- Oregon Zoo
- Be prepared for crowds. We went on a day when apparently all the schools had a field trip there. Kids were literally climbing over Maggie’s stroller and pushing her aside to get pictures on their iPads.
- The best zoo I’ve ever been to. Hands down. We never saw the same exhibit twice on our way through. Very well designed and most of the fun creatures to see were active.
- It was lightly raining the day we went, but there are lots of indoor areas and we toughed it out like Portlanders have to do all the time.
Seriously the only pic I took at the zoo. But isn’t it a good one?
- Portland Children’s Museum
- Admission is free on the first Friday every month after 5pm, we obviously had to take advantage of this deal.
- Lots of exhibits and it was well worth the short drive.
- Maggie was a little young to enjoy it, but we adults liked showing her how everything worked.
- Honestly, I was a bit disappointed and thought we had wasted our time and money until I found the little kids’ area (a huge room devoted to different exploration exhibits for kids under 5 years old.
- This was right up Bear’s alley. He loved the “big kid” exhibits and was in awe of the expensive equipment they have there.
- Be ready for lots of kids here too.
- There are a ton of food trucks set up just over the river from here, so that’s where we ate afterwards.
- Rose Garden
- Free! (Always a fan of free things)
- Beautiful collection of the most varieties of roses I’ve ever seen
- We took a stroller, but I wouldn’t recommend it. There are a lot of stairs we went down and it was kind of awkward to handle in the rows of flowers. I’d take a carrier if I had to otherwise we just let Maggie roam free.
- There’s a neat trail going behind the park if you’re up for exploring!
- Not much parking so plan on walking a bit
Where we ate:
- Tasty & Alder
- family style meals
- up to an hour wait on Sundays to get your name on the waitlist
- Blue Star Donuts (because, when in Portland)
- Pelican Brewery (as mentioned above)
- Henry’s 12th St Tavern
- the patio is considered a bar, so no under-agers allowed (even 18 month olds, apparently)
- Salt ‘n’ Straw (make sure you try as many flavors as you want, so you can make an informed decision about your choice!)
- 10 Barrel Brewing
- we had a really long wait and unfortunately had to leave early because a certain toddler had jetlag and was overtired and causing a huge ruckus.
- the waitstaff was awesome and did what they could to help entertain her while we waited.
There’s not much I would do differently next time – I would probably try to get a room with a little more space (fitting a pack n play and stroller in the room was a tight squeeze), I would schedule a day to find an awesome park (Portland really lacks for good kid-focused parks, in my opinion. At least in the downtown area, but maybe that’s normal for a city). We took a flimsy umbrella stroller which did the job until we found my dream double stroller off Craigslist to take home, it was actually nice to have a really small stroller because our room was tiny. I took a bunch of small toy animals and puzzle toys and they worked really well to occupy Maggie most of the trip. We used public transit most of the time, walked, or hitched a ride with my sister, only renting a car for our solo waterfall road trip. It worked out pretty well and we got around a lot.
If you’ve done Portland with kids, feel free to comment with some helpful tips or fun areas you’ve explored!