Sure, the play spaces in Portland rock for kids, but what about mom and dad? Who takes care of the ‘rents as the kids gleefully zoom down slides and scale nets? Have no fear, we’ve rounded up the best spots to let kids (and parents) enjoy the amenities. And now that the Portland weather has started to get more chilly (and a lot more wet), you’re going to have to start finding ways to get the kids’ wiggles out without a raincoat. That’s why these indoor play spaces are the go-to spots for Portland moms and dads.
With bottomless Stumptown coffee, an impressive wine selection, big screen TVs and Wi-Fi, you may think you’ve walked into a high-end lounge, but your kiddos will bring you firmly back to reality as they scream and run toward the foam cannon pit. Playdate PDX has brought the best of child and parent comforts together in the Pearl District. Go ahead, let your little maniacs scale the castle, zip down slides, battle with foam balls or boogie down on the digital dance floor; your only job is to relax, take in the boundless energy of youth and indulge in another sip of wine.
1434 NW 17th Avenue, Portland
Hours: Sunday-Thursday – 9:00am – 8:00pm, Friday-Saturday – 9:00am – 9:00pm
McMenamins Kennedy School
Perhaps one of the things most missed by sleep-deprived moms and dads is the absence of watching first run movies. If you fall into this camp, Kennedy School in North Portland has your number. Behold the “mommy matinee” – a child-friendly movie going experience, rounded out with comfy couches, gooey cheese pizza and frothy McMenamins beer. The best amenity, however, may be an understanding crowd that won’t shush your little popcorn munchers. Note to parents: Adult movies are shown; check listings to ensure they’re appropriate for kids.
McMenamins Kennedy School
5736 NE 33rd Avenue, Portland
Out Of This World Pizza
Grab a table up front, open your laptop and enjoy Wi-Fi access as you track your little astronauts through jungle gyms, across bounce houses and up and over rock walls. Your kiddos will love the astronaut training center with three floors of outer space delights, while you enjoy the healthy spinach salad and grown-up pizza options. Unlimited time to play and free parent admission make this an out of this world experience for junior space walkers and parents alike.
Out Of This World Pizza
6255 NW Century Boulevard, Hillsboro
Hours: 10:00am – 9:00pm Daily (Closed July 4th, Thanksgiving Day, & Christmas Day)
Think of this Tualatin indoor gym as a safari for the senses. Beer selections change seasonally and go well with the healthy Mediterranean salads, chicken wraps and handmade pizzas found at the snack bar. Dads can catch Sports Center on one of the flat screen TVs or sit in the middle of the jungle gym and catch up on work with free Wi-Fi as their kids fly by overhead. Note to parents: Safari Sam’s is a popular option and can get rowdy on weekends and after school. If you have little ones it’s best to take them while school is in session to avoid roughhousing.
16260 SW Langer Drive, Sherwood
Hours: 10:00am – 9:00pm Daily (Closing at 3:00 pm on Christmas Eve, Closed: Easter, Labor Day, Thanksgiving & Christmas)
Speaking of roughhousing, if your kids are younger, but they still want to get in on the action, check out Munchkin Playland in the Bethany area. The 42 inch height requirement protects young explorers from getting trampled and the soft foam slides and animals are a hit with the under five set. Stumptown coffee and Panini sandwiches make this place a hit with parents who enjoy watching their toddlers play without the mauling.
18335 NW West Union Road, Portland
Hours: Monday-Friday: 8:00am – 7:00pm, Saturday-Sunday: 8:00am – 3:00pm
Toted as a modern day piazza, or family gathering, Play Boutique is all about giving kids a fun and safe place to play while giving mom and dad a spot to relax as well. With super flexible drop-in play hours, you never have to worry about calling ahead, just drop off the kids whenever you need time to yourself. While kids can run around to their heart’s content, mom and dad can sit back in the cafe and enjoy the free Wi-fi and computer plug-in stations. They even have a Wii and Kinect area for older kids who want to play while the younger set run, jump, and romp their extra energy away.
464 First Street, Lake Oswego
12345 SW Horizon Boulevard, Beaverton
Sky High Sports
Have you kids ever been so excited that they started bouncing off the walls? Well at Sky High Sports, they literally can jump off the walls. That’s because this indoor play space is filled with trampolines, so your kids can hop, jump, and bounce around anywhere they like. Catch some air above the foam pit or even play some dodgeball for the more adventurous set. They even host birthday parties so your kids can bring all their friends for some high flying excitement.
— Laurie Halter
Where does your family head to play when the drizzly Portland weather hits?