Portland is known for for being weird, and its reputation is likely at least partly due to its multitude of eclectic year-round family activities and events. Regardless of your family’s background or interests, there are plenty of things to do with kids within or near the city’s limits. We’ve dug deep and put together an extensive list of kids activities whether you are new to the area or visiting. In fact, our list is so thorough, we are pretty sure that life-time residents are likely to find a thing or two new to do too! Read on for the full list.
photo: via Hornings Hideout
1. There’s no better place to camp with kids than the Pacific Northwest.Check out six of our favorite sites for young campers, all located within an hour of Portland.
2. Winter won’t slow the fun down with these great sledding spots!
3. Get outside and play while staying in town at one of these destination playgrounds.
4. Burn off energy on a less-than-stellar day at one of these indoor playspaces.
5. Fight the rainy day chills at a soaking pool or hot spring.
6. Take the kids for a romp on these cool waterfall trails.
7. Take the kids on a culinary adventure (and tempt their taste buds) at an under-the-radar food market on the city’s east side.
8. Grab a brew where you can bring the kids too at one of Portland’s kid-friendly breweries.
9. If your kiddo is new to pedaling around, check out these excellent beginner bike paths around town.
10. Introduce your kids to the pros of a little pampering with a kid-friendly nail salon experience. Think of it as non-toxic mani-pedis and bonding time all rolled into one.
photo: Kelly via flickr
11. Let your kids climb the walls with a trip to one of these super cool indoor rock climbing gyms.
12. Gather up your gamers and spend the day perusing these cool local game stores.
13. Take your camping experience to the next level with one of these nearby yurts or cabins.
14. When the weather starts to turn cold go pumpkin hunting at one of these great pumpkin patches.
15. Embrace flexibility and enroll your little yogis in a fun yoga class.
16. Go on a locomotive adventure with one of these area train rides.
17. Will your little one celebrate a birthday this summer or fall? Take the party outside at one of these five local venues.
18. Enjoy a little retail therapy at these 9 indy toy stores.
19. Tour Portland’s amazing ice cream scene and stay cool at these local shops.
20. Put down the iPad and video game controllers. We’ve found four scenic places to fly a kite for some good old fashioned fun.
photo: Amy Claxton via flickr
21. Strike kid-friendly bowling off your to-do list at one (or more) of our fave Portland bowling alleys.
22. There are plenty of local family-friendly movie theaters where you and the little ones are welcome to kick back and take in a flick.
23. Roll out the yoga mat or grease up the baby jogger wheels–we’ve gathered up the best Mommy & Me workouts in town where you can have fun and feel the burn.
24.Visit a great local bookstore for some thrilling journeys to fantasy land.
25. Embark on a fun-filled, fruit-picking adventure for the whole family. Do your kiddos love berries? Visit a u-pick berry farm this summer.
26. Is apple and pear season here? Celebrate at one of these farms or orchards.
27. Finding a trail that both you and your youngster will enjoy can be challenging, but these gentle nature trails, perfect for the under-five crowd, will keep everyone entertained.
28. There’s no need for pen and paper at these mind-bending corn-mazes.
29. Experience an explosion of colors at one of these incredible spots to view fall colors.
30. Propeller planes, jets, a giant wooden glider, and the original Spruce Goose – your airplane-crazy kid won’t be able to contain his excitement at the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum. (Psst! Did we mention the museum also boasts its own massive indoor waterpark?)
photo: via Katrina Emery
31. Get your road trip on without going far when you travel to one of these small Oregon towns filled with sandy beaches, historic parks, nature walks, and more, all within an easy two hours of Portland.
32. Fuel up at one of Portland’s best BBQ Restaurants.
33. Sun’s out? Dive into one of these nearby natural swimming spots.
34. If you are looking for something exciting to do when temps soar. Here’s our list of water play options around the metro area.
35. Get a little weird at one of these free off-the-beaten-path activities in Portland.
36. Get your hands dirty with a family gardening activity or planting class.
37. Instead of puttering around the house, round up the kids for a game of miniature golf at one of these friendly courses.
38. Explore one of our favorite inclusive parks for all ages and abilities.
39. Find out what makes thing work with one of these behind the scenes tours.
40. Take your budding art lovers to the Portland Art Museum for a guided Family Tour or Baby Morning.
41. Explore textile arts like finger knitting, crocheting or knitting with needles. If your kids are ready, get started here.
photo: tom woodward via flickr
45. Explore Portland’s urban forest when you hike forest park.
46. Skip the dusty exhibits at these hands-on historical sites and museums around town. From making your own candles to building a fort with life-sized Lincoln logs, you and the kids will have a blast learning about the past.
47. Make an outing to the Portland Farmers Market an educational and entertaining experience for your culinary-curious child.
48. Neaten up those hairdos with a painless haircut at one of these kid-friendly salons.
49. Downtown Portland isn’t just fun for the adults, explore all of its kid-friendly delights as well.
50. Grab your tackle boxes and rods and cast your line at a kid-friendly fishing hole.
51. Saddle up and take your horse-crazy kid for a horseback ride.
52. Invite the grandparents and have a great time with these activities.
53. Don’t miss the fun the trendy Pearl District has to offer you and your littles. You can spend all day playing in this lovely neighborhood.
54. Love our fresh, local veggies? Check out these meat-free restaurants dishing out vegetarian and vegan treats for all ages.
55. Have pots of mealtime fun at these Portland fondue-eries.
56. Whether your child wants to perfect her backstroke or a tadpole ready to upgrade from the dog paddle, we’ve gathered up a list of Portland’s best swimming lessons.
photo: Creo Chocolate
57. Put a Celtic skip in your step at an Irish restaurant that welcomes leprechauns of all ages.
58. Go on one of these free food factory tours for some yummy fun!
59. Traveling via the Portland International Airport (PDX) this season? Scope out our guide to PDX’s top amenities for tiny travelers.
60. For a sweet afternoon, grab a tasty treat at one of Portland’s gluten-free bakeries.
61. Did you know Portland is roughly 100 miles southeast of the world’s longest beach? On Washington’s Long Beach Peninsula, you’ll also find the perfect combo of touristy taffy towns, spectacular nature walks, dramatic lighthouses, and historical museums.
62. Gather up your little connoisseurs and sample some of our city’s best food carts for kids.
63. Visit the floating Oregon Maritime Museum to learn about maritime history and see the inner-workings of a real boat.
64. Fine dining and kids. Not two words you’d think go together. Luckily, this sophisticated new farm-to-table restaurant in downtown welcomes families of all ages.
67. Sip the day away at one of these kid-friendly wineries near portland.
68. Go on a hot air balloon ride!
69. You haven’t experience Portland if you haven’t made it to OMSI. It’s a trip guaranteed to please the science lovers in your family.
70. Don’t miss an afternoon filled with wonder at the hands-on Portland Children’s Museum.
photo: Vista Balloon Adventures via Yelp
71. Stuck in a play date rut? From a drop-in art studio to pizza and a show, these nine spots around town will have you thinking outside the house.
72. For old timey fun at America’s oldest amusement park (think roller skating, carousel rides, and carnival games) head to Oaks Amusement Park in the Sellwood neighborhood.
73. Dine al fresco with the wee ones at a family-friendly restaurant, rain or shine.
74. Grab a slice of pie at one of Portland’s best pizza shops.
75. Let the kids get down and dirty and totally creative in their very own crafty outdoor art space.
76. Ditch the city and spend a day cruising these nearby fruit loops! It’s some of the tastiest fun you’ll ever have.
77. Have little foodie on your hands? These local restaurants serve up adventurous kids menus.
78. Say hello to animals from around the world at the Oregon zoo.
79. Bring your camera and get ready to thrill your little flower fanatics at the International Rose Test Garden.
83. This scenic recreation area in the Willamette National Forest is home to 800-year-old trees, a c. 1930s mining camp, and a crystal-clear swimming hole.
84. Cheer on your little athlete at one of these local soccer camps or clubs.
85. Wooden bridges, water play, climbing rocks, oh my. Make a date with nature-based play at Westmoreland Park.
photo: via Annette Benedetti
86. For the best birds-eye view in town, climb through the trees and whiz through the air at a family-friendly ziplining park.
87. You and the kids can get your feline fix in a comfy setting at Portland’s first cat café and lounge.
88. Slurping your noodles is permitted (and even encouraged) at these Japanese-style ramen hotspots.
89. Spend an afternoon sipping tea and exploring the wonders of the Japanese Gardens.
90. Hip hop, tap, hula, ballet, and more – these Portland studios will keep little dancers on their toes.
91. School young gamers in Pac Man, Super Mario Brothers, pinball, and more at this new retro-cool arcade in Hawthorne.
92. Looking for a fun new way to experience Oregon’s rivers and lakes? Take the kids SUPing (Stand Up Paddle Boarding) with our handy guide on how to get started, find rentals, book lessons, etc.
93. Forget rowing your boat gently down the stream, go kayaking with your kids! We’ve got everything you need to know to get started here.
94. Your little gymnasts can bounce, flip, jump, and tumble the day away at this trampoline park in Vancouver.
95. There’s much more to Portland’s Montavilla neighborhood than meets the eye so we’ve rounded up our favorite things to see, do, and taste while you visit.
96. Hit the slopes at these nearby spots during Portland’s winter months.
97. Planning a parent/baby date at one of these fun spots.
98. Take the kids to one of these super-friendly waterfront restaurants in town for a fun, affordable meal with river views.
99. I-Spy… a Pileated woodpecker. Grab the kids (and binoculars) for some bird-watching fun at these local sanctuaries, nature parks, and wetlands.
100. Take in the beautify Pacific Northwest night sky when you stargaze at one of these incredible spots.