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What Cities Near Portland Are Best for Raising Kids?

by Carly Seifert

Portland, Oregon, has many kid-friendly activities and attractions, making the city's suburbs an excellent place to raise children. Whether you're looking for a nature-filled city with plenty of outdoor offerings for your little ones, or a festival-friendly city with a small-town feel, you will find it in one of Portland's suburbs.

Beaverton

Just 7 miles from Portland and its big-city amenities is the city of Beaverton. Beaverton has rolling hills, lush forests, rivers and wetlands along with vast green space, biking and hiking trails and parks. Your family will have no shortage of outdoor activities to choose from. The Beaverton Farmers Market is the largest, all-agricultural market in the state and includes live music each week and a playground, fountain and picnic tables on site.

Tigard

Southwest of Portland is the city of Tigard, which has modern amenities and a small-town feel. The city hosts a number of family-friendly events, including the annual Festival of Balloons and Downtown Tree Lighting. Tigard is home to a number of bike paths and city parks, including the 79-acre Cook Park along the banks of the Tualatin River.

Hillsboro

Nestled in the Tualatin Valley, the old-fashioned city of Hillsboro is 30 minutes from Portland. Hillsboro is Oregon's fifth largest city and prides itself on its diversity and affordable cost of living. The city has more than 1,500 acres of designated green space and a number of family-friendly community events, including concerts, art exhibits and sports competitions. Only an hour from Mount Hood and the Pacific Ocean, families in Hillsboro can enjoy skiing at Mount Hood or a day at one of Oregon's scenic beaches.

Gresham

Directly east of Portland is the city of Gresham, a once rural farming community now considered an urban area. This scenic city has many parks, libraries, and a network of public and private schools. Gresham has a vibrant arts scene and is home to the Arts Plaza, which hosts kid-friendly music events during the summer months. Gresham's park system provides more than 300 acres of park space and 840 acres of natural areas, including trails that are suitable for walking, biking, strollers and rollerblading.

About the Author

Carly Seifert has been a piano instructor since 2001. She has also covered adoption and introducing children to the arts for "Montana Parent Magazine." Seifert graduated from University of California, Irvine with a Bachelor of Arts in drama.

Photo Credits

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