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The Best Summer Activities for Kids in the Portland Area

Summer is creeping up on us and I couldn't be more excited!  Last Summer was my first full Summer at home with both girls, and it started off great.  Once August hit, we were starting to run out of activities!  I wanted to put together the best Summer activities for kids in the Portland area in one spot.  When you run out of things to do with your kids here in Portland, make sure to bookmark this for ideas!  These are our favorites, but I'd love to hear yours!  Leave them in the comments below.

The Best Activities for Kids in the Portland Area

Best Summer Activities for Kids in the Portland Area

twirling into Summer! 

I'm going to break these out by type of activity, so it's easier to digest.  If you're looking for a particular Summer activity, scroll through and I'll list them out by type.  First up are our favorite splash pads!  Splash pads are one of the best summer activities for kids.

Splash Pads

Best Summer Activities for Kids in the Portland Area

We could spend hours at the splash pad if you let us.  Here are a few of our favorites:

  1. West Linn - Hammerle Park:  Located right on highway 43 close to 205.  There are lots of tall trees that provide shade, a great spash pad, and lots of playground equipment.
  2. Happy Valley - Happy Valley Park:  Located in the heart of Happy Valley.  We LOVE this splash pad.  There are tons of walking trails and playground equipment close by.
  3. Pearl District - Jameson Square:  This is a really fun water park, especially on hot days.  The water fills up to about a foot and then drains continuously.  There are a lot of spots nearby to grab lunch or have a picnic.
  4. Wilsonville - Town Center Park and Memorial Park: This one is great for little ones since there are areas that don't spray in the face (my girls aren't a fan of these ones!).  You can also sit in the water in some spots, so it's great for super hot days.
  5. West Linn - Willamette Park: Lots of shade a long with a fun playground! Great spots for a picnic too.
  6. West Linn - Marylhurst Heights: Gorgeous park with a large splash pad and play structures!


We like to park hop and try out different ones in different areas.  The girls get bored with the same ones, so we like to try new ones often!

Best Summer Activities for Kids in the Portland Area

  1. Troutdale - Imagination Station: This is a really unique park and worth the drive.  Head to McMenemins Edgefield for lunch after playing!
  2. Westmoreland - Westmorland Nature Park: Another really great spot to explore!  We love this neighborhood too.
  3. Portland - Washington Park Playground: The girls love this one!  It's super close to the Rose Garden and the Zoo if the kids still need to run out some energy.

Best Summer Activities for Kids in the Portland Area

Kid Friendly Restaurants

  1. Hopworks Urban Brewery - Division location.  We love eating here because they serve amazing beer, drinks, and food but they also have an awesome play area.  We can pretty much sit back, relax and let our kids play.  It's a win-win in our book!
  2. Laurelwood - This is another local Portland brewery that offers a great kids play area.  The adults can enjoy our drinks and dinner while the kids play.
  3. Poa Café - This is a great breakfast spot with a huge kids area.  I ate here with a few girlfriends and our kids, and they were entertained for at least an hour.
  4. Stella Taco - They have games for the kids to play at the table and a great kids menu.  Let's be honest though, our kids eat quesadillas and chips mainly!  They have amazing tacos, margs, and chips and guac!  Bonus, Eb & Bean is right next door.

Ice Cream/Fro Yo

Best Summer Activities for Kids in the Portland Area

Have an ice cream/fro yo tasting day!  Head to any of the Salt & Straw locations, Eb & Bean, Ruby Jewel (their ice cream sandwiches are SO good), and Wizbangbar and grab a small scoop to share.  They all let you taste anything you want as well!  My personal favorite is the Snickerdoodle from Salt & Straw.  They always have the best seasonal flavors too!


Best Summer Activities for Kids in the Portland Area

Another fun idea, especially in the Portland area would be to have a donut day.  Head out to all the amazing donut spots and try them all!  Our favorites are Blue Star, Pips, Coco and VooDoo.


One of the best summer activities for kids in the Portland area are all the fun fairs with rides.  Here are a few of our faves:

  1. Oaks Park: This spot is an old classic.  During the Summer, they offer pre-school days which we LOVE.  These are every Tuesday and Wednesday July 13th-September 1st. Only the rides available to children 6 and under are open, and the prices are $10 per child. The hours are 10-12:30.  During normal hours, the park offers a lot of fun rides, miniature golf, and a roller rink! We try to hold out for the pre-school days since the price is so much cheaper.
  2. Clackamas County Fair: This fair is one of our absolute favorites.  It's quite a bit smaller and there are a lot of animals available to look at and pet.  It's located in Canby.  This year, the dates are August 13-17.
  3.  Rose Festival:  This technically takes place before Summer starts, but it's a great way to kick it off!  There are lots of activities, so make sure to check out their website for details!  We hope to make it to the parade this year!

Club Bridgeport

Our favorite shopping center, Bridgeport Village has Club Village every Wednesday this Summer.  From 11-12:30, kids activities will be held at Center Court for ages 2-12 for free!  Click here for the full schedule and line up!

Berry/Fruit Picking

Another favorite pastime for our kids (and myself!) is berry and fruit picking!  A few favorite spots include:

  1. Olson Farms - Damascus: This farm is one of our favorites.  They have a great harvest fest, but they also offer strawberry picking.  Make sure to check their site for peak picking time!
  2. The Powder Blueberry Farm - Gresham: A great spot to pick blueberries!  They offer no spray blueberries and are typically open at the beginning of July.  Make sure to check their site before heading out!
  3. Albeke Farms - Oregon City: We went apple picking here last fall, and their berry offering looks great!  They were super kid friendly when we picked apples.
  4. Sauvies Island Farm - Portland: Head out to Sauvies Island for the day for an adventure!  There are SO many different farms to choose from, you're sure to find the produce you're looking for.  We love Sauvie Island Farm for U-pick flowers too!  Check their site for produce availability.

Flower Festivals

I blogged about our love of flower festivals around Portland here, but I wanted to share a few of our favorites that take place during the summer.  Also, a few gardens that are open year round that are perfect for visiting with kids.

Best Summer Activities for Kids in the Portland Area

  1. Clackamas County Lavender Festival - Oregon City: there are a lot of lavender festivals around Oregon, but this one was great to visit with kids.  They offered lavender ice cream, lemonade, and we could frolic through the fields.  The girls loved it!  Small entrance fee
  2. International Rose Test Garden - Portland:  This is a must see during the month of June (when they're typically in full bloom).  It's close to the zoo and the Portland Children's Museum, so it would be a great place to stop before or after visiting either of those spots.  Our girls love flowers and they really enjoy seeing all the different colors and smelling the roses.  Free!
  3. Japanese Gardens - Portland:  I have to be honest, I haven't visited here since I was a little girl.  I still remember it though, and I think it's time we made a visit with our girls.  It really is so beautiful and memorable.  It's located across the street from the Rose Gardens, so you could hit both at the same time!  Entrance fee
  4. Rhododendron Gardens - Portland: We LOVE visiting the Rhododendron Gardens with the girls.  There are tons of flowers to look at, a lake to watch the birds and ducks, and a lot of paths for them to explore.  Such a great spot to visit in the Summer!  Small entrance fee

Nature Walks

Best Summer Activities for Kids in the Portland Area

Head out to some of the amazing parks and trails around Portland and let the kids explore.

  1. Mary S Young Park - West Linn: This park offers lots of walking trails, a dog park, and restrooms.  Great for bird watching!
  2. Tryon Creek Park - Portland: Lots of space to explore here.  It's located just 15 minutes from Downtown Portland.  There are 8 miles of hiking trails!  The greenery is so lush, you forget your so close to the city. Fores
  3. Forest Park - Portland: You could visit this park several times and never be able to see it all!  A great place to explore just outside of Downtown.

Concerts in the Park

Concerts in the park just scream Summer to me.  The girls love going to play and dance with friends!  The best part is they are all free.  We like to pack a picnic, but food is usually served at food trucks.

  1. Happy Valley Park - These take place almost every Thursday during the Summer.  We wouldn't miss them!  Our girls love dancing and playing with friends.  The splash pad is right there if it gets too hot!
  2. Lake Oswego - There are several different parks that offer summer concerts in the Lake Oswego area.  They take place Wednesdays and Sundays and are very kid friendly!
  3. Oregon City - The Oregon City concerts take place at the end of the Oregon Trail which is really fun for the kids to see!

Check here for a full list of concerts and movies in the park offered throughout the Summer!

Trains and Trams

The girls get such a kick out of riding the Max and street cars.  They're so fun to hop on and off of when exploring Portland.  We love riding the Max to the zoo especially!  You could also take them on a ride on the OHSU Aerial Tram during a clear day!  You can see forever!

Speaking of trains, another amazing activity for kids to do during the Summer is The Mollala Train Park at Shady Dell.  It is the absolute funnest experience for kids.  We took our girls there last Summer and they had a blast.  They can get up close and personal with model trains and even ride a miniature steam engine.  It's a must see!

Dollar Movies

Regal Cinemas offers dollar movies every Tuesday and Wednesday in the Summer.  Check here for more info!

Best Summer Activities for Kids in the Portland Area

Cinemark Theater also has dollar movie days as well.  Check here for the schedule!

Best Summer Activities for Kids in the Portland Area

Waterfall Tour

We love visiting the many waterfalls close to Portland.  Our favorites are:

  1. Latourell Falls - Just outside of Portland, Latourell offers a quick hike to see the falls.  Pack a picnic to enjoy at one of the many picnic tables in the shade.
  2. Multnomah Falls - Always a classic spot to visit in the Summer.  My mom took me here during the Summers as a kid and we hiked all the way to the top.  It's a great accomplishment!
  3. Silver Falls State Park - This is a must see if you haven't already.  There are several waterfalls within the 7 mile hiking loop.  It's definitely not for little kids, but you could strap on a hiking backpack and take them a long!  It is still a fun park to explore even if they can't walk the whole time.

Attend a Baseball Game

If you have kids that are a little older, they'd enjoy attending a baseball game at either Hillsboro Hops or Portland Pickles!  I think our girls are a little too young still.

Farmers Markets

One of our favorite things to do on the weekends is attend a farmers market.  We love the Milwaukie Farmers Market, especially.  It takes place every Sunday.  Let your kids explore the different produce, arts, and flowers!  This one usually has a live band which the girls love dancing to.

Let me know what your favorite Summer activities are!  I'd love to hear.  Thanks as always for reading!

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