100 Things You MUST Do with Kids in Portland

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Try one of our favorite things to do in Portland with kids the next time you need a new adventure

Portland is one of Oregon’s most family-friendly cities. With outdoorsy, artsy, and science-y activities that run year-round, there are an endless number of experiences families should try at least once. There’s no better time than the New Year to start checking these adventures off of your family bucket list. Whether you’re local or just passing through, these activities highlight the best Portland has to offer. Get ready to indulge your sense of adventure—we’ve got 100 things to do in Portland with kids mapped out for your next family outing.

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a kid swing in an adaptive swing on a playground

1. There’s no better way to get to know Portland than through its hidden gems.

2. When it comes to things to do with toddlers in Portland, you can’t go wrong with a trip to one of our favorite playgrounds. Each one offers something different for kids, beyond just typical swing, slides, and climbers. And if you’re looking for inclusive playspaces, we’ve got those too.

3. The Rose City is a great place to see stunning sunsets with your crew.

4. We think you’ll have a wheely good time on these bike paths that are just as easy to navigate for beginners as they are for experts.

5. Talk about kid-friendly downtown Portland activities, the Pearl District is always a hit, whether you ride the street car to get here (or not). How can you go wrong with Powell’s, Hot Lips Pizza, and the Jamison Square Tidal Pool–always a summer favorite.

6. Explore a shipwreck on the beach or the Devil’s Punchbowl when you pitch a tent on an Oregon beach.

7. Did you know the country’s largest urban forest is located right here in Portland? With over 100 miles of trails to choose from, you’re sure to find one your family will love.

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

a boy runs on a bridge at an indoor playground things to do with kids

8. Random days off from school are totally a thing. We’ve got plenty of places kids can play that don’t take any planning so you can pull out a family plan just like that.

9. You know what else is a thing in Portland? Rain. For those days where it’s just too wet to be outside, why not head to an indoor playground with the kids?

10. While most people don’t think beers and babies go together, these spots prove otherwise. It's just one of the cool things to do with babies in Portland.

11. Go an an outdoor art scavenger hunt you can only find in Portland.

12. Skip out on dinner prep without skipping out on cooking when you plan to eat out with the kids. Looking so save money when you do? Check out our Guide to Where Kids Eat Free in Portland.

13. Fill up with a good breakfast before for hitting the city to explore.

14. Make bowling, laser tag, and some seriously great grub part of your next family fun plan.

a girl with a basket bends down to pick strawberries in a field

15. See the largest wooden airplane ever built (and get some water play on too) with your future aviators.

16. Looking for things to do in Portland this weekend? Why not bring back family movie night?

17. Find a new-to-you park that doubles as a picnic spot your kids will want to go back to again and again.

18. Whether you’ve got a baker, a builder, or a bouncer, Portland’s top birthday party spots will help you celebrate your kiddo’s big day.

19. There’s nothing quite like fresh-picked strawberries, is there?

20. Who says you have to break the bank to explore the city? Free events abound in Portland, and they change every month too!

21. Plan a day trip with the kids to a mountain town where kids can go spelunking through lava beds, sleep in an indoor hammock, and go behind the scenes of some beautiful waterfalls.

Related: 100 Must-Try Summer Adventures in Portland

a girl eats pizza with a fork and knife in hand

22. You don’t have to head to the coast to find sandy beaches where kids can build sandcastles, fly kites, and even float a few rivers.

23. Be intentional with your spending at one of our favorite Black-owned businesses.

24. Find out which local pizza joint has kids dance parties.

25. If finding a babysitter is always a challenge, head over to one of these spots that offer drop-in care for those last-minute situations.

26. Make like you’re on vacation, even when you’re not.

27. Challenge the kids to a game of mini golf. Hint: We've got indoor and outdoor options so you can play any time.

28. One of the highlights of this local island destination is a lighthouse hike.


29. Do you know where to find Blueberry Bourbon Basil or Passion Fruit Cocoa Nib donuts ? We do.

30. Plan your next family vacation at a treesort.

31. The Pittock Mansion and Lan Su Chinese Garden are just a few of the spots around Portland where you can plan a skip-gen playdate when the grandparents are in town.

32. Although Portland rarely gets snow, that doesn't mean it’s short on snow play spots.

33. Find out what Beverly Clearly, Tawna Sanchez, and Leah Hing all have in common.

34. Take advantage of Portland’s plant-based restaurant scene. Our suggestion? Try the mushroom melt waffle at Off the Griddle. It’s that good.

35. Bring the kids to the place near Portland where balls roll uphill, brooms stand on end, and people appear to shrink.


36. Help your kids reach new heights.

37. Fly over Crater Lake. Psst…we hear you might even spot a Sasquatch when you do. 

38. A trip to the Oregon Zoo is always a hit with families. Ride the carousel. Hop aboard the train. Enjoy a Discovery Tour. And definitely don’t miss the Vollum Aviary. The Zoo also hosts special events throughout the year, from summer concerts to Howloween to ZooLights.

39. Eat outside, even on a rainy day.

40. Find a twisted tree sculpture in the middle of the forest any time of year.

41. Portland is home to tons of rivers and swimming holes with total kid-appeal. But if you’re up for an adventure, try a trip to Lost Lake where you can camp or stay at the resort to really soak in all of the season’s splendor.

42. It just wouldn’t be winter in Portland without dazzling light displays and shows at some of our favorite local spots. Find out where to get your night light fix this season.

moms and their two kids outside

43. Get a jump on summer camp planning (and some time to yourself) with our favorite overnight camp picks.

44. Celebrate the fall-idays in Portland with a trip to a local pumpkin patch or an apple orchard. U-pick is the only way to go once the leaves start to fall.

45. Spring cleaning. Giving back. Whatever your reason for cleaning out the kids’ closets and toy chests, we’ve got great spots where you can pass along your no-longer-needed items to others.

46. Catch your dinner.

47. Vacation at a family-friendly hot springs resort that’s not too far from a wildlife refuge where the kids can spy antelope, elk, and maybe even a bobcat.

48. Head to one of Portland’s many natural spaces to find fall’s vibrant colors once the leaves start to change.

49. No matter what kind of mom you are, there are so many Portland groups waiting to connect you to each other and your community. Join one today!

Related: It's Fall Y'all: 35 Things to Do in Portland Now


50. When was the last time you rode a miniature train?

51. Because the next birthday party is always just around the corner, we’ve got the scoop on local toy stores to help you out.

52. Go beyond dinner and a movie the next time you and your SO need a night out.

53. You’ll find three waterfalls at this urban park, or head out of the city to find more spectacular falls that are worth the trip.

54. It just wouldn’t be summer without a scoop from one of our favorite ice cream shops.

55. Play tourist in your own city.

56. There’s nothing like seeing Portland from 1,000 feet up.


57. The Alberta Arts District is where you’ll find this beloved children’s bookstore. Author meet-and-greets, a weekly storytime, and the helpful staff will keep you coming back for more.

58. Get out and explore when you visit this town that’s home to a maritime museum and an Italian-style gondola ride.

59. Bring the kids to see Wizard Island.

60. Try your hand at over 50 different pinball machines and show your kids how games used to be played. Hint: This Portland favorite is only kid-friendly during certain hours on the weekends.

61. Nothing says BTS ready like a rad haircut, whether you need a sick fade or a shag.

62. The Oregon Dunes are calling and visiting is easy when you book a campsite at a nearby campground.


63. Go beyond the bouncy house for your next birthday party. These spots are just as active, but offer different ways for kids to play…and celebrate!

64. Oregon wineries have a reputation to uphold. And beyond great grapes, they offer lots for families. Visit one where kids can enjoy flights of lemonade, or play Frisbeegolf on the expansive lawn.

65. Let your kids perfect their pizza wedge on the slopes this winter.

66. From hip hop to ballet, everybody loves the chance to dance.

67. The views from the Malahat Skywalk are worth a weekend getaway. And we’ve got everything you need to know to enjoy a weekend in Victoria, BC with the kids.

68. Put our favorite fall festivals on your calendar and get ahead of the game.

69. Portland is home to some amazing museums. And when you can visit them for free they’re even better.

two girls holding hands on snow tubes in the winter
Laura Green

70. Finding hikes for little legs isn’t always easy–even in the city. But when you scoop the one-mile loop through Reed Canyon, you’ll feel like your on a private oasis.

71. A trip to this local shop in the Foster-Powell neighborhood is always worth it. Especially if you need to kill some time on a rainy morning before nap time hits.

72. Add a trip through a corn maze to your annual fall bucket list.

73. This former sculpting studio turned vacation rental makes a great getaway for families.

74. Pick dahlias, sunflowers, and lavender–oh my!

75. Rocky ridges along this nature trail are evidence of an ancient flood, and the boulders there are pretty cool too.

76. Go skiing, tubing, and ice skating in this resort town that sits at the base of Mt. Bachelor.

Related: 50 Things You Have to Do with Kids This Winter

A family flies kites on the beach at Seabrook, WA
Allison Sutcliffe

78. Psst…this town on the Pacific is the best place to whale watch in the winter months.

79. Explore a 366-acre park that’s steeped in history. It’s just a short drive from the city and it's a hot spot for fort seekers of all ages.

80. Tired of the same old, same old on the Oregon coast? Mix it up at a coastal vacation community that’s totally walkable, has miles of sandy shores, and is as cute as can be.

81. You don’t have to drive too far to plan a snow-shoeing adventure in winter.

82. Get the scoop on U-pick experiences that start in spring and run through autumn. The kids can pick everything from persimmons, quince, and pears to apples, beets, and pumpkins.

83. Play paleontologist for a weekend at a nearby national park your kids will totally “dig.”

84. How can you resist sand dunes and lighthouses in the summer months?

a girl smiles at the edge of an indoor swimming pool

85. Who says you have to head to the coast to enjoy the perfect beach day? This local sandy gem in the city is a great spot to fly kites, watch eagles, and count cargo ships.

86. Head over the border to check out Vancouver. It’s grown up quite a bit over the last few years, and is a great place to spend the day or even plan an easy staycation.

87. There’s no better place to stay cool on a hot summer day than a local splash pad or spray park. Here’s where to make your plans when the sun shines.

88. Explore prehistoric gardens and find a caveman statue on your next road trip.

89. Try a new watersport with your little duffer.

90. Get your game on at the Wunderland Arcade. Don’t forget to bring some nickels.

91. Sprinklers, slides, fountains, and lap pools are what you’ll find at these pools that let kids swim all year long.

multnomah falls in portland during fall is a fun things to do in portland with kids
Cristofer Maximillian via unsplash

92. During the holidays kids love to visit Santa. Make the experience extra special when you add in a train ride to the mix.

93. Go fly a kite.

94. Got a reason to celebrate something special with your kids? Why not try a tricked out sundae.

95. There’s no better spot to eat on a sunny day than outside.

96. Fit your workout in, even with the kids in tow.

97. Turn your typical trip to the hardware store into one that’s super kid-friendly at this spot where kids can touch all the things and ask all the questions.

98. We love these road trips that only require a tank of gas to get there.

99. No matter when you visit this Washington beach is a coveted spot. Storm watch in winter, play on the scenic beaches in the summer, and definitely take a picture at the Tree of Life whenever you visit.

100. Let the kids make like a mad scientist.


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