Posts Tagged ‘World Forestry Center’

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.

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World Forestry Center

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What’s to Love: Around 2005, the museum received a 7 million dollar renovation, and it shows! Most of the exhibits are family-friendly. The building itself is beautiful. Adults will marvel at the woodwork, hand carvings, and Cascadian-style architecture. I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting too much (in terms of family fun) when we decided to give the Forestry Center an initial visit, but I was pleasantly surprised.

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Oregon Zoo

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What’s to Love: Of course, there is an underlying debate of whether or not zoos are a good or bad thing. I’ve been to some zoos where I felt the integrity of the entire business was suspect. However, the Oregon Zoo (located in Portland’s Washington Park) is not such a place. This is the best zoo I’ve ever visited. They may not have the most animals, or the largest square footage, but it’s clean, well managed, eco-conscious, friendly, and a great time for kids! Even the cafeteria has responsible food choices on the menu offering many local organic/natural products. The Zoo has a “Green Team” that strives to make the Zoo an “Earth Friendly” operation (read more here).

The exhibits are well thought out, and it’s easy to navigate throughout the premises. Our son loves seeing the giraffes, elephants, sea lions, hippos, zebras…all the animals; however, most of all he loves riding the train! The train takes a pleasant trip into Forest Park. During most of the year, the train makes a stop at the Rose Garden where you can get off and re-board later. The Zoo is also a good spot to check-out holiday lights during the Christmas season.

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Children’s Museum

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What’s to Love: Location, location, location! Portland’s Children’s Museum is right next to the Oregon Zoo, Forestry Center, and Hoyt Arboretum. It’s easy to make a whole day out of a trip up to this area of Portland. The $7 admission fee can add up, but they do offer a $55 two-person membership,which is excellent if the same parent takes the child to the museum. A family membership is only $80/year and $95/year gets you the family package plus 1 guest. The museum itself was one of my favorite places to take my son 12 months to 3 years. It’s a clean a well kept – there are so many great exhibits and things to do here, and you can easily occupy an entire morning or afternoon. My son has always been partial to the kiddie shopping area where he could push around a shopping cart, grab some fake fruit and vegetables, and proceed over the the checkout lane.

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