Friday, September 26, 2008

Free things to do in Portland Oregon

You dont have to spend a pretty penny to have a fun filled day with the family. Take advantage of this nice wonderful weekend coming up. Pack a lunch and check out one of these local places.

Portland Green Walks
Learn about Portland's history through its parks and plants. Families meet up with PP&R staff and volunteers for guided green tours of parks, gardens, and natural areas throughout town.
Walks take place on Saturday mornings, 10:00-11:00am. Ages: All agesOutDoorFree!
For more info, call 503-823-3601.

Free Day at the Rhododendron Garden The Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden is free to visit every Tuesday and Wednesday! Kids will enjoy feeding the Garden's many ducks, geese and squirrels (whole corn kernels and grains only, please!), while the green thumbs in the family take in the Garden's lush scenery. This public park covers over nine acres and offers disabled access, a public restroom, a fountain, paved and unpaved paths, and occasional guided tours.
3/1/2007 - 12/30/2008Open daily, dawn to dusk.Ages: All agesOutDoorFree today!
Crystal Springs Rhododendron GardenSE 28th Ave. & Woodstock Blvd.Portland, 503-771-8386

Vintage Trolley Rides
Kids and adults alike love the old-style Vintage Trolley cars, and they're free! You don't need a place to go to ride the trolley. Just hop on and see where it takes you. Year-round you can ride on Saturdays and Sundays along the Portland Streetcar route between Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital in Northwest Portland and Portland State University following the regular Streetcar schedule. March through December you can also ride the Vintage Trolley on Sundays along the MAX line between Lloyd Center and SW 11th Avenue. You know the kids will love this one!

Saturday Market
Beginning the first weekend in March through Christmas Eve, every weekend in Portland will include the fun-filled Saturday Market. Arts & crafts, unique items, musicians, international food court & more for the entire family to enjoy. Ive been going to this market for years now. One reccomendation is a good stroller thats easy to push in many directions. It can get pretty crowded. Also bring some change for the kids to give to entertainers. There are almost always neat, funny, wild, and crazy people doing everything you can think of just for some change. Its a fun way for the kids to watch people being creative and also they just love throwing the change in the hats. I would also highly reccomend bringing your own lunch. When you have kids, the money can really add up. Plan to buy 1 item from the dozens of booths. There are tons of local artist and you can really get a good deal. This is a really fun market for kids.
Burnside Bridge SW 1st Ave.Portland, OR 97209Market Information (503)

Multnomah Falls
This is Oregons #1 tourist attration. And it is family friendly. Pack a lunch and dont forget to take your camera. Parking is the only problem I can think of. You do sometimes have to wait a few minutes to find a spot. I reccomend using a narrow stroller. There is a gift shop and eating area easy for you to regroup. The trail is pretty, narrow, and curvy. Once you get to the bridge, its so beautiful. Take lots of pictures. The next part of the leg is only for those who like adventure. We went here earlier this summer and yes we brought our kids. The older girls walked with no problem on their own. My twins were an issue. We had a side by side bike stroller (easy to push) but the path is so narrow that sometimes we had to stop and let people pass us. We only made it 80% of the way due to exaustion. Pushing the twins up those crazy pathways pushed us to the limit. Great exercise for the kids. Plus the kids could see our van from the trail. They were so excited because our van looked like a small dot because we were so high up. This is another reccomended attraction.
50000 Historic Columbia River HighwayBridal Veil, OR 503-695-2376

Grant Park & Beverly Cleary Sculpture Garden
Grant Park has sports fields and game courts, a playground, picnic tables, a wading pool and an outdoor swimming pool, restrooms, and walking paths. Grant Park also boasts the Beverly Cleary Sculpture Garden for Children. These statues immortalize Ramona Quimby, Henry Huggins and Henry's dog Ribsy, characters from Beverly Cleary's beloved children's books.
NE 33 & US Grant PlacePortland, Oregon 97212Grant Park 503-823-PLAY
Were planning on going to this one soon. My kids just love the Beverly Cleary's books.

Forest Park
With more than 5,000 acres to explore, Forest Park is the largest city park in the United States. There are 50 miles of trails and 30 miles of gated roadways for mountain biking. Visit Forest Park for a run, hike, bike ride, or horseback ride. Because the park is so large, there are many entrance points. Volenteers are there during the day pulling ivy off of tree's so you might even be able to watch them.
NW 29th Ave & Upshur St to Newberry Rd Hwy 26 many signs pointing where to go.

International Rose Test Garden
Portland's International Rose Test Garden is the oldest official, continuously operated public rose test garden in the United States. Portland is the only North American city that can issue its awards to roses of merit throughout the world." This place is very kid friendly. Has lots of flowers to look and smell plus lots of bugs to discover. And its also a very romantic spot too. Bring your camera to take pictures of the Portland Landscape. We love driving around the neighborhood around the test garden too. Beautiful house's are everywhere lining the small winding roads. I would pack a lunch, and bring a blanket to have lunch on.
400 SW KingstonPortland, OR(503) 823-3636 up the street from Oregon Zoo

Pioneer Courthouse Square
Located in the heart of downtown Portland, Pioneer Courthouse Square is affectionately known as the City's "living room." With more than 26,000 people passing by the Square each day, and thousands more visiting the Square directly, it is the single most visited site in Oregon's most visited city.The Square is one of Portland's leading outdoor venues, hosting over 300 events each year that range from large-scale concerts to cultural festivals. The Square is a true symbol of Portland with its bricks symbolizing the people that make Portland such an extraordinary city. From the sculpture of a man offering his umbrells, to the theater showcasing Portland's history, to the broze chessboards, and dont forget to find all those historic tiles. Kids will love the Echo Chamber. Just stand on the round marble stone in the center of the small amphitheater, face the steps and speak. You will be amazed at what you hear. Have fun with the kids looking at all the famous named bricks. Everyone from Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix, Dan Rather, Sherlock Holmes, George Washington, and even Mr. Bill. And dont forget to let the kids watch the water fall. The waterfall cascades down a series of large granite blocks into a reflecting pool below. The fountain serves as the major entry into the Visitor Information Center. You can easily get to this by taking the max. Saves you on gas and money. Another reccomended place. located in the heart of downtown Portland at 701 SW 6th Avenue bordered by SW Yamhill, SW Morrison and SW Broadway.

These are just a few things to do in Portland. I will be following this later with more free things to do. From hiking, to many other things. Check back soon.

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