We get a lot of wet weather for a lot of the year. Here are our favorite things to do while staying dry...or not!
4001 SW Canyon Rd.
Nice cool mornings that are a little damp at the zoo will net you animals that are a little more active and it won't be a 'zoo' when it comes to the number of people!
reviewed on: March 18 2009
The Oregon Zoo is always a great place to take the kids. The Northwest Experience and Stellar Cove are fantastic, with some great up-close encounters with bears, bobcats, cougars, bald eagles, sea lions, and otters. We also love going to see the elephants, and most specifically SAMUDRA, the new baby elephant. The other Africa exhibits are also decent. We love the fruit bats! The polar bears are always great to see. There are also lots of great lessons to help teach the kids about global warming and what they can do make the world a better place.
"Will be great...in the Summer!"
Lately, several animals have been taken off exhibit and exhibits have been closed. There are several areas of the zoo that are currently under contruction also. It looks like the wolves are now back, which is always great and the new 'Predetors of Serengeti' area is due to be opening this summer along with 'Red Ape Reserve'. That will make the zoo even more fun and will give the animals much better spaces to live in.
There are some indoor exhibits as well. We recently enjoyed the turtles.
4015 SW Canyon Rd. Portland, Oregon
A great space for the shorties to play and experience new things. They also have exhibits that change out frequently, so you won't have the same visit twice!
reviewed on: March 18 2009
My husband took our son, so I am writing this review based on what he told me.
"Great for the younger crowd"
The space is great and really geared toward the younger crowd. They spent the majority of the time in the 'Bob the Builder' exhibit (which is a temporary exhibit). Our son loves construction stuff and this was perfect for him. They had these rubber bits (rather than sand) to dig in (some bits were bigger than others so it made it more fun to pick things up), and it acted like dirt without being 'too dirty'. They also walked through the other areas, but our son was not as drawn to them and it was getting to be nap time. We think as he gets a little older the place is going to be a little bit more enjoyable for him (he was 13 months old at the time).
1945 SE Water Ave.
A great museum with a fantastic playspace for the kids under 5 (and kids over it too...right parents!). Kids can learn both art and science. You may not end up as dry as you might think, with the water play though!
reviewed on: March 18 2009
OMSI is a locals favorite for kids. It is a great place for families to head and has a little something for everyone.
"Always good fun for kids (and adults) of all ages!"
On rainy days the Science Playground is a favorite for us. This is a great space for kids 0-6 years old to come and explore. They have place to play with water, and balls that shoot up through tubes, and areas to climb and crawl. There is an area where kids get to play with flubber or playdough or paint and color. There are blocks and a sand pit.
They always have traveling exhibits also. We saw 'Bodies' there and currently they have one on Leonardo Da Vinci.
There is a planetarium, the OMNI-Max theater, the Laser Show, the Submarine tour, and differnt 'Labs'. As adults, we are always entertained, and our little guy has a great time too.
4033 SW Canyon Rd.
When you step inside, you kind of feel like you are outside, but dry. It is a fun place to go with visitors (or if you are a visitor!).
reviewed on: March 18 2009
We have been a couple of times to the World Forestry Center and have enjoyed it everytime. It doesn't take too long to go through, but it really gives you a different kind of learning experience. For those of us in the Northwest, it helps us learn about the things that surround us!
"Great place to learn about trees!"
There are several types of exhibits. One talks about the forest canopy and what can be found in the forest. One talks about what makes up a forest. There is another that talks about what can be found under the forest. They explain about nurse logs and let you experience a river rafting adventure. You can be a smoke-jumper and learn how to plant trees. There is also a great exhibit where you can learn about 'logging lightly' and how you can make the best choices for the each day.
There is a revolving exhibit upstairs, where different artists display their work. I got to see an Ansel Adams exhibit that was fantastic.
With the zoo across the parking lot, different animals are brought over to enhance the experience.
We took my mother-in-law (from England) there and she loved it as well. I would say there is a little something for everyone.
6820 SW 45th Ave
We love swimming and this place has a really nice pool with slides and water jets. It's a BLAST!!!
reviewed on: April 29 2009
We really like this community center. It was only built about 10 years ago and still feels up to date. They host a variety of programs and camps for kids of all ages. We have done a few of the classes and have really enjoyed them.
One of the things they do is host an indoor park. In Portland this is a really nice thing to have with the weather being pretty wet. They open up the gym for kids, bring out loads of toys (including riding toys, tumbling matts, little trampolines, etc) and the kids have free range for 2 hours.
They also have a great pool. There is a lap pool and a childrens pool with slides and things. The water features are turned on during the weekend for the kids. Always a lot of fun (it is chlorinated if that makes a difference to your family).
For parents that want to work out, they do have a day care on site, where you can drop your kids off, work out, and pick them up again. When we checked them out and talked to the staff, we felt really comfortable with them (we haven't used them yet though). There is a minimal fee for that service.
All in all, a great place to go even if you aren't a member. It is also adjacent to Gabriel Park and across the street from a strip mall. In that mall is a restaurant called Laughing Planet, which is incredibly kid-friendly and good food. After a play session or a work out, it is a great place to refuel!
1005 W Burnside St.
They have a huge children's section that will have your kids spinning...they won't know where to start. Honestly, you could spend all day in Powells. They also have a cafe, in case you end up staying longer than you thought you would!
reviewed on: April 29 2009
Among other things, Portland is known for books. In fact, per capita, we have more bookstores in Portland than any other city in the nation. Powells is the mothership for anyone who loves books and has held it's own again all of the major bookstore congloms that have found a home in Portland (in fact Powells is known as the City of Books). This store has grown over the years, and does cover a full block just off the street car line in downtown Portland (they have 6 other locations in the Portland Metro area though, and some of those stores specialize in specific themes, but always have a variety of books).
This 'flagship' store does have an awe-inspiring number of books and you can really get lost walking about. The place makes you fall in love with books and I have always had to argue with myself about how many books I really need to buy every time I go in there. They have every book on every topic, and if you happen to be looking for one they don't have on their shelves, they will go look for it for you.
They have various events and special ones set up for kids. Just check their website for what is on the schedule (it is on the right hand side):
Like the previous reviewer said, the kid section is wonderful. There are books on every subject, by every author and kids go crazy over them. This is a great place to go if you just aren't sure which books your kids might be interested in at the moment...or if they are totally crazy over 1 subject matter (you won't be able to get them out of there!).
It is great for the 'big kids' too. Mom and dad will find things they can't go home without.
If you have 'outgrown' books, they are always looking to buy books as well (they say they buy over 3000 books a day).
This is definitely a highlight and something unique to the Portland area.
7784 SW Capitol Hwy
This is our favorite toy store in Portland. Our guy loves it mainly because of the train-table. He heads straight for it every time we go in.
reviewed on: May 06 2009
I have to be upfront...I am not much for big box stores. I love my local little stores, especially when they are fantastic as this place is. I would say this is one of the best toy stores in the Portland area.
Located in historic Multnomah Village, the store is chalk full of toys. Not just in their boxes, but out, so the kids can play with them. It is great to go and find out what your kid actually likes playing with before buying them.
If you don't have kids (or haven't had the opportunity to shop for a specific age group) all you have to do is ask the really helpful staff and they will point you in the right direction (all you have to say is boy or girl and the age).
If they don't have something you may be looking for, they can usually special order it for you (and they are usually quick about getting it for you as long as the manufactures are being helpful...they always keep you informed though).
There are lots of little shops in the area to make an afternoon of it and loads of cafes to fill up on your choice of drink. Grand Central Bakery is around the corner too, to pick up some fresh bread for dinner or a cookie for a snack!
We like to go here on rainy days to play too. They don't mind. Also, if you think you will shop there again, don't forget to pick up a punch card (after 12 purchases you get the average of what you have spent towards a purchase!).
They have also just been nominated by Nickelodeon's ParentsConnect.com as Portland's Best Toy Store for 2009!
7834 SW Capitol Highway
Portland is known for their bookstores and this neighborhood favorite is fantastic!
reviewed on: November 29 2009
Portland is known for their bookstores, and this neighborhood bookstore will not disappoint. It is on the smaller end, but if they can find the book, they will get it for you.
"A favorite place for us!"
The shop is laid out really nicely and the staff are really knowledgable.
They have a really lovely childrens section with rocking horses, small table with chairs, toys and all of the books for the kids to read and parents to buy if they choose.
They have lots of books for adults as well.
They also do free gift wrapping and have a frequent buyer program. We highly recommend them!
922 SW Yamhill St
This is a new favorite for us. We checked it out right before the holidays and the play time has netted us some toys that are sure to be a big hit for the holidays!
reviewed on: November 21 2009
It was a typical rainy day in autumn in Portland. We had guests in town from Europe and were trying to think of something to do, so we went downtown to check out Finnegan's Toys. I had been wanting to head in for a while and was certainly not disappointed.
"Fun Toy Store, especially on a rainy day!"
The store is well stocked and thought out. They have several things out to play with and a very good selection of different toys. They have a huge wall of stuffed animals, lots of Playmobile, Legos, Crayola and art supplies, some books, trucks, dolls, trains, etc. They also have a good variety of non-battery toys, wooden toys, a selection of 'green' toys (using recycled plastic and wood), and things that do require batteries.
It was fun to go in and have some play time and get out of the wet. The staff seemed nice, although we didn't have that much interaction with them other than in check out. The prices seemed comperable to other toy stores we frequent (Thinker Toys).
They also validate parking if you park in the Smart Park across the street with a $20 purchase (you get 1 hour free).
232 NE 28th Ave
Who doesn't like ice cream? In our opinions, you don't need nice weather for it either...especially when it is this good. They now have 2 loactions (one a little closer to our house...yeah!!!). Bon appetito!
reviewed on: April 28 2009
This is our favorite gelato in town! They hand make each of their gelatos and have loads of different flavors (which change daily...I love their Thai Iced Tea gelato). They also make donuts from scratch, which are really tasty too! On top of that, they do coffee and other drinks.
"Best gelato in Portland!"
The locations are decorate in really fun ways and always have a space for the kids to play (different toys and what not).
They actually have 2 locations (this one and another in Sellwood at 1540 SE Bybee).
I can't think of anything else that is more kid-friendly than ice cream! Check them out!