Portland is bursting into bloom and families are bursting out of their front doors eager to celebrate the arrival of Spring. This time of year special to locals. It fills the city with much-needed color and a multitude of fun activities are available to parents with kids of all ages. Get outside with the whole family this spring! Breathe the fresh air, go for a hike, take a bike ride, dance away the winter blues, plant a garden…but don’t stop there! Read on for inspiration on your next spring adventure!

photo: Evelyn Cirignotta

  1. Sunday Parkways is around the corner! Spend the day riding alongside hundreds of Portland families on May 19 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Join for the entire 7 mile route or jump in for a shorter section. The route moves through Southeast Portland.  You’ll get to bike through the beautiful Laurehurst Park,  followed by Sewallcrest, Colonel Summers, and Ivon Park. It’s great outdoor fun for the whole family.
  2. Volunteer to help Friends of Trees plant new trees. Fill up the water bottles, roll up your sleeves, and get your hands dirty. Be prepared to learn a lot about all the different kinds of Portland trees.
  3. Visit the Audubon Society. Birding families may enjoy learning about native birds in this beautiful Sanctuary.
  4. If you have an hour or two to spare load up all the kids and head to Forest Park for a lusciously green family hike.
  1. Take a Yoga Class. Sellwood Yoga and Woodstock Wellness Center have Family Class options. Find a class that works for everyone and take a moment to move your body and zen out!

photo: Hannah Miller via Happy Mindful People

  1. Too rainy to hike? No problem. Take the family bowling instead. Portland’s bowling alleys are slowly disappearing but you can still head down to Grand Central or one of these neighboring alleys to knock out a few pins.
  2. Make your way to one of the many Multnomah County Libraries that offer Storytime! You can find stories that are told in multiple languages all over town. They even offer experiences focused on different themes and topics.

photo: Evelyn Cirignotta

  1. Take an urban walk. If you are needing an extra big dose of spring head on over to Laurelhurst Park. Lap the perimeter of the park, visit with the baby ducks (just remember not to feed them), and head over to the play structure!
  2. Bloom baby bloom! Check out some incredible displays of flowers in this beautiful rose city.  If you don’t want to travel far take a walk around your neighborhood. Greet strangers, touch trees, be silly, and stop to smell the flowers!

photo: Daveob via flickr

  1. Dance among the tulips at the Woodburn Tulip Festival. From March 23rd until April 29th at Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm you can enjoy the annual Tulip Festival! There will be hay rides, trains, slides, delicious food, and plenty of photo opportunities for the whole family. Tulips of every color and size are scattered throughout the farm. It’s basically a dream come true.
  2. It’s officially Farmer’s Market season! You could easily spend an entire Saturday morning wandering the Portland State University Farmer’s Market. Nibble on fruits and veggies, buy flowers for the kitchen table, and enjoy the local live music.
  3. Not sure what to do over a long weekend? We suggest visiting the Oregon Coast. Head to Depoe Bay. It will be whale watching season and you’ll definitely want to catch sight of a magnificent whale tail!
  4. Did you know that Hoyt Arboretum covers over 189 acres and about 6,000 trees!? Stop by the visitor center first and grab a free kids’ map that is full of exciting challenges and activities that you can do together on one of the many hiking trails!
  5. Treat yourself… and your little one. Is it time to have a special parent/child date? If so treat all your little toes and fingers to a relaxing pedi-mani. Check out this list of great kid friendly spas and book your appointment.
  6. Catch a movie! There are lots of kid friendly movie theaters in Portland to choose from that will also have pizza, popcorn, salad, and juice on the menu!
  7. Dance it out. Sign your kids up for a dance class and then have the best time ever watching and taking pictures on the sidelines!

photo: Smit J. via Yelp

  1. Hike our very own dormant volcano of Tabor. Bring the dogs and let them play in the off-leash area then soak in the views of downtown.
  2. Splish, Splash. Browse this list and make your way through all your favorite Portland Indoor Pools!
  3. Wander around The Portland Nursery and let everyone pick a small plant or pack of seeds. Then go home and spend time nurturing this new growth.
  4. GO CAMPING! It you think it’s still too cold, book a yurt. You’ll want to reserve in advance as spots go fast!

photo: OCVA via Flickr

  1. Need new kid clothes? Go shopping at these consignment stores. Get all of the clothes you need at an affordable price at these shops that carry new and gently used items.
  2. Mark your calendar now for the 20th annual UFO festival! It’s happening May 16 through May 18 in McMinnville, Or. There’s a parade, live music, pet costume contest, a 5k run, a costume ball and so much more fun waiting for you!
  3. Learn about the many magical types of Pacific Northwest trees at the World Forestry Discovery Museum.
  4. Sip some ramen! The kids ramen bowls at Boke Bowl are rich, flavorful, and reasonably priced!
  5. Take a drive to the gorgeous coastal town of Manzanita! We recommend keeping an eye out on the weather and picking the first sunny windy day to go fly a kite!

Photo: Kirt Edblom via Flickr

  1. Take the kids to Omsi! The first Sunday of every month is $2 at Omsi. Just $2 a person to explore the museum and all permanent exhibits. The Submarine Tours, Theater, and Planetarium shows are also reduced to $5 per person.
  2. Visit the Children’s section at Powell’s Bookstore. Make a special trip to the downtown flagship store, grab a coffee for you and hot chocolate for the littles, and sit in the children’s section reading books! They also have a full calendar of events to select from.
  3. Make a play date and host a craft day! Get inspiration for your next project here.
  4. Every Saturday from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. is open play at Spectra Gymnastics. This specialized studio in Beaverton caters to kids with developmental and intellectual disabilities. It’s $5 a child and parents play free!
  5. Stay in and get cooking. Check out these child friendly crock pot recipes, get out the aprons, ingredients, and cooking materials and let this meal become a family affair.

—Elissa Cirignotta (updated by Annette Benedetti


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