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Salmon Street Springs
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Salmon Springs FountainWhat’s to Love: Salmon Street Springs is located in downtown Portland right next to the waterfront. The fountain has some nice features including a circle of spraying jets operating in several different patterns. There is plenty of room to run around, even if you don’t want to get completely soaked.

Salmon Springs FountainThe accessibility of the fountain is great when you’re riding bikes – just pull up, lock your bike and run around and get wet. The location (at Tom McCall Park) is definitely a plus, and there are usually plenty of things going on at the park in the summer. Of course, you’re right downtown, and there are plenty of adventures around the area. You could combine the trip to this fountain with Jamison Square in the Pearl District.  Here is a short video clip:

Caveats: Parking is never fun downtown. Of course, the fountain is really best during 2-3 months out of the year. The entire area is high-traffic (both people and cars), so you’ll need to keep a close eye on your kids. Public restrooms…shade? Good luck!

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Distance from Portland: Fountain is located in downtown Portland

Recommended Ages: There are several different settings and patterns for water-spray. Some settings are better for toddlers, but most work well for kids 4 – 10.

Parental Stress Factor: On a hot day, this fountain can be quite a scene in terms of people and traffic. The stress factor with parking can get high on a busy day. Therefore, to avoid a “high” level here, I would visit during a weekday in the early afternoon.

Physical Difficulty: Fully accessible fountain – not difficult.

Family Fun Factor: High – if your kids are older, they will have a great time here. If you combine the trip with some biking, shopping or a picnic, you’ll have a good day.

Pet Friendly: Yes. Dogs are welcome at the fountain and enjoy the spraying water.

Weather Considerations: Save it for a hot day! Otherwise, you’ll be more of a spectator.

Insider Info: Is this fountain worth trying to park downtown on a hot afternoon? I don’t think so; however, if you combine it with lunch, a picnic on the waterfront, a cruise on the Portland Spirit, etc., it’s worth it. Also, there are a limited number of benches. If you’re concerned about finding a seat while your kids play, bring your own folding chairs.

Family Tips: Bring your bikes and take a 3 mile ride on the east and west sides (bordered by the Hawthorne and Steel Bridges respectively) of the Willamette. On the east side, you’ll be riding the relatively new “Eastbank Esplanade” trail.

Technorati Tags: Salmon Street Fountain, Portland, Oregon, water, play, kids, Eastbank Esplanade, biking, Tom McCall Park, public fountains

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