Visiting Portland with kids is tough. From worrying about whether there’s a kid’s menu to finding fun affordable activities for the whole family, the hurdles can seem endless. But it doesn’t have to be that way. With a little digging, you’ll find a plethora of things to do and places to eat with kids in the city of roses. There are even places to stay that won’t break the bank. Here are our favorites.
Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Portland
Breakfast: Slappy Cakes – DIY Pancake House
Pick a batter, choose your sweet or savory fixins, and start frying your own pancakes right at your tabletop grill. Kids love the squeezy bottles of batter and the Easy-Bake factor. The all-day breakfast menu stretches beyond flapjacks, and the big kids at the table can enjoy a boozy brunch thanks to the well-stocked bar on site. At Slappy Cakes, breakfast is not only the most important meal of the day, but the most fun too!
4246 SE Belmont St. Portland, Oregon 97215
Lunch: Mississippi Pizza – $3 Slice Pizza Goodness
Another favorite amongst Portland families, Mississippi Pizza has outrageous slice pizza deals from 11am to 5pm. Be sure to check out the pizzaria’s event calendar to find out what’s playing at its music venue and the kid’s entertainment lineup.
Dinner: Mother’s Bistro & Bar – Downtown Dining Without Downtown Prices
Slow-cooked meals just like your mom makes, chandelier lighting, and an extensive, reasonably-priced kid’s menu makes Mother’s sophisticated enough for adults, yet still affordable for the whole family. True to its name, Mother’s features a special rotating menu created by contributing moms from around the world. A unique, family-centered dining experience in downtown Portland.
212 SW Stark Street in Portland, Oregon 97204
Drinks: Laurelwood Brewing Co – A Toddler-Friendly Taproom
Both booze and babies get the green light at Laurelwood, a family-friendly neighborhood spot for great food and even better beer. With two patios, two kids’ play areas and a warm atmosphere, you can tell that this establishment was opened by parents with young children.
5115 NE Sandy Blvd. Portland, OR 97213
Affordable and Fun Kid Activities in Portland, Oregon
Visit the wildest place in Oregon with your own tribe. In one day, explore elephant lands, spy on the predators of the Serengeti and commune with animals of the Pacific shores. The Oregon Zoo is located in Portland’s picturesque southwest hills inside Washington Park, which is also home to the city’s world-famous International Rose Test Garden, the Portland Japanese Garden, and sweeping views of the metropolis.
Climb aboard a real submarine, journey through space and explore an entire science playground for kids of all ages. OMSI is ranked as one of the top science centers in the United States and offers rotating, jaw-dropping exhibits. For under $10, your child will have an afternoon chock full of learning and fun.
Instead of investing in expensive objects to keep in glass cases, the museum uses every-day materials to create exhibits for children to learn through play. For a day, your youngster can construct buildings, save animals, create masterpieces, and more.
4015 SW Canyon Rd. Portland, OR 97221
Major Kids Events in Portland
Make this year’s holiday season one to remember. Every year the houses of Peacock Lane in SE Portland deck their Tudor-style houses with holiday lights and cheer. Pick up a cup of complimentary (donations appreciated) hot cocoa or cider and meander down the lane in the evening with your loved ones from December 15 to 31. Best of all, it’s 100% free.
Are you looking for the best STEM summer camp for your child? Can’t find the right sports equipment for your mini-me? In search of special-needs services for children? KidFest Northwest is THE place to access the latest information, products and services for your child. While you cruise through hundreds of informational stands, your kid will find plenty of things to do. Rock climbing, go-carting and a petting zoo are all on the docket.
Join Portland’s Rose Festival Junior Parade and march with thousands of other school children through NE Portland. Expect elementary and middle school marching bands to lead the way followed by kids in costumes parading with floats, pets and parents. Don’t miss the city’s biggest summer event just for children.
Spend a day at The Pumpkin Patch on Sauvie Island, the largest island along the Columbia River, 10 miles northwest of downtown Portland. Every autumn, The Pumpkin Patch clears a larger-than-life corn maze for all ages. Free hayrides will take you out to U-pick pumpkin fields. And the farm’s big red animal barn is sure to delight your little creatures with its many kinds of furry and feathery friends!
Where to Stay in Portland with Kids
Make your next trip to Portland an affordable and enjoyable one. Nordic Inn & Suites is the place to stay if you’re looking to travel on a budget but still want quality. Newly updated rooms and business-class amenities ensure that you and your family will enjoy Portland to its fullest. The motel is conveniently located in NE Portland, close to lots of family-friendly activities.