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8 Portland Summer Activities with Kids

8 Portland Summer Activities with Kids

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After what feels like and endless season of my husband working graveyard, he is finally switching over to a different shift, it is a major improvement! For me this season has translated to equivalent of him working 7 days a week for the last year, with two brief time periods where he was able to switch over to the “land of the living.” First time was when I gave birth and second time was when we took a quick family vacation in February.

His schedule has officially switched over we are ecstatic!! I have all these ideas running through my head of fun activities we can do as a family this summer, in the Portland area, so here we go.

I’m going to be updating this blog post over time with new ideas, as I try things out myself.


Swimming- There are several outdoor pools that are open seasonally around the area, but also just hitting the pool to cool off is a great kids activity. My most recent discovery is that Lucia can swim independently with her lifejacket on, it's amazing!! Just dig a little into your community and you're sure to find one! Or an outdoor swimming area at a river or lakes.

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Oregon Zoo- This is an excellent family activity, plenty of animals to see, a sandbox for the kiddos to play in, a petting zoo with goats, summer concerts, food to buy, a train to ride and now serving beer and wine for your adulting pleasure.

We are members this year and I’m really excited to go as a family and plan some playdates with friends, granting them free admission.

Oh and for the older kiddos- the Oregon Zoo Teens program is amazing, I was a zoo teen in high school and it was a great resume builder, opportunity to make friends from other areas and learn some good old fashioned work ethic, before I was old enough to get a job.

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Paddle Boarding with a Picnic- Hagg Lake is our favorite place to go, buy a yearly pass for the state parks and you’ll be covered. It’s a popular place to go boating as well, but we are fans of our paddle boards (plus that’s cheaper than owning a boat). We have life jackets for our kiddos and they can ride with us, or we go with friends or family, we take turns watching the kiddos so we can go out without them. It’s a great workout too.


Berry Picking- Seasonal berries are one of the best things about growing up in Portland, I sure didn’t appreciate it when I was a kid, but now as an adult having lived in many other places, summer berry season in Oregon is a major draw.

Find a local berry farm where you can bring your own baskets to fill up, eat your hearts content of berries and pay for whatever you take home. We lather our kids up with sunscreen and hats, baby-wear the wee one and take off as early as we can, to avoid getting too hot or sunburned.

We bring the berries home and leave a good amount in the refrigerator to eat, freeze the excess for smoothies or smoothie bowls and enjoy the fruits of our labor.

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Summer Concerts- There are summer outdoor concerts planned ALL OVER the Portland metro area. Usually in the evenings, so if you have a toddler, be sure they take a nap that day, so you can keep them out a little later to enjoy the outing. Pack some snacks, bubbles, a blanket and meet up with friends to enjoy the evening.


Splash Pad- There are so many summer splash pads around to enjoy. Plan a playdate with a friend and join them at the splash pad, bring snacks, wear rash guards, a hat and waterproof sandals and play to your heart’s content. My favorite ones are located near coffee shops, for the mamas to indulge.

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Wine Tasting- Ardiri Winery- We love this vineyard, it not only has a gorgeous view but they have picnic tables, outdoor gas fire pits, yard games and are kid-friendly. And we are encouraged to bring our own snacks, which as a family of allergens, is PERFECT for a fun evening picnic, while the adults sip on wine, and the kiddos sip their kombucha.


Farmer’s Markets- Every weekend, plus many locations have weekday markets as well, it is a fun outing for the family and most markets offer some kids activities as part of the appeal. My routine has been getting up early, hitting the market before 9am, usually with a friend or family member, but also it's super fun just to run into friends at the market spontaneously. And our local market offers wagons for families to borrow, Lucia loved using it, and the free ballon she was given from a booth.

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