Rose Garden Children’s Park
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Play structure at Rose Garden Children’s ParkWhat’s to Love: This is arguably the best outdoor play structure in Portland. Although a bit dated in some spots, this incredible maze of ramps, slides, swings, seated rockers, etc…will keep you and your kids endlessly entertained. We’ve been taking my son to this spot for about 4 years now, and he still loves it when we’re there, and hates it when we leave.

Run the planks at Rose Garden Children’s ParkProbably the biggest boon to this hotspot is its location within the beautiful Washington Park complex. There is so much to do both inside and near Washington Park (e.g., Children’s Museum, World Forestry Center, hiking, biking, Hoyt Arboretum, Oregon Zoo, etc.). It’s definitely one of our favorite places to play, and can keep the whole family entertained all day long. The Rose Garden Children’s Park is simply a very small piece of the Washington Park puzzle.

In addition the entire area around the play structure is padded to help break falls, there is a nice sandbox, picnic tables and plenty of seating. There is even a decent restroom next to the structure with a covered picnic area.


Bathrooms and covered picnic areaCaveats: Although the design of the play structure was well conceived for safety, there are some spots where toddlers could fall off if unattended. I’ve seen parents “make the save” around the fireman’s pole many times. If your child is just starting to walk, I recommend staying very close to them at all times. Big kids (and parents!) often play tag – running all over the structure, which can be hazardous to a young walker. Parking can definitely be an issue on a busy weekend.

Entrance gate to the Rose Garden Children’s ParkWebsite: Washington Park

Distance from Portland: Within 1-2 miles of downtown Portland

Recommended Ages: The Rose Garden Children’s Park is good for kids of all ages, even older kids will have fun running around here.

Parental Stress Factor: If it’s busy, this can be a pretty stressful place. Many parents don’t watch their kids, and they run all over the structure. If you have a very young child, you will have to help them navigate around the structure. There are some drop-offs and dangerous areas for very small toddlers.

Physical Difficulty: The play structure area is fully accessible, and your kids will definitely get a workout playing here.

Family Fun Factor: High! This is a play structure and area suitable for the whole family. You will have a blast hanging out at the Children’s Park.

Pet Friendly: Dogs are welcome on leashes. This is not a place for a dog to be running around without a leash.

Sandpit at Rose Garden Children’s ParkWeather Considerations: If you come on a rainy day (bring a towel and/or rain gear), you’ll probably have the place to yourself! If it’s a nice, sunny day, it will be crowded and hard to park.



Clocktower and curly slide at Rose Garden Children’s ParkInsider Info: When you’re at the Oregon Zoo, take the train ride down to the Rose Garden stop. Hop off the train and walk down to the Rose Garden Children’s Park. You can hang out at the playground until you’re ready to move on. Go back to the train station and ride the train back up to the Zoo. There are many great hikes in this area, and we often combine a trip to the Children’s Park with a loop hike in the Hoyt Arboretum.

The Monkey Bars and Rings at Rose Garden Children’s ParkFamily Tips: There are many fine places in Washington Park for an afternoon picnic. Bring a frisbee, soccer ball, or any outdoor sport to this area. To save money and time, bike into town and take the Max train! It’s a lot of fun for kids.

We like to stop by Elephant’s Deli for lunch. It’s expensive and crowded with very little seating, but the food is often worth the hassle. If you’re lucky, you can get a table near the rear entrance. Ask for this seating, because it’s not obvious.

Technorati Tags: Portland Rose Garden, Oregon Zoo, World Forestry Center, Portland Children’s Museum, Outdoor Play Structure, Washington Park, Forest Park

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