Calling All Oregonian Parents
May 12, 2014 11:46 AM   Subscribe

What to do in the Portland area for one day with a 1st grader?

I am going to be in Hillsboro, Oregon for a couple weeks in June for work. My daughter will be there with her mom and stepdad for a few days and I will be able to have my daughter on a Friday night through the following evening. (ie Friday night around 6pm til around 6 or 7 or 8pm the next day)

I am trying to decide what we should do. My daughter is already going to the ocean with her mom and stepdad the day before I'll get her, and they are also already going to the Zoo and maybe the Omni while they are out I don't think I want to double up like that.

But what to do? Ideas I've heard so far are Multnomah falls, Mount Hood, Seaside.

Any other fabulous ideas of what we can do for one day? I'd really rather not spend the half the day in the car, so the closer the better.

Thank you!
posted by ian1977 to Travel & Transportation around Portland, OR (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Go for a bike ride on the Springwater Corridor trail!
posted by aniola at 12:15 PM on May 12, 2014

Or any of the other beautiful bike trails in the area, or explore forest hill park.
posted by aniola at 12:16 PM on May 12, 2014

If you choose Portland proper here are three ideas:

Portland parks are lovely in the summer. This one has Ramona Quimby statues, which my young daughters find very charming.

There's OMSI if it's raining:

And the Saturday market is nice if she or you are the types who enjoys crowds/spectacle/food on a stick.
posted by Lardmitten at 12:17 PM on May 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

Multnomah Falls is awesome, and on your way there you could also stop by the Bonneville Fish Hatchery (admission is free IIRC).

Mt. Hood is far away from Hillsboro (and I know my 6-year-old is not yet at the age of finding it super fun). Seaside is also kind of a long drive from there, and is totally NOT my favorite place ever on the Oregon Coast.

If she doesn't get taken to OMSI prior to seeing you, you should definitely do that - it would be a great way to spend a Saturday. That, and a maybe trip to the children's section of Powell's Books followed by a walk/nosh around the food trucks areas downtown.
posted by hush at 12:18 PM on May 12, 2014

If she's already going to the ocean, I'd probably skip Seaside. Multnomah Falls, while touristy, is pretty damn spectacular, and only about a 30 minute drive from Portland (and the drive is gorgeous).

Mt Hood is beautiful, but I find the drive to be a bit much usually for a day trip, though I've done it. It's really about 2 hours to get out there when you're all said and done. Beautiful lakes and trails though.

There's always the Children's Museum, which is perfect for a rainy day.
posted by Lutoslawski at 12:18 PM on May 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

What part of June? The Rose Festival has the carnival & parades & other activities for most of June.
posted by haplesschild at 12:20 PM on May 12, 2014

Thanks for the suggestions so far. :)

FYI, I said Omni but I meant OMSI.
posted by ian1977 at 12:25 PM on May 12, 2014

Oaks Park?

A parent in the know turned me on to PDX Kids Calendar. You might find some ideas on there.
posted by medeine at 12:45 PM on May 12, 2014

Oaks Park is fun and easy, lots of rides for smaller kids. My daughter liked going to the Chinese Garden downtown because of all the little rooms to explore and having tea in the tea house. There are also some fun parks with fountains near the Chinese Garden that are fun to play in, as well as lots of food options.
posted by perhapses at 2:37 PM on May 12, 2014

If you're staying in Hillsboro, here are a few things to do without leaving Hillsboro:

Head to the corner of SE 9th Ave and Maple St., where you'll have 3 fun things in one place: the Shute Park Aquatic Center (3 pools and a waterslide!), the Shute Park Library, and a large playground.

The Main Library in Hillsboro has a small art gallery and a donut shop inside, and a park with paved trails and ponds behind it, which can be popular with parents and kids when the weather is nice.

In Downtown Hillsboro, there's a decent farmer's market on Saturday mornings, and the Civic Center (150 E Main) has a fountain which is nice to play in if it's warm. There's also a decent playground nearby at 2nd and Jackson (Bagley Park), and plenty of kid-friendly places to eat.

If the weather is wet:

There's a bowling alley at 3rd and Washington.

There's a pizza parlor/indoor playground pretty close to the Main Library, off of Jacobson.

Disclosure: I'm a librarian at the Hillsboro Public Library. I'd be happy to find events happening on particular dates in the Hillsboro area if you let me know exactly when you'll be here.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 2:56 PM on May 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

Hillsboro has two things my kids that age like: Out of This World Pizza and Wunderland (technically in Beaverton). They aren't day-long places, but would be good for killing a few hours.
posted by tacodave at 3:17 PM on May 12, 2014

The Beverly Cleary statues in grant park (near the REAL Klickitat st).
posted by brujita at 3:21 PM on May 12, 2014

We rented bikes downtown (they have trailer bikes if your first grader doesn't bike yet) and rode up one side of the river, crossed a railroad trestle, biked down the other side of the river, and back across a bridge. We went far enough south (but really not far at all) that we even saw deer. It was very fun.
posted by Dansaman at 3:28 PM on May 12, 2014

Oh! I forgot Pix on the Plaza! If you have her Friday night, and the weather is nice, go to a free outdoor movie! June 13 is Frozen, June 20 is Monsters University, June 27 is Despicable Me 2.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 3:40 PM on May 12, 2014

You could also tour the Bonneville Dam if you go out to Multnomah Falls and the Fish Hatchery. There are also a bunch of outlet stores in Troutdale (which is on the way) if that's your thing.
posted by elmay at 5:33 AM on May 13, 2014

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