10 Fun Things to Do with Kids in Portland

Portland is an energetic city that is rich in history and offers a variety of attractions for families and children to enjoy. Regardless of whether you are a resident or a tourist, you will find numerous entertaining activities to participate in with your kids in Portland.

things to do with kids in portland

The city offers a range of options, including parks, museums, hikes, and zoos, ensuring that there is something for everyone to enjoy. Below are ten exciting things to do with your kids in Portland.

Visit the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI)

Portland’s OMSI is a must-see destination for families with kids in Portlandand. Housing five enormous halls full of interactive exhibits, this museum makes learning about science and technology a thrilling experience for kids. From touring a real submarine to watching a movie in the four-story Empirical Theater, the hands-on experiences are endless. 

OMSI also offers a range of educational programs designed to ignite curiosity in young minds, including science labs, summer camps, and even sleepovers at the museum. A day at OMSI promises an unforgettable blend of fun and education that can inspire children to explore and understand the world around them.

Explore the Oregon Zoo

If your children are animal enthusiasts, the Oregon Zoo is the perfect place to spend an adventurous day. Spanning 64 acres in the heart of Portland, the zoo is home to a diverse range of exotic animals from across the globe. 

Kids will be excited to see elephants, polar bears, monkeys, and many other species housed in enclosures replicating their natural habitats. The zoo is committed to educational outreach, providing various learning opportunities through interactive exhibits, animal feedings, and keeper presentations. 

Discover the Portland Children’s Museum

The Portland Children’s Museum is a treasure trove of interactive exhibits and hands-on activities aimed at sparking the imagination and creativity of children. This vibrant space encourages play-based learning, ensuring that kids are not just observers but active participants in their educational journey. 

The museum boasts a variety of permanent and rotating exhibits that cater to a wide spectrum of interests. Children can explore the whimsical world of arts and crafts in the Maker Studio, get their hands dirty in the outdoor Clay Studio, or even role-play in the Pet Hospital. 

kid friendly things to do in portland

Splash and Play at Jamison Square

Jamison Square is a haven for families seeking outdoor fun, a vibrant park in Portland’s Pearl District. The park’s centerpiece is a unique water feature – a striking reflection pool that doubles as a splash pad during summer. Children will delight in frolicking in the shallow water, creating a fantastical haven for cooling off and enjoying the summer season. 

Jamison Square is also well-equipped with play areas designed to engage kids in active play, boosting their physical skills while they have fun. The park’s wide-open space is perfect for picnics or relaxing while your little ones play. Spending a day at Jamison Square promises a blend of laughter, play, and cool refreshing fun, making it an ideal family-friendly destination in Portland.

Bike or Scooter along the Waterfront Park

Experience Portland in an invigorating and eco-friendly way by taking a bike or scooter ride along the picturesque Waterfront Park. This scenic park offers a well-maintained path that follows the curve of the magnificent Willamette River, making it the perfect course for a family-friendly adventure. 

Take in the beauty of Portland as you ride along, with panoramic views of the sparkling river, the city skyline, and the lush greenery that surrounds you. 

Don’t have a bike or scooter? No problem – there are plenty of bike rental services, like Kerr Bikes, located conveniently around the park, offering a range of options to suit different ages and abilities. Choose from bicycles, tandem bikes, or even fun cycle surreys to enhance your family outing.

kid friendly things to do in portland oregon

Hike in Forest Park

Forest Park, a gem in the heart of Portland, beckons families with its stunning natural beauty and extensive network of hiking trails. Covering more than 5,000 acres, it stands as one of the most extensive urban forests in the country, offering an extraordinary slice of wilderness in the midst of a bustling city. 

Home to over 80 miles of trails, Forest Park provides a plethora of options for hikers of all ages and abilities. The trails wind their way through lush greenery, past gurgling creeks, and under towering trees, offering a serene escape from the urban landscape. Here, families can observe various plant and animal species, instilling a sense of wonder and an appreciation for nature’s diversity. 

Forest Park is not only a paradise for outdoor activities like hiking, bird-watching, and nature photography, but also a fantastic place for families to bond, explore, and create lasting memories. 

Attend a Children’s Theater Performance

Take a step into the magical world of performing arts by attending a children’s theater performance in Portland. The city is home to several reputable theater troupes dedicated to crafting enchanting productions that cater specifically to young audiences. 

Venues such as the Oregon Children’s Theatre and Northwest Children’s Theater and School captivate children with vibrant performances, bringing fairy tales, popular children’s books, and enlightening original stories to life on stage. 

These performances are delightful visually and instrumental in acquainting children with different cultures, ideas, and life skills. The participatory nature of some of these performances allows children to get involved, making the experience more immersive and memorable. 

Enjoy a Day of Fun at Oaks Amusement Park

Oaks Amusement Park, located in the heart of Portland, is a treasure trove of fun and excitement for families. This historic amusement park’s charming blend of classic and modern attractions promises a day of laughter, thrills, and unforgettable memories. 

Children will be delighted with the variety of rides designed to cater to all age groups and courage levels. From the exhilarating Looping Thunder roller coaster to the gentle charm of the C.P. Huntington Train ride, the park offers a spectrum of experiences. 

things to do with kids in portland oregon

Beyond the rides, the park features a range of other attractions, such as a state-of-the-art skating rink, miniature golf, and even a historic carousel that has been enchanting visitors since 1912. The park’s charm extends to its lovely picnic grove, where families can relax and enjoy a meal amidst a scenic backdrop. 

Enjoy a Day at Sauvie Island Farms

Immerse your family in a day of rural charm and agricultural adventure at Sauvie Island Farms, just north of Portland. This farm provides a wholesome, family-friendly experience, letting you and your children connect with nature and learn about life on a farm. 

During summer, the farm becomes a colorful palette of ripe, juicy berries ready for picking. Families can spend a sunny afternoon picking their strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries, creating not just buckets of fresh, sweet fruit but also priceless memories. 

As fall arrives, the farm transforms into a wonderland of pumpkin patches, where children and adults alike can roam, enjoy the autumnal beauty, and pick their perfect pumpkin for the Halloween season. 

Seasonal events, like the famous Corn Maze and the Straw Bale Pyramid, add fun and excitement to your visit. But it’s not just about fun; it’s also a fantastic opportunity to educate your kids about the farming process, the changing seasons, and the importance of agriculture. 

Conclusion: Things to Do with Kids in Portland

Portland offers many family-friendly activities that blend education, nature, culture, and pure fun. From the tranquil wilderness of Forest Park to the vibrant performances at the Children’s Theater, the adrenaline rush at Oaks Amusement Park, and the agricultural charm of Sauvie Island Farms, there is something for everyone. 

These unique experiences not only provide entertainment but also foster learning, creativity, and a deeper appreciation for the natural and cultural world. A visit to any of these venues guarantees a memorable time for families, filled with laughter, adventure, and the joy of shared experiences.

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