21 Adventures for Kid Explorers

By Jon Shadel

Lately, few cities have received as much media attention as Portland — it’s been declared a retirement community for the young (and bearded), a playground for adventure-seekers and, most of all, a foodie’s Eden. But there’s more to this town than craft beer, fixed-gear bicycles and, well, hipsters. This is also a great place to be a kid. Here are a few adventures sure to please kid-explorers of all ages — and keep their grown-ups happy, too.

1. Get up close and personal with the famous elephant family at the Oregon Zoo.

Zoo Elephant by Sam Churchill
Photo by Sam Churchill/Flickr.

2. Tour a naval submarine at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.

OMSI Sub by Jason McHuff
Photo by Jason McHuff/Flickr.

3. Shop for fun crafts at the Portland Saturday Market.

Bicycleman 05
Photo courtesy of Portland Saturday Market.

4. Ride the futuristic Portland Aerial Tram for a bird’s-eye view of the city.

Portland Aerial Tram by Doug Kerr
Photo by Doug Kerr/Flickr.

5. Play in the snow and go tubing at Mt. Hood Skibowl.

Tubing Mt Hood
Photo by Mt. Hood Territory/Flickr

6. Take a storybook-perfect day trip to the Enchanted Forest theme park.

Enchanted Forest by Jason Lander
Photo by Jason Lander/Flickr.

7. Sample the seasonal, farm-to-cone ice cream flavors at Salt & Straw.

salt and straw
Photo by Jen/Flickr.

8. Make your own pancakes at Slappy Cakes, where it’s OK to play with food.

Slappy Cakes
Photo by Heather/Flickr

9. Let imaginations go wild at Powell’s Kids' Storytime readings (check the calendar here).

Powells Books
Photo by Mark/Flickr.

10. Roam around the abandoned “Witch House” (rumor says it’s haunted) in Forest Park (it’s an easy hike from Macleay Park).

Witch House
Photo by Marie/Flickr.

11. Spend a playful afternoon with hands-on exhibits at the Portland Children’s Museum.

Childrens Mesuem by Jason Lander
Photo by Jason Lander/Flickr.

12. When in season, pick fresh peaches and berries at Sauvie Island — and go for the pumpkins in the fall!

Sauvie Island
Photo by Katrina B./Flickr.

13. Spend an afternoon learning at the World Forestry Center.

World Forestry Center 
Photo by Whateverything/Flickr.

14. Catch an epic ride in Oregon’s largest wave pool at North Clackamas Aquatic Park.

Aquatic Park by Eli Duke
Photo by Eli Duke/Flickr.

15. Take a drive to Wilsonville and explore the world of motorsports at World of Speed.

World of Speed
Photo via Flickr

16. Get pizza and see a second-run movie at McMenamins Kennedy School.

Kennedy School Pizza
Photo via Flickr.

17. Hop in the car and head to 99W Drive-In Theatre in Newberg, one of only four drive-ins still operating in the state.

99W Drive In
Photo via Wikimedia Commons

18. When it’s warm out, splash around in the Keller Fountain Park.

Keller Fountain by Jason Lander
Photo by Jason Lander/Flickr.

19. Stop for a moment at Mill Ends Park, which the Guinness Book of World Records calls the smallest official park in the world.

Mill Ends Park by Craig Dietrich
Photo by Craig Dietrich/Flickr

20. Jump till you can’t jump any more at Sky High Sports Trampoline Park.

Trampoline Park
Photo by Daniel/Flickr.

21. Let the kids play in the play area at Hopworks Urban Brewery Bikebar (while the grownups sip a sampler tray of craft brews).

Hub Bikebar
Photo by Dayana J./Yelp.

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