50 Things You Have to Do with Kids This Winter

Winter is one of the best times of the year for Portland families. From snowshoeing to skiing to hitting the ice skating rink and more, your family will be pressed to fit everything in before the warm weather returns. The following 50 activities are guaranteed to keep the winter blues away. See how many you can fit while Portland’s colder season is in full swing. Read on to find out more.

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kids ski lessons, ski resorts

1. Make winter fun for kids in Portland when you spend a day tiring out your rambunctious kid at an indoor play space built to exhaust the little ones

2. Dine al fresco with the kids this winter. Yes, it’s possible! Here are some great restaurants in town with heated outdoor spaces.

3. Add to your child’s dress up collection by making a homemade hat. Here are some simple ideas for hat crafts.

4. Strap on some skates and hit the ice at these four local ice skating rinks

5. From Finnegan’s to Made You Look, Portland is home to  independent toy stores. Purchase some new toys (available for pickup) that will keep your kiddos busy.

6. Show your kids the books you read when you were young. Got any classic books to add to our list?

7. Bumpers or no bumpers, bowling is always a great option on days you need to stay indoors. 

8. In a cheese pizza rut? Order takeout from one of these beloved Portland pizzerias.

9. While snow may not blanket our city the entire winter, your kids can still enjoy snowflakes, no matter the weather.

10. Got a kid with a winter birthday? Here are our picks for the best winter birthday party venues. 

11. Nervous about getting the kids on skis? We’ve rounded up some tips and tricks to get your kiddos cruising down the bunny hills in no time. 

12. Cabin fever — has it hit your household yet? Here are 11 awesome ways to beat it.

13. Have pots of mealtime fun at these Portland fondue-eries. Note: Please check for closures, reopenings and takeout options.

14. Winter may mean a lack of great produce, but that hasn’t stopped us from juicing. We seriously can’t get enough of these awesome juicing recipes. 

15. Enjoy breakfast and exploring the grounds and hallways with the kids at the Kennedy School, a former elementary school turned indoor playground

16. Feeling brave? Your kids will love their first trip to the movie theater and we promise to hold your hand the entire time. 

17. Warm with some kid-friendly winter mocktails. 

18. Get lost in these totally amazing tree house designs. We can all dream, right?

19. Introduce your kids to some old school games from to Clue to Life to Guess Who?

20. What could be better on a chilly Portland day than a pint at a family-friendly brewery

21. Stretch out those little limbs with some virtual yoga classes for kids. It will bring you all a little piece of zen this winter!

22. Bust the bathing suits out of storage to spend a winter day at one of Portland’s indoor swimming pools.


kids ski lessons, ski resorts

23. Buy a basket and ball for the house and play some hoops.

24. Take your little putters to an indoor golf spot. 

25. Portland doesn’t usually get a ton of snow, but thankfully the mountains are close-by – head east for some snow tubing fun.

26. Or hit the slopes for a day (or more!) at one of these five Portland-area ski resorts.

27. Huddle around your fireplace or your stove and pretend you’re camping with some delicious homemade s’mores. 

28. Cuddle up with a book. Here are some must-read picks straight from our friends at Chronicle Books.

29. Put on some warm clothes and venture around Portland to all of the famous Beverly Cleary statues and follow the paths that some of her beloved book characters did, including Ramona.

30. Arrrrr, mateys. Plan an indoor treasure hunt for your kids that will have them entertained all morning long.

31. Pay a visit to the Oregon Rail Heritage Center, an ideal spot to indulge your train-crazy kid. 


32. How many sweets can you load up on this winter? Cookiesdonuts, chocolates and more, Portland is delicious any time of year!

33. Winter days are perfect for exploring textile arts like finger knitting, crocheting or knitting with needles. If your kids are ready, get started here.

34. Slide out of a real Boeing 747 aircraft at the area’s most jaw-dropping indoor water park. You’ll be blown away. 

35. We all have paper bags lying around the house. Make good use of them with some fun paper bag crafts. 

36. Need an engaging indoor activity? The World Forestry Center is perfect for an entire morning or afternoon of indoor fun. Note: Check in advance for COVID closures and safety rules.

37. Catch an online play at the Northwest Children’s Theatre.

38. We’ve come up with 8 fab DIY activities that will provide endless fun.

39. Fitness for the whole family is possible in winter. Here’s a list of local exercise classes that you and the kids can take together.

40. If you have little ones under two, we’ve got some great ideas on how to entertain the toddler set on these cold winter days.

41. Go on one of these winter hikes.

42. Kick family game night up a notch with an awesome new game.

43. Winter days are perfect for making a mess in the kitchen – especially when that kitchen isn’t your own! Here are some classes in the Portland area that get kids baking and cooking.

44. Bundle up and head out to sample one of Portland’s classic food carts. Here’s six every kid should try at least once.

45. Head to one of these spectacular cozy cabins.

46. Prep for the next snow day by perusing these super-cute and cozy winter hats.

47. Get nerdy with your kids and try one of these  at-home science experiments.

48. Moms, grab your favorite friends and go on a mom-date… It’s the new bro-mance!

49. Head to a winter farmer’s market to pick up some veggies for dinner – soup sounds like a great idea! Note: check in advance for COVID closures and safety rules.

50. Get a jump start and plan your next winter wonderland getaway.


—  Annette Benedetti


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