Portland’s Top 5 Fun Spots With Kids

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By Kelly Wilson
Rain or shine, Portland, in the Pacific Northwest USA. While there are many family-friendly activities, these top 5 offer the most fun and value regardless of the weather!

1. A refreshing nature oasis in the middle of the city, the entrance to Mt. Tabor Park is only about two miles from the nearest freeway exit. From I-205, head west on Division until you reach SE 68th (also the entrance to Warner Pacific College), and park in available visitor parking.

This particular entrance is located at the top of SE 68th, and begins at a gate to the dog park. Take your pooch for some valuable off-leash time, and then hike up with your family to the top of Mt. Tabor. Wind along paved paths until you reach the playground. Spend the afternoon swinging for the clouds in this picturesque play area for kids!

2. Oregon Zoo is located off Highway 26 West. Go early for decent parking (the zoo opens at 9 a.m.), or ride the Max train to avoid traffic and crowds. Tickets for a family of four equal about $35, but if you show proof of Max ridership, you can get about $6 knocked off the price.

3. The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is on the east bank of the Willamette River just south of downtown. A family of four can spend the day learning and playing at the same time for about $40. Pack snacks and your lunch for a break in the middle of the day to save extra cash, then head back out to the Turbine Hall, Life Science Hall, Earth Science Hall and the current Featured Exhibits.

4. The North Clackamas Aquatic Park provides a variety of water activities for adults and children of all ages. Easy to find near Clackamas Mall, play in two wading pools with water toys appropriate for young children. Slide down one of two water slides for more excitement, and swim in the wave pool. There’s also a rock wall for more adventurous types, and an Olympic-sized swimming pool for those wanting to get in a workout!

5. After all of this activity, you and your kids are bound to be hungry. There are a few family-centered restaurants around town that make kids the focus. For calmer, quieter options, Old Wives’ Tales close to downtown offers a variety of gluten-free food and a small play area. BJ Willy’s, a restaurant in West Linn, provides kids with their own dough and toppings for a personal pizza, then wood-fires the pizzas for a one-of-a-kind meal.

These five activities in Portland, Oregon will give you and your family plenty of opportunities for good food, fun, and time together while you explore the city!

Kelly Wilson is a busy mom and freelance writer who lives in Portland, Oregon and loves family-centered activities and eateries like BJ Willy’s.