There are lots of fun family things to do in Portland, Oregon, with indoor and outdoor options catering to any weather conditions. From playing in the park and strolling gardens on fairweather days, to exploring bookstores and museums on rainy days. Family restaurants in Portland, Oregon are also plentiful, offering kid-friendly menus, vegan options, and unique dining experiences. Learn about some of the best kid activities in Portland, Oregon, for children of all ages.
Things to do with kids in Portland, Oregon
1. Explore weird and wonderful Museums in Portland
Some of the best Portland kid activities can be found in Museums across the city, with classic offerings ranging from a children’s museum, art museums, and the Museum of Science and Industry. Portland is also known for wacky museums like the Freakybuttrue Peculiarium, the National Hat Museum, Kidd’s Toy Museum, the Portland Puppet Museum, and the Zymoglyphic Museum.
2. Play in Portland’s parks and gardens
Gardens and parks offer lots of fun things to do with kids in Portland, Oregon, from hiking to the witch’s castle in Forest Park, to running around the playground in Washington Park. Visit the Portland Wishing Tree and read other visitor’s wishes before adding your own, then head to the Lan Su Chinese Garden to stroll landscaped garden paths and enjoy refreshments in the tearoom.
3. Ride on a streetcar and travel Portland in style
Family things to do in Portland, Oregon, can be as simple as traveling from point A to point B in a unique way. Transportation options in Portland range from taking a ride on an Aerial Tram, hopping on a train, or even a streetcar, all at budget-friendly prices. Many parts of Portland are very walkable, and there are spots to rent bikes or pedal-powered surrey’s for the family too.
Rainy day things to do with kids in Portland, Oregon
4. Get lost in a good story at Powell’s City of Books
Powell’s City of Books is one of the largest bookstores in the world, encompassing an entire city block with new and used books. Inside the three-story bookstore, you’ll find books for every age range, including large sections for children and for young adults. Powell’s also houses an on-site coffee shop, as well as weekly kids activities and storytime events.
5. Explore a historic home at Pittock Mansion
Pittock Mansion is a historic French Renaissance-style home, with exhibits documenting Portland’s history from a muddy pioneer town to a flourishing modern city. You can take a self-guided tour through the opulent mansion, gate lodge, and grounds, or enjoy a guided tour of the historic mansion.
6. Get cozy on vintage couches for a movie at McMenamins at Kennedy School
McMenamins at Kennedy School is a quirky vintage elementary school turned hotel and family attraction, and a great spot for family things to do in Portland even if you aren’t staying at the hotel. Along with food and a family-friendly craft brewery, they also host kid-friendly events ranging from movies to live music and shows. There’s even a heated soaking pool to enjoy in the garden.
Family Restaurants in Portland, Oregon
7. Voodoo Doughnut
Voodoo Doughnut is an iconic fixture of Portland, with multiple locations serving up fresh donuts and sweet treats. Doughnut types range from conventional flavors and vegan options to wacky concoctions like Grape Ape, Bacon Maple Bar, and the Ring of Fire with chili pepper on top. Be prepared to wait in line when visiting any of their locations, as this is a favorite spot for locals and visitors alike.
8. Mother’s Bistro and Bar
Mother’s Bistro and Bar offers upscale, homestyle comfort food straight from mom’s recipe book, in a family-friendly environment in downtown Portland. Kids will find a play area and reading nook, perfect for busy days where you may need to wait for a table.
9. Slappy Cakes
Slappy Cakes is an interactive dining experience with DIY pancakes on a table-side griddle, a surefire hit with kids of all ages. Pancake options include vegan and gluten-free, with lots of fixin’s and toppings for your own perfect pancake creation.