Many of us rang in 2020 with high expectations and exciting resolutions. Little did we know a global pandemic was on its way. COVID-19 changed how most Portland families lived their daily lives. Everything from Portland schools to all the many Portland kid activities and events shut down. But, because we are an innovative community, Portland parents pivoted and found new ways to make daily life awesome for their kiddos. With a vaccine being distributed and 2021 on it’s way, there’s hope that some of our favorite family-friendly Portland activities and businesses will reopen. The following are just some of the things we are looking forward to in 2021!

Going to the movies

While families have been able to stream entertainment at home, there's nothing quite like taking the kids out to the theater. There are several Portland movie theaters that cater specifically to families with kids. They offer special movie times and awesome snacks too!

Being in Awe at OMSI

Where can we even begin? OMSI is one of our favorite spots for Portland families and kids to explore. We can't wait to get our science on with OMSI's awesome featured exhibits, hands-on experiences and fantastical theater. 2021 can't get here fast enough.

Exploring at the Portland Children's Museum

Oh how we miss the Portland Children's Museum. We can't wait until Portland kids can once again spend hours exploring our world through hands-on play at this amazing museum created just for little ones. It also offers parties for little ones and camps! We are counting the days...

Getting Wet & Wings and Waves Waterpark

Summer, fall, winter or spring; Wings and Waves Water Park is the perfect place to let the kids splash and play. We miss shooting down the slides and splashing in the vortex pool. Then there's the attached Aviation and Space Museum offering hours and hours of galactic discovery. This Portland family activity and attraction is one of our very favorites.!

Hitting Pins

There's nothing quite like the sound of bowling a strike at one of Portland's local bowling alley's. And our local bowling alleys are as cool as Portland is weird. For kids who don't want to bowl, many of them have arcades and next level nibbles for hungry competitors. We can't wait to get back to gathering together to avoid the gutters while listing to groovy music, playing, dining and drinking together. You can find our favorite bowling alley's here.

Getting Our Game On

Speaking of playing, we can't wait to hit the arcades again! Portland arcades are truly awesome. In fact, there are even a couple nickle arcades that make letting your kids play for hours pretty darn cheap. You can prop up and munch on snack while your little ones go wild playing pin ball, Donkey Kong, or whatever it is that the kids are playing these days!

Festivals, Festivals & More Festivals

Portand is one of the most festive places on earth. We bring the family-friendly music and events like nowhere else and we simply can't wait to get back to celebrating anything and everything we can find to celebrate with festivals. There are festivals that celebrate flowers and festivals that celebrate balloons. Portland has festivals that celebrate seasons and people who turn giant pumpkins into canoes. We even have a host of parades that celebrate things like mermaids! 

Eating Out Inside

Eating out has been nearly impossible since COVID hit unless you are eating outside. While we love the outdoors, we aren't going to lie...we miss eating inside when we are eating out! Portland is packed with amazing family-friendly restaurants and we want to get back to gobbling down their offerings while our kids play and eat at the same time. From pizza to burgers to veggie spots and more, we are excited about going out to eat at Portland restaurants again!

Sending Kids to Classes & Camps

Portland parents love their kids. They really, really do. But man! We can't wait to send them off to camps and classes again. Dance classes, summer camps, art classes, science camps...we love them all, and so do our kids! We are counting the days until our little artists and dancers and scientists can head out with their peers while we sit in sweet, oh-so-sweet silence all by our lonesome again.

Playing at Oaks Park

This amusement park has been in operation for over a hundred years. A whole year without the wonderland that is Oaks Park is enough. We can't wait to get back to enjoying the rides, racing across the roller rink, playing mini golf and more. We can't wait for Oaks Park to open up again in 2021!

Dancing at Concerts

Portland has always been a musical town. And our local musicians love kids. From concerts in the park to musicians at local stores and restaurants we can't wait until we can move and groove to their family friendly tunes again.

Going on Train Rides

2020 was full of road trips, but what we just can't wait to do in 2021 is hop on a nearby train. We miss seasonal trips through the wood and watching nature pass by while riding the rails. When things open up again, you'll want to check out these awesome train rides.


feature photo: trinity via pexels

—Annette Benedetti

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