fun things to do with kids in portland oregon   Travel for Kids
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Portland waterfront
Portland is a river city, straddling the Willamette River on both sides, and connected by bridges. Just up the river, in the early 19th century, Oregon City was the territorial capital and end of the Oregon Trail, but Portland expanded into one of the biggest frontier towns in the Northwest. Best-loved children's author Beverly Cleary grew up here, and all her stories have a home in Portland (there is a real Klickitat Street). Like Henry, Ribsy and Ramona, little kids will have a great time in Grant Park.
Portland Photo Album
    Along the River
    East – Lloyd District
    Washington Park
    Oregon City – End of the Oregon Trail
    Take the tram – Our favorite tram ride in Portland is from Lloyd Center to the zoo in Washington Park. At Lloyd Center, pick up the red or blue MAX (Metropolitan Area Express) that goes over the Willamette River, through downtown Portland, to Washington Park. On Sundays in the summer, ride the free vintage trolley from Lloyd Center to SW 10th Ave. downtown. And during the summer, trams are free in the center of downtown, just hop on and off.
    Drawbridges – Portland has four large drawbridges over the Willamette River - Hawthorne, Morrison, Burnside, and Steele. It’s always fun to watch the big bridges raising up to let the boats go through.
    Oaks Amusement Park (Oaks Park) – Established in 1905, this is a lovely old-fashioned amusement park with folk-art carousel, Ferris wheel, bumper cars, roller coaster, rides for all ages and roller skating rink (it has a wooden floor). Rent lace-up roller skates with four wheels (kids and adult sizes), and skate to the turn-of-the-century music on a pipe organ. The rink is a perfect activity on a rainy day.

Fun food


Take the kids to the “U-Pick farms” on Sauvie Island, 10 miles north of the city. In summer, grab a box, head out to the field and pick blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, marionberries, blackberries, peaches, or corn. In fall, find your own pumpkin at the pumpkin patch. Kruger’s Farm has summer concerts, picnic tables under the trees, hay rides, a corn maze (and try their honey sticks, little plastic straws filled with flavored honey).

family hotels portland oregon

Travel for Kids has plenty of fun things to do with kids in Portland, but you'll need a fun place to stay.

Here's our own Travel for Kids hand-picked list of family hotels in Portland, all styles and price ranges, in neighborhoods that are comfortable for families, and near to places you'll want to explore:

Portland family hotels
kids books portland oregon
Larry Gets Lost in Portland explore books childrens  
Larry Gets Lost in Portland
John Skewes, Michael Mullin

Take a trip around Portland with Pete and his dog, Larry. Lost at lunchtime, searching for Pete, Larry goes along the waterfront, across the Willamette River on the Hawthorne Bridge, jumps on the train to the Oregon Zoo, explores Washington Park, zips all around Powell's Books, ending up at Union Station, where he finds Pete. (Picture book)



Henry Huggins, Beverly Cleary’s first novel set on Klickitat Street, is a funny endearing story about a boy who makes his own excitement. Standing outside the ice cream store, Henry finds a lost dog, Ribsy, who eagerly eats up his ice cream cone. Henry’s adventures have only begun when he tries to take the dog home on the bus. (Chapter book)


henry huggins
beezus and ramona  

Meet Ramona Quimby, a girl with spunk and imagination who also lives on Klickitat Street, and her favorite place to play is Grant Park. In the first book, Ramona turns a visit to the library into a hilarious and exasperating experience for her big sister Beezus. (Chapter book)


If You Were a Kid on the Oregon Trail
Josh Gregory, Lluis Farre

It's spring 1845, meet Stephen and Josephine, starting out on 2,000 mile Oregon Trail, walking or riding a horse, helping with many chores, crossing vast plains, arriving in Oregon City. Plus fun facts – each night the settlers camped in wilderness, traveling without doctors or medicine, trading for supplies from Native Americans, and timeline. (Picture book)


if you were a kid on the oregon trail
Wildwood (Wildwood Chronicles) adventure portland oregon kids books
Wildwood (Wildwood Chronicles)
Colin Meloy, Carson Ellis

West of Portland, the Impassable Wildwoods are guarded by a magic maze, but Prue and her best friend Curtis just walk right into the deep, dark forest, searching for her baby brother. Fabulous adventure with the Bandit King, ancient Mystics, birds, humans and animals of the Wood. A magical read! (Illustrated chapter book)


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