Portland is a family-friendly city with a variety of exciting family activities to choose from. Even just one day in Portland is enough time to take in some of the city's top sites and unique restaurants.
Breakfast in Portland
Start your day out right at one of Portland’s funky breakfast restaurants like Voodoo Doughnuts or the Waffle Window; your kids are sure to love both places. At Voodoo Doughnuts, kids can pick doughnuts topped with their favorite cereals, cookies, marshmallows and even bubblegum. We recommend getting the Voodoo dozen; it’s a variety of their signature doughnuts.
At the Waffle Window, currently Portland’s #1 food cart, the choices vary from peanut butter chocolate-dipped waffles and blueberry cheesecake waffles to gourmet waffles with toppings like roasted peppers, tomatoes, marinated chevre, tomatillo salsa and many more.
Elephants at Oregon Zoo — Photo courtesy of Oregon Zoo
Educational Family Activities
On a sunny day, head to the sprawling 64-acre Oregon Zoo in Washington Park. There you'll see over 2,000 animals, including the new baby elephant. Pack a picnic lunch to eat during the bird talk. If you visit on the 2nd Tuesday of the month, admission is just $4 per person.
On a rainy day, head to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, better known as the OMSI. Here your family will get to explore and learn through hands-on exhibits. For kids 6 and under, there’s an entire science playground including a lab where you can make your own flubber or play-doh.
Be sure to visit when the science labs are open; kids can mix things up and perform actual science experiments. They also have a planetarium, Omni-max theater and submarine. If you visit on the 1st Sunday of the month, admission is only $2 per person.
Dinner in Portland
For dinner, pick out a relaxed family-friendly brew pub, like Rock Bottom Brewery or Laurelwood Public House, or pick out a trendy themed restaurant like Trader Vic's. Trader Vic’s is an urban island in the Pearl District serving Pacific Islander cuisine. Families are welcome to sit in the lounge where happy hour takes place every day from 4:30 – 6:00 pm. Kids have fun sampling crab rangoon, edamame, ribs, chicken skewers and more.
Parents will love Trader Vic’s extensive signature drink list. Rock Bottom Brewery is in downtown Portland on Morrison Street. It’s a large, popular restaurant and usually has little to no wait. It tends to be loud, which is perfect when dining with kids. They serve American food and their own microbrews.
Laurelwood Public House and Brewery is in Northeast Portland, a short drive from downtown. They serve organic, free range pub food like sandwiches, burgers and salads. All beers on tap are their own organic microbrews. They have happy hour every day from 3 – 6 pm. The best part of dining here are the play areas for kids.
International Rose Test Garden — Photo courtesy of Meagan Shamy
Finish your day off with a visit to one of Portland’s free parks like Washington Park or Tom McCall Waterfront Park. At Washington Park you can visit the International Rose Test Garden and then take the kids to play on the massive playground also located there. At Tom McCall Waterfront Park, families can stroll along and enjoy the views of the Willamette River. If it’s a hot day, the kids can play in one of the fountains located here.