Portland has many fun activities for families with children to do. My wife, Carol, and I took a trip recently with our two girls, ages 6 & 7. Here are some highlights.
Published: January 10, 2014
By: Jim Graves & Carol Walsh
The Mark Spencer Hotel (www.markspencer.com) is an excellent choice for lodging. It is located in the Pearl District, with many fine shops, restaurants and entertainment venues nearby.
We had a two-room Executive King room, with a kitchenette and refrigerator. The hotel had many perks included in the price of your room, such as a continental restaurant, daily New York Times delivery, and cookies and wine in the afternoon.
The upscale Hotel DeLuxe (www.hoteldeluxeportland.com), located just a few blocks away, is an awesome choice, too. Its interior is themed to the Golden Era of Hollywood. We had a spacious king suite with ample closet space and great views. Try its Gracie’s restaurant (named for comedienne Gracie Allen), which has delicious fare and a menu for kids.
The Portland Children’s Museum (www.portlandcm.org) is great fun for kids under age 10. Our kids’ loved the Building Bridgetown, a pretend restaurant and grocery store, and the pet hospital. The Play It Again theater was also a hit; watch your children perform with pretend instruments onstage.
Across the parking lot is the Oregon Zoo (www.oregonzoo.org), set amongst the tall, evergreen trees of the Pacific Northwest. In its five sections we got a close look at black bears, a Sumatran orangutan, polar bears, penguins, lions, giraffe, rhinoceros and much more.
Definitely buy a $5 ticket for the zoo railway, which takes you on a 20-minute ride through the forest. And, for lunch, try the Cascade Grill and enjoy healthy choices of soup, sandwiches and salads.
I love history, so we had to make a stop at the Pittock Mansion (www.pittockmansion.org). This magnificent home was completed a century ago and was built by the wealthy owner of the Portland newspaper The Oregonian. The Pittock family lived there until 1958, when it had fallen into disrepair, and it opened to the public as a museum in 1965.
The 16,000-square foot home features a mix of English, French and Turkish designs, with beautiful gardens and a magnificent view of Portland. Enjoy its many grand rooms; exhibits give you the opportunity to learn about the Pittocks and life in high society in early 20th century Portland.
No visit with kids to Portland would be complete without a stop at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (“OMSI,” www.omsi.edu), located on the east bank of the Willamette River. It features five unique halls and hundreds of interactive exhibits that teach little ones about various aspects of science and technology. It also has three auditoriums, and is home to the USS Blueback, a de-commissioned U.S. Navy submarine.
Definitely try OMSI’s fabulous café, Theory Eatery, which featured delicious and healthy options, including sandwiches and salads, as well as upscale pizza. Try the ice cream for dessert.
Portland has some neat activities for families. We look forward to returning soon!