The Pacific Northwest is one of the most fabulous places to enjoy year-round activities with the family. Many native Oregonians remain here and just as many move here to experience everything the wonderful state of Oregon has to offer. From weekend day-trips to the coast or Mount Hood and longer excursions to Crater Lake or the Wallowa Mountains, there are countless family activities to encounter.
And while we want to explore every naturally magnificent nook and cranny, sometimes you’re just looking for a more relaxing weekend with a mix of local family activities and spare time to snuggle together on the couch.
And what are you going to do with those energetic kids when it starts raining this fall? Here are five ideas to keep them (and you) entertained for hours.
Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI)
If you want a place where kids are encouraged to be rambunctious and curious, where they can run around touching things with abandon, all the while engaging in activities that are fun and educational, then your next energy-burning indoor activity must be a trip to OMSI.
If you have kids that range in age from 0 to 6 years old, then consider becoming a member, and you can visit the Science Playground for free as often as your heart desires.
Or explore each section of the museum during your visit. In the infant area, you’ll find soft carpet and toys that encourage motor skill development. Those a little bit bigger will have fun crawling through the roots of a giant tree, exploring a hollow log, or venturing into a cave as they learn about animals. And all kids will enjoy the sandpit. Then, as they get bigger, explore the literacy and hands-on discovery areas.
Are your kids older than 6? Then head to the Kendall Planetarium, Life Lab, Paleontology Lab, Science on a Sphere, and various rotating exhibits that emerge throughout the year.
Do you remember climbing on nets, scooting through tubes, and navigating twists and turns in tunnels, all to find the best slide on a playground? Well, this might be a thing of the past for you, but your kids will have an absolute blast when you visit Playdate PDX.
This place offers three levels of fun for the kids, and parents are welcome visitors too. In fact, this truly is a favourite indoor family activity, as you can sip on your favourite local beer or glass of wine, or a hot coffee or tea, while your children run around having the time of their lives—a true win-win!
In addition to the playground, make sure to come when you can catch the Dragon Theatre Puppet Show, which features a diverse lineup, including Rapunzel Redeems Rumpelstiltskin, Arcade Universe, and Little Bugs Big World.
Looking for a deal? Kids are welcome for free after 5:00 p.m. every Monday. Or visit on the last Wednesday of every month and receive free entry for each kid when you donate two canned good items.
Pump It Up
If your kids are 12 and under, then a must-visit location to burn off their excess energy is Pump It Up in Beaverton. Known as a top destination for birthday and big group parties, it also hosts open jumps where kids are welcome to run around and be a little wild.
This is the place for them to release that pent-up energy and hop, skip, jump, flop, and plop their way around the inflatable arena.
Want to take it up a notch? Attend a special event like the Glow Open Jump. Your kids will be able to climb, bounce, and slide around with the disco and laser lights on and lights out. This all-ages event comes with a glow necklace with every admission.
Pump It Up also hosts Sensory Jump Night where it caters to kids with disabilities so that everyone can find time to have fun in a safe and controlled environment.
Roller Skating at Oaks Park
Do you remember going roller-skating after school or maybe on the weekends with your friends growing up? Remember when it was all the rage to wear rollerblades? Recall the slow dance song when you hoped to buddy up with your grade-school crush?
You can create new skating memories with your little (or maybe not-so-little-anymore) tykes. Get out on that roller rink and show your kids how it’s done—and that you have some talents they don’t even know about yet—during an open-skate session, Tuesday through Sunday, all year long.
Worried your kids are too young for the open skate? Try out the Preschool Play & Skate or Kids’ Morning Skate instead, and then head back on date night for Adult Rhythm Skate or Gay Skate.
Langer’s Entertainment Center
Want to try something totally new with your family this fall? Something with a little bit of everything for everyone? Then have we got the energy-burning activity for you at Langer’s! Yes, the farm has been around Sherwood for more than a century, but fall 2019 represents a new chapter in our family history as we’ve just opened our brand-new, family-friendly Langer’s Entertainment Center.
All are welcome here, where the youngest will enjoy the soft play area and the bigger kids will want to try out the high ropes courses, rock-climbing wall, and laser tag. And don’t forget the arcade—with over 50 games and fun for all! The older kids-at-heart can enjoy a cold one in the Tack Room or a delicious hot chocolate or speciality coffee from the Thunder Mountain Cabin. Then reconvene for an epic family face-off in bowling.
Once it’s time to start settling down for the day, head over to the restaurant and choose from diverse menu options where everyone will find something they crave. And then settle in for a little relaxing around the indoor campfire.
Visit Sherwood just off Pacific Highway West, a quick 30 minutes from Portland or Beaverton for the top family activities indoors and out.