Portland, Oregon, is full of gorgeous parks and gardens, a zoo and plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities, but don't stress when rainy days threaten to put a damper on your family's weekend or vacation plans. There are many indoor activities throughout the city to keep both kids and adults entertained and happy.
Head to the Portland Children's Museum (portlandcm.org) for enough activities to keep kids occupied for an entire rainy afternoon. Kids are encouraged to touch the exhibits and play in areas such as a workshop garage, baby's garden, dig pit and clay studio. At the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, better known as OMSI (omsi.edu), science is anything but boring. Hands-on exhibits let the whole family learn more about space by launching toy rockets or exploring wind power through making toy sailboats. The World Forestry Center Discovery Museum (worldforestry.org) allows children to virtually explore the landscapes of countries around the world and take a pretend white-water rapids ride.
PlayDate PDX (playdatepdx.com), located in Portland's Pearl Court complex, features 7,500 square feet of indoor play excitement for kids. Older children can climb in tunnels and slide through a giant castle, while little ones can head to a smaller area for toddlers and parents can enjoy a glass of wine or use free Wi-Fi. The Playground Gym (theplaygroundgym.com) offers something for the whole family, including a rock climbing wall, gym equipment, tree house, martial arts classes and fitness activities for kids, teens and adults.
Bring your family to Finnegan's Toys (finneganstoys.com) for an old-fashioned shopping experience. The independently-owned store carries toys such as stuffed animals, blocks, board games, puppets and dolls. Powell's City of Books (powells.com) features an expansive selection of children's books and frequently welcomes prominent authors. The store, which is the largest independent bookstore in the world, has more than 68,000 square feet of shopping space. Although much of the Portland Saturday Market (portlandsaturdaymarket.com) takes place outdoors, there are indoor and tented areas featuring local handicrafts, jewelry, toys, clothing, food, music and entertainment.
While showers may make visiting Oaks Amusement Park (oakspark.com) difficult, its historic roller skating rink is an indoor activity that the whole family can enjoy until the rain passes. Its classic Wurlitzer pipe organ plays music while skaters whirl past, and special kids' skating sessions and lessons are available. Indoor mini golf is available at Glowing Greens (glowinggreens.com), a glow-in-the-dark, 3-D, pirate-themed golfing establishment located on the ground floor of the Hilton Executive Tower, through a separate entrance.