauty of over 10,000 rose bushes.

Nature Trails and Hikes for Young Adventurers

If your little ones are budding explorers, take them on a nature trail or hike. Portland offers a variety of trails suitable for children, ranging from easy strolls to more challenging hikes. Check out the Hoyt Arboretum, Powell Butte Nature Park, or the Tryon Creek State Natural Area.

Hoyt Arboretum, nestled in the hills overlooking the city, is a living museum of trees from around the world, providing an educational and immersive experience for young nature enthusiasts. Powell Butte Nature Park, with its panoramic views of Mount Hood and Mount St. Helens, offers a mix of forested trails and open meadows perfect for wildlife spotting. Tryon Creek State Natural Area, a lush urban forest, boasts over 8 miles of hiking trails that wind through old-growth trees, making it a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Beaches and Water Activities for Summer Fun

When the weather gets warm, head to one of Portland’s beaches or engage in water activities. Columbia River Gorge is a great spot for swimming, picnicking, and enjoying scenic views. You can also rent paddleboards or kayaks at various locations across the city for a day on the water.

For a refreshing summer escape, families can venture to the Columbia River Gorge, a stunning natural playground located just a short drive from Portland. Here, kids can splash in the cool waters of the Columbia River, build sandcastles on the riverbanks, or simply soak up the sun while taking in the breathtaking vistas of the gorge. Adventurous families can also try their hand at water sports by renting paddleboards or kayaks from local outfitters, adding an element of excitement to their outdoor escapades.

On those rainy days or when you’re looking for shelter from the sun, Portland provides excellent indoor options for kids. Museums, art workshops, and indoor play areas ensure that the fun continues regardless of the weather.

Portland is a haven for families seeking indoor entertainment options. From educational centers to art workshops, the city offers a diverse range of activities to keep kids engaged and entertained. Whether your child is a science enthusiast, an aspiring artist, or simply full of energy, there’s something for everyone in Portland’s indoor venues.

Museums and Educational Centers: Learning Made Fun

Portland’s museums and educational centers cater to kids’ curiosity and desire to learn. The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) offers interactive exhibits, planetarium shows, and live demonstrations. If you’re looking for more information or want to buy tickets, you can do it here.
The Portland Children’s Museum provides a hands-on learning experience through imaginative play and arts activities.

Exploring these museums not only entertains children but also nurtures their inquisitive minds. OMSI, in particular, is a hub of scientific exploration where kids can engage with various STEM concepts in a playful and interactive way. The planetarium shows at OMSI take young visitors on a journey through the cosmos, sparking their interest in astronomy and space exploration.

Art and Craft Workshops for Kids

Let your little ones unleash their creativity in art and craft workshops scattered across the city. Places like Collage, Art ala Carte, and DIY Bar offer a variety of classes and workshops where kids can paint, sculpt, and create to their heart’s content.

Art workshops not only allow children to express themselves artistically but also help them develop fine motor skills and creativity. At Collage, kids can experiment with different art mediums and techniques, fostering a love for artistic expression from a young age. The hands-on nature of these workshops encourages children to think outside the box and create unique masterpieces.

Indoor Play Areas and Trampoline Parks

When your kids need to burn off some energy indoors, take them to one of Portland’s indoor play areas or trampoline parks. With a range of activities such as ball pits, climbing structures, and trampolines, they’ll have a blast while staying active. Check out places like PlayDate PDX, Sky High Sports, or Pump It Up.

Indoor play areas offer a safe and exciting environment for children to engage in physical activity and socialize with their peers. PlayDate PDX, for instance, features multi-level play structures, slides, and obstacle courses that challenge kids both mentally and physically. These indoor parks are not just places for fun but also promote teamwork, coordination, and problem-solving skills among young visitors.

For animal-loving kids, Portland offers various opportunities to get up close and personal with creatures big and small. Whether it’s land animals or marine life, your little ones will have memorable encounters.

Portland, known for its love of nature and wildlife, provides a plethora of options for families seeking animal adventures. Beyond the traditional zoo and aquarium experiences, the city boasts unique opportunities to connect with nature in unexpected ways.

Visiting the Oregon Zoo

The Oregon Zoo provides a chance for your kids to see animals from around the world. They can get a glimpse of elephants, lions, giraffes, and many other fascinating creatures. Don’t forget to check their schedule for interactive activities like feeding sessions and animal demonstrations.

Founded in 1888, the Oregon Zoo has a rich history of conservation and education. It is home to over 2,600 animals representing more than 200 species, making it a hub for wildlife enthusiasts of all ages. The zoo’s commitment to animal welfare and environmental sustainability is evident in its award-winning exhibits and conservation efforts.

Marine Life Experiences at the Oregon Aquarium

Immerse your family in the wonders of the underwater world at the Oregon Aquarium. From sharks and sea turtles to colorful fish and playful otters, the aquarium offers an incredible journey through different marine habitats. Interactive exhibits and touch pools make the experience even more engaging for kids.

The Oregon Aquarium, located on the picturesque coast, showcases the diverse marine ecosystems of the Pacific Northwest. Visitors can marvel at the beauty of local sea creatures while learning about the importance of ocean conservation. The aquarium’s research initiatives and educational programs aim to inspire visitors to protect and preserve marine life for future generations.

Farm Visits and Petting Zoos

If your kids enjoy getting up close to farm animals, take them to one of Portland’s farms or petting zoos. Howell Territorial Park, Luscher Farm, and Lee Farms are just a few examples where children can meet friendly goats, chickens, and other furry friends.

Exploring Portland’s agricultural heritage, these farms offer a hands-on experience for children to learn about sustainable farming practices and animal care. From harvesting fresh produce to interacting with farm animals, kids can gain a deeper appreciation for where their food comes from and the importance of supporting local farmers. Plan a day trip to one of these charming farms for a fun and educational outing the whole family will enjoy.

Exploring a city’s culinary and shopping scene can be an adventure on its own, even for kids. Portland offers a range of kid-friendly restaurants, sweet treats, and toy stores that will make their visit even more enjoyable.

Kid-Friendly Restaurants and Cafes in Portland

When hunger strikes, you’ll find numerous family-friendly restaurants and cafes in Portland. From pizza places with arcade games to diners with kid-sized menus, there’s something to satisfy even the pickiest eaters. Try places like The Old Spaghetti Factory, Red Robin, or the Happy Valley Station food cart pod.

Sweet Treats: Ice Cream Parlors and Candy Shops

No visit to Portland is complete without indulging in some sweet treats. Take your kids to one of the city’s ice cream parlors or candy shops for an unforgettable experience. From unique flavors to creative toppings, they’ll be in dessert heaven. Salt & Straw, Ruby Jewel, and Candy Babel are just a few must-visit spots.

Toy Stores and Children’s Bookshops: A Shopping Adventure

Let your kids explore the wonders of toy stores and children’s bookshops in Portland. Powell’s Books, the world’s largest independent bookstore, offers a vast selection of children’s books. Finnegans Toys & Gifts and Cloud Cap Games are perfect places to find unique toys and games to bring home as souvenirs.


With so many fun activities for kids in Portland, you’ll never run out of things to do. Whether it’s exploring the outdoors, encountering animals, enjoying indoor play areas, or discovering tasty treats, the city has it all. Come and create lifelong memories with your family in this exciting destination!

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