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Rainy-Day Activities for Families in Portland, Oregon

Updated on March 8, 2013

A Portland Rainy Street

After the rain in Portland, Oregon
After the rain in Portland, Oregon | Source

Have Fun Despite the Rain

Portland, Oregon is a wonderful city to raise a family and despite the rain and dreary winter weather there are many fun activities for everyone to enjoy despite the usual winter month rainy-days. Whether you are looking for a kid focused movie theater for an after school activity or an educational environment for a whole Saturday or day off of class, the city of Portland has options available that fit the family budget. While known for its coffee shops and bike friendly neighborhoods, the city is also home to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, community centers with indoor swimming pools, and other family oriented destinations with activities that are perfect for short or full day trips.

Check out below a map of the top 5 places to spend a rainy afternoon in Portland and a list of many additional family friendly venues to enjoy. This only covers a limited amount of all the wonderful things available to the residents of the Rose City to do during a foul weather day.

Top 5 Places for a Wet Day in PDX

show route and directions
A markerOregon Museum of Science and Industry -
1945 SE Water Ave, Portland, OR 97214, USA
get directions

OMSI is a wonderful family focused place to enjoy. Lots of hands on activities and science to explore.

B markerOaks Park Amusement Park - Indoor Skate Rink -
7805 SE Oaks Park Way, Portland, OR 97202, USA
get directions

Traditional roller skating rink

C markerOregon Zoo -
4001 SW Canyon Rd, Portland, OR 97221, USA
get directions

Not the best on a real hard rainy day, but very enjoyable during light rainy days with less people and still lots of indoor and covered areas.

D markerOregon Historical Society - Home of the Oregon History Museum -
1200 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR 97201, USA
get directions

Check out the exhibits showcasing past historical events and lives of important Oregonians.

E markerPortland Arts Museum -
1219 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR 97205, USA
get directions

Various rotating art exhibits visit the Portland Art Museum throughout the year.

OMSI - Oregon Museum of Science and Industry

OMSI located in South East Portland just South of the Marquam bridge located along the waterfront has been a long standing family focused destination in the city of Portland for decades. It is the perfect place for kids that are excited about science, math, and the environment, with rotating exhibits and hands on science experiments and labs for children to enjoy. The facility also houses a retired submarine outside at the dock, and is home to an Omni Max theater with a large line up of feature films and educational movie experiences. OMSI is the perfect place for kids to explore and learn about the world around them.

You can go on a tour of a submarine or get hands on with science with the various exhibits that have experiments that can be done by visitors.

Fun Activities Out Of The Rain

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Oaks Park Skating RinkOutside OMSILion at the Oregon ZooPortland Art Museum
Oaks Park Skating Rink
Oaks Park Skating Rink | Source
Outside OMSI
Outside OMSI | Source
Lion at the Oregon Zoo
Lion at the Oregon Zoo | Source
Portland Art Museum
Portland Art Museum | Source

Oaks Park Skating Rink

Oaks Park Skating rink is the perfect place for young kids to learn how to roller skate whether using traditional skate or inline roller skates. Every Saturday morning from 10:30 to Noon is a special skate session designed for kids ages 10 and younger. Adults can enjoy for free with the paid admission of a child;. Check out he schedule for all the rest of the sessions that are available during the week.

The Oregon History Musem

The Oregon Historical Society hosts the Oregon History Museum and is full of exhibits showcasing the history of the state and providing in depth information about the events and people that helped to shape this wonderful state. Oregon has a rich history and this is the perfect place to teach your kids about the local environment and the history of where they live.

The Portland Art Museum

The Portland Art Museum located in downtown Portland is home to a variety of Art exhibits and also displays special exhibits from collections around the world that tour popular museums worldwide. Whether you are interested in American, Asian, European, Modern and Contemporary, Native American, Northwest, or other art styles the Portland Art Museum has something for you to experience. Children 17 and under are free while adults are $15 and seniors are $12 this museum should be on your list of places to visit on a rainy day in Oregon.

Go for a Swim

There are many swimming pools located in the city of Portland that are open to the public, however there are less available during the winter months due to the wet weather. However, the facilities that are covered provide excellent family recreation opportunities year round.

Matt Dishman Community Center and Pool in North East Portland, has a large pool perfect for lap swimming as well as a shallow area for younger children. With a slide for little kids and diving board for older children this is an excellent place to take a swim on a cold day.

A few other indoor pools that may be closer to your neighborhood include.

  1. East Portland Community Center Pool
  2. Mt. Scott Community Center Pool
  3. North Clackamas Aquatic Park
  4. Southwest Community Center Pool

OK to Stay Indoors on a Rainy Day

It is ok to stay inside for a house play day during a rainy storm. There are so many things that a child can do during a winter day to stay entertained, learn something new, and have a great day. Here is a list of 15 more awesome activities that can be done right at home. By being creative there is always an activity that can be fun no matter what the weather is outside.

Tour of Submarine at OMSI


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    • Edward J. Palumbo profile image

      Ed Palumbo 3 years ago from Tualatin, OR

      Yes, it does rain in Portland! I enjoyed your Hub. My children are grown now, but we've enjoyed several of the suggestions you've made. Life doesn't go on "hold" when it rains, and I appreciate your suggestions.