Portland is more than just roses and donuts (though, if you go – you need to get the donuts). Today, we’re sharing our Top 10 Must Do Portland Family Attractions!
Things to do in Portland Oregon with Kids
Portland is known as a quirky and unique city, infused with culture and all things trendy, and filled with people thriving in their passions.
What you may not expect is the tempting array of attractions for a temperate and memorable family vacation. Portlandia fans will already have their attention tuned to the City of Roses; for the rest of you, here are some unforgettable places to visit in Portland.
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10+ Reasons You Need to Add Portland to Your Family Vacation List
While technically across the river in Washington, Fort Vancouver takes you back to the era of fur trading and 19th – 20th century military history. Explore the replica fort, originally built by the Hudson Bay Company in 1825, visit Officer’s Row complete with fully restored 19-century homes, and tour the Pearson Air Museum for a history of military operations in the area.
A one-stop shop, Washington Park offers more attractions than you could visit in just one day. The Oregon Zoo and Portland’s Children Museum are the big draws but consider skipping these for unique local spots. Try the World Forestry Center that connects you to the geography and environment of the Pacific Northwest, or enjoy 12 miles of trails in the Hoyt Arboretum. You can also visit the Portland Japanese Garden, the International Rose Test Garden, and several memorials – the Oregon Holocaust Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Oregon Memorial, and Sacajawea Memorial. Kids will adore the massive playground and possibly, even archery practice!
Portland Saturday Market
A tradition since 1973, the Market features over 300 different vendors, live music, and the “Kids Korner” that features special entertainment for little ones. Spend time strolling through local fare, enjoying countless food options, and plenty of people watching.
Columbia River Gorge & Multnomah Falls
A short drive outside of the city offers the stunning Multnomah Falls, the second highest waterfall in the U.S. A part of the larger Scenic Area, the Multnomah Lodge offers a great place to rest, enjoy the view, and grab lunch before heading up the accessible 1.2-mile trail to the bridge spanning the falls. Those more adventurous can keep climbing to the top of the falls.
Pips and Bounce
If it’s rainy outside or you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind stop, don’t miss Pips and Bounce. It’s a Ping Pong/restaurant/bar where you’re sure to enjoy quality and tasty dishes and lots of giggles as you get everyone up to speed on their ping pong skills.
Portland Aerial Tram
For an inexpensive ride with a view, take the tram from the waterfront to the top of Marquam Hill. Used as public transit for locals, the tram is an easy and accessible way to reach the hilltop and Oregon Health and Science University. At the top, you’ll have access to the 4T Trail which offers a self-guided tour using other public transit and stunning hikes at the forested hilltop.
Fans of Beverly Cleary will want to be certain to add this stop to the itinerary. The setting for several events in her beloved books, Grant Park offers an impressive array of recreational activities. The best, however, are the statues of Henry, Ribsy, and Ramona in the Beverly Clearly Sculpture Garden for Children. Search the map to find where the books took place in the city of Portland.
Portland Street Car
Sometimes meandering rides on public transportation are the best way to discover hidden gems, get out of the touristy heavy areas, or simply take a load off while keeping the kids busy. The street car loops through the city, hitting some of the major shopping and attraction areas, and lets you see Portland as the locals do.
Portland is a fun, low-key town with plenty of things to do for the whole family!
If you’re heading to Portland, be sure to check out our Top 10 Portland Restaurants for Families, and if you’ll be popping into Seattle (only 3 hours away) check out our Must-do Seattle Family Attractions.