Kitsch, fun and a great way to escape the ordinary, I personally think amusement parks or water parks are a fantastic way to spend a day with the family. From water slides and tubing to scary rides and go-karts, here are my all-time favorite Amusement and Water Parks in or near Portland, Oregon…
Oaks Amusement Park
Oaks Park is an all-rounder, starting with the oldest standing amusement park in the country. Spread across more than 40 acres of land, the park features a wide selection of classic rides such as bumper cars and a roller coaster, a roller skating rink presenting live music, which is believed to be the largest in the country and is open throughout the year, miniature golf, carousel, mini-train and many other fun carnival games including ring toss, skee ball, etc.
Luckily, there is no entrance fee, and you have to get tickets for all the rides except for some midway and arcade games since they are only cash. There are ample picnic spots all over the park and some snack corners offering hamburgers, cotton candy, ice cream, etc. Overall, it is a family-friendly area mainly targeted at young kids and I honestly think it’s one of the best. I’d highly recommend not missing the bumper cars!
Oldest amusement park in the country
A diverse range of classic rides
Largest roller skating rink in the country
Numerous picnic areas for relaxing
Separate tickets for each ride
Primarily caters to young children
Glowing Greens PDX
Glowing Greens is a miniature golf course in a basement with blacklight indoors; it has a mental trap escape game, wicked axe throwing, etc. It is a place to have so much fun and make memories for every age and different group size.
A variety of activities are available
Indoor 3-D adventure miniature golf course
Backlit atmosphere for a stunning setting
Inclusive for all ages
It is a relatively small park
The wait time can be long
Sykart Indoor Racing
Another gem for go-kart lovers. You can go all out at this amusement park that offers limitless adventure and the thrill of karting and riding on a rollercoaster. It’s a wild combination.
Great variety of tracks for kart racing
Arcade games in the lounge
Endurance race on Wednesdays
Fun atmosphere and personable staff
Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays
It can get hot inside
Wings and Waves Waterpark (McMinnville)
A relatively new addition to the list of parks in Portland, Wings, and Waves has combined entertainment and science in a quirky way to give us a unique experience. The waterpark brings a wide range of water-filled activities consisting of a sonic boom, aqua play, youth slides, vortex pool, leisure pool, march 1, splashdown harbor, nose dive, and tailspin.
Furthermore, another interesting aspect is the introduction of interactive exhibits by the park to teach kids about various science concepts such as velocity and buoyancy. Don’t wait any further, and head out this weekend to have a fun-filled day at the Wings and Waves Waterpark.
Unique water activities like water slides
Interactive science exhibits for kids
Innovative scientific attractions like Sonic Boom
Closes early on Sundays
Entrance fees can be pricey
We know it would have been extremely unfair if we didn’t talk about go-karting. Without a doubt, go-karting is one of the most exciting and thrilling activities when it comes to indoor games.
And K1 speed allows you to experience it right in Portland. With a fast-paced electric go-kart and skillfully designed kart tracks, K1 speed offers much more. Whether you want to have a casual outing with your peers or have a professional business event planned, K1 has got you all covered with a cute little café tucked inside and a venue for all your planned events.
Thrilling go-karting experience for every age
Skillfully designed kart tracks for maximum fun
Ideal for group outings
Café for added convenience
Outdoor activities are limited
Parking can be a challenge
The cafe’s service can be slow
North Clackamas Aquatic Park
Running for more than twenty years now, this small indoor water park is one of a kind in the area. Housing a total of six pools, including a lap pool, dive well, splashdown, kiddie pool, and wave pool, the aquatic park has many other attractions like a rock climbing wall, hot tub, and water slides.
Open throughout the year, it has always been very popular among visitors, so you can expect a fair gathering of people on any given day.
Other amenities and facilities include a volleyball court, changing rooms, swimming lessons, aquatic fitness classes, and food corners ranging from pizza to sandwiches to salads.
Six pools offer diverse experiences
Open throughout the year
Volleyball court and various food options
Ideal for a family outing
Opens late on Sundays
Tickets are a bit pricey
Splash! at Lively Park (Springfield)
This is another little treat for those who love water parks. Splash! It is an indoor water park with pools of every size, and water slides are open to the public throughout the year. But the most exciting thing, seemingly more appealing to the older lot, is the variety of water fitness classes offered here.
You are working on your physique in the most fun way through aquatic workouts, including Aquatone, Deep Water Exercise, Ai-Chi, Hydrofit, and more. Apart from this, if you are not so keen on getting wet, you can always head towards the sun decks and community rooms and relax and soak in the sun. Moreover, these spaces can also be rented out if you have to have any private events organized here.
Year-round indoor water fun
Diverse water fitness classes
Sun decks for relaxation
Unique pools for little children
Closed on Tuesdays and Thursdays
The wait time can be long
Osborn Aquatic Center (Corvallis)
I am saving the best for the last. Osborn Aquatic Center ticks all the right boxes. A retreat in itself, Corvallis is a haven for artists, foodies, outdoor enthusiasts, festival freaks, hikers, and bikers. If you don’t trust me, go and see yourself. It offers you the chance to hit the pools and cool off on hot days, catering to kids, adults, and even dogs!
Moreover, it is a welcoming site to exercise your diving skills.
Numerous pools for all ages
It has a warm pool for relaxation
Offers activities for kids
and even dogs
Great for diving enthusiasts
It can get crowded on hot days
Limited seating around the pools
Rainier Amusement in the Pacific Northwest is one of a kind in entertainment. They are well-reputed for providing fun and entertaining games, exciting rides, and mouth-watering food at special discounts in about 30 events held in the Pacific Northwest.
They offer rides from large state fairs to small city festivals. Some of their exciting rides are Kamikaze, Loop O plane, and yo-yo. They are open on school days and non-school days.
Renowned for entertainment quality
Special discounts at 30 events
Operates in Multiple Events
Flair for quality and safety
Availability can vary
Limited to Pacific Northwest.
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Beth Pinches – writer and photographer
Beth was born under a wandering star, with drama in her veins and ink in her pen. After stints studying theatre in Dublin and Utrecht she used her creative streak to see as much of the world as she could on as little money. She toured Italian Schools with a children’s theatre troop, lived as an au-pair in both Rome and Washington DC, explored the British countryside, worked her way through much of Europe, Salsa danced in Cuba and road tripped down America’s west coast where she discovered her spiritual home; Portland, Oregon. Other places she loves include Croatia, Finland, Japan and India. In between adventures, travel writing and performing she resides peacefully with her family, cats and ukulele. Find Beth on Linkedin or Facebook.