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Laurelhurst Park
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Toddler Slides and Bridge at Laurelhurst ParkWhat’s to Love: If Sellwood park is the crown jewel of outer-southeast Portland, then Laurelhurst park is the crown jewel of inner-southeast Portland. Sellwood park is our family favorite, but Laurelhurst is probably the most beautiful park in Portland. There is plenty of green space for frisbee or frisbee golf, large trees for shading a gigantic picnic area, ducks in a serene pond, a paved walking path that rings the entire park, a community-events center, a small water feature, tennis courts, and a playground for the kids.

Main play structure at Laurelhurst ParkIf you haven’t been to Laurelhurst, you’re missing out! It’s located in a vibrant area of Portland with plenty of shops and restaurants nearby. Despite a constant barrage of visitors, the park service keeps Laurelhurst in tip-top shape.  Here is a short video clip of my son doing some bouldering on the west-stone-wall, running around in the wade pool, and riding the chair swing.

Caveats: There were some terrible incidents at this park with people planting poisoned food for dogs. It’s hard to say why it happened, but people have been upset with off-leash dogs in the park. For that reason, if your dog is off leash, please stay in the off-leash area at the specified times, and keep a VERY close-eye on your dog.

Swinging Chair at Laurelhurst ParkWebsite: Portland Parks and Recreation site for Laurelhurst Park

Distance from Portland: Within 3 to 4 miles of downtown Portland

Recommended Ages: All ages.

Parental Stress Factor: This is a pretty low stress park. The play structures can get a bit overcrowded at times, but I’ve never had a problem at this park.

Physical Difficulty: There are some nice paved walkways throughout the park for kids or folks with accessibility issues. There are no steep sections, and it’s mostly flat.

Family Fun Factor: Medium to High – it depends on your family. My son is a “play structure” fanatic, so park hunting is one of our favorite things to do together. If your kids are growing tired of jungle gyms, there are still many things to do in this park.

More playground equimpment at Laurelhurst ParkPet Friendly: Yes…there is a specific off-leash area and hours.

Weather Considerations: This is a decent park, even when it’s lightly raining. There are so many large trees here for cover. The kids’ play structure is a bit more exposed.

Insider Info: Perhaps you’re feeling up to a little b-ball? This is one of the better public courts for serious basketball players. If you don’t feel like playing, perhaps your kids will enjoy the show. This park also claims Wi-Fi accessibility. I’ve never tried it.

Monkey Bars at Laurelhurst ParkFamily Tips: A classic picnic-park with entertainment available throughout the summer. Check the Portland Parks and Recreation website for concerts and outdoor theater. Also, the kids’ play structures are on the south-side of the park by the community center. I wouldn’t rate the playground at the highest level – some of the equipment is getting old. The blue, swinging chair is one of the most interesting pieces of equipment. Little kids seem to really enjoy it!

Technorati Tags: Laurelhurst Park, southeast Portland parks, parks with community programs, duck pond, frisbee golf, Portland Parks and Recreation

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5 Comments


  1. Quality hiking equipment can be a lifesaver, when on difficult trails. I always have a checklist of the items I’ll never leave home without.

  2. Hi Layla,

    Thanks for the comment! “A Checklist” – wow! I’m impressed with your organizational skills. I continually make the mistake of thinking that I’ll remember everything, but that never seems to work for me. On top of that, I can’t seem to get a list together. 🙂 Perhaps, if you get a chance, you can share some of your essential items?? Or maybe, a guest post in getting prepared for an outing.

  3. Update on Laurelhurst…. the duck pond is contaminated with toxic algae. It is taped off. You can still visit and watch the ducks, but it's not all that charming anymore. Also, you cannot feed the ducks!

  4. Today I have found what I have been looking for and that is a very big day for me! Thank you for this blog and this post (Portland Family Adventures – Laurelhurst Park)and I hope you will publish my comment as this is a great site and worthy of congratulations. Lizzie Soul

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