What to do in Portland for two days? Kid friendly, please


We (me, wife, daughter) will be visiting Portland this weekend (actually Thursday through Saturday). What suggestions do you have for kid friendly activities? Parks, go karts, zoo, museums? Hiking areas? My wife made the food plans, it's up to me to plan the activities.


Any suggestions are welcome. No, neither of the girls like beer or nude women, but if I can find something else somewhere else to distract them, I may be persuaded...



Do you ski or snowboard that could be fun we should be getting fresh snow soon at Mt hood it's like a 1 hour drive from p town

Zoo. OMSI. Sky High gym in Tigard for the kids. Beaverton Honda for you.

The lumberyard

All great suggestions, thanks. I'll see if we have room for snow gear in the car, that is something we haven't done yet this year.

Isn't/ wasn't there a real fast go cart track there somewhere ( grand prix racing??) that uses muuuch faster cars and is fun as heck? was there many years ago...



Malibu grand prix, it went away recently

Malibu grand prix, it went away recently

It moved up to Mt Hood so I assume it's only open during the summer. That was my fall back plan, but not to be...


I still have my license from 2000 (or 2001). Great fun and I wanted to take my daughter on the two seater.


However, there is the tubing center at Mt Hood that looks like the bee's knees.

SyKart in Tigard is good times.

The Pearl district in NW Portland is a fun place to just walk around.  Go to the intersection of NW 23rd (aka trendy-third) and Burnside and head north a few blocks on 23rd, find some parking and walk down 23rd.  There's all kinds of funky shops and food on 23rd.   Guaranteed the girls will enjoy it.  A couple of blocks east on 21st is another fun street to walk.  Deschutes Brewpub at  210 NW 11th is a fun place to have drinks and food.   

Pat's Acres in Canby is closed now for winter but open in the spring/summer/fall. Real race track for karts and they do supermoto races there too. They held a Gold Cup regional race there last summer. You can rent karts, and they have a rental car summer race series so you can try it out for a year before sinking all your cash into a four wheeled racer.


There's always Bullwinkles if you want put-put karts. OMSI is cool for all ages, check out the IMax theater. Geocaching at Mt. Tabor park. Old town underground tours for creepy vintage smuggler tunnels.

Zoo and right next door the childrens museum, just off Hwy 26.

If your daughter is younger. Washington park, zoo, children's museum , rose and Japanese gardens is a fun area. Take my kids there a lot. Omsi is really cool as well. If you want the downtown experience there's the art museum and various theaters. Close to the river on that side there might be a sat. Market to walk around. There's tons of good places to eat. I like the Newport grill on the river. Kinda cool to pull your boat up to a restaurant lol. There's tons of parks n stuff. That's all basically downtown west side. Lots of other good suggestions posted if you want to get out of the city a little too. Sycart, bullwinkles Ect. If you want to head out, out for a day you could drive to silver falls state park for some waterfall hikes Ect. Really cool place. You'd pass bulwinkles on the way off i5 and prob see signs for other parks n gardens along the way. There's the Chinese gardens and voodoo donuts down off burnside in the pearl district area as well. Keep in mind lots of homeless and funkys down that way incase your fam is weary of that atmosphere. There's a great deal of exploring , parks, good food. Ect to be had in the Portland metro. Have fun

Peelers isn't kid friendly?

waterfalls... just reminded me of Multnomah Falls park. 30 mins east in the gorge, excellent hiking, (easy or tough your choice) and beautiful views from all over. Sights you can't find just anywhere. Then drive up to Crown Point. If the weather's good its gorgeous, if it's nasty its exhilerating. Tons of easy hiking along the Columbia River Hwy with trailheads all over. Gets you out of city-fication at least. ;)

Lots of good suggestions above. If you are a hockey fan I believe the Winterhawks are playing Friday and Saturday night. They are doing well and will be going for 17 or 18 consecutive wins. 

You didn't say how old your daughter is but the White Eagle saloon has bands and the Fri. 5:30pm and Sat. 4:30 pm shows are open to all ages. No cover charge. This is a McMennamin's pub so they're clean and cool for younger kids. They have good food and drink, I've seen headliner bands there before, I assume the free music is good, also.

Okay, results of the trip are as follows- 


We stayed at the Fairfield Inn and Suites at Lake Oswego. This meant everything was at least 15 minutes away, more if you encountered traffic. In Portland? Traffic? Who knew? [/sarcasm] Anyway, lots of time spent on I-5 and other highways/bridges. Sheesh, the bridges. Really?


White Eagle Saloon on Friday afternoon/evenings is great. Kids menu and decent pub grub. However- The "Cajun Chicken wrap" is not "Cajun" in any sense of the word. No spice, bland, and pretty boring. Not bad, just flat plain. However, good tap list and other menu items make up for this one little issue. Music was basic pub fare as well, 50+ year old guys banging out old "blues" standards. Played well to the crowds, but I could almost predict what songs they would play next (as I played most of them myself, and I'm not even 50+ yet).


Fifty Licks ice cream sucks. $3.50 for a half serving of crap ice cream in weird flavors. Salt and Straw kicks ass for ice cream. Find them and enjoy. Taste everything (twice) and then get a scoop of whatever you want. Great stuff.


Pok Pok Thai is over priced and pretentious. A bunch of white folks forcing off-beat Thai food on unsuspecting hipsters. Avoid. Go for Appethaizing (across the street) for great Thai food at half the price.


Trendy-third is boring. Nuff said. Avoid. Not even any good eye candy. $4 candy bars? Yeah, it's hand made, but really.


OMSI- Fricking awesome. We spent the better part of 3.5 hours there on Friday. Great time. My daughter is nine and we had to physically remove her from the brain teaser section and go to the other exhibits. Bummed we didn't have time to go to the planetarium (starting to get hangry (hungry+angry)).


Zoo- Great time as well. 3+ hours, saw everything. Lots of fun, zoo is well laid out to walk (and walk and walk). Smaller than Woodland Park zoo, I would say "intimate" in a good way.


Forestry Museum- Scam. Avoid. nothing but propaganda for the forestry industry. I was expecting to see a loggers view point, but come on. No history of the individuals who carved out the roads and villages? Nothing about the sacrifices made during the 1800's and early 1900's? Nothing on saws, tools, or any of the other stuff I saw growing up as a kid. Not one single tin hat cowboy pictured. It was all about how forestry makes the world a better place. Okay, great, trees are good, "sustainable harvesting" of these trees is better. Not one single exhibit (that I can remember, and I was there six hours ago) about the PEOPLE who are/were/will be loggers. Crap. Spent more on that hagiography dump than at the zoo.


All in all, thanks for the tips and pointers. We all had a great time and will be back to spend more hard-earned Washington dollars in your tax-free haven. I'll bring a cow-catcher to move those damned bearded hipsters and hippies out of the way on Clinton. Dude, really? Those bikes are EVERYWHERE. Fixies, trailers, two-ups, everything. Crazy.

Edited by pscook

Pok Pok Thai is over priced and pretentious. A bunch of white folks forcing off-beat Thai food on unsuspecting hipsters. 



You mean *actual* Thai food.  We took a friend who spent a few years in Thailand, and she confirmed that it was pretty authentic.


It is pricey though.

You mean *actual* Thai food.  We took a friend who spent a few years in Thailand, and she confirmed that it was pretty authentic.


It is pricey though.

Yup. Never said it wasn't authentic. However, if anyone is looking for mainstream Thai food, this place ain't it. Kind of like the difference between Chinese food with my mother in law at a restaurant vs with my friends.


However, their wings are pretty darn good, even if it is $14 for 6 wings.

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