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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.