10 Fun and Interesting Things to Do in Portland with Kids

erin mcerlean

Erin Perkins McErlean

February 28, 2020

portland oregon

Like this? Share it with your network!

Like this? Share it with your network!

Portland, Oregon – the first things that usually come to people’s mind are hipsters, coffee, craft beer, and that notorious rainy weather. But, Portland is so much more than that. It’s a colourful, vibrant city bursting with family fun adventures and these 10 interesting things to do in Portland with kids are a great starting point!

Don’t miss our best content straight to your inbox! Sign up now and get our FREE newsletters packed with fun ideas and things to do with the kids, family-friendly recipes, expert advice, parenting tips and great competitions.

Although it is true that it rains an average of 155 days per year in Portland, the summers are warm and dry. But, no matter what the weather, there’s always something to explore and plenty of things to do in Portland with kids.

You May Also Enjoy 10 Simply Splendid Things To Do In Seattle With Kids

Fun Things to Do In Portland

#1. Enjoy Portland’s Parks! Parks! Parks!

Henry Huggins

Whether you spend the day hiking the trails of Forest Park, America’s largest city park, or look for leprechauns in Mill Ends Park, the world’s smallest park, Portland has a park for you.

Visit Ramona and Henry from the classic Beverly Cleary books in Grant Park, take in the incredible city views from Council Crest, or frolic in the fountain at Salmon Street Springs or Jamison Square to cool down in the summer.

The list goes on and on, for a complete listing of Portland’s parks check out the Parks and Rec parkfinder.

You May Also Enjoy These US National Parks Are Perfect For a Family Adventure

#2. Go Book-Mad In Powell’s Books

powells books portland oregon

Powell’s Books on W Burnside is a Portland institution! You will definitely get lost in over 68,000 sq ft of books covering a full city block. In fact, Powell’s is the largest independent bookstore in the world!

The bookstore hosts events, readings, and book launches and there’s a lovely café where you can enjoy a snack while browsing through your literary finds.

You May Also Enjoy 11 Totally Lit Things To Do in Seattle With Teens

#3. Explore Oregon Museum of Science and Industry

omsi portland oregon

You can easily spend an entire day at Oregon Museum of Science and Industry aka OMSI. There are hours of hand-on exhibits in the five different exhibition halls where kids (and adults!) can test, play and learn!

Explore a real submarine, learn how holograms are created, experience an earthquake, visit the planetarium. And there’s even a Science Playground for children under 6 to explore and experiment.

#4. Spark Curiosity At Portland Children’s Museum

portland children's museum

Take the MAX to the Washington Park Station, the deepest transit station in the US, and head up for a day at the Portland Children’s Museum and Oregon Zoo (see #5 below).

The Children’s Museum is a fully interactive museum to spark wonder and creativity in children of all ages. Create works of art, become a builder or a veterinarian, visit the market, star in your own show, or have outdoor adventures!

#5. Enjoy Exotic Animals At Oregon Zoo

oregon zoo

…and, if that’s not enough for one day, visit Oregon Zoo just across from the Children’s Museum. The Oregon Zoo is home to over 1,800 animals. including Inji, aged 60, thought to be the oldest orangutan in the world.

Major exhibits include The Great Northwest, Africa Savanna, Africa Rainforest, and Elephant Lands. During the summer, the zoo hosts a concert series on the lawn near Elephant Lands.

#6. Meet Fairytales at The Enchanted Forest

enchanted forest portland

About an hour south of Portland is the Enchanted Forest, a family run fairytale theme park that has been delighting Oregonians since 1971.

Kids can make their way through the dark rabbit hole from Alice in Wonderland, say hello to Humpty Dumpty, slide down There Was an Old Lady Who Lived in a Shoe, visit Western Town, or take a turn on one of the amusements.

#7. Go Roller Skating at Oaks Amusement Park

roller rink oak park amusement portland

If you happen to get caught in some of Portland’s legendary rainy weather, head to the roller rink at Oaks Amusement Park in Portland’s historic Sellwood neighbourhood.

The roller rink at Oaks Park has been open since 1905 and is the last roller rink to still have music played over an organ. So strap on your skates and go for a spin around this historic roller rink!

On a sunnier day, The Park also offers family rides, kiddie rides, mini golf, go karts and more.

#8. Say Hello to Herman the Sturgeon at Bonneville Dam & Fish Hatchery

Herman the Sturgeon

Engineering fans will enjoy a tour of Bonneville Dam, on the Columbia River, with its 20 turbines that supply 500,000 homes with power.

But, the real star family fun day out is a trip to the Bonneville Fish Hatchery. Visit and feed salmon in the fish farm, walk the trails, have a picnic, and be sure to visit the 80 year old Oregon icon, Herman the Sturgeon.

#9. Sample VooDoo Doughnuts

voodoo doughnut

Feeling peckish? You can’t go to Portland without take a trip to the original VooDoo Doughnut in Portland’s Old Town.

From bacon maple bars, to doughnuts topped with Oreos, cereal, bubble gum and everything in between, there’s a reason they’ve been featured on countless US and international media outlets – the magic is in the hole!

#10. Learn About Trees at World Forestry Center

world forestry center portland oregon

Located in Washington Park is the World Forestry Center, a non-profit created to educate visitors about the world’s forests, trees, and sustainability.

Full of interactive exhibits (including a wet-free raft ride!), kids and adults will leave with a new knowledge, appreciation and passion for the world’s forests. Be sure to say hello to Peggy The Train and the Petrified Stump during your visit.

On the second Saturday of each month, they have their TREEmendous Second Saturday events with special hands-on learning opportunities about trees and forests.

You May Also Enjoy Awesome Dinosaur Museum Experiences in USA

10 Fun and Interesting Things to Do in Portland with Kids - MyKidsTime


Like this? Share it with your network!

Like this? Share it with your network!

Published On: February 28th, 2020 / Categories: Travel / Last Updated: February 7th, 2023 / Tags: , , , /

About the Author: Erin Perkins McErlean

erin mcerlean
Originally from Portland, Oregon, Erin has been living in Co Clare since 2007. She loves to travel to off beat places with husband, Donal, and two kids Eloise (10) and Abe (9).

You May Also Enjoy

You’ve Got Mail!

Get our best content direct to your inbox! You’ll receive quick and easy recipes, fun ideas to entertain the kids, parenting tips, competitions, as well as offers from brands we trust.