Top Family-Friendly Attractions in Portland

Discover budget-friendly family attractions in Portland! From OMSI to the Oregon Zoo, explore fun activities for kids and parents alike.


There is a lot to see and do in Portland. This is considered one of the weirdest cities in the US and some of the attractions here may not be appropriate if your kids have tagged along for the trip. However, the list of family-friendly attractions in Portland is also quite long, with activities that will excite and intrigue your kids for hours on end. Read on to learn about some of the top family-friendly attractions you should visit whenever you are in Portland with your kids.

Top Family-Friendly Attractions in Portland

Oregon Museum of Science and Industry

Think of a planetarium, a retired navy submarine, and a huge screen theater in one place, and think of all the excitement this will bring to your kids. The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OSMI) contains a fascinating collection of artifacts that are designed to educate and entertain your kids at the same time. The Science Playground inside the museum is a popular spot for kids looking to have fun experimenting with scientific projects.

Mt. Scott Community Center and Pool

This indoor pool offers your family the thrill of enjoying a good dip, irrespective of the time of the day or the season. It contains two slides, a 6-lane pool, a hot tub, and a shallow pool for the kids. This pool is especially busy at night. The center also offers numerous family-friendly activities and classes that will keep your whole family entertained.

Oregon Zoo

This zoo houses over 2,600 animals (from more than 200 species) collected from all over the globe. It is considered to be the oldest zoo in the West, having been founded in 1888. There are six elephants in the zoo and with events happening throughout the year, this will be a trip your kids will remember for a long time. Each season, the Oregon Zoo offers a special event. For instance, during the spring season, they have the hunts of Rabbit Romp and during Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, millions of LED lights transform this place into a wonderland. Other animals inside the zoo include African lions, Apes, Penguins, bald eagles, otters, black bears, bonteboks, and cougars.

The Pittock Mansion

If your family loves history, you can head to the Pittock Mansion, a house that was built in the early 1900s and still stands to date. The Pittock Mansion has over 22 rooms and each room is intact. The original furniture in these rooms depicts the way of life of the affluent owner who occupied the abode over a century ago. There are unique and interesting architectural designs spread throughout the house.

Play Ping Pong at Pips and Bounce

At the Pips and Bounce ping pong bar, your family will have an amazing time playing ping pong against each other or their friends. There are more than 10 ping pong tables here. The bar has a kid’s menu, so do not worry about it being adult-themed. Since it is a popular spot, you should call early to reserve a table.

Voodoo Doughnut Shop

The Voodoo Doughnut shop is a weird but fun attraction spot where they sell voodoo doughnuts and other similarly weird delicacies. There is no doubt that this is a clever marketing strategy to have the shop is decorated with weird (but not so scary) voodoo stuff that will keep the kids excited and entertained all along. 

Washington Park Playground

When you are looking to relax and take a break, head over to the Washington Park Playground and let your kids enjoy themselves as you enjoy the cool breeze. Washington Park Playground is one of the largest playgrounds in Portland. While you are here, you can explore the Oregon Zoo and the Portland Children’s Museum, which are within the perimeters of the park. The flowers inside the playground are attractive, especially when they are in full bloom.

Free Concerts at the Washington Park Amphitheater

If you are lucky, you may catch a free concert in the Washington Park Amphitheater. It would be a great way to combine a picnic with entertainment, especially during the summer season.

Oaks Amusement Park

Oaks Park is full of hair-raising rides and carnival games. The park is located on the banks of the Willamette River on an 18-hectare piece of property. There are numerous game assortments, including go-carts, roller skaters, miniature golf fields, and bumper cars. The most thrilling ride is the Zero Gravity ride, a ride that spins fast enough to make you dizzy. Other popular rides include the Peak Roller Coaster, which includes a 72-foot vertical drop and the Scream’n Eagle, which springs passengers to 70 feet in the air.

The Multnomah Falls

Located in the Columbia River Gorge, this is the tallest waterfall in Oregon (at 617 feet). You will need to take a short (2.2 miles) and moderate hike to be able to enjoy the glory of this waterfall closely. The magnificent Columbia River Gorge will always be within your view as you take this hike. There are several landscapes worth exploring here, including alpine meadows, a desert, and a sea-level passage.

Public Fountains in Portland

Public fountains in Portland offer your kids an excellent chance to splash in the water safely. There are several such fountains spread across the city. There is the Bill Naito legacy fountain (in the waterfront park), the Jamison Square fountain (in Pearl district), and the Salmon Springs (in downtown waterfront park).

Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum

The Evergreen aviation museum is the place to visit if your kids love aircraft and anything to do with piloting. They contain a diverse fleet of aircraft, including helicopters and fighter jets. For a more immersive experience, the kids are allowed inside simulators and guides are always there to answer their questions.

In Conclusion

Portland boasts an array of family-friendly attractions that cater to every interest and budget. From the captivating exhibits of the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry to the immersive wildlife experiences at the Oregon Zoo, there’s no shortage of adventures waiting to be discovered in the City of Roses.

Whether you’re exploring the wonders of science, encountering new and unfamiliar animals, unleashing your creativity, or reconnecting with nature, Portland offers endless opportunities for families to create lasting memories together. So pack your bags, gather your loved ones, and embark on an unforgettable journey through the top family-friendly attractions that Portland has to offer.

Your next adventure awaits in this vibrant and dynamic city, where every moment is filled with wonder and excitement for the whole family to enjoy.

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