We know April showers bring May flowers, but Portland showers come year-round and bring with them…days full of fun! Portland parents know that a downpour doesn’t dampen our style. The next time the forecast calls for showers (rain or snow), grab those raincoats and boots, and head out for a good time. We’ve got an itinerary full of amazing rainy day ideas that will keep you warm, happy and dry. Read on to find out more!

                                                                                               Photo: Anna Doogan

Start Hearty

Start your rainy day of adventure with a big, delicious breakfast. If you’re an early bird, cruise over to Alberta’s beloved Tin Shed Garden Café and snag a table by the fireplace before there’s a wait. Enjoy one of their signature scrambles with potato cakes or cheese grits while little ones sample French toast or a biscuit sandwich. (Dogs are welcome, too!) If making your own pancakes is more your thing, show off those shape-making skills at Slappy Cakes, where various batters and toppings are delivered right to your tabletop griddle. Along with DIY pancake goodness, you’ll find an assortment of benedicts, scrambles and specialty breakfast cocktails for the grownups. Or, get your morning grub on at Vita Café, where the menu also boasts plenty of veggie, vegan and gluten-free options for all.

Tin Shed Garden Cafe
1438 NE Alberta St.
Breakfast/brunch: Daily, 7 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Online: tinshedgardencafe.com


Slappy Cakes
4246 SE Belmont St.
Mon. – Fri., 8.a.m. – 2 p.m.
Sat. & Sun., 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Online: slappycakes.com/Portland

Vita Café
3023 NE Alberta St.
Sun. – Thurs., 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Fri. & Sat., 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Online: vita-café.com

                                                                           Photo: Melanie T via Yelp

Hit the Books
What’s better than snuggling up with a good book on a drizzly day? Take your crew to catch a story or an activity at the library. Multnomah County Library offers a variety of story options. You’ll find Black storytime, Family Storytime, Spanish storytime, Vietnamese storytime and Book Babies. Check their website for locations and event times. If you’re looking to purchase a few new books for your home collection, you can’t go wrong with a stop at Powell’s City of Books, the adorable Green Bean Books, or the cozy shelves at A Children’s Place Bookstore.

Multnomah County Libraries
Online: multcolib.org

Powell’s City of Books
1005 W Burnside St.
Daily, 9 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Online: powells.com

Green Bean Books
1600 NE Alberta St.
Mon. – Thurs., 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Fri. & Sat., 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sun., 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Online: greenbeanbookspdx.com

A Children’s Place Bookstore
1423 NE Fremont St.
Mon. – Fri., 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sat., 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sun., 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Online: achildrensplacebookstore.com

                                                                                    Photo: TO T via Yelp

Day at the Museum
A museum is the perfect way to stay dry, and Portland has no shortage of fun options. Head to OMSI, where the whole family can browse hands-on science displays, ride a motion simulator, catch a planetarium show or tour a submarine. The Science Playground is just for the 6 and under crowd, and provides the perfect place for the littlest scientists to play and explore. (You’ll also find a restroom and benches, making it a great spot for a break or a nursing stop.) Hours for planetarium, submarine tours and movies vary, so check the OMSI website when planning your trip. For a discounted option, visit on the first Sunday of the month, when admission is just $2.

You can also head to Southwest and spend a few hours in the Portland Children’s Museum. Little ones can get busy building in the construction zone, x-ray a pup in the pet hospital or put on a show in the theater. (Insider tip: The museum offers free admission on the first Friday of every month from 4-8 p.m.) While you’re there, splash across the parking lot to check out the World Forestry Center. Learn about woodland creatures and sustainable forestry, say hello to Peggy the train, take a simulated whitewater rafting trip and more.

Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI)
1945 SE Water Ave.
Tues. – Sun., 9:30 a.m.- 5:30 p.m.
$14.50/adults; $9.75 ages 3-13; $11.75 ages 63 & up; Free for members
$5 parking
Online: omsi.edu

Portland Children’s Museum
4015 SW Canyon Rd.
Daily, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
$10.75/person; $9.75 ages 65 & up and military; Free for 1 & under and members
Online: portlandcm.org

World Forestry Center
4033 SW Canyon Rd.
Thurs. – Mon., 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Tues. & Wed., Closed
$7/adults; $6/ages 62 & up; $5/ ages 3-18; Free 3 & under
Online: worldforestry.org

                                                                                          Photo: Lisa H via Yelp

Rest and Recharge
After all that fun, you’ll definitely need to stop for a lunch break. At Nicholas, enjoy kafta sliders, mezza bowls, tabouli or a falafel plate to share. You can also try Fuel Café on Alberta, where you’ll find paninis, salads, smoothies, and grab and go options as well as gluten-free selections. Or, go for any of the Laughing Planet locations. Kids can enjoy mini burritos and bowls, seasonal specials are fresh and interesting and you’ll always find a few delightful dinosaur companions to join you during your meal. Plus, with ten Portland locations, you’re sure to find one nearby.

Nicholas (SE)
318 SE Grand Ave.
Mon. – Thurs., 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Fri. & Sat., 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Sun., Noon – 8 p.m.

Nicholas (NE)
3223 NE Broadway St.
Mon. – Thurs., 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Fri. & Sat., 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Sun., Noon – 8 p.m.

Online: nicholasrestaurant.com

Fuel Café
1452 NE Alberta St.
Daily, 7 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Online: fuelpdx.com

Laughing Planet
Multiple locations
Online: laughingplanetcafe.com

Get Active!
When it’s time to burn off some energy, let loose in any of Portland’s indoor play options. The tiniest tots will love checking out one of the indoor playgrounds at various Portland Parks and Recreation community centers. Indoor playgrounds cost only a dollar or two and offer a multitude of cars, toys and play equipment for exploring. Cost and times vary by location, so visit the Parks and Recreation website for nearby options. You can always find rainy day fun at Playdate PDX, with a three-level play structure, ball cannons, a cafe and a dedicated space for the three and under set. Admission is free on Mondays after 5 p.m., and on the last Wednesday of every month with two canned goods.

The Playground Gym hosts Open Play at both of their brightly-colored locations, and your little adventurers can literally climb the walls, make an obstacle course or just have fun running and jumping in the padded gym area. (Open Play schedule changes seasonally and varies by location, so check the website for the most updated times.)

For families looking for some high-flying adventures, the wall to wall trampolines at G6 Airpark will keep you bouncing happily for hours. There’s even a special area for bouncers 8 and under, a dodgeball section and a Ninja Challenge obstacle course that even parents will want to try.

Portland Parks and Recreation Community Centers (multiple locations)
Online: portlandoregon.gov/parks

Playdate PDX
1434 NW 17th Ave.
Sun. – Thurs., 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Fri. & Sat., 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Weekdays: $4/age 3 & under; $8/ age 4 & up
Weekends: $8/age 3 & under; $14/age 4 & up
Online: playdatepdx.com

The Playground Gym (NE)
505 NE Grand Ave.

The Playground Gym (Lombard)
5215 N. Lombard St., Ste. 3

Open Play: $8/one child; $12/two children; $3/each additional child
Online: theplaygroundgym.com

G6 Airpark
10414 SE Washington St.
Mon. – Thurs., 3 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Fri., 3 p.m. – 8 p.m. (Cosmic jump for 13+ 8 p.m. – 11 p.m.)
Sat., 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. (Cosmic jump for 13 + 8 p.m. – 11 p.m.)
Sun., 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
$12/first hour; $8/each additional hour; age 3 & under free with a paid adult
Online: g6airpark.com/Portland-oregon

                                                                                   Photo: Sarah R via Yelp

Make a Mess
Let the rain inspire your inner artist and make it a crafternoon! At Smartypants, kids and their grownups can create masterpieces at a rotating selection of craft and sensory stations. Drop in to their Open Studio ($12/ first child, $8 each additional) and let the kids create all afternoon with unlimited art supplies. At Mimosa Studios, choose from over 200 pieces of unfinished pottery that you can paint to perfection, then pick up 2-5 days later after it’s been glazed and fired (Pieces range from $5-$75.)

5512 N. Montana Ave.
Admission: $12/first child; $8/each additional child
Mon., 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Tues., Closed
Wed.- Fri., 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sat. & Sun., 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Online: smartypantspdx.com

Mimosa Studios
1718 NE Alberta St.
Mon. – Fri., 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sat. & Sun., 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Online: mimosastudios.com

                                                                                   Photo: Jeanne Z via Yelp

Sweet Treats
You never need a reason to treat yourself, so enjoy a quick pit stop for a tasty treat. Grab a sweet bite and warm drink at 180 Xurros & Xocolata, sample the organic frozen yogurt flavors at Eb & Bean or head over to Candy Babel and get an assortment of their goodies. With over 100 bulk candy options, including vegan, gluten-free, dye-free, dairy-free and corn-free, you’ll definitely find some confections that you feel good about eating.

180 Xurros & Xocolata
2218 NE Broadway St.
Sun. – Thurs., 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Fri. & Sat., 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Online: 180pdx.com

Eb & Bean (NE)
1425 NE Broadway St.

Eb & Bean (SE)
3040 SE Division St.

Online: ebandbean.com

Candy Babel
1219 NE Alberta St.
Sun. – Thurs., Noon- 6 p.m.
Fri. & Sat., Noon- 7 p.m.
Online: candybabel.com

Take a Spin
Choose your blades or wheels and take a few laps around the rink. The Lloyd Center’s newly renovated ice rink is always a hit for both new and experienced skaters. If roller skating is your preference, the rink at Oaks Park is your spot for an afternoon of family skating. Aside from afternoon and evening open skate sessions, Oaks Park also has a preschool skate on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings from 10-11:30 a.m. just for kids 6 and younger. The session includes skates, cookies and milk, a group lesson and games. Adults are free with one child admission, and shoes and strollers are welcome on the rink. ($7.50/child.) There’s also a Saturday morning Kids Skate for ages 10 and under that includes skates, fun games and a visit with Chipper. ($7.50/child, and one free adult with paid child admission.)

Lloyd Center Ice Rink
953 Lloyd Center.
Mon., 11:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Tues., 10 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. (Family Skate 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.)
Wed., 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Thurs., 11:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. (Family Skate 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.)
Fri., 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. (Rock n Skate with live DJ from 7:30 p.m. – close)
Sat., 12:45 p.m. – 10 p.m. (Rock n Skate with live DJ from 7:30 p.m. – close)
Sun., 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
$14-$16/person; skate rental $4 (Skates free for 5 & under or 50 & up)
Online: lloydice.com

Oaks Park Roller Rink
7805 SE Oaks Park Way
Open skate admission: $7/afternoon, $8/night skate
Skate rental: $2-$5, depending on skate style
Online: oakspark.com

Dinner and a Show
Make dinner easy by hitting up one of our favorite places that will keep you entertained while you nosh. At McMenamin’s Kennedy School or St. Johns Theater & Pub, catch a flick while you choose from the tempting menu. Along with popcorn and candy, enjoy a burger, wrap, salad, pint or glass of wine along with your movie. At Mississippi Pizza, grab a few slices and then snag a seat for the evening’s entertainment, which might be Tallulah’s Daddy, The Alphabeticians or Mo Phillips, depending on the day. Check their calendar for the latest events.

McMenamins Kennedy School
5736 NE 33rd Ave.
Online: mcmenamins.com/kennedyschool

St. Johns Theater & Pub
8203 N. Ivanhoe St.
Online: mcmenamins.com/st-johns-theater-pub

Mississippi Pizza
3552 N. Mississippi Ave.
Online: mississippipizza.com

What are your favorite rainy day activities? Will you try any of the spots on our list? Let us know in the comments below!

—Anna Doogan