The famously cool Oregon city is also has a great number of family-friendly activities and attractions. If you live in the city or are just visiting, there are plenty of ways to keep your children happy and entertained. From high octane fun to more relaxed activities and attractions, here are the best things to do in Portland for kids…
1. Oaks Amusement Park – an exciting family-friendly theme park attraction full of non-stop fun
Located 3.5 miles south of downtown Portland, Oaks Park is one of the oldest operating amusement parks in the United States. With two breath-taking roller coaster rides, a Ferris wheel and a massive roller skating area, Oaks Park is one of the best places to visit with kids in Portland.
The park also has a mini golf, video games booth, and 24 rides lining their classic midway. Oaks Park is open Mondays through Sundays at different timings. The best time to visit the park is in Spring on weekends, although the rides are most enjoyable in summer.
Address: 7805 SE Oaks Park Way, Portland, OR 97202, United States
Phone: +1 503-233-5777
2. World Forestry Center – a great educational institution perfect for the little ones
Located near Washington Park, World Forestry Center boasts several educational attractions for children. If you want to teach your children more about the natural world, World Forestry Center may be one of the best places to visit in Southwest Portland. It is the only museum in Portland that mostly caters to children.
From logging video games to virtual jeep rides, World Forestry Center offers a wide range of hands-on experiences to children. As you take a tour around the museum with your children, you can educate them about forests, its preservation, and its role in human life in creative ways, such as 4-part simulated world travel. The exhibits, programs, and amusements offered by World Forestry Center are well-suited for children from 3 to 12 years of age.
Address: 4033 SW Canyon Rd, Portland, OR 97221, United States
Phone: +1 503-228-1367
3. Portland Aerial Tram – an exciting downtown activity where you can travel with the family from the South Waterfront district to the main Oregon University
Located in the Marquam Hill neighborhood of downtown Portland, Portland Aerial Tram is an aerial tramway that rises 500 feet above the South Waterfront neighborhood. The tramway was originally built for the conveyance of doctors, patients, and students to and from Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). However, it has now become one of the most frequented tourist sites in Portland.
With a speed of 22 miles per hour, Portland Aerial Tram is no less than a rollercoaster. It offers mesmerizing views of the Willamette River, Mount Hood, and the city skyline. If your children enjoy rides, they’ll have an amazing time traveling through the city in one of the country’s only two commuter aerial tramways.
If you have children under the age of 8, you should ride the tram during midday or on the weekend in order to beat the crowds. The tram is open for tours Mondays through Fridays between 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. It is closed on Sundays. On Saturdays, the tram is accessible between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Address: 3303 SW Bond Ave, Portland, OR 97239, United States
Phone: +1 (503) 494-8283
4. The Wishing Tree – a distinctive tree where you can take the kids and read attached wishes
Located on the edge of Northeast Morris Street and 7th Avenue, The Wishing Tree is a chestnut tree with its branches overflowing with dreams, hopes, and wishes. The tree has been in the neighborhood since 2016. It attracts both locals and tourists who write and hang their wishes on the tree. It’s a great place to enjoy a moment of reflection with your kids.
Although the branches are never bare of wishes’ tags, the tags that scatter around the neighborhood are symbolic of the fulfillment of the wish according to the natives. While the tree does not have any spiritual background, your children may love the process of writing their wishes and hanging them on the tree, hoping they would come true. You can visit the spot at any time. It is accessible to the public twenty-four-seven.
Address: 2954 NE 7th Ave, Portland, OR 97212, United States
5. Keller Fountain Park – a beautiful city park in downtown perfect for a family visit
Located in downtown Portland, Keller Fountain Park is a beautiful public park that boasts several flowing streams and waterfalls. It houses an angular concrete fountain that attracts couples, families, and older people alike. The multi-tiered fountain is what makes the park one of the most frequented tourist sites in downtown Portland.
The best time to visit the park is in the afternoon. If you are planning a picnic with your kids or young baby, you may want to visit this famous municipal park. However, there are certain cliffs so you must watch your kids while they are playing. The park does not have any washrooms, although there is one located in the nearby parking garage.
Keller Fountain Park is open on all days of the week between 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Address: SW 3rd Ave &, SW Clay St, Portland, OR 97201, United States
Phone: +1 503-823-2223
6. Punch Bowl Social – a fun family-friendly place perfect for tweens and teens right in the heart of Portland’s downtown
Located in Pioneer Place mall in downtown Portland, Punch Bowl Social Portland is an entertainment spot that caters to both children and adults. From ping pong to bowling to classic arcade games, Punch Bowl Social offers a wide range of games for both adults and children. It also boasts a classy bar with a great selection of scratch-to-craft foods and fine cocktails.
Punch Bowl Social is a vibrant place with all types of entertainment which makes it perfect to visit with kids. At Punch Bowl Social, you can enjoy the gastropub fare with your partner while your children play in the amusement emporium.
Punch Bowl Social is open Mondays through Fridays from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. On Saturdays and Sundays, they stay open till 1 a.m. They also have happy hours on all days of the week except Sundays at different times, mostly between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Address: 340 SW Morrison St #4305, Portland, OR 97204, United States
Phone: +1 503-334-0360
7. PlayDate PDX – a giant 3 story playground that includes a toddler area, ideal for all ages
Located in Pearl Courts in Northwest Portland, PlayDate PDX is an indoor playground that offers a conglomerate of entertainments for people of all ages. The playground has a 3-story play structure, a toddler play area, and a sophisticated eatery.
From 3-year-olds to teenagers, PlayDate PDX has games and entertainment options for children of all ages and can even take your baby too. The toddler play area is vibrant, well-lit, and has balls scattered everywhere. They also have an in-house bakery offering flavorsome cupcakes, waffles, bagels, muffins, snack cakes, and other amazing treats.
Address: 1434 NW 17th Ave, Portland, OR 97209, United States
Phone: +1 503-227-7529
8. See A Broadway Show At Keller Auditorium – one of the best places to take the kids and watch a musical
Located on Clay Street in downtown Portland, Keller Auditorium is a performing arts center that hosts operas, ballets, family events, Broadway productions, and other events. From Aladdin to The Lion King to Harry Potter, the auditorium runs plenty of traveling shows for kids.
The auditorium has a prepossessing facade and a relaxed ambience. The shows are definitely worth the price. It’s one of the best places to enjoy live theater with your kids.
Address: 222 SW Clay St, Portland, OR 97201, United States
Phone: +1 503-248-4335
9. Escape Games PDX – a fun game spot perfect for families with teens and tweens
Located in Northwest Portland, Escape Games PDX is a spacious escape room that offers a fun, riveting, and immersive exit game experience. It has an eclectic selection of escape games that will engross your children. They have 5 playrooms with distinct escape games, including Virtual Sasquatch, Amnesia, Film Noir, Portlandia, Prison Heist, and The Hour Before Christmas.
Escape Games PDX is the best place to hone the puzzle-solving skills of your child, regardless of their age. You can also tag along with your kid throughout the game and watch them discover clues, solve puzzles, and accomplish complex tasks. The place is open Mondays through Thursdays between 12 p.m. and 9 p.m. On Fridays, they stay open till 9:30 p.m. On Sundays and Saturdays, they open an hour early and stay open till 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. respectively.
Address: 2636 NW 26th Ave #2, Portland, OR 97210, United States
Phone: +1 503-208-7353
10. Director Park – a city park in Portland’s Downtown that offers a safe environment for children of all ages
Located two blocks away from Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown Portland, Director Park is a European-style plaze that boasts a large outdoor seating area, a terrace cafe, an eating place surrounded by food carts, and hand-crafted wooden benches.
The park also has a beautiful fountain whose splashable waters will certainly attract your kids. Director Park is one of the most frequented family spots in downtown Portland. It stays open Mondays through Sundays between 5 a.m. and 12 a.m.
Address: 815 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR 97205, United States
Phone: +1 503-823-8087
11. Mt. Scott Community Center – a family and kid friendly attraction that offers the community outstanding amenities
Located in Mount Scott Park in Southeast Portland, Mt. Scott Community Center is a council-run facility with a wide range of recreational activities for both kids and adults. The facility features a swimming pool, gym, community kitchen, and fitness room. The indoor swimming pool has a large curvy waterslide, lap pool, rope swing, and hot tub for adults.
Mt. Scott Community Center is open Mondays through Fridays from 5:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. On Saturdays, the facility is open between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Address: 5530 SE 72nd Ave, Portland, OR 97206, United States
Phone: +1 503-823-3183
12. Floating World Comics – an iconic shop for children where you can find a large range of comics, novels and toys
Located on Couch Street in Northwest Portland, Floating World Comics is an indie bookstore with a massive selection of comics, graphic novels, and children’s books. From superhero to drama to fantasy, they have books belonging to all different genres. While you are in Northwest Portland, you may want to take your kid to this laid-back shop and let them explore the wonderful book selection of the shop.
The shop is open Mondays through Sundays at different timings, mostly between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Address: 400 NW Couch St, Portland, OR 97209, United States
Phone: +1 503-241-0227
13. OMSI (Science Playground) – an amazing place with good activities for young and older kids
Located in Southeast Portland, OMSI is a science technology museum that houses a large science playground with zillions of activities for children. The playground caters to children of all ages, from toddlers to teenagers.
OMSI Science Playground has a climbing area, water area, infant and toddler space, and discovery lab, all of which are designed to help children learn more about science. You must take your kids to this educational yet recreational place while you are visiting Portland.
OMSI Science Playground is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Address: 1945 SE Water Ave, Portland, OR 97214, United States
Phone: +1 503-797-4000
14. Visit Slappy Cakes – an entertaining restaurant where everyone can make their own pancakes
Located on Delmon Street in Southeast Portland, Slappy Cakes is a DIY breakfast eatery that allows you to make and cook your own pancakes. If you want your children to learn or hone their existing culinary skills, you must visit this DIY restaurant with them.
The restaurant is open Mondays through Fridays between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. On Saturdays and Sundays, they close an hour late.
Address: 4246 SE Belmont St, Portland, OR 97215, United States
Phone: +1 503-477-4805
15. Mill Ends Park – the world’s smallest park and a quirky family attraction
Located on Taylor Street in Southwest Portland, Mill Ends Park is the smallest park in the world. It sits near an esplanade along the Willamette River and boasts a single tree and sign. Nonetheless, you may want to visit the park with your kids due to its significance as the smallest park across the globe.
Address: 56 SW Taylor St, Portland, OR 97204, United States
Phone: +1 503-823-7529
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. In between adventures she resides peacefully with her family, cats and ukulele.