Things To Do With Kids in Portland

Welcome to Portland, a Northwestern city known for its eccentric culture and unique reputation as the “weird” capital of the United States. This garden-loving community sits in the shadow of Mount Hood and offers attractions that span every season of the year. From Downtown Portland to the Nob Hill neighborhood, Portland offers family-friendly things to do that kids and kids at heart will both enjoy. Delight in the city’s unique local festivals, like the Rose Festival in the Spring, or spend your time tubing down the snowcaps of the mountains nearby. Here is your insider’s guide to the most unique city in the West.

The best things to do when the whole family comes to Portland include discount tickets to seasonal mazes and paddleboard rentals on the lake. Try these popular deals and some of the best things to do in Portland with kids:

  • Race your way out of the Portland Maize corn maze attraction
  • Spend an afternoon skating for less with discount skate rental at Lloyd Center Ice Rink
  • At the Game Room at Grand Central Bowling Lounge, enjoy classic and contemporary gaming adventure
  • Rent a SUPortland paddleboard and surf the waters of Vancouver Lake
  • Learn eccentric local history from a hip tour guide on a Portland Hop-on Hop-off tour

Keeping it weird is exactly what’s on the itinerary, and it’s easy to find activities that parents will enjoy just as much as the children do. Try the following family-friendly things to do in Portland:

  • Smell the flowers at the Portland Japanese Garden
  • Lounge on the lawn and groove to live music during Chamber Northwest Music’s concert series on the Reed College Lawn
  • Enjoy front-row seating and hot dogs galore when you see a Portland Timbers soccer game
  • Pack a picnic and enjoy it in Forest Park, the country’s largest urban forest reserve
  • Explore more than 120 open-air arts and crafts booths at The Portland Saturday Market

If you’re on a budget, you’re in luck when you visit this green-loving city. There are gardens and museums around every corner, so try these affordable family-friendly activities and free things to do in Portland with kids:

  • Wander amongst more than 400 rose varietals at the International Rose Test Gardens
  • Run around the Belmont Firehouse in Sunnydale
  • Hang out in ‘Portland’s Living Room,’ otherwise known at Pioneer Courthouse Square
  • Road trip to Mount Hood or the Columbia River Gorge and stand in awe of natural wonder
  • Shop for fresh dinner ingredients and teach the kids about gardening at one of six Portland Farmers Markets

With this section, focus on the kids rather than the parents. Typical kid-focused things to do include zoos, parks, jungle gyms, and ice cream shops. For more ideas, try these fun things to do in Portland with kids:

  • Explore the strange exhibits at The Freakbuttrue Peculiarium
  • Drink your weight in huckleberry milkshakes or enjoy the burgers at Burgerville
  • High five Packy the elephant at the Oregon Zoo
  • Pick fresh berries and peaches on Sauvie Island, and visit the pumpkin patch in the Fall
  • Pick out new tows at Thinker Toys in Multnomah Village

Bring the entire gang to Voodoo Donuts to order wacky, sugary treats. Or, climb an extinct volcano together. Here are some of the best group activities and fun things to do in Portland with family:

  • Get a bird’s-eye-view of the city aboard the Portland Aerial Tram
  • Head to Laurelhurst Park to watch the ducks and play in the fields
  • Climb up Mount Tabor, an extinct volcano in the middle of the city with a playground at the top
  • Enjoy the cotton candy and ride the bumper cars at Oaks Park Amusement Park
  • Venture to the Central Library at storytime to hear lively renditions of your favorite books

The Pacific Northwest has a fascinating culture, and it’s accessible to kids at a variety of interactive educational museums and venues. Try the following educational and fun things for kids to do in Portland:

  • Learn about local artists when you walk the gallery strip at First Friday
  • Discover French Renaissance interior design and lifestyles on a tour of the historic Pittock Mansion
  • Take a family tour of the Portland Art Museum to get up close and personal with works of art
  • Wander through the galleries inside the Oregon History Museum to learn fascinating local stories
  • Visit the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry to see the USS Blueback Naval submarine up close

For kids who are just born to sing, dance, or create, Portland is the locale of dreams. There are a variety of options to choose from, but here are the best creative and performing arts classes available:

  • Take a free creative gardening class at one of Portland’s community gardens
  • Paint your own pottery at Mimosa Studios, where parents and kids are welcome
  • Swing from a trapeze in a DO JUMP! Theatre class
  • Point those toes at Dance with Joy Studios
  • At Portland Child Art Studio, try painting, drawing, sculpting, or molding clay

Portland is known for its rainy days, which keep its streets and trails looking lush year round. But don’t stop the fun. Instead, enjoy the following indoor things for kids to do in Portland:

  • Show the kids who’s boss when you challenge them to your favorite vintage games at Ground Kontrol
  • Watch a family-friendly musical at Keller Auditorium
  • Explore Hour to Midnight, Portland’s most popular escape room
  • Bring young thrill seekers to iFLY Portland Indoor Skydiving
  • Learn how to do a front flip at the indoor trampoline gym, Get Air