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Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) - Best Kid-Friendly Place in Portland

10 Best Kid-Friendly Places in Portland (2024)

About Portland

Portland, the largest city in Oregon, has been awarded as the best American City in 2013 and rightfully so. It is known for its beautiful landscapes, hospitality, food, and the fact that it has something for everyone regardless of age or profession. Whether you are an adventure lover, like to spend time with family in a quiet spot, or just want to stroll around, Portland has everything for you. Portland is a place that kids would love to go to as it has a wide array of activities going on all round the year that every kid would want to be a part of. Right from educational tours, to video gaming, and plenty of parks to play around, Portland is a kid’s paradise. Read below to find out about the 10 places where kids would love to go and have a time of their life.

10 Best Kid-Friendly Places in Portland

  1. Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI): For kids, this is arguably the coolest museum they would have ever visited. It has a huge planetarium and a giant theatre. It also has an old US Navy submarine that is docked at the river right out of the museum. There are also plenty of events happening almost every day which not only educate kids but also do it with lot of fun. This makes the kids the primary fan base of the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. Kids can experience how an earthquake would feel like giving them goose bumps. They learn lot about science in general at the Turbine Hall. They can also do their own in the interactive labs and learn lot from them. The museum also has a science playground suited for children under the age of 6 with a water pool where kids can have a splash.
  2. Oregon Zoo: Another place loved by kids in Portland is the Oregon Zoo which is the oldest zoo in the West. It has more than 2500 animals. The zoo is more than 120 years old and is just minutes away from downtown Portland. There are more than 200 species of animals bringing those animals up close with children animals that they must have seen only in books. However, the most favoured attraction of the Oregon Zoo loved by most kids is the bunch of Asiatic Elephants. The zoo provides the best environment for these elephants to live and play. The zoo also houses endangered species like the California condors. Another attraction loved by the kids at the Oregon Zoo is the ZooLights, a light show that starts with Thanksgiving and goes on till New Year’s Eve. During this time, millions of LED lights transform the zoo into a wonderland.
  3. Ground Kontrol: This is a premier Gaming Arcade around the west coast in Portland. It has all the classic games of yesteryears like pinball and almost 100 others. It also is known to host comedy shows, DJ nights, and also game tournaments. This makes it a favourite among kids of all ages. The timings for kids at Game Kontrol are from morning 10:00 till 4:30 p.m. Ground Kontrol has a very nominal entry fee if any except for special events or tournaments and during peak hours especially on weekends.
  4. World Forestry Center: The World Forestry Center is dedicated to educating people of all ages including kids about the importance of trees and forests worldwide. The Discovery Museum is the primary attraction for the kids here and focuses specifically on forests of the Pacific Northwest. Kids learn about forest systems and cycles, their importance to streams and rivers and how Oregon’s forests are managed. They can also learn about the area’s forests and the unique role they play in the environment. There is also an ancient steam locomotive stationed outside the museum that kids can hop into and play as long as they can.
  5. Oaks Amusement Park: Located on the banks of the Willamette River, the Oaks Amusement Park is absolutely adored by kids visiting Portland or those who stay here. This park has a history of providing family and kids loads of fun with carnivals and other activities for over 100 years. Spread over a whopping 44 acres of land, this park include variety of rides for children, has a mini golf park, skating rink, and also a mini-train tour. For teenagers who love a bit of adventure, the Zero Gravity ride, Tree Top Drop, and Adrenaline Peak Rollercoaster will not disappoint them. The Big Pink Slide and Toon Cars give the little ones a lot to cheer for.
  6. Oregon Rail Heritage Center: The Oregon Rail Heritage Center is also quite popular among kids down here in Portland. It is an old railway museum that houses some of the most vintage collection of railway exhibits. It has three steam locomotives of which two are in operable shape. This center has been opened for public since 2012. For kids who love to learn about how railways functioned in yesteryears should definitely pay a visit to the Oregon Rail Heritage Center and enhance their knowledge.
  7. Glowing Greens PDX: Glowing Greens is one of the most happening places in Portland where children of all ages especially those above 10 prefer to go. It is a 13-hole miniature indoor golf course which provides an ambience that you will never forget. People can host parties and call in friends and families to have a gala time at the Glowing Greens PDX.
  8. Electric Castle’s Wunderland: It is one of the oldest video game arcades in Portland with various branches all across the city. The Electric Castle Wunderland provides pocket friendly classic as well as modern video games suitable for children of all ages. It is the cost of each game that is so less which makes this place every child’s favourite. The arcade in Portland also hosts various tournaments where kids and participate and win prizes.
  9. Washington Park: This is one of the largest parks in Portland. It is home to a zoo, forestry museum, a Japanese garden, memorials, archery range, tennis courts, and soccer field where kids can play and enjoy. It also has various picnic spots where you can spend quality time with family and kids. It also has a vast area of forest land where people can go for hikes and trails for miles together.
  10. Portland Japanese Garden: This is also one of the places where you must take your kid to when in Portland Oregon. Made in an area of 12 acres this traditional Japanese garden which is maintained by a not for profit organization since the 1960s. Kids just love to see the variety of flora around.

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