Portland is known for being a wonderful city for beer and nightlife, but it’s also a very family-friendly destination. With all of the attractions and shopping close to the downtown core there’s plenty to keep your kids active all day, so that they can sleep well all night. Am I right, fellow new parents? Here’s some top picks for what to do with the little ones:
The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) is our answer to Seattle’s Pacific Science Center and San Francisco’s Exploratorium. They’ve got at least a whole days worth of hands-on science activities. OMSI has an Omnimax theater and an Planetarium. It’s so much fun, it’s likely to be the hit of the trip, but your kids had better be careful because they might accidentally learn something. The big feature that sets it apart is of course, the USS Blueback Submarine docked just outside and ready for tours!
The Oregon Zoo– “With more than 1.5 million guests a year, Oregon Zoo is the top paid attraction in the Pacific Northwest.” according to their website. 1.5 million visitors can’t all be wrong, historically the zoo is known for its world-class elephant breeding program, but they are a treasure locally with many events throughout the year, and a very fun and festive concert venue. Go wild!
While at the Oregon Zoo in Washington Park, you might as well go across the street to the Portland Children’s Museum! They support more great hands-on learning experiences in areas such as building bridgetown, the market, maker studio, pet hospital (no real pets, although apparently in the 40s when they first opened there was a pet-lending library!), and the 2014 addition of an outdoor adventure space adjacent.
Again, while at Washington Park you can just wander off into the woods! The Wildwood trail (over 30 miles long!) begins just outside of the main parking lot between the Zoo and the Children’s Museum. It winds its way through Forest Park, and is a lovely, easy escape with a network of well-marked and maintained trails, complete with interpretive historical and botanical features. The trail starts through Hoyt Arboretum, one of the most diverse and beautiful collections of trees in the Northwest. For more hikes, we’ve got you covered with this article here!
Do pilates with your baby at Body Mechanics! My wife does it regularly, and loves the time she gets to spend with our baby. They have whole classes full of mommas and babies, and it’s just way too cute for words. It’s never too early to start working on that core!