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 visit the ball pythons and bearded dragons or get their picture taken with a lorikeet. Land-loving iguanas also lurch around in the mix.
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.
Spread across 52 acres of varied pastureland, Rosse Posse Acres shepherds 70 head of elk on a working ranch with a vast natural habitat and plenty of orchard grass hay for meals. A guided tour takes guests through the ranch, beginning with an educational lecture in the barn where they can learn about antlers and the difference between a bull's and cow's ivory teeth. Tours then travel through the handling facility for a view of the hydraulic squeeze chute and handling pens before a stop in the pasture for a close-up look at the elk to see if their antlers are really made of marshmallows.
Though guests are not allowed to touch the elk, they can release their urge to pet at an on-site petting zoo, where smaller animals such as Fallow deer, pygmy goats, miniature donkeys, and a wallaby named Tucker are eager to make friends. In addition to ranch tours, Rosse Posse sells wapiti roasts, tenderloins, and strip steaks by the pound, when available. The meat is processed at Buxton Meat in Sandy, OR under USDA inspection.