Things To Do In Portland After The Holidays
If you are looking for some family friendly things to do in Portland after the Holidays, look no further. We’ve selected some items that we believe are sure-fire fixes for those post holiday blues. You may even find some “you” time along the way.
Post Holiday Blues
So, the Holidays are over. Now you’ve got until early July until summer is safely here. Meanwhile you’re sitting on your couch bored as hell. Your kids are the sweetest but even they can’t stay cooped up the whole day without pushing at least some of your buttons. Oh, believe me. We’ve all been there. You’ve even noticed you’ve been spending a little more time browsing on social media than your comfortable norm. What’s a parent to do in this city that seems so youth driven? *Recall Schmidt gif with the caption “Youths!”
Go To The Mall!
I know what you’re thinking, “The Mall?” To that I say, yes! Think about it. Reliably there is one or two go-to spots where you can get some coffee (or beverage of choice), you can walk around back and forth as many times you want without people thinking you’re weird while doing so. You’re out among people while you can window shop, get some exercise, and best of all it’s all under the pretense of getting out of the house. If you think about it it’s really a parent’s bread and butter. You’re not having to tell your kid(s), “Stop touching that!” You can let them play without the concern of their skull cracking open when they jumping around thanks to those spongy floors. Additionally, if you do it all in the morning you can wear them out so they will actually sleep during their nap time.
Washington Square Mall
A prefect example of this kind of play place is embodied in Washington Square Mall. Grab a coffee, pretzel, a free truffle at See’s Candy then head over to JCPenney where there’s a circular play place with a spongy floor and PDX themed climbable structures for the kids. The perimeter is seating for parents making it easy to be close by. There are coin operated machines to ride just outside the play area if your kids are into that.
Things to note: Parking near JCPenney makes this location accessible. Closures take place daily between 1-2pm for cleaning and sanitizing. Height limit for children is 42 inches which is 3.5 feet tall. This play place is free.
There are similar play places to this one including, but not limited to Clackamas Town Center and Cedar Hills Crossing. These locations are free.
At first seemingly isolated due to the drive up Scholls Ferry Road this parent’s saving grace is well worth even just one visit to see what the “Play Boutique” has to offer. Gauging at which time of day you’re conquering any drive in Portland these days seems convoluted not to mention daunting when trying to fill your day with fun things for the kids that doesn’t add to your level of stress.
The best approach would be to plan to make this one of your first stops for the day if you don’t have any other pressing errands. Seating overlooks the play area so it’s ideal for keeping an eye on the kid(s) while relaxing sipping on something from the coffee bar. This way you’re able to do some light work done on a project or getting some “me time” without worrying being too far away.
The Low Down on Play Boutique
Parking: There’s plenty of parking at Progress Ridge so there’s little need to plan ahead for this visit.
Coffee: There’s a full service coffee bar inside Play Boutique easily reducing the amount of stops between your house and fun for the kids.
The Main Attraction: With over 2000 square feet of dedicated play space, a bounce house, play structures, trampolines, basketball hoops and more toys there’s no shortage of activities for the kids. There’s also a dedicated space for the infants and children too small for the larger play area.
Bathrooms are clean, there’s a water fountain for quick easy access for the kids.
FYI: Play Boutique has limited hours of operation and even then you’ll want to get in the habit of checking their schedule online for any closures to the public due to party reservations or events. The last thing you need after 30 minutes of driving is to get there only to see that it’s closed and have to come up with another game plan.
But even if that happens we’ve got your back which bring us to the next of our things to do in Portland.
If it’s a warm summer day: Next to Ava Roasteria there’s a splash pad so don’t forget to bring the swimming gear.
If it’s raining: Get some coffee at Ava Roasteria give up and just go home. Just kidding. Hopefully you’ve packed your rain jackets!
Summer Lake Park
Summer Lake Park is the perfect place to take a leisurely stroll. There are a number of paved, easy to walk foot paths with 3 different wooden foot bridges.
For the kids there are two different play structure areas that feature three different sized structures (keeping most ages content). There is a basketball court, tennis courts, baseball and soccer fields, and there’s even a dog park.
With over 30 acres this park leave little to be desired. I the summer time include watching little league games and kids playing basketball. During Mid to late Spring the Rhododendron garden is in full bloom. The entire park is in one giant loop so one could walk it multiple times over if one so desired. The wildlife and lake itself make this an invaluable spot to spend time with your kids to do things to do in Portland.
Along the east bank under the Morrison bridge there is a place for learning and discovering facets of science. The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry established in Portland has hours of activities for not only kids but for all ages groups. It is one of the best things to do in Portland during the cold winter months.
OMSI’s science playground featuring messy, tactile, zany, and fun activities teaching scientific concepts in a hands on way. There are 9 different exhibits at OMSI that teach about space, renewable energy, and the stages of growth within the womb to name a few. There’s a Planetarium, an IMAX theater, tours inside a retired military submarine called the USS Blueback, and various cooking and science labs.
It’s an exciting place where your kids can play happily hours on end. There’s even a dedicated room for kids between the ages of 0-6. Some people say that this room alone is worth its weight in the cost of admission when you have small children. If you’re feeling hungry there’s a cafeteria.
Between the exhibits, movies, the play areas, and a cafeteria you could spend up to 8 hours there.
OMSI is easily accessible by car, public’s transit, and by bike. OMSI has its own parking lot, however, you have to pay for it.
The Tualatin Hills Nature Park
The Tualatin Hills Nature Park entails 1.5 miles of paved and 3.5 miles rugged trails ready for the family explorers! With over 220 acres this retreat is a family favorite in suburban Beaverton. It’s close to the MAX line or can be driven to from Murray. There’s a visitor’s center where attendants can answer questions. With not much foot traffic along the trail it makes walking with children leisurely and stress free.
Woodland creatures are aplenty including, but not limited to, grey squirrels and deer. If you’re into bugs watch where you step! You might just find a slug or a snail speeding on by. There are multiple wooden foot bridges to cross and trails to explore.
So next you’re on the westside of town and are in want of an activity check out the Tualatin Hills Nature Park.
Go Ice Skating at Lloyd Center Mall
If you’re into ice skating and your kids are down to go as well then you should go ice skating for a fun and festive winter tradition at Lloyd Center’s Ice Rink. Skating usually opens to the public anywhere between 10am and noon with family skate nights on Tuesday and Thursday nights starting at 6:30pm.
Think in term of “Small Doses”. As a parent myself more days all I really need to make sure I am able to stay sane is 45 mins outside the house.
Be encouraged! Between parks, the library, and place places there are many things to do in Portland. Best of wishes. Don’t forget to be creative and from one parent to another, we’re all in this together!
Of course Portland has even more options you can explore.
Some Other Things To Do in Portland!
–Council Crest – The tallest point in Portland and great vistas from the West Hills.
–Mt. Tabor – Complete with play structures and for Portland vista’s from Southeast Portland.
–Rocky Butte – The Best View of Mount Hood from Portland (when it’s sans rain), overlooks the airport, and yet another good location to view the Portland skyline this time from Northeast Portland.