Sitting through a meal at a restaurant is hard for little ones. They get the wiggles, even when they are hungry. Forget pushing lessons about manners when you’re out having family time. Take your kids to a restaurant that lets them stay active between bites of yummy food. We’ve put together a list of our favorite place with active eats for families. Read on to find out more.

Photo: via Grand Central Bowling Yelp

Grand Central Bowl

Get ready to eat well and make pins fly a this hip spot. Considered a boutique bowling alley, Grand Central is a family-friendly stop for the family who loves great food and comfortable digs and lots of options for play. The bowling alley offers 12 lanes with four large screen projectors and great lounge seating. There is also an epic arcade area that keep little and big kids busy. Lane reservation inquiries can be done by phone or at their website and are highly recommended in order to get a bowling lane when you come in. Come hungry! The Grand Central menu is more like a restaurant menu than a bowling alley menu. Get everything from sushi to artisan pizza. There is even a weekend brunch menu.

Looking for other bowling alleys? Check our list of favs out.

808 SE Morrison St.
Portland, OR

Evergreen Wings and Waves Water Park 

Swim and eat? Yep! This indoor water park is an all season experience! It has ten water slides—each designed for adventurers of varying age, ability, and courage. Daredevils might enjoy the Nose Dive that spits you into a pool and shoots you out backwards! When you’re over sliding and gliding explore the wave pool, whirlpool, or revolver pool! For an extra perk the whole park is ADA accessible. And when your family gets hungry, there’s plenty to eat. The attached Milky Way Cafe offers burgers, hot dogs, mac & cheese and more! You can make a whole afternoon of it.

500 NE Captain Michael King Smith Way

photo: Theory via yelp

Oaks Amusement Park

One of America’s oldest operating amusement parts is right here in Portland. Boasting an old-school charm, The Oaks Park Amusement Park & Roller Rink showcases all kinds of fun and games for your little ones. Hop on mini-thrill seeking rides, enjoy a tranquil round of mini golf, or hold hands with your kids as you circle the Northwest’s largest roller-skating rink. And when you get hungry, there’s no shortage of yummy food at a reasonable price. Their concessions consist of options like crispy chicken sandwiches, hamburgers, pizza and an array of sweet treats. Forget Disney Land!

Oaks Park
7805 SE Oaks Park Way
Portland, Or 97202


Fill your bellies and get science-y at one of Portland’s most iconic spots. At OMSI everyone gets to be a scientist! With over 200 interactive exhibits there are activities for all age groups. Concoct chemical creations, shoot off rockets, control robots, crawl through the roots of a giant tree, or watch butterflies hatch from cocoons. Future astronauts might appreciate a visit to the planetarium while the 6 and under crew head to the Science Playground for waterworks, puppets, building blocks, sand exploration, and puzzles. The littlest of learners may enjoy exploring in the infant area where the soft carpet and engaging toys encourage both fine and gross motor skills. There is so much to do at OMSI, you’ll need fuel to keep you and the little ones going. OMSI offers families two onsite  restaurant options. The Theater Café which serves sandwiches, coffee and your favorite theater snacks like popcorn and candy. If you want something more substantial, head to Theory where you will find everything from wood-fired pizzas to locally-sourced salads. This eatery for the curious is open to museum guests and the public alike.

1945 SE Water Ave.

photo: via Punch Bowl Social

Portland Children’s Museum

Weather your little wiggle worms like to climb, build, dig, or explore, there’s something for everyone–including healthy food–at the Children’s Museum!  With rotating monthly exhibits, a full art studio, and outdoor adventure zone the Children’s Museum will quickly become a family favorite. Let your child’s imagination run wild in the  water room, theater, grocery store, dig pit, train room, tree house, or clay studio. When you get hungry, feed your little ones healthy food off their kid’s menu! They have healthy sandwiches and bowls that will keep you and your kiddos going for hours and hours and hours on end.

4015 SW Canyon Road

Punch Bowl Social

Located downtown by the Waterfront, Punch Bowl Social Portland is the 3rd floor of the Pioneer Place mall. The perfect spot for a lunch and play date with the family. At Punch Bowl Social, all ages are entertained with bowling, karaoke, arcade games and more. Games include bowling, billiards and darts. And they offer table games like giant scrabble, giant Jenga, billiards and Foosball. Paired with scratch-to-craft foods, their menu has something delightful for everyone. There is even a kids menu. Choose from bites like tacos, burgers and mac & cheese for adults and the kids can join you with their version of the same, crafted kid-style.


340 SW Morrison St. (Pioneer Place, 3rd level)

–Annette Benedetti

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