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5 Family Must-Do’s in Portland, Oregon

by Eugenia Lazaris

Nov 16, 2017

© Josemaria Toscano | Dreamstime


Portland, Oregon, is famous for its beauty and laidback lifestyle. The landscape lends itself perfectly to outdoor activities that create lasting family memories. If you’ve got a little time to spend in Portland, here are some of the local sights and attractions that make it a popular family destination year-round.


Trillium Lake with Mount Hood, Oregon in the Distance

Trillium Lake with Mount Hood, Oregon. Photo: Brizardh | Dreamstime


Mount Hood

For some serious outdoor adventure, take a daytrip to Mount Hood, the imposing dormant volcano overlooking the city. In the winter months Mount Hood is a favorite destination for both locals and tourists thanks to its great skiing conditions; there are six different ski areas to choose from. In warmer months it is ideal for a daytrip of hiking or overnight camping. During your mountain excursion, be sure to make some time to visit one of the many breathtaking waterfalls, like Multnomah Falls. On your way, be sure to stop and take in the spectacular views of the Columbia River Gorge.


International Rose Test Garden

This gorgeous garden is home to more than 8,000 roses and is the perfect activity for the green thumbs in the family. It doesn’t take long to explore the beautifully designed grounds and entrance is free. The best time to visit this attraction is during the spring and summertime when the roses are in full bloom, but its beautiful landscaping and serene setting is enjoyable all year long.


International Rose Test Garden in Portland, Oregon

International Rose Test Garden in Portland, Oregon. Photo: Rajan Singh | Dreamstime



Forest Park

Located near the International Rose Test Garden, this beautiful park is a forest within a city. While hiking through its miles of giant Douglas fir trees and overgrown foliage, let the fresh air and serenity replenish your body and spirit. As the soothing scent of the cedar trees enlivens your senses it will be difficult to remember there is a city anywhere nearby.


Portland Saturday Market

If you happen to be in town for the weekend, the Saturday Market is a must for everyone. Hundreds of vendors gather downtown to offer wares. Open on Sundays as well, the Saturday Market is in full swing March–December and is free to visit. From crafts and artwork to international cuisine, the market is not only fun to wander and explore but also sure to have something to catch everyone’s eye. Grab some Lebanese food while the kids get their faces painted or pick up some duct tape wallets and upcycled jewelry for gifts. The Kids Korner offers a free special event designed for young market visitors once a month. The program changes monthly, so check out the website prior to your visit for dates and activities.


Portland Saturday Market

Portland Saturday Market. Photo: James Crawford | Dreamstime


Portland Art Museum and Children’s Museum

The PAM is a great place to spend a day when the rains of the Pacific Northwest are determined to keep you indoors. Kids will love the special exhibit “Art, Science, and Wonder of LAIKA,” the animation studios behind stop-motion masterpieces such as Coraline and The Boxtrolls. Visitors can see sets, props, puppets and costumes as well as learn about the film-making process.


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