A modern, vibrant, and energetic city, Portland, Oregon offers endless possibilities for family fun. Swim in a clean lake, go fishing with your kids, or get in touch with nature while hiking through one of the city’s many parks to get away from the hustle and bustle. You can also enjoy a fun afternoon visiting one of the area’s many museums or local markets. So find your family’s perfect Portland vacation rental and get exploring!

1. Visit the Oregon Zoo

Source: Flickr / Joshua Smith

Ever since it first opened in 1888, the 64-acre Oregon Zoo has been a favorite destination for children and their parents. Watch graceful pink flamingos, cute giraffes, or magnificent elephants, and eat a delicious snack when the kids get tired from exploring. If you’re more of a science-loving family, drop by the educational facility to learn about animals while having family fun.

2. Take a Stroll Through the Portland International Rose Test Garden

Source: Flickr / Karen Blaha

Give your senses a break when you visit the Portland International Rose Test Garden. Soak in the beauty and stop for a minute to smell the flowers while your kids run around enjoying a fun day outside. Full of blooming flowers, the garden also offers spectacular views of Mount Hood, making it an ideal place to take your annual family pictures.

3. Go for a Bike Ride

Portland offers dozens of bike routes that are safe for both children and adults. Rent bikes for just a few hours to enjoy a little exercise and exploration with the kids, or rent out bikes for the entire duration of your stay and keep them at your vacation rental to enjoy daily biking excursions. Go for a ride along the 2-mile Springwater Corridor to treat your kids to views of horses, ducks, and geese, or stop at a playground while enjoying the bike trails of Willamette Park.

4. Explore Sauvie Island

Source: Flickr / Andrew Malone

If you’re up for a short trip, check out Sauvie Island, which is located just 10 miles away from the city. Impressively, the island ‘s population is 1000 times smaller than the number of visitors. Explore corn mazes and haunted houses with the kids if you’re lucky enough to be here in October. For a tasty treat, buy fresh berries from local farmers to make a delicious pie once you’re back at your Portland vacation rental.

5. Tour the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI)

Source: Flickr / Marcin Wichary

A visit to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is an ideal way to get your kids interested in science and technology. Let your little ones explore a real submarine, watch a light show at the planetarium, or feel like a real scientist in the hands-on Science lab.

6. Take a Hike in Hoyt Arboretum

Source: Flickr / Jeff Gunn

Hoyt Arboretum gives the entire family an opportunity to relax, get in touch with nature, and have a picnic in the company of century-old trees. Featuring over 5,000 rare trees, the park offers 12 miles of equipped hiking trails to give children and adults room to explore.

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7. Have Fun at the Children’s Museum

Source: portlandcm.org

Ideal for toddlers and younger kids, Children’s Museum in Portland offers tons of fun exhibits, including a pet hospital, clay studio, and a tree house. Children are encouraged to touch the exhibits and try everything, ensuring that little ones enjoy a day of fun-filled excitement.

8. Spend a Morning Shopping at the Portland Saturday Market

Source: Flickr / LWYang

The Portland Saturday Market is a great place to visit towards the end of your stay. Let your children pick out souvenirs to take back home as a lasting reminder of your family vacation, For lunch, treat your kids to some tasty street food, and grab ice cream or donuts for dessert. Take time to listen to the local street musicians, and check out the ships and boats on the water for an unforgettable day of family bonding.

9. Ride the Portland Aerial Tram

Source: Flickr / David Wilson

Enjoy spectacular views of the river, Mount Hood, and the city of Portland itself when you ride the 500-foot route of the Portland Aerial Tram. While this is an important mode of transportation for many workers in the city, tourists are welcome to take a round trip on the tram for just a few dollars.

10. Hike in Search of the Witch’s Castle

Source: Flickr / Sam Beebe

Hike the forest trail from Forest Park in West Hills to Macleay Park to find the remains of a mysterious castle. You can let your children come up with their own ideas about the castle, or tell them the actual tale of how it was built in the 1840s by Danford Balch, an early Portland settler.

11. Go Fishing

Perfect for family bonding, fishing is the all-time favorite activity of fathers and sons. Spend a peaceful, relaxing day fishing to enjoy the beautiful landscapes Portland has to offer and catch some fresh fish to bring back to your vacation rental for dinner. Portland is home to more than 10,000 acres of parks, giving you plenty of lakes and rivers to choose from for your children’s first fishing experience.

12. Visit the Columbia River Gorge

Featuring breathtaking views and rich history, the Columbia River Gorge and its surrounding areas provide plenty of things to do for both kids and adults any time of the year, including kayaking, snowboarding, bird watching, and windsurfing. You can rent the necessary equipment on the spot, or bring your own and keep it in the shed of your vacation rental to save money.

 
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