Portland Travel with Kids
Things to Do With Kids Under 13
There's nothing like animal antics to entertain little kids, and the menagerie at the Oregon Zoo (4001 S.W. Canyon Rd.) will not let them down, making this a top destination for families. Critters here range from adorable to strange-looking and everything in between.
Also within Washington Park (S.W. Rose Garden Way & S.W. Kingston Ave.) and just a hop, skip and a jump from the zoo is a fun children's playground that's perfect for ages 5 and younger. Slides, swings, climbing structures and a sand pit will help youngsters burn off some energy.
Nurture your budding mad scientist with an afternoon at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) (1945 S.E. Water Ave.). The museum is filled with hundreds of hands-on, interactive displays explaining such topics as food choices, human aging, fossils and climate change. Turbine Hall, once a real power station, now houses robot arms and other cool industrial exhibits. You can even tour a submarine: The USS Blueback is docked right outside. This is a great trip for people of all ages, so bring the whole family.
Portland has an excellent theater scene, but it isn't just for adults. Both Oregon Children's Theatre, 1111 S.W. Broadway, and Northwest Children's Theater and School, 1819 N.W. Everett St., produce plays for young audiences that will help ignite an appreciation for the arts.
Things to Do With Teens Getting teens excited on vacation is hard, but Oaks Amusement Park (7805 S.E. Oaks Park Way) makes it easy. The whirl-'til-you-hurl rides are as fresh as when the park opened in 1905, and once you're done being dropped, spun and turned upside down, there are carnival games, bumper cars and a roller skating rink.
What part of “jet boat” doesn't sound like a blast? Willamette Jetboat Excursions (1945 S.E. Water Ave.) is one part narrated sightseeing tour and one part laughter-inducing thrill ride thanks to frequent (intentional) spinouts. Be forewarned, though, you may get wet!
If your teen is a shopaholic, then the Pearl District and nearby Nob Hill will offer hours of distraction. You could spend a whole day in the massive Powell's City of Books (1005 W. Burnside St.). Despite having lost a bit of their edginess, both districts still boast a variety of shops and places to eat. But for cheaper and funkier merch, head across the river to the Hawthorne or Alberta Arts districts.
What to Do for All AgesShutterstock.com/Samuel Acosta
Good behavior deserves a treat. Your kids and your taste buds will thank you for waiting in line at Salt & Straw (838 N.W. 23rd Ave.), whose seasonal ice cream menu is all over the place: plum sangria and sweet corn buttermilk are served alongside more traditional flavors.
Navigating a strange city with kids in tow can be a hassle, but in Portland it's a snap thanks to streetcars that run from one end of downtown to the other, and the TriMet MAX train, which has a convenient station at Washington Park. Then there's Gray Line of Portland , which offers a narrated, hop-on, hop-off trolley service to popular tourist spots. It's entertainment that doubles as transportation and it won't be hard to get to all the fun places to go in the city.
You'll see bicyclists everywhere in Portland, where the commitment to pedal power is strong. Join the locals with a scenic ride through Governor Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Near the Hawthorne Bridge, Kerr Bikes (1020 S.W. Naito Pkwy.) offers single-rider bikes (including kid-size ones), tandem bikes and even double surreys that can accommodate the whole family.
As great as the city is, you really shouldn't miss a drive through nearby Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area . There are plenty of fun things to do if you stop here. The area features lush forests, dramatic vistas and nearly 100 waterfalls that are certain to provoke a “Wow!” or two from even the most blasé teenagers.
AAA’s in-person hotel evaluations are unscheduled to ensure the inspector has an experience similar to that of members. To pass inspection, all hotels must meet the same rigorous standards for cleanliness, comfort and hospitality. These hotels receive a AAA Diamond designation that tells members what type of experience to expect.
Oregon levies no sales tax. The Portland area has a lodging tax of 11.5 percent and a rental car tax of 17 percent.
Adventist Medical Center, (503) 257-2500; Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, (503) 413-2200; Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center, (503) 413-7711; OHSU Hospital, (503) 494-8311.
877 S.W. Taylor St. Portland, OR 97205. Phone:(503)275-8355 or (888)503-3291
Cheap airline flights can be found from cities all over the country.
Several rental car agencies serve the Portland area. Hertz, (503) 528-7900 (airport), (503) 249-5727 (downtown) or (800) 654-3080, offers discounts to AAA members.
The Amtrak passenger train terminal is at 800 N.W. Sixth Ave.; phone (800) 872-7245.
Cabs must be hired by phone or at taxi stations, although a few will answer a hail from the street in the downtown business district. Companies include Broadway Cab Co., (503) 333-3333; and Radio Cab, (503) 227-1212. Fares are metered. Most taxi services charge $3-$5 for one person for the first .1 mile then $2.60 for each additional mile and a $1 fee for each additional passenger.
Transportation by bus, streetcar or light-rail is available in Portland.