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Here are all the scary-fun Halloween events Portland families need to check out this year

If there’s one holiday Portland families totally love, it’s got to be Halloween. We love to get weird with the kids (aren’t family costumes the best?) and head out into the city in search of goodies and the coolest carved pumpkins around. Lucky for us, Halloween events Portland kids love happen pretty much all month long. So plan to take that costume out for a spin at the zoo, OMSI, and even the symphony before your little pumpkin dons it for the main event on Halloween.

parents dress up for halloween pose with a costumed baby during howloween a halloween event in portland oregon
Michael Durham/Oregon Zoo

Howloween at the Zoo
You don't want to miss this Halloween event Portland families come back for year after year. The zoo provides a fun and safe setting for this local tradition, where costumed trick-or-treaters learn about healthy habitats for wildlife in a fun scavenger hunt throughout the zoo. Your little animal lovers will enjoy seeing the animals and learning all about conservation while filling their buckets, too. This event is included with your zoo admission, and you can grab a treat bag for an additional fee (or bring your own from home). The best part? All goodies handed out are made by companies that have committed to using deforestation-free palm oil.

Dates: Oct. 22, 23, 28-31, 2022

Oregon Zoo
4001 S.W. Canyon Rd.
Portland
Event details

 

See Hocus Pocus in Concert
See the Halloween favorite Hocus Pocus on the big screen with the Oregon Symphony performing the soundtracks live. Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy star as three wild witches who return from seventeenth-century Salem for a night of zany fun and comic chaos. Filled with bewitching laughs and magic, this hilarious film is perfect for the entire family.

Dates: Oct. 29-31, 2022

Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
1037 S.W. Broadway
Portland
Event details

 

Do the Monster Mash
This community event starts at the Sellwood Middle School for the Monster March parade and ends with a party where kids can enjoy games, music, food, a photo booth, and face painting for Halloween. Wear your costumes, and register in advance for food and admission to this family event.

Dates: Oct. 29, 2022

Sellwood Community House
1436 S.E. Spokane St.
Portland
Event details
 

Spirit of Halloween
The sleepy community of St Helens comes alive every October as it re-imagines Halloweentown, the spooky movie filmed there in the 1990s. You can find a celebration all month long, and they mean business—tickets are required for entry every weekend. You’ll be able to go on a self-guided haunted tour, check out the vendor village, and admire the storefronts in the historic downtown—look for special effects and great displays! You’ll find world class street performers, dance lessons, an alien exhibit, a costume contest, and a myriad of photo ops.

Good to Know: You'll find weekend Parking at 471 Plymouth Street.

Dates: Sep. 17-Oct. 31, 2022

Courthouse Plaza at The Historical Riverfront District
275 Strand St.
St. Helens, OR
Event details

 

Ride the Pumpkin Train
Kids of all ages will love this festive train ride around Flower Farm. Why? Because it's led by a pumpkin engine. A trip around the farm is worth the visit, but the kids will love meeting farm animals and checking out the farm store too. Just beware, this ride runs rain or shine. Psst...looking for a frightfully fun ride? Check out the Flower Farm Boo Train (not recommended for kids under 6) that rides after dark.

Dates: Oct. 8-31, 2022

2512 N. Holly St.
Canby, OR
Event details

Related: This Pumpkin Train Ride Is Worth the Drive from PDX

carved pumpkins glow from within during Halloween, fall festivals
Boophotography via iStock

Make a Witch Hat
Bring your little witch or wizard to this parent/child crafting event. Registration includes all the materials you need to make your own custom witch hats, plus two hats you don't have to craft. It's a great event to get you in the spirit of things.

Date: Oct. 29, 2022

Venino Art Studio
13329 S.E. Misty Dr.
Happy Valley, OR
Event details

 

Trick or Treat at Gresham Station
Bring your costumed kiddos to Gresham Station for a fun Halloween event the whole family will love. Grab tricks or treats from the Gresham Station retailers, make crafts, and even get a chance to meet and greet some of Mountain Peaks Therapy alpacas when you visit.

Date: Oct. 29, 2022

Gresham Station
649 N.W. 12th St.
Gresham, OR
Event details

 

Get Halloween Goodies at the Farmers Market
Hey, ghosts and goblins, superheroes and princesses! Come celebrate Halloween with a trick or treating opportunity at the Market a day before the main event. Dress up in your costume and trick or treat at the vendors booths.

Date: Oct. 30, 2022

Rotary Plaza
12345 S.W. Tigard St.
Tigard, OR
Event details 

 

See Cool Carved Pumpkins
West Linn's annual pumpkin display will be back this year with 200 intricately carved, mind-blowing pumpkins, a kid-friendly laser light display, glow pumpkins, and a flaming jack o' lantern. Another fun option in West Linn? The Boo Pumpkin Patch (Oct. 21-22) at Mary S. Young Park where you'll see more pumpkins on display and the Portland Ghostbusters too. Both are fun alternatives to scary haunts that not all kids can handle, and an easy win for parent with tots and babies.

Dates: Oct. 15 & 16, 22 & 23, 28-31, 2022

2885 White Salmon Ct.
West Linn, OR
Event details

 

Experience a Junior Haunt
Halloween thrills that aren’t too scary wait for families at the Canby fairgrounds this year. Harken back to Halloween’s past as you survive ‘80s horror films, 1950’s atomic Cold War bunkers, clanking damp castles, raven-haunted graveyards, and more. This Junior haunt is aimed at guests 12 and under and their families. It’s a more brightly lit, quieter, and friendly attraction to provide only laughter and delight. Tickets required.

Dates: Oct. 8-29, 2022

Clackamas County Event Center
694 N.E. 4th Ave.
Canby, OR
Event details

 

Attend the Kids Monster Fest
The Kids Monster Fest is a special matinee haunted house experience for children 12 and under and scaredy cats of all ages. Guests will be allowed into the largest Underhill Haunted House nighttime haunts: Underhill Manor. Upon entering young guests will receive a magic wand that will frighten any ghouls, monsters, or creeps away. Also, guests should try and find Harry, the very cute resident bat. If you do prizes await. Join us for Kids Monster Fest for a fun, scary-but-not-too-scary time.

Dates: Oct. 22 & 23, 2022

Veterans Memorial Coliseum
300 N. Ramsay Way
Portland
Event details

Related: Our Favorite Places to Take Kids Trick or Treating in the City, Day or Night

a baby sits open-mouthed in a pumpkin patch field wearing a witch hat
iStock

Experience Laser Halloween
Spooky lasers, eerie scenes, and ghoulish dances are what this party is all about. Get into the Halloween spirit with frighteningly good tunes provided by OMSI. All you need to bring is your best dance moves for this chilling good time.

Dates: Oct. 1-30, 2022

OMSI
1945 S.E. Water Ave.
Portland
Event details

 

Trick-or-Treat on the Trail
Pack up the car and bring the kids for tons of cute photo ops around the Dolan Creek Farm. Dress is your costumes and plan to enjoying trick or treating on the farm’s nature trail, too.

Date: Oct. 30, 2022

Dolan Creek Farm
13490 S.E. Orient Dr.
Boring, OR
Event details

 

Go to a Spooky Storytime
Come celebrate Dia de los Muertos and Halloween with North Portland Library. Join with friends for a very special, very spooky storytime, a costume parade, crafts, snacks, and giveaway books.

Date: Oct. 30, 2022

North Portland Library
512 N. Killingsworth St.
Portland, OR
Event details 

 

Oaks Park Scare Grounds
Portland's only Scream Park returns to one of the oldest amusement parks in the country, the historic Oaks Amusement Park. The Event features three horrifying haunted walkthrough attractions: House of Horrors Scarezone, Graveyard Pumpkin Patch, Last ‘Scream’ Photo Op. There are also Oaks Park thrill rides, games, and concessions. But we know you want to know about the not-so-scary option for little kids. Little ghosts and goblins are invited to join for Midway Trick-or-Treating during select hours. Get a trick-or-treat bag from any game booth, then stop by the carousel, train, mini golf course, and each Midway game for goodies.

Dates: Sep. 30-Oct. 31, 2022

7805 S.E. Oaks Park Way
Portland
Event details

 

Bella Organics Haunted Corn Maze
Open every Friday and Saturday night through October, this Halloween activity starts at dark. Get lost in acres of corn with the kids. Creatures stalk you as you make your way through the Haunted Corn Maze. This year the Sauvie Island Haunted Corn Maze will be inspired by suicide prevention, a theme we can all get on board with. If you're wondering which option to take with kids, try the earliest time available.

If you kiddos are too young for such a scare, Bella Organics has a far less scary corn maze to be enjoyed earlier in the day. It's open on Halloween and includes access to hay rides a cow train and even a petting zoo with lots of animals your little ghosts will love getting their hands on.

Dates: Sep. 15-Oct. 31, 2022

16205 N.W. Gillihan Rd.
Portland
Event details

Related: Get Lost! Corn Mazes to Visit This Fall

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From a DJ booth for the big kids to butterfly wings for the littles, you can use your old cardboard boxes to create these unique Halloween costumes

It’s that time of year! The weather has that autumn chill, everything is pumpkin-flavored (just look at TJ’s latest pumpkin offerings!), and the kids are buzzing with family costume ideas. Instead of breaking your budget on a store-bought costume, why not reuse those Amazon boxes you have stashed away? They’re called “boxtumes,” and with just a little crafty inspiration and your child’s imagination, you can create any number of cardboard box costumes that will make for a happy Halloween. Looking for some more DIY inspiration? Check out these Halloween crafts for kids, super-cool pumpkin carving stencils (your neighbors will flip!), and haunted Halloween decorations.

A girl has used a box to create a vending machine Halloween costume
Christy Palmer via Thrifty and Thriving

Vending Machine

This is an easy, and great idea for using up all those boxes from Amazon! Just be warned— this cool costume could have other trick-or-treaters trying to get the candy to dispense. A Slinky, paint, and a few other items are all you’ll need to make your version of this tasty get-up. Head over to Thrifty and Thriving to get the entire tutorial.

 

A boy dressed up like a DJ booth using an old box
Kate Loweth

DJ

Snag a shirt from your favorite band, some headphones, and some chains and you'll be on your way to building a fantastic DJ costume. Use your box to make the turntable and grab a record from Goodwill. Super easy! 

Related: 34 Incredible Homemade Halloween Costumes for Kids

Mixtape & Rock Star

We love this sibling costume idea that has you cutting a mixtape and guitar out of boxes. Bonus: your kids can wear comfy clothes for the rest of the costume which means you'll definitely be winning at Halloween. 

A boy is dressed up for Halloween in a box costume that makes his look like french fries
Jen Allyson via The Project Girl

An Order of Fries

Yum! A fab nod at fast food, this French fry costume is purely adorable. Seriously. It goes from plain ol’ cardboard to a cool costume with just a few artsy steps. Get the full how-to from The Project Girl.

A girl is dressed up in a box for Halloween to look like a pink macron
Studio DIY

A Macaron

Oui, oui, your child is a fabulously French macaron. This scrumptious costume looks good enough to eat. Sadly, you can't, but it’s fun to create and your child will get a kick out of being their favorite dessert. Check out the design from Studio DIY.

 

Minecraft

Your little ones will love painting these Minecraft heads for their Halloween costumes this year. 

A boy uses an Amazon box to create a Halloween costume
Kate Loweth

A Kid in a Box

This illusion costume is super fun and easy to build. Just use a mask from last year and a hoodie to create the creature who is carrying you. Then you get to be carried in the box. Super fun! 

Paper Dolls

We love this creative option that would be super easy to cut out and decorate this Halloween! 

 

A little girl is dressed up for Halloween like an Xray using a cardboard box
Rachael Burgess

X-Ray

How cute is this little x-ray costume? Not only is the skeleton totally on point for Halloween, but have a sibling or a parent dress up as a doctor, and boom—it's a family costume. Find out how to make one with your Amazon box by heading over to Rachael Burgess

Two girls are dressed in matching Halloween costumes made of cardboard that make them look like a pair of die
Mandy Beyeler via Sugar Bee Crafts

A Pair of Dice

Try your luck at making a set of dice this Halloween. Perfect for twins or BFFs, one of the best things about this costume is that it doesn't take a ton of supplies to make. Get the tutorial over at Sugar Bee Crafts

A boy is dressed as a dragon for Halloween using a cardboard box
Liska Meyers via Adventure in a Box

A Daring Dino

Go Jurassic this Halloween with an adorable dinosaur cardboard box Halloween costume. Your kiddo can fit inside the box, making it easy to wear (in other words, no tight suits or itchy head coverings that your tot will surely refuse to even touch). And bonus, your kiddos can paint their dino any way they want. Get the full instructions from Adventure In a Box.

 

Alien

Get yourself some foil and craft a UFO out of those cardboard boxes for an out-of-this-world costume! 

Related: 27 Family Halloween Costume Ideas to Copy This Year

A girl is dressed up like a letter using a cardboard box
Studio DIY

An Envelope

Someone has mail. No, not email—a real letter that’s made from paper. Okay, so the letter isn’t exactly all paper and pen marks. It’s cardboard! With a box and some creativity, you can build your child a cute airmail costume. Get the details from Studio DIY.

 

Thomas the Train

Your preschooler can’t stop going on and on about his favorite little blue engine. He's totally into Thomas the Train and is begging (like every 30 seconds) for a costume that features his fave. Well, here’s where this costume from Little Red Window comes in. It’s artsy, fun, and something you can DIY at home.

 

Airplane

You’ve seen Disney’s Planes something like a trillion times. And now your child wants to play one of the roles. For Halloween, that is. Don’t worry about finding a ready-made L’il Dipper costume at the mall (or online). Check out this cardboard box version from Desert Chica.

 

Fairy wings made from a cardboard box are worn by a little girl for Halloween
The Sweetest Occasion

Cardboard Wings

Whether it’s princesses, fairies, or butterflies that interest your child, this cardboard costume is absolutely everything. It’s super simple, but still artsy enough to get your creative kid into the crafty creation process. Learn how to turn your old boxes into a crown and beautiful butterfly wings over at The Sweetest Occasion.

 

Related: 23 Last-Minute Costumes You Can Totally Pull Off

A cardboard box is painting red to look like a fire engine and is worn by a little boy for Halloween
Repeat Crafter Me

Fire Truck

You don’t have to keep the cardboard for the costume itself. This sweet firefighter outfit is easy to make—you can probably pick plenty of items from the dress-up bin to use. Here’s where the cardboard comes in. Use it to create the cutest fire truck wagon ever! Get the details from Repeat Crafter Me.

 

 

 

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From exploring hay mazes to making crafts, there are a ton of things to do in Portland this fall without having to break the bank

Autumn in Portland is here, and you can tell because families are heading to pumpkin patches and preparing for Halloween festivities. Sure, the summer sunshine and heat might be dissipating but you can still get out and about for fabulous fall festivals and other fun activities that don’t cost an arm and a leg. In fact, there are an abundance of endeavors that are downright affordable for families looking for thrills on the cheap.

Put these free and cheap things to do in October on your calendar

Schedule Tree Time
Head to the Hoyt Arboretum with your preschoolers for a story and guided walk along the trails. You’ll explore the natural surroundings and may even get your hands dirty. Mon. & Sat. in Oct. Event details.

Play at Wee Wednesdays
Hoot-n-Annie’s is the place to be mid-week. Watch amazing local artists with the kids while they laugh, dance, and sing. Wed. in Oct. Event details.

Head to a family-friendly concert
Get some dinner and rock out with Mr. Hoo at the Oregon Public House to get you through Hump Day with the kids. Wed. in Oct. Event details.

Enjoy family play time
Play and learning go hand in hand. Bring the kids to the library to play with books, toys, and music, and have all the room you need to get your wiggles out together. Fri. in Oct. Event details.

Find treasures at the market
There’s handmade happiness each Saturday at this vibrant weekly artisan pop-up village for local small businesses creating arts, crafts, and foods from the Pacific Northwest. Sat. in Oct. Event details.

Do Discount Day at OMSI
Admission to OMSI is just $2 per person the first Sunday of every month, along with discounts to the theater, planetarium, and submarine tours. Oct. 2. Event details.

Celebrate the harvest 
Get your fall started in Hood River with fresh produce, apple cider, and pumpkin-carving contests, plus the kids will love activities like a bouncy house and rock wall. Oct. 7-9. Event details.

Related: Oh My Gourd! Our Favorite Pumpkin Patches for Portland Families 

Play at the Pavilion
Bring the littles to Friday Performance & Play outdoors at the Sellwood Community House Pavilion for family-friendly music and dance. Fri. in Oct. Event details.

Listen to live music
Local bands Jessa Campbell and The Saplings, Tevis Hodge Jr., Red Yarn, and Jump at the Sun will perform at this porch concert series from the Cathedral Park Performing Arts Collective. Oct. 8 & 22. Event details.

Support the Congenital Heart Walk 
Visit the Oregon Zoo and make a donation at this family-friendly event to support research about improving the quality of life for children with heart defects. Oct 8. Event details.

See giant pumpkins in action
Don’t miss this silly annual race featuring costumed competitors paddling boats made from actual hollowed out pumpkins. Further your pumpkin fix with weigh offs, pumpkin bowling, and other gourd-related activities. Oct. 15 & 16. Event details.

Drop in for crafts, stories
Stop by the Craft Factory each Saturday morning for Open Studio time and get set up with mountains worth of crafting materials to choose from. There’s also a story time. Sat. in Oct. Event details.

Visit llamas, sheep, and goats
Head to this festival celebrating natural fibers and appreciate where they came from by making friends with cuddly livestock. Learn from demonstrations and make your own crafts. Oct. 15 & 16. Event details.

Step up to the mic
Bring your family band, your improv, your singing voice, your jokes to this open mic night that’s just for kids and families. Just remember to reserve your performance slot. Oct. 14 & 28. Event details.

Related: Best of the Fests! 7 Fall Festivals That Celebrate the Season

Watch cartoons on the weekend
Kids and kids at heart are encouraged to come watch epic animation and get their fill of sugary cereal all weekend long at the 4th Wall. Sat. & Sun. in Oct. Event details.

Enjoy Community Art Day
Come take an art class, work on a collaborative project, and let the kids do their own thing at the creation station during this free, public event at Rose City Book Pub. Oct. 9 & 23. Event details.

Close out Hispanic Heritage Month
Bring the kids to celebrate the end of Hispanic Heritage Month with pinatas, a low rider car show, and much more. Oct. 15. Event details.

Explore corn mazes
Get lost in an epic, all-ages corn maze at Sauvie Island that winds through almost two miles of corn. Bring snacks for the journey, which can take up to 45 minutes. Sauvie Island also hosts another favorite of the harvest season that takes a creative approach to their annual corn maze with a changing theme that often includes giant letters carved into the corn. Thu.-Sun through Oct. 31.

Celebrate Dia de Muertos
Everyone is welcome at the family-friendly festival where you’ll enjoy stories, songs, crafts, and more. Oct. 25. Event details.

Head to a Killer Pumpkin Fest 
Celebrate all things Halloween with storytelling, pumpkin beer, costume contests, ax throwing, pumpkin smashing, and many more activities for a full day of spookiness and fun. Oct. 29. Event details.

These events are always free in Portland

kids trick or treat in costume at a door on Halloween
iStock

Go Trick or Treating
Grab a borrowed costume or one from a local consignment shop and head to one of our favorite neighborhoods to trick or treat on Halloween.

Visit a Favorite Museum
From the tiniest tots to grandparents, and every age in-between, there’s something fascinating for everyone at the hands-on, interactive exhibits at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. Explore the Physics Lab and the Science Playground, or hop aboard the USS Blueback Submarine. On the first Sunday of every month, admission at OMSI is just $2, and Submarine tours, Planetarium shows and the theater are also discounted.

Kids 17 and younger are always free at the Portland Art Museum, where families can get inspired in the enormous galleries full of art. Let kids take the lead by chatting about the colors and shapes they see, or which pieces they particularly like. The museum also participates in the Blue Star Museums Program, which offers free admission to active-duty military personnel and their families.

If you’ve got little train lovers, be sure to make a stop at the Oregon Rail Heritage Center. Railroad enthusiasts can check out historic trains and browse the latest exhibit. Admission is always free, although donations are accepted and appreciated. The center is open Thursday through Sunday from 1-5 p.m.

At the Historic Belmont Firehouse, families can explore hands-on exhibits, stories and history while learning fire and safety education. Kids will love checking out the fire pole and the emergency response simulator, as well as all of the firefighting tools and equipment. Every Wednesday is Open House, and families are welcome to come and visit free from 9 a.m.- 3 p.m. The firehouse also offers Safety Saturdays on the second Saturday of each month.

For history buffs, the Oregon Historical Society awaits you. Located downtown, and always free for Multnomah County residents (with proof of residency), the museum houses a variety of exhibits designed to bring Oregon's history to life. The permanent History Hub exhibit delves into the topic of diversity, with hands-on activities and displays.

Related: Your Guide to Free & Discount Days at Portland Museums Is Here

Head to a Park or Playground
Portland has no shortage of parks and playgrounds, including spaces where kids of all abilities can play. It’s always a treat to visit your neighborhood green space. Why not shake things up and visit a park in a different neighborhood? Set a family challenge to visit a new Portland park before summer ends. You can find all of it's as easy as packing snacks and heading outdoors.

Catch a Flick
At McMenamin’s Kennedy School, families can enjoy second-run movies while relaxing on comfy couches and snacking on pizza, burgers and salads from the menu, along with wine, beer and ciders for those over 21. Movie tickets are $5 for adults, and just $3 for kids age 11 and younger.

Take a Hike
Pack up some snacks and water, slick on the sunscreen and head out for a glorious hike on one of the many trails around Portland. Younger kids might enjoy adventuring around Hoyt Arboretum, which has a variety trails, including a 1-mile paved path perfect for strollers. Tryon Creek State Natural Area has plenty of nature trails, plus guided nature walks and a junior ranger program to get kids motivated. Kids will also love exploring the flora and fauna of the Leach Botantical Garden. For kids who can do more serious hiking, Latourell Falls has a 2.4 mile loop, gorgeous waterfall views and is often less crowded than Multnomah Falls.

Related: Spectacular Waterfall Trails to Hit Now

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Halloween is on its way, and that can only mean one thing. Time to plan a trip to a pumpkin patch Portland families love

Fall is finally here in the Pacific Northwest, and for Portland families that means doing all the things—we’re talking apple picking, corn mazing, and choosing that perfect pumpkin from a local pumpkin patch. Portland families can stay close to home or head out of town to find that just-right jack-o-lantern wannabe. But wherever you choose to go, you can count on plenty of patch perks to make it worth your weekend. Think hayrides, barnyard animals, corn mazes, and more. Of course no trip to the pumpkin patch would be complete without a hearty helping of apple cider and warm mini donuts for everyone. But don’t take our word for it. Now’s the perfect time to plan your pumpkin patch outing with the kids.

two girls hold hands running through a pumpkin patch with haybales and pumpkins along the side
Shutterstock

The Pumpkin Patch

Located on beautiful Sauvie Island, The Pumpkin Patch is Portland’s original spot to pick out your family's jack-o-lantern in the fall. It’s a third-generation family farm that is Good Agricultural Practices certified. The Pumpkin Patch has been around since 1967, and is located just 15 minutes Northwest of Portland on 800 acres with over 50 varieties of fruits and vegetables grown throughout the year. Each October they put on an incredible harvest festival with many attractions including their Big Red Animal Barn, hayrides, the one and only original Corn MAiZE, Patio Café, gift shop, Pumpkin Perk coffee cart, a bounteous farmers market of produce, and a couple food carts. Feel free hitch a ride on the wagon to pick your own pumpkin in the fields or simply pick one out in the market.

Insider Tip: When driving to the patch, make sure you go the full two miles after looping under the bridge (Watch for mile marker #2 on the right side of the road). It is the second farm on the left. And if you’re going on a weekend in October, make sure to leave early and beat the traffic going over the bridge.

Good to Know: The MAiZE at The Pumpkin Patch deserves some individual attention. Visitors have long loved the challenge of making their way through the eight-acre maze that's divided in two, based on difficulty. If you complete both sides, plan to spend about 45 minutes navigating the field and completing the 10 question passport. The MAiZE is open September 3 through Halloween.

Dates: Oct. 1-31, 2022

16511 N.W. Gillihan Rd.
Portland
Online: thepumpkinpatch.com

Related: Get Lost! 10 Corn Mazes To Explore with Kids

Plumper Pumpkin Patch & Tree Farm

Especially great for families with tots in tow is this pumpkin patch in the middle of the city. You don't have to travel far to find the pumpkin patch adventures your kids crave the same way you crave that first sip of pumpkin spice anything in the fall. Here they'll have their run of the fallow field that's full of mazes, slides, and an obstacle course that changes every year. The tube slides and play yard are sure to be a hit with your tots, as is the Hobbit House that's so much fun to explore. Add on wagon rides, cannons, and friendly animals who love to interact with kids, and you've got the ultimate fall odyssey planned. 

Good to Know: If the kids want to include a pony run in their pumpkin picking run, this is the spot to do it. Pony rides are available on the weekends only.

Dates: Sep. 17-Oct. 30, 2022

11435 N.W. Old Cornelius Pass Rd.
Portland
Online: plumperpumpkins.com

a girl in a pink dress sits by a pumpkin in a pumpkin patch
Shutterstock

Bushue Family Farms

Bushue’s is a third-generation family farm located in Boring, Oregon. In addition to picking your own gourd, you can also catch the last of the summer flowers and veggies at the produce market when you make your way to this pumpkin patch. Kids will love playing and exploring the farm (don't forget to visit with the animals) before finding the perfect pumpkin. And we're pretty sure a chance to ride the pig train will get them excited. But the thing that sets this farm apart from the others is the dirt babies. And yep, they're just what they sound like, but they're oh-so-fun for kids. Take home a kit when you visit.

Good to Know: Families can purchase a wristband that includes one of each of the farm activities, plus a dirt baby kit. Or you can pay a la carte.

Dates: Thu.-Sun., Oct. 1-30, 2022

9880 S.E. Revenue Rd.
Boring, OR
Online: bushuefarming.com

Roloff Farms

Roloff Farms started as a small fixer upper on 34 acres of possibility. The beat up old farmhouse, broken down barn and overgrown peach orchard has grown and transformed into an over 100 acre agri-tainment extravaganza. Roloff Farms is now an annual destination bringing fun and excitement to thousands of local and worldwide visitors. In fact, Roloff Farms has been the backdrop for many of the antics and adventures of the Roloff family, stars of the popular, long-running TLC reality series Little People, Big World.

When your family visits, they'll find plenty to do. Start with the self-guided Scenic Trail Walk where you'll find play areas and fun activities along the way. Then ride the famous group wagon tour, shoot the cannons, hop on the colorful train, explore a Spooky forest, and maybe even get your face painted while you're there. As usual, yummy food and a variety of pumpkins are part of this trip.

Good to Know: Advance reservations are required at this farm.

Dates: Fri.-Sun., Oct. 1-30, 2022

23985 N.W. Grossen Dr.
Hillsboro, OR
Online:  rolofffarms.com

Packer Orchards

Located a bit further than some of the other pumpkin patches near Portland, Packer Orchard’s is well-worth the hour drive to the Hood River Valley. On your drive through the Columbia River Gorge, look for changing leaves, waterfalls, and misty mountains. Because once you arrive you little pumpkins will not want to stop. Whether they're drawn to the corn maze or can't wait to feed a treat to the farm animals, there's more than enough to keep the kids entertained (and tucker them out for the car ride home) all day long. The updated activity field includes a play area, trike track, and a giant hay slide the whole family can enjoy. And who can resist jumping into the corn bin? Not us, that's for sure. Our tip? Pick out your pumpkin first, otherwise it'll be hard to tear the kids away from everything else this farm has going on.

Good to Know: The flashlight corn maze is hit with big kids (and brave Littles). It gives off a not-too-scary vibe, and only runs on certain evenings. This year it's planned for September 30 and October 14 & 21, from 7-9 p.m. Get tickets before you go. 

Insider Tip: On your way back to the city, stop by The Gorge White House for some cider and wine.

Dates: Thu.-Sun., Sep. 15-Oct. 30, 2022

3020 Thomsen Rd.
Hood River, OR
Online: packerorchards.com

Related: Best of the Fests! 7 Fall Festivals That Celebrate the Season

Lee Farms

Owned and operated for seven generations in Tualatin, Oregon, Lee Farms offers something for every fall-loving family. You can visit the animals that live on the farm on weekdays and weekends, navigate the cornmaze, or go on a hayride or play in the activity area when you visit. You'll need a ticket to access the pumpkin patch and the activities, and it's best to purchase online in advance, unless you're visiting on Oct. 8, 9, 14 or 16. Then, you'll need to purchase tickets on-site. Their farm market and bakery is where you'll find fresh and frozen delights to take home with you. It's open Wednesdays through Sundays, from 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

Dates: Sep. 24-Oct. 30, 2022

21975 S.W. 65th Ave.
Tualatin, OR
Online: leefarmsoregon.com

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Celebrate all things autumn by getting out into the country to enjoy some fabulous fall festivals

Autumn leaves are falling and the smell of pumpkin spice is in the air. That’s right – fall is here and with it comes a bevvy of family-friendly fall festivals. In the Portland area, we’re lucky to be surrounded by agriculture of all kinds, from the apple orchards of Hood River to pumpkin patches on Sauvie Island. All you need to do to get in on this autumn action is pick a weekend in October and get ready to press cider, pet goats, fly kites, and watch a pumpkin boat race that’s like no other around.

Families mill around bouncy houses during a fall festival in Bend, oregon

photo: Brian Becker

Bend Fall Festival

For a full weekend of fall fun, head to this three-day festival in Bend to celebrate the best of the autumn season with art, food, and music. Here you’ll find more than 80 artisans and craftspeople displaying their beautiful handiwork, design, and artistry in the heart of downtown, plus an Art in Action Avenue with live demonstrations, a Harvest Market teeming with seasonal, local produce, and a family play zone with everything from pumpkin painting to a bounce house.

Dates: Sep. 30-Oct. 2, 2022

Downtown Bend
N.W. Wall St. & N.W. Bond St.
Bend, OR
Event details

Related: Fuel Up! Fall Road Trips Portland Families Should Plan Now

Packer Orchards Fall Festival

You’ll find a ton of autumn fun at this fall festival that started mid-September and runs through October. Get lost (but not for too long) in the family-friendly corn maze or grab a burlap sack and slide down a giant hay slide. There are also cute farm animals to visit, your own pumpkin to pick, and an activity field to play in. With so many choices, you might have to visit on multiple days.

Dates: Thu.-Sun., now through Nov. 5, 2022

3020 Thomsen Rd.
Hood River, OR
Event details

Related: Get Lost! Family-Friendly Corn Mazes to Visit This Fall

The Fall Kite Festival

Take flight into the fall season at this kite festival in Lincoln City. Expect exciting kite demonstrations by experts, kite-making, a parade, and of course the colorful, giant kites floating above the beach. The Fall Kite Festival is an event like no other, with brilliant shapes and colors filling up the sky for the whole weekend.

Date: Oct. 1-2, 2022

D River State Recreation Site
101 US-101
Lincoln City, OR
Event details

Related: Fuel Up! Fall Road Trips Portland Families Should Take Now

Hood River Valley Harvest Fest

For the classic fall festival experience, with all the fresh produce, pumpkin-carving contests, and apple cider you could ask for, this is one of the region’s best. Your kids will enjoy the bouncy house and rock wall, along with other kids’ activities, while you can browse from a wide range of goods created by local artisans, and sip on local wine and beer. Extend your trip with a visit to any of the area’s many farms along the historic Fruit Loop, most of which will be offering harvest specials of their own.

Dates: Oct. 7-9, 2022

Hood River Event Site
North of Exit 63 off Interstate 84
Hood River, OR
Event details

people dressed in Halloween costumes float in giant pumpkins on the river at this fall festival outside of Portland, Oregon

photo: courtesy City of Tualatin

West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta

Come to the silliest of the annual thrills to watch costumed competitors paddle giant pumpkins on Tualatin Lake. (Like, actual pumpkins, hollowed out into actual boats. Who’s with us?) The Pacific Giant Vegetable Growers supply the enormous gourds for this annual pumpkin boat race, open to paddlers 18 and older, chosen during a pre-event selection process. Besides cheering on the racers, there’s plenty for little ones to do, with children’s costume contests, pumpkin races, giant pumpkin weigh-offs, live music, and great food.

Dates: Oct. 15 & 16, 2022

Tualatin Lake of the Commons
8325 S.W. Nyberg St.
Tualatin, OR
Event details

Related: Oh My Gourd! Where to Pick the Best Pumpkins around Portland

Flock and Fiber Festival

For something off the well-beaten corn-maze path, head to Canby and check out this craft-centered weekend festival honoring the art of natural fibers. Visit the sheep, goats, and llamas; participate in a make-and-take workshop; and wander the marketplace to admire a wide range of handmade goods, from felted clothing to woven baskets. Kids’ activities, a cook-off, and a goat obstacle course round out the weekend.

Date: Oct. 15 & 16, 2022

Clackamas County Event Center
694 N.E. 4th Ave.
Canby, OR
Event details

carved pumpkins glow from within during Halloween, fall festivals

photo: iStock

Killer Pumpkin Fest

Killer Pumpkin Fest is back from the dead as Rogue’s signature event celebrating all things Halloween with storytelling, pumpkin beer, costume contests, ax throwing, pumpkin smashing, and many more activities for a full day of spookiness and fun. This event takes over the streets around the Eastside Pub with REI & Yeti, and you can expect prizes and swag, delicious brews, non-alcoholic drinks, and plenty of eats and treats. Bring the kiddos and pets in costume, and be ready for some autumn excitement, rain or shine.

Date: Oct. 29, 2022

Rogue Ales & Spirits
928 S.E. 9th Ave.
Portland
Event details

Related: Boo Ya! Amazing Halloween Events for Portland Kids

additional reporting by Dhyana Levey

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From an eclectic art scene to world-renowned outdoor adventures, Seattle, Washington makes an incredible destination for all kinds of families. It offers something for everyone, including treats, cultural heritage and stunning beaches. It is the perfect place to plan a family getaway, for a weekend, a week, or longer!

Unsure of where to wind down and relax amidst your daily activities? Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio of hotels in the Seattle area makes for a comfortable pit stop and are perfectly located near the city’s best restaurants and attractions.

To help you map out your next vacation, here are our favorite things to do in the region.

1. Discover Unique Cultural Heritage 

Visit the Suquamish Museum to learn about the first inhabitants of "the place of the clear salt." Discover the history, traditional ways, and contemporary life of the Suquamish. The Northwest African American Museum celebrates the past, present, and future of Black history. Look for regular interactive storytimes. Learn about the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander heritage of the Seattle area at the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American.

 

2. Seek Out Secret Gardens 

Discover a hidden waterfall at the twenty-acre South Seattle Kubota Garden. For a quiet place to relax, visit the Chinese Garden on the campus of South Seattle Community College.

3. Explore Dynamic Art

Explore art at the Asian Art Museum, and the Seattle Art Museum. Don’t miss the Seattle Art Museum’s outdoor Olympic Sculpture Park. The Frye Art Museum is a hidden gem for art lovers. And no visit to Seattle is complete without a wander through the Chihuly Garden and Glass, located right near the famed Seattle Space Needle. 

4. Chocolate (Need We Say More?)

Take a chocolate factory tour! Both the Seattle Chocolate Factory and Theo Chocolate offer tours to the public. Theo’s even has a story time for kids. 

5. Go Chasing Waterfalls

Climb the short-and-sweet, pet-friendly Snoqualmie Falls trail (1.5 miles) to take in one of the most iconic waterfalls in the area. If you’re up for a bit more of a hike (and maybe a swim) the 5-mile round trip hike to Cherry Creek Falls is worth every minute. 

6. Find the Best Coffee in America 

Or at least enjoy trying. You probably already know that Seattle is the hometown of Starbucks, but don't think that's the only brew in town. Seattle is littered with coffee shops, all of which were making pour-over years before the rest of the country caught on. Up on Capitol Hill, there's Espresso Vivace. Near Chinatown, you’ll discover Hood Famous Cafe and Bar, where you’ll find Filipino treats and pandan lattes, and iced calamansi espresso tonics.

7. Eat, Drink, and Be Merry

Seattle is home to hundreds of outstanding restaurants and you won’t have trouble fulfilling nearly any craving. After exploring the crafts, fruits, and flowers, eat your way through Pike Place Market. Head further afield to Plum Bistro, where vegans will find a menu catered to them. Eat your fill of fresh oysters at The Walrus and the Carpenter. For a chance to try the only Malaysian restaurant in Seattle, head to Kedai Makan (they don’t take reservations). 

 

8. Enjoy Breathtaking Views

It stands to reason you’ll head to the top of the Space Needle to snap a selfie but don’t pass up the chance to ride Seattle’s iconic Great Wheel, too. 

9. Find Outdoor Adventures & Hidden Beaches

Seattle is right on the ocean so you’ll have a blast kicking your feet in the sand at one of Seattle’s many beautiful beaches and oceanfront parks. Rollerblade, bike, or scooter along a paved trail at Alki Beach. In nearby Kirkland, you can beat the crowds and enjoy the playground at Juanita Beach, then head into the protected waterfront perfect for kayaking.

10. Visit the Animals 

Between whale watching in the Puget Sound and the Woodland Park Zoo, animal lovers everywhere will get their fix in Seattle. There’s also the Kelsey Creek Farm, an animal sanctuary run by the city of Bellevue. 

Ready, set, start planning your next trip! Look to Marriott’s vast portfolio of hotels in and around the Seattle area for lodging that’s close to all of these amazing activities.

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Looking for a totally new way to stay with the kids? Now’s the time to book a magical treehouse rental in Oregon

While some folks say it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey, that’s not the always the case. Especially when a treehouse rental is in your future. More than just a cozy place to hole up with the kids on your next vacation, these Oregon treehouse rentals have everything you need to stay comfortably for a long weekend (or longer). And did we mention the incredible perks like zip lines, lakeside locations, and netted hammocks that’ll keep the kids busy for hours? The next time you need to spice up your road trip routine with the kids, book one of these treehouses near Portland. They’re tops!

Treesort Treehouse | Cave Junction, OR

If your number one requirement for a treehouse getaway is a rope bridge to a beautiful, wood-planked, suspended cabin, then look no further. Sitting at the focal point of a one-of-a-kind bridge is this incredibly cozy abode. Located in Cave Junction, Oregon, this rental is close to several astounding hiking trails, fishing opportunities, and if you’re up for it, rafting. Book the adventure of a lifetime and gear yourselves up for a weekend of horseback riding, ziplining, ping-pong–the whole lot this fall.

Sleeps: 5
Cost: $232/night
Online: airbnb.com

Related: 25 Day Trip Ideas Perfect for Your Fall Adventures

Looking up at a treehouse rental in oregon through the trees, with the sun in the background

Eagles Nest Treehouse | Portland

Hosted by Airbnb superhost Bears, this cabin is a childhood fantasy. Complete with a giant soaking tub, an 18-foot elevated zip line, and a rope bridge, this treehouse getaway truly makes you feel like you’re stepping into folklore. The deck includes a dining space so you can enjoy your meal while you commune with nature, and the interior walls are raw pine so no matter where you are, the scent of the forest is present. Skylights and massive windows invite the beauty of the outdoors into the space, and the cabin is surrounded by beautiful, massive pines. Did we mention that this incredible stay is only 15 minutes from downtown Portland? That’s right. This incredible getaway feels as such whilst being nestled in the West Slope neighborhood of west Portland. So look no further than your own backyard and book your stay today.

Sleeps: 6
Cost: $257/night
Online: airbnb.com

Magical Treehouse | Mt. Hood, OR

Located near Eagle Creek southeast of Portland proper is this elevated respite. This loft, elevated by three Douglas Fir trees offers a true forest getaway for you and your family. Nearby are several streams, rivers, and hiking trails to suit anything your inner outdoorsperson could desire. If you’re in for a bit of a drive, head up to the nearby Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood for lunch and a photo op. Access to this treehouse is via a spiral staircase, just adding to the imagination of it all, so be sure to pack reasonably sized luggage. Whether you plan to hike, relax on the private patio, or enjoy the lake views (maybe even take a dip), this treehouse is the perfect place to disconnect and recharge.

Sleeps: 4
Cost: $304/night
Online: airbnb.com

Related: Oregon Roadside Oddities You Gotta See to Believe

the wald house featured on dwell sits among the trees with a walkway as a featured treehouse rentals oregon spot

Wald House | Portland

Traveling with the family in a car for long periods of time isn’t always the best way to kick off a fun weekend getaway, so we’ve sourced an option right near the heart of our beautiful Portland, Oregon. Nestled in the West Hills of Portland is the Wald House PDX. Beaming with architectural style, beautifully decorated interiors, and an astonishing amount of natural light, the Wald House PDX gives you the opportunity to rest, relax, and regard your children as they enjoy the serenity of this home. Definitely one of the more unique takes on treehouse living, this Airbnb is an absolute must. Jet over to their Airbnb site to reserve your family’s well-deserved spot in this charming abode.

Sleeps: 5
Cost: $346/night
Online: airbnb.com

a lighted treehouse near a lake with large trees in front in oregon

Treehouse at the Lake | Lakeside, OR

Charming and attention-getting, this incredible home offers your family lakefront views and deep forest solitude. With a wrap-around deck, incredible opportunity for natural light, and a lake full of Bass, this cabin is the whole package for your family’s outdoor getaway. Grab the fishing tackle, the frisbee, and pack some brats for the gas BBQ for the ultimate R&R.

Good to Know: Please note that this property is boat-access only, so be sure you have appropriate watercraft lined up when you book. And then you can truly disconnect knowing that road noise at this cabin is truly nonexistent.

Sleeps: 4
Cost: $211/night
Online: airbnb.com

Related: Portland Family Staycations That Are Totally Exciting

a treehouse rental near portland is lit up at night in the trees

Treehouse at Farwood Retreat | Tiller, OR

Hosted by Airbnb superhosts Anna and James, this hidden bungalow is the perfect family getaway destination. Cozied up in the deep stretches of the Umpqua National Forest, the Farwood Retreat is a storybook take on cabin life. Seated well-established and well off the ground, this incredible hovering structure offers your family a bit of respite and reconnection with nature and each other. The treehouse at Farwood Retreat does not have cell-phone coverage, meaning you are at the will of your imagination—how fun! Roam the forest, play amongst the trees, serve home-cooked meals, and enjoy the company of the people closest to you. Make your way down to the creek and the swimming hole if the weather cooperates, but be sure to book your stay today.

Sleeps: 4
Cost: $148/night
Online: airbnb.com

a brown treehouse with a walkway sits among the trees outside of Portland

Treehouse on an Herb Farm | Newberg, OR

Dundee is known for its wineries and rolling vineyards, but a hidden gem of these southern hills is Airbnb host Christina’s treehouse vacation home. This space’s history is decorated with press, as it was featured in Rachel Ray’s magazine in November of 2012, and was built by Animal Planet’s Treehouse Master host Pete Nelson. You know you’re staying in style when you book your family weekend away at this cozy cabin. Littered with opportunities for wildlife spotting, an opportunity to stroll through the on-site labyrinth, and berry-picking, this little stay is the perfect way to unwind and reconnect with nature and the family. Be sure to schedule your much-needed retreat and book your vacation today.

Sleeps: 5
Cost: $303/night
Online: airbnb.com

Related: 4 Quick, One-Tank Family Road Trips for Families

All photos from airbnb.com

Please note: If you buy something from the links in this article, we may earn affiliate commission or compensation.

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Need a quick and easy plan for a no-school day? Try one of these activities around Portland

School is starting and you’re likely gearing up to send them off Monday through Friday. Yet with “No-school November” just around the corner, plus all those other in-service days, holidays, and breaks, finding that five day routine isn’t as easy as it sounds. That’s why we’ve put together a list of places to play on no-school days in Portland. A mix of indoor activities Portland families count on during the rainy season, and outdoor activities, too, because the rain never keeps us down, but sometimes you do want to stay cozy inside. Here’s now to handle those no-school days like a boss. 

Easy indoor activities Portland kids can’t get enough of

The Children's Gym
Open gym at this local hot spot just resumed on September 14. It's a welcome piece of news for parents not knowing what to do with their kids on a rainy no-school day, and are looking for indoor activities to keep them busy. With tumbling mats and climbing equipment, The Children’s Gym is a perfect spot for your little daredevil but is also safe and secure enough for your more timid climbers. Children who can crawl up through age 13 are welcome.

Good to Know: They currently require pre-registration for open gym.

1625 N.E. Sandy Blvd.
Portland
Online: childrensgym.com

Monkey King Playhouse
This indoor playhouse isn’t as well-known as Playdate PDX and is more accessible to East Siders so it may not be as over-run on no-school days. They say they can accommodate toddlers up to teenagers and encourage parents to bring their kids to play while they work or relax. The cafe with a robust menu makes this an idea spot to sit and play for a bit (no need to leave if the kids get hungry) and the massage chairs–let's just say they're a welcome addition to playtime for overtired parents.

17112 S.E. Powell Blvd.
Portland
Online: monkeykingplayhouse.com

Related: Indoor Playspaces to Get the Winter Wiggles Out

The Circuit Bouldering Gym
For serious climbers, this is the place to be. There’s technically no age minimum, but they recommend climbers be over the age of four. This place can be intense, so be aware, parents, that you may need to get up on a boulder to talk down a timid adventurer. Alternatively, your very brave child may wow you with their skills.

Locations in NE, SW & Tigard
Online: thecircuitgym.com

 

Oaks Park Roller Rink
Revisit your childhood at the roller rink and introduce your kids to the joys of roller skating and one of the best indoor activities for every generation. You can rent skates or bring your own at these public skating times. If you have a confident skater and want to observe from a distance, you can do so at no charge, but keep in mind that they have a chaperone policy for certain times.

7805 S.E. Oaks Park Way
Portland
Online: oakspark.com

 

Belmont Firehouse
If you have a kid who loves firefighters, the tour of the Historic Belmont Firehouse is going to be a slam dunk for you on a no-school day. You do need to request a tour ahead of time, but there are also some times when the station is open to the public, so plan ahead. They change up activities based on the age of the kids, too, so this is an easy option for every parent.

900 S.E. 35th Ave.
Portland
Online: friendsofportlandfire.org

Related: Strike Up Fun at These Portland Bowling Alleys

Try these no-plan outdoor activities on your next day off

Gabriel Park Playground
If you haven’t been to this brand new playground yet, get over there. Designed to be inclusive and accessible, the squishy ground and bright colors amaze kids of all ages. With wheelchair accessible merry-go-rounds, a water feature, an in-ground trampoline, and fun-to-climb play structures, kids of all abilities and interest levels can find something to do at this huge new space. It doesn’t have great shade which makes it a lovely morning or cloudy day spot. There are bathrooms and lots of tables. It's definitely one of our favorite outdoor activities on an overcast day.

S.W. 45th Ave. & S.W. Vermont St.
Portland
Online: portland.gov

Tyron Creek
Park near the visitor’s center and you have a plethora of options for your day of outdoor adventure, plus access to bathrooms. There are trails of varying difficulties including a very short paved path with surprises for your littlest-legged hikers. There are also paved bike paths which are also great for walking and strollers. The indoor visitor center sometimes has activities for kids, plus books and displays. You can also warm up or wait out a rain shower. There’s a covered picnic area nearby.

11321 S. Terwilliger Blvd.
Portland
Online: tryonfriends.org

Related: 10 Family Hikes to Take Now

Portland Street Art Walk
When it comes to outdoor activities, this is an easy one. For your little artist, you can take an art walk. You can combine this with a bike or scooter ride to your favorite cafe or donut shop or make it a scavenger hunt. You can make it a photo shoot or simply take in the sights of some of Portland’s most interesting public art displays. Go in your own part of town or explore a new section.

Find street art here

Leach Botanical Garden
Word on the street is that there's a blue dinosaur somewhere on the grounds of this gorgeous garden on the far East side of town. Whether you find it or not, this mysterious, misty forest garden is a fabulous adventure for imaginative children or nature appreciators. Look for fairies among the logs, ooh and ahh at the flora, or just have a nice walk, this lovely spot is a great place to spend a day off.

6704 S.E. 122nd Ave.
Portland
Online: leachgarden.org

Related: See Gorgeous Blooms at These Amazing Portland Gardens

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Autumn is truly showing off at our favorite places to find fall colors in Portland

Summer is waning, school has started, and its Pumpkin Spice Latte season again. While summer hikes make fond memories, fall means piles and piles of colorful leaves to gather, collect, throw, jump in, and admire. Soon the colors will be popping, and we’re ready to celebrate nature’s fireworks. That’s why we’ve rounded up some of the best places to view fall foliage in Portland. It’s time to get outside, enjoy the show, and play with the kids. Don’t forget your camera for the best shots.

Pittock Mansion & Forest Park

Originally built in 1909, the Pittock mansion is perched on top of a Forest Park hill, just waiting to burst into fall color. If you’re a history buff you’ll enjoy the indoor mansion tour, but strolling through the grounds to find a prime picnic spot makes a fine day, too. You’ll be rewarded with stunning views of Mt. Hood. For a more active day under the trees, hike down through Forest Park to the Stone House, or combine a driving tour with a visit to the Audubon Society. 

3229 N.W. Pittock Dr.
Portland
Online: pittockmansion.org

 

Hoyt Arboretum

Portland’s biggest arboretum is a clear choice to watch the fiesta of fall colors explode across the trees. Over 12 miles of hiking trails span 190 acres, and 6,000 trees like the color-changing birches, maples, oaks and magnolias. A stop at the visitor center will help direct you to which trail offers the most colors, whether you want red hawthorn berries or fiery yellow maples. They offer miles of stroller-friendly paths, a scavenger hunt for the kids, and plenty of great views. 

4000 S.W. Fairview Blvd.
Portland
Online: hoytarboretum.org

Related: 6 Amazing Forest Park Hikes You Can Take Now

Portland Japanese Gardens

Hidden away in Washington Park, this garden is perfectly coiffed and bursts into color every year. Japanese maples and other fall show-offs were planted to expertly frame certain areas, like a pond, waterfall, or statue. Leave the stroller at home, as many areas use steps. Strap the little ones into a carrier and let older kids pick the path—it’s not too big to get lost in, but big enough that they’ll have fun exploring. Afterward, stop in the teahouse for a meal or a mochi ice cream treat. Get your tickets online for timed entry before you head out.

611 S.W. Kingston Ave.
Portland
Online: japanesegarden.com

 

Sauvie Island

Fun is a main attraction every fall on this farming island! Besides pumpkins, apple cider, and corn mazes, you’ll also be able to soak in some beautiful fall color from all the oaks blanketing the land. For a perfect picnic spot, head to Howell Territorial Park and spread your feast under the oaks. In the apple orchard behind the house you’ll find trees that were planted from cuttings carried by wagon over the Oregon Trail.

13901 N.W. Howell Park Rd.
Portland
Online: oregonmetro.gov

Related: Everything You Need to Know to Plan a Sauvie Island Getaway

Leach Botanical Garden

Tucked near the forested hills of Johnson Creek, Leach Botanical Garden is a hidden gem of Southeast Portland. A collection of over 1,000 native and non-native plants is spread over 16 acres. In 2021, the Upper Garden expansion was completed, with a new canopy tree walk, a pollinator meadow, new pathways and many more plantings. It’s a beautiful place to wander, letting kids lead the way—see if they can find the maple trees for some fall glory. Reserve tickets in advance online before heading over.

6704 S.E. 122nd Ave.
Portland
Online: leachgarden.org

 

Cathedral Park

The views from this park anytime of year are nothing short of stunning. Add a blaze of red and yellow and roll in some fog over the river and you’ve got yourself a fairyland to play in for hours. Bring a picnic blanket and a thermos of hot cider and let the kids go wild! A frisbee, a pile of leaves to jump in, or even some games of tag are perfect against such a beautiful backdrop.

N Edison St. & Pittsburg Ave.
Online: portlandoregon.gov

Related: Unforgettable Fall Road Trips for Portland Families

Silver Falls State Park

For bonus colors an hour outside of Portland, hop in the car and head to Silver Falls State Park near Salem and Silverton. This enchanted forest offers a myriad of waterfalls along with fiery colorful trees set amidst green pines. The Trail of Ten Falls is an 8.6 mile trek that has, you guessed it, 10 waterfalls, and is easily cut up into smaller sections for little hikers. After hiking, enjoy a picnic by the river or check out the nature playground at the North Falls Group Camp parking lot.

20024 Silver Falls Hwy. S.E.
Sublimity, OR
Online: stateparks.oregon.gov

Related: 30 Fabulous Fall Activities for Families in PDX

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From trains and forests to science and art, these Portland museums offer educational experiences at the right price

Your child has already asked you a million questions today, and you’re ready for a break. Why not let a museum take over with answers to everything they’d ever want to know about history, science, and art? We’re happy to report Portland families can celebrate curiosity and encourage a lifetime of learning at the city’s many excellent museums without breaking the bank. How? Simply, mark your calendars for free and discount days at these popular family destinations.

These Portland Museums Are Free Every Day

Oregon Historical Society

You don't need to wait for special free and discount museum days here because The Oregon Historical Society is free year-round for Multnomah County residents (with proof of residency). The museum also offers free admission to families with EBT cards, active duty military personnel through the Blue Star program, and kids 5 and under.

This spot features three floors of rare documents, artifacts and permanent, and traveling exhibits. You and your family can check out permanent exhibits like History Hub, designed to help families explore the topic of diversity in Oregon through interactive objects and pictures. Current exhibits for 2022 include "The Immigrant Story," a narrative and photographic exploration of Asian American experiences, and "A Century of Wonder," documenting the beauty and diversity of Oregon's 254 state parks in celebration of their 100th birthday.

1200 S.W. Park Ave.
Portland
Online: ohs.org

Related: Travel Through Time: Portland's Coolest Historical Sites

Hoyt Arboretum

Every day is a free day at this outdoor museum, accessible year-round, and home to more than 2,000 species of trees and shrubs from six continents spread over 190 ridge-top acres. A one-mile stroller-suitable route and covered picnic areas make it family-friendly, with regular tours geared toward kids and families to further sweeten the deal. Free Pop-up Nature activities created by volunteer naturalists allow kids and families to engage with the arboretum on self-guided tours, and guided Tree Time! Preschool Walks are held at 10 a.m. on Mondays and Saturdays. For the low cost of $3 to $5 per child, preschoolers and their caregivers can learn about their natural surroundings on this tour that ends with a nature-themed craft. Looking for more family and youth programming? You can find it online.

4000 S.W. Fairview Blvd.
Portland
Online: hoytarboretum.org

Related: The Best Places to See Fall Colors in Portland

Oregon Rail Heritage Center

Just about every small child goes through a train phase, and this is the perfect place to take them. Located near the waterfront in the Brooklyn Roundhouse, this working facility houses three vintage steam locomotives, lovingly rebuilt and maintained by expert volunteers. You can take a tour of the Southern Pacific 4449; the Spokane, Portland & Seattle 700; and the Oregon Railway & Navigation 197, and maybe even watch repair work in progress. Plan your visit for a Saturday to take a ride along the Willamette River on the Oregon Pacific Railroad: Tickets are $14 for adults ($10 one selected Saturday a month) and $6 for kids. For young engineers with busy hands, there’s a train table with miniature trains to play with near the entrance.

Good to Know: Although this museum is free every day, donations are appreciated.

2250 S.E. Water Ave.
Portland
Online: orhf.org

Take Advantage of Free Days at Portland’s Best Family Museums

Portland Art Museum

Editor's note: Free First Thursdays are on hold due to staffing issues but will begin again soon. Get updates online.

Free day: Always free for kids 17 & under and members. Check the calendar for free and discount museum days, such as Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day on September 17.

This sprawling museum offers delights for the senses, with galleries containing more than 42,000 objects. The permanent exhibit of modern art features many large paintings in bright colors that captivate young eyes, including several installations with neon and colored lights. A special exhibit open through mid-November features more than 60 pieces by local BIPOC photographers made during the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests. And a rotating selection of visiting exhibits keeps things fresh, so you’ll always find something new to come back to. Pack paper and colored pencils and encourage older children to sketch what they see.

1219 S.W. Park Ave.
Portland
Online: portlandartmuseum.org

Related: How to Score Free Tickets to Over 1,000 Museums in September

World Forestry Center

Editor's note: World Forestry Center reopened in June 2022, and isn't currently offering any regular free days yet.

Free day: Always free for kids 2 & under. Plus the Center will be participating in Smithsonian Magazine Free Museum Day on September 17.

A must-see for locals and tourists alike, the World Forestry Center Discovery Museum teaches visitors of all ages to see trees in a new light. With a focus on environmental sustainability and the essential role of trees and forests in our ecosystem, the museum brings Oregon’s long history of forestry to life with exhibits on how to plant, maintain, and protect forests. But it goes even further than that, teaching visitors how people manage and interact with trees and forests around the world. Spend your free and discount museum days on board a simulated jeep ride to tour the world (with stops in Siberia, China, South Africa, and Brazil) or check out the 10,000-pound petrified tree stump at an incredible 5 million years old.

4033 S.W. Canyon Rd.
Portland
Online: worldforestry.org

Enjoy Discounted Days at These Area Museums for Families & Kids

Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI)

Discount day: Admission is $2 per person the first Sunday of every month, along with discounts to the theater, planetarium, and submarine tours.

Discount day at OMSI is a popular choice with local families because this museum is perfect for the insatiably curious kid in all of us. Take preschoolers to the Science Playground, where sensory exhibits allow little ones to explore water and sand. Kids ages 4-8 can try their hand at windpower or make music at the Curium. Or head to one of several Innovation Stations to challenge older kids’ STEM design skills. Check the calendar for upcoming exhibits, such as James Cameron - Challenging the Deep, an immersive experience following the famous filmmaker's explorations and achievements in deep-ocean science. You can also take in a film in the Kendall Planetarium or step aboard a real submarine docked just outside in the Willamette.

1945 S.E. Water Ave.
Portland
Online: omsi.edu

Five Oaks Museum

Editor's note: As of publication, Five Oaks Museum is closed to the public; please check back for re-opening dates.

Free day: Family Free Mornings, 10 a.m.-1 p.m, second Saturdays each month (March-November)

Formerly the Washington County Museum, this historical museum showcases stories and objects from the Tualatin Valley. Tours, special programs, and ongoing learning activities geared toward families bring this place's history to life in a range of community voices, with a Guest Curator program that allows local people to design their own exhibits to tell their own stories. Exhibits like This IS Kalapuyan Land help children and adults to connect to the complex layering of local history and its interaction with the natural environment.

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Whether the grandparents are local or visiting, they’ll have a blast with the grandkids at these spots that are all about ease and accessibility

It’s a proven fact that being around and caring for grandkids has amazing health benefits for grandparents. And we know parents aren’t going to complain about some extra hands, either. This year celebrate the generations at one of our favorite places to play. It’s a chance for some quality time for everyone. If new and creative ideas are what you’re after, we’ve put together a list of our top things to do with grandparents in Portland.

Explore Vancouver's Waterfront

Have you seen? Vancouver has transformed their waterfront in the last few years and created a beautiful destination full of fun. Just 10 minutes north of Portland, the seven-acre Waterfront Park has picnic spots, views of the Columbia River, walking and biking trails, shops, bakeries, and restaurants for everyone. Kids will love the splash pad with its cascading fountain and alternating jets near the wading areas.

Plus, from March through October, weekends are where you'll find an incredible farmer's market, just a quick walk away near Esther Short Park. Over 100 vendors are on hand to showcase the food, flowers, and crafts of the Northwest. Pair a visit to the market with a picnic on the river for a day of fun along the Columbia.

Find out more: visitvancouverwa.com

Visit the Oregon Rail Heritage Center

Because train lovers come in all shapes and sizes, a visit to the Oregon Rail Heritage Center is a great thing to do with grandparents in Portland. Run by a dedicated group of volunteers, this free museum cares for three vintage steam engines, two of which are now operational. Because it's a working museum, visitors can check out the action in the machine shop where maintenance crews work to fix up the trains. The small museum includes maps and displays on train history, a gift shop stocked with genuine rail spikes, and plenty more.

When your crew finally runs out of train questions, take a break across the tracks at Mt Hood Brewing Tilikum Station for wood-fired pizzas and another train, or extend your day with a visit to nearby OMSI, Portland's epic science museum.

Insider Tip: Check the rail center's online schedule for upcoming train ride events, including a holiday train ride.

Good for Grandparents: The center has free parking, and it's also an easy walk from the streetcar, light rail, and many bus lines.

2250 S.E. Water Ave.
Portland
Online: orhf.org

Related: The Ultimate Family Guide to Portland: Where to Eat, Play, Learn & Grow

Wander Through the Pittock Mansion

For great views and a little local education, make your way to the stunning Pittock Mansion. Built in 1912 by Portland pioneers Henry and Georgiana Pittock, this stunning building is located on 46 acres of land and sits approximately 1,000 feet above downtown. It offers visitors a beautiful mansion to wander through and exceptional views of the city and Mt. Hood. One of our favorite things to do with grandparents is to make the experience extra special by reserving a behind-the-scenes tour. It's a chance to see areas of the mansion that aren't typically open to the public, like the basement passages, Henry Pittock’s private den, and the Otis elevator room.

Good for Grandparents: If your grandparents are the outdoorsy type, pair a visit to the mansion with a hike at Forest Park. There are plenty of trail options perfect for family members both big and little.

3229 N.W. Pittock Dr.
Portland
Online: pittockmansion.org

Related: 6 Awesome Forest Park Hikes You Can Do Now

Spend a morning in the Pearl

The Pearl District is one of Portland’s most popular and famous neighborhoods. With its wide array of cool shops, restaurants, and kid-friendly places to play, it’s a perfect way to spend a morning or entire day with your grandparents (even if they live here). Powell’s City of Books can be enjoyed by family members of all ages—pick up a map to find your way to the Rose Room, the children's section, and maybe make those puppy eyes at grandma and grandpa so you can score a new book. There, grandparents can read to the kids at the tables before choosing their favorite board book to take home. If you need a bite to eat, you can head to the cafe in the store for a quick cup of coffee, but there’s also Lovejoy Bakers (on N.W. 10th) or Hot Lips Pizza, waiting to offer you a slice o' pie.

Good for Grandparents: Take a moment to stroll or splash through Jamison Square, grab a cone at Cool Moon Ice Cream, or check out the selection at Posh Baby

Related: Explore Portland's Pearl District with Kids

red lanterns float on the water at Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland
Lan Su Chinese Garden

Enjoy Beauty at the Lan Su Chinese Garden

The Lan Su Chinese Garden is one of Portland’s most prized areas with a number of stunningly landscaped gardens that are guaranteed to thrill both the young and old alike. Make your way through the Courtyard of Tranquility for some quiet time, head to the Terrace for a taste of what it would be like to live as a hermit in the mountains, and don’t skip over the Fish Pavilion. You can even grab a spot of tea at the Teahouse inside the Tower of Cosmic Reflections where guests are served tea in the “classic style,” with small dishes to enhance the flavor of the tea. There is metered parking surrounding the garden, and the bus and light rail both have stops nearby.

239 N.W. Everett St.
Portland
Onlinelansugarden.org

Related: 9 Jaw-Dropping Fall Hikes for Families

Check Out Sellwood

Another great neighborhood to his is the historic Sellwood neighborhood. You can spend and afternoon watching birds and hiking at the Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge, or catch a show at the Moreland Theater. This little single-screened movie house opened in 1926 sells super affordable tickets. You’ll also find Oaks Amusement Park here where you can go on rides, hit the rollerskating rink, or try your hand at mini golf. In fact, you might want to block out two days for this amazing area. It is sure to provide a multitude of memories that will last a lifetime for kids and grandparents alike.

Related: Your Family Guide to Sellwood-Moreland Fun Is Here

Play Arcade Games at Wunderland

Arcades have been around a long time creating wonderful memories for children across the generations. For a dose of nostalgia for the young and old alike, have the kids show the grandparents how it's done at Wunderland Arcade, where games are played in nickels. This arcade is also home to a theater that shows family-friendly movies at an affordable price, if the grandparents need to take a break from the bings, buzzes, and dings.

Locations in Portland, Milwaukie, Beaverton & Gresham
Online: wunderlandgames.com

Related: A Retro Arcade Where Games Cost Nickels

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This year’s unusually hot summer has ripened fruit quickly, and that means fall is set to bring bushels of bounty. The orchards around Portland are flowing with all varieties of apples, pears, peaches, and more, and we know you’re ready to pick with the kids. We’ve rounded up the best farms around and they’re all gorgeous enough to sneak in those beloved fall family photos. How can you resist?

Not up for a drive? Here’s where to go apple picking near Portland

Bell’s Orchard

This sweet Beaverton farm boasts a bright red barn that welcomes families daily—they even have evening picking for these gorgeous warm summer nights. Gravenstein apples are now available for U-pick at $2.50 per pound, as well as Bartlett pears for $1.50 a pound. The short-style orchard means that everyone can pick without ladders. Fill your buckets with varieties of apples, pears, and juicy peaches—your only problem might be stopping before you have enough for 50 pies.

24350 S.W. Farmington Rd.
Beaverton, OR
Online: bellsorchard.com

Related: U-Pick Pumpkin Patches You'll Definitely Want to Visit

Sherwood Orchards

In the rolling hills past Newberg, the 1,300 trees of this orchard produce pears, apples, plums, quince, and even persimmons. U-pick is available over the 26 acres with more than 70 varieties of apples ranging from tart cooking apples to sweet ones—check the website or Facebook for updates on availability. Please bring your own boxes and bags to both pick and bring your fruit home in, and make sure you wear sturdy shoes (not sandals or flip flops) because the grounds are uneven. Get your camera ready, because this spot offers the perfect opportunity for those back-to-school or holiday themed photos.

23995 S.W. Pacific Hwy.
Sherwood, OR
Online: sherwoodorchards.com

Related: Get Lost! Corn Mazes to Visit This Fall

Jossy Farms

You don't want to miss out on this U-pick apple experience that's not too far because it offers great variety, like the tart Gravensteins and sweet Earligolds, and plenty of red and green Bartlett pears. In the farming business since 1885, the Jossy family has a long legacy of farming in the area. Their U-pick season started on Aug. 25 and is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays, and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. Check online or call the recorded harvest information line at 503-647-5234 for updated availability. Pick up some hazelnuts and walnuts in their shop while you’re there, too.  Bring your own container or buy some at the farm.

31965 N.W. Beach Rd.
Hillsboro, OR
Online: jossyfarms.com

Related: 5 Farms for Summer Birthdays Around Portland

These family-friendly apple orchards along the Hood River Valley Fruit Loop (& beyond) are worth the drive

Kiyokawa Orchards

Family-owned and operated in Parkdale, this orchard produces apples your family won't be able to resist, and did we mention it's the largest in the Hood River Valley? No wonder it's been a standing favorite for Portland families looking to get their fresh fruit fix for years. As it happens with Mother Nature, the usual apple picking schedule is a bit off this year. Currently, they're running about two to three weeks behind, but have plans to open in early September. Rest assured that when the apples are ripe, families will be filling their baskets with any number of the nearly 150 different varieties of fruits they offer during the harvest season. That's right, you can also score some sweet pears when you pick here. Be sure to keep an eye on their website or social media accounts to find out when the time is ripe to head over.

5625 Hutson Rd.
Parkdale, OR
Online: mthoodfruit.com

Mountain View Orchards

Three generations in and this 50-acre orchard near Portland is still producing stellar fruit that goes above and beyond apples. August and September see peaches, plums, pears, apples, nectarines, late blueberries, and even dahlias, corn, carrots, and beets. Make it whole day with a hayride later in the season, topped off with fresh cider and donuts. And the adults in the group should check out their special hard cider on tap or in bottles to take home. They are open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and pups are happily allowed on a leash.

6670 Trout Creek Ridge Rd.
Mt. Hood, OR
Online: mtvieworchards.com

Related: We Picked the Best Fall Farms Around

Beilke Family Farm

Near Salem, Beilke Family Farm boasts up to 15 varieties of irresistible apples like Ruby Mac, Cripps Pink, and Gold Rush available for picking between late August and mid-November. Four generations have worked these trees, and the care shines through in well-organized rows that are easy to navigate so you can find your favorite fruit. The dwarf trees make it a cinch for kids to pick and fill their buckets. Please bring your own buckets or boxes to take home your picked apples; the farm's five gallon plastic buckets are only for use in the orchard. Opening times are Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

4925 Rockdale St. N.E.
Brooks, OR
Online: beilkefamilyfarm.com

Hood River U-Pick Organic

Bask in the shadow of Mt. Hood at this scenic farm that offers organic U-pick apples around the middle of September. Relaxing is the farm vibe here, and kids will love interacting with the many animals that roam the farm. We're talking chickens, pigs, and even alpacas. Enjoy a picnic under the shade of the farm trees, or let the kids roam when they've had their fill of pickin'.

4320 Royal Anne Dr.
Hood River, OR
Online: hoodriverupick.com

Draper Girls' Country Farm

Even on a rainy or overcast day you can head to this Hood River Valley farm to go apple picking in the fall. After you check in and grab a bucket for picking, it's as easy as finding ripe fruit within reach. You'll find apples and maybe some peaches, depending on how late in the apple picking season you head over. Charming goats may be there to greet your kids, and they'll love swinging on the tree swing when they're done. Apples are priced based on weight, and they keep for a long time, so have a few recipe ideas on hand for the coming weeks.

6200 OR-35
Mt. Hood, OR
Online: drapergirlsfarm.com

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