Summertime or anytime, the question comes up – What should we do with the kids today? Do they need some exercise, some mental stimulation, or just some straight up silliness? Ok, maybe that’s us needing some silly!
There are so many reasons why we HEART Portland. Reinvigorate your own spirit, and delight in connecting with your little ones by exploring all the kid friendly FUN that our city has to offer.
TOP 10 KID-FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES – PORTLAND
Salt & Straw –
Ok, so we are shamelessly including Salt & Straw on the list so the parents can have an excuse to indulge in their sweet tooth. This local artisan ice cream chain has become a beloved fixture. Part of the fun is sampling and then choosing one of the extreme flavors. Oddball variety today: Koi Fusion’s Kimchi and Rice.
Oregon Zoo –
Monkeys or Elephants? This is the first question we always ask when stepping inside the zoo, and making a beeline toward one of our favorite exhibits. Kids and adults alike, love animals! And while, we don’t love seeing them in cages, the educational opportunity that the zoo offers is unparalleled.
Forest Park –
This epic park covers over 5100 acres! But, to condense that a bit for wee little legs, here is one hike worth mentioning. The Lower Macleay Trail is a great trail for families. It offers a few different turn around points, the first being the Stone House, the second would be to loop back on the Wildwood Trail; and the longest option takes you all the way to the Audubon Society, or further still to the famous Pittock Mansion.
North Clackamas Aquatic Park –
Slip and slide down one of two huge water slides at this 400,000 gallon indoor aquatic park. The large pool is surrounded by a kiddie area with smaller slides, hot tubs, and an area for swim lessons. When you dry off, conquer Steel Mountain, a 29-foot rock climbing wall. This is probably the best aquatic park in the Portland metro area!
Portland Children’s Museum –
Designed for ages 0-12, at the Portland Children’s Museum, kids learn life skills and critical thinking. But, don’t worry! The “learning” is disguised in fun, hands-on, brain buster challenges. Our favorite exhibits are the Clay Studio and the Outdoor Zany Maze. Get over there soon, this June is hero’s month!
Oaks Amusement Park –
How about some old-fashioned roller skating? Or, remember choosing the prettiest horse on the carousel to ride? And, there’s probably not a person alive who doesn’t LOVE bumper cars! This old-timey amusement park has every thing from a ferris wheel to barkers enticing you to knock down a pyramid of milk jugs for a prize. Hey, don’t forget to bring the kids too!
Pick-Your-Own Farms –
Strawberry picking is at it’s finest right now at Bella Organic Farms. (June 8 – 14th). Call ahead for seasonality, but the farm regularly grows raspberries, marionberries, and blueberries. Stop by in the fall for the Pumpkin patch and haunted corn maze. Or, check out these other U-pick options: Jossy Farms or Smith Berry Barn in Hillsboro, or Kruger Farms near Beall Organic Farms on Sauvie Island.
Oregon Museum of Science and Industry–
Wow the kids by taking them inside a real working Navy submarine, where they can peer through a periscope and touch a torpedo! Afterwards, visit the famous Kendall Planetarium. From the bottom of the ocean to the stars in the sky, The OMSI takes you around the world and back again. This summer, catch Ripley’s Believe It Or Not exhibit, running from now through September 7.
Jamison Square –
This is the hot spot on hot summer days in the Pearl District in downtown Portland. An architectural beauty, the fountain cascades cool water over rows of stairs where families like to sit and splash. The shallow tidal pool is great for kids of all ages. Dog lovers are also known to frequent this area.
Festivals and Events –
We decided that all the ongoing, amazing festivals happening in and around Portland deserve their own noteworthy category. Here are some of our favorite events: Pedalpalooza, Tigard Baloon Festival, Story and Stroll at Tryon Creek Nature Center, and the Junior Parade at the Rose Festival. Be sure to check the local calendar for happenings, including the many street fairs offered throughout the city.
Written by Jennifer Kane, Expanded Exposure LLC.