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Kid-friendly activities in Portland

We’re highlighting the best kid-friendly activities that Portand has to offer — complete with art classes, animal encounters, and outdoor fun.

A small child of about 4 or 5 plays on a miniature CAT construction machine in the sandbox at DiG PDX.

Dig into these fun kid-friendly activities.

Photos by @digpdx

Table of Contents

We’re not kiddin’ around. From major attractions like the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry to hidden gems like Creo Chocolate, there’s something in the City of Roses for children of all ages. You’ll have no trouble entertaining the youngsters with this list of 25 kid-friendly activities around Portland.

A little kid gazes up at a sculpture of a guitar covered in coins at the Portland Art Museum.

A lifelong love of art starts now.

Photo via Portland Art Museum

All about the arts

Portland Child Art Studio, 1610 NW 14th Ave.
At these drop-off classes, it’s all about the process of making art and empowering young creators to be their unique, individual selves through artistic expression. Kids will remember bringing their own stories to life using the magic of their imaginations.

Portland Art Museum, 1219 SW Park Ave.
Take a family-friendly tour every Sunday or enjoy a 45-minute guided tour designed specifically for babies up to 1 year old and their caregivers every first Thursday. Kids will remember the visual adventure of learning about the history of art going back to ancient times.

Creative Culture, 1452 NE 28th Ave.
Spend time in this fully-stocked craft studio and complete a seasonally changing, self-guided DIY kit with options for all ages and skill levels. Kids will remember the in-house milkshake bar with toppings like whole cupcakes and sandwich cookies.

SCRAP Creative Reuse, 1736 SW Alder St.
Find all kinds of reusable materials for arts and crafts to take home, or check out Camp SCRAP — an art camp for kids ages 7-12 who love inventing, making, and bringing their ideas to life. Kids will remember creating and playing games and exploring the endless possibilities of working with discarded materials.

Great outdoors

Westmoreland Park Nature Playground, 7530 SE 22nd Ave.
Custom play elements designed with community feedback come together to create a special space full of nature-inspired obstacles and structures. Kids will remember the model boat pond and pretending to be explorers.

Rock Creek Trail, multiple access points
All 3.5 miles are ADA accessible. The path passes through forests, wetlands, meadows, and multiple parks — making it a perfect route for walking, biking, fishing, roller skating, and wildlife viewing. Kids will remember looking for birds and wildflowers and playing at Pirate Park.

Laurelhurst Park, Southeast Cesar E. Chavez Boulevard and Stark Street
Scenic walking trails, a duck pond, a playground, picnic areas, and tennis and basketball courts make this one of Portland’s most popular parks for families. Kids will remember watching outdoor movies in the summer.

A polar bear sunbathes on a rocky outcropping in an enclosure.

Meet resident polar bears Nora and Amelia Gray at the Oregon Zoo.

Photo by Cambrie Juarez, PDXtoday

Animal encounters

Oregon Zoo, 4001 SW Canyon Rd. | Family memberships available
From Elephant Lands to Predators of the Serengeti, it’s easy to spend hours exploring the many habitats, watching unique creatures go about their day, and learning about conservation. Kids will remember seeing polar bears swimming below the surface and naked mole rats tunneling through the ground.

Frog Pond Farm, 2995 SW Advance Rd., Wilsonville
Meet the friendly critters that call the farm home, including goats, llamas, donkeys, alpacas, camels, and chickens. “Walk About” visits are available from early May through early September. Kids will remember playing yard games and feeding the animals by hand.

Portland Goat Parties, 19457 SW McCormick Hill Rd., Hillsboro
Three words: baby goat therapy. Schedule a visit at the 18-acre goat paradise, or book a goat party and bring the fun to you. Kids (the human kind) will remember spending time petting and getting up close and personal with the animals.

Alpacas of Oregon, 21345 SW Aebischer Rd., Sherwood
On a tour of this farm you’re able to feed and mingle with the woolly animals, and also shop fleece wares in the barn store. Tickets are $15, but admission for kids ages 5 and under are half price. Kids will remember having a birthday party here.

People walk down an aisle at the Portland Farmers Market, where canopies and vendors are set up on either side.

Which vendor are you going to first?

Photo by Visitor7

Foodie families

Franz Bakery, 340 NE 11th Ave.
See how the loaves are made at this historic working factory. Groups of 10-40 people can schedule a tour between Labor Day and the end of the school year in June. Kids will remember snacking on fresh bread and butter afterward.

Portland Farmers Market, various locations
Some of these markets host a free weekly program May-August where kids can experience hands-on cooking, interactive games, and educational activities. Kids will remember tasting fresh vegetables and meeting the farmers who grew them.

Creo Chocolate, 122 NE Broadway
Learn where chocolate comes from and how it’s made on a 1.5-hour tour led by one of the chocolate makers. Kids will remember designing their own chocolate bar to take home, complete with gourmet toppings.

Educational activities

Oregon Historical Society, 1200 SW Park Ave.
The museum’s three floors of permanent and rotating exhibits transport visitors back in time to learn about Oregon’s storied history, from pioneer life to Portland’s heyday as the grandest metropolis in the PNW. Kids will remember touching a real beaver pelt and walking through a covered wagon.

Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks & Minerals, 26385 NW Groveland Dr., Hillsboro
Rockhounds won’t be able to take this museum for granite. Explore Earth’s natural wonders and even meet some local geologic residents, like thundereggs, jasper, and sunstones. Kids will remember the glowing rocks and fossilized dinosaur poop.

Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, 1945 SE Water Ave. | Family memberships available
Curious minds both young and old will find fascinating and engaging demonstrations, science experiments, play areas, and more. On-site dining areas, special traveling exhibits, a gift shop, and movie theater make OMSI a place to return to again and again. Kids will remember being inside a real submarine, launching water rockets, and shows in a planetarium.

Indoor play structures and a cafe area.

PlayDate PDX is a popular spot for birthday parties.

Photo by Cambrie Juarez, PDXtoday

Indoor adventures

PlayDate PDX, 1434 NW 17th Ave.
Kids up to 12 years old will enjoy hours of fun in this 7,500-sqft play space, while parents can enjoy free Wi-Fi and a cafe serving food and drinks (even beer). Kids will remember the interactive dance floors and ball cannon.

Lloyd Center Ice Rink, 953 Lloyd Center
With a little practice (and a lesson or two), families will be whirling around the ice together. Visit during the holidays to skate around a giant Christmas tree while real snow falls through the air. Kids will remember gliding on their own two feet like never before.

Nest Playground, 6517 NE Sandy Blvd.
This center has a cafe with food and drinks, plus fun interactive play areas and community classes for all ages. Kids will remember the rock climbing wall and foam structures for fort-building.

Northeast Swap and Play, 5830 NE Alameda St.
A play space complete with toys, reading corner, art area, and more will keep young children busy for hours. Visitors are invited to bring gently used children’s clothing, books, toys, or gear to swap. Kids will remember picking out a toy and playing at the LEGO building table.

DiG PDX, 8536 SW Apple Way
Oregon’s largest indoor sandbox (we’re talking 4,000 sqft) features three themed areas — dinosaurs, construction, and the beach. Entry is $16 per child with two free guardians allowed. Kids will remember pretending to shovel to the center of the Earth.

Wonderwood Miniature Golf, 7410 N. Chicago Ave.
Embark on a quest to put the small white ball in the hole with as few swings as possible while reveling at an immersive world filled with Mike Bennett’s whimsical cartoon characters. Kids will remember the Plinko obstacle at “Fairy Fever.”

A pink and blue roller coaster in a parking lot.

The Adrenaline Peak ride at Oaks Amusement Park has a past-vertical drop after a 72-ft climb.

Photo by Cambrie Juarez, PDXtoday

Thrill-seeking fun

Oaks Amusement Park, 7805 SE Oaks Park Way
One of the country’s oldest continually operating amusement parks has something to keep the whole family entertained, with seasonal outdoor rides, a roller rink, miniature golf, and even an escape room. Kids will remember roller skating inside on a rainy day.

Sky Zone Trampoline Park, 5000 E. Fourth Plain Blvd. Ste. C100, Vancouver, WA
Bounce around with the family at this trampoline park featuring a “ninja warrior” course, dodgeball court, sky ladder, climbing wall, and more. Kids will remember the Foam Zone and the freestyle jumping areas.

Pumpkin Ridge Zip Tour, 22616 NW Pumpkin Ridge Rd., North Plains
Kids ages 8-12 can zipline with an adult while teens can go solo with supervision. Tours last two hours and feature seven ziplines and two suspension bridges among the treetops. Kids will remember soaring through the forest like a bird.

Silver, blue, and yellow colored play structures on turf on a cloudy winter day.

Luuwit View Park was named after the Native American (Cowlitz) word for Mount St. Helens.

Photo by Cambrie Juarez, PDXtoday

Sensory-friendly playgrounds

Harper’s Playgrounds, locations vary
The original location in Arbor Lodge Park sparked a movement to create universally accessible play areas in the greater Portland area. Amenities include adaptive swings, a climbing net, a xylophone, and more. Kids will remember the sand and water area where they can create dams, castles, and moats.

Luuwit View Park, Northeast 127th Avenue and Fremont Street
Accessible slides, nature paths, a merry-go-round, swings, and more await visitors of all ages and abilities. Kids will remember the futuristic-looking structures and giant, colorful sundial.

Ready to visit these local attractions but don’t know where to start? We’ve created this handy map so you can find all of these featured activities.

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