The Portland Japanese Garden is a haven of tranquil beauty nestled in Portland's Washington Park. The 5.5 -acre garden includes meandering streams, intimate walkways, a traditional Japanese pavilion, and an unsurpassed view of Mt. Hood. Open year-round.
Audubon Society of Portland's mission was solidified in 1902, when a few like-minded conservationists came together to found the organization. In their own words, this group set out "to use any and all lawful means for the protection of the wild birds and animals for the State of Oregon and elsewhere."
Their first success came quickly, when the Society helped pass the Model Bird Law in 1903, which protected native birds from being shot and sold. Since then, the Society has advocated for countless creatures, from northern spotted owls to wild salmon, the latter of which kind of look like birds if you squint really hard.
Today, the Society stands more than 14,000 strong. The support of these members helps maintain nature sanctuaries with hiking trails, fund educational initiatives, and run a care center. The care center is an especially vital resources, as it rehabilitates approximately 3,000 animals every year and responds to thousands of wildlife-related injuries.
Some of the Northwest's leading suppliers of childhood glee gather every year at KidFest, a celebration of all things adventurous, educational, entertaining, and fun. Kids can get down to entertainment on the Radio Disney stage and bounce off the walls in the inflatable fun zones, and adults can enirch themselves with healthy eating demonstrations, health & wellness education, and resources for the family. Other kid-friendly zones include a laser tag, a mad science exhibit, and a petting zoo and reptile habitat.
The athletic-themed SportsFest allows kids of all ages and their parents to explore different sports by participating in interactive activities, talking to sports experts, and finding out where to play. Within the three experience Zones?team sports, specialty sports & fitness, and outdoor adventure?novice as well as more practiced athletes can check out exhibits and workshops about sports from basketball and soccer to pickleball.
Portland Aquarium, a December 2012 addition to Milwaukie, introduces visitors to thousands of waterborne species. Guests can slide their hands along the smooth flesh of a stingray or the knobby arms of a starfish or engage in staring contests with leopard sharks and jellyfish. Other exhibits include a cold-water tank filled with fish native to Oregon's coast and a rainforest-themed jungle gym for children. The tropical touch-tank woos visitors with its displays of vibrant-color aquatic life while amphibious wonders, including poison dart frogs, thrill visitors. Those seeking bigger thrills may hoist various pythons species?including a 15-foot reticulated or 9-foot albino burmese snake?upon their shoulders or get their picture taken with a lorikeet. Land-loving iguanas and panther chameleons also lurch around in the mix.
For a couple of days, the Washington County Fairgrounds transforms into a jungle. Large cats. Venomous snakes. Reptiles of all types. Those and other animals sprawl across the Pacific Northwest Reptile & Exotic Animal Show, where more than 100 vendors display exotic creatures and related merchandise. In addition to the animals and products on sale, the show doubles as an educational attraction. Interactive reptile and mammal displays teach visitors about new creatures, while an exotic animal petting zoo lets visitors discover which animals secretly know how to shake hands.