Unexpected, eclectic, aesthetically pleasing and typically larger-than-life, public art sculptures, murals and fountains give kids of all ages the chance to admire, climb (where permitted), and photograph outdoor art that is built to stand the test of time. Read on to discover six cool pieces are perfect for a downtown family scavenger hunt or for discovering and enjoying one at a time.

Ira Keller Fountain

Location: SW 3rd Ave. and Clay St.

Children are magnets to this breathtaking fountain, designed by Angela Danadjieva and completed in 1970 (but named the Forecourt Fountain at the time). Keep a watchful eye because it really is as tall as it seems, but go ahead and let your littles dip their feet in as you explain to them that the fountain mimics the spectacular waterfalls of the Pacific Northwest. Fun fact: the fountain releases 13,000 gallons of water per minute.

photo: Ira C. Keller Fountain by joelmutate via Flickr

  • Photo courtesy of the Regional Arts & Culture Council. © Michael Stutz
  • photo: Regional Arts & Culture Council
  • Regional Arts & Culture Council. © Pete Beeman
  • Regional Arts & Culture Council. © Una Kim
  • https://www.flickr.com/photos/joelmutate/4851816735/in/photolist-8NbFd1-acfFpd-cBjP6w-cBjPuh-cBjPf3-cBjPA3-accPV6-accQW6-8NbGeC-accNGr-8oJQ5F-8N8zD4-KVrXd-acfEos-JBDi8-JBDhn-JBDhV-JBDhz-58P9bd-4nMEmq/
  • https://www.flickr.com/photos/russellbernice/1431722888/in/photolist-F3YT-6e88Kj-6e882b-6e88Pf-bfSHZ-8ajyWK-3bvXko-on47t-on3CC-on3Sp-b3toY2-eq5xJE-9pD6VW-6KVu7X-iyoyML-afpbxr-afrYDU-pMyimT-pMyiuD-epkyfU-6qX34g-6r2e9N-eopkfi-epkyRy-eopmX8

Good to know: To find more public art, use the search tool provided by the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC). You can also check out TriMet’s Green Line Public Art Tour for a fun trip on the MAX that will expose your cultured kiddies to more than 50 sculptures.

What is your family’s favorite sculpture in town? Let us know in the comments below!

—Marianne Walters