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Fun Date Spots in Portland, Oregon

Updated on February 21, 2018
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JJ has been writing helpful and fun articles online and in print for over 18 years. She enjoys sharing tips and ideas.

Portland, OR is a Very Cool City to Go On a Date

Looking for a fun date idea in or near Portland, Oregon? Here are some great suggestions and resources for planning.

Fun Portland Places to Go On a Date

  • OMSI: OREGON MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND INDUSTRY

This huge 219,000 square feet hands-on museum includes a five-story Omnimax theater, a planetarium, rotating special exhibits, and fun activities in the chemistry & robotics labs.. This place is so cool. Omsi is one of the nation's top ten science museums (OMSI website, About OMSI).

OMSI can be an all day experience or just fun for a couple hours just to catch a show or movie.

There is a casual cafe inside overlooking the Willamette River. Super view and great prices on fun meal choices.

OMSI's hours vary by time of the year, but they are generally open daily, except for Mondays. Admission is $11.00 for adults (ages 62), $9,00 for Youth (3-13) and Seniors (63+) or buy a year-long pass and have unlimited visits to hundreds of science centers all over America. Extra events, such as planatarium shows and Omnimax movies are an additional charge.

  • ICE SKATING AT LLOYD CENTER MALL

Lloyd Center is a shopping mall with a twist. It has a full-sized ice-skating rink right in the middle of the building. Beyond the rink, this large shopping center also has a glass elevator, many varieties of food, and movie theaters. Catch the Max trains outside the mall and zip around downtown Portland in style.

Center hours are generally 10am-9pm

  • OREGON ZOO

The fun and beautiful Oregon Zoo is relaxing. In the zoo, use a free map to follow trails to visit bears, otters, giraffes and zebras, elephants, hippos, bats, and, of course, a variety of apes and monkeys.

A good and fairly frugally-priced place to eat is in the AfriCafe, overlooking a lovely aviary filled with lots of colorful birds and lush tropical vegetation. Be sure to visit the Lorikeet aviary as well, were nectar is sold in little feeding cups and guests can hand feed the colorful birds. Another highlight is the Zoo Train, which travels throughout the zoo.

April 15 - Sept. 15: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Grounds open till 7 p.m.

Sept. 16 - April 14: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Grounds open till 5 p.m.

Admission:

Adults (12-64) $9.75

Seniors (65 and over) $8.25

Children (3-11) $6.75

Infants (2 and under) FREE

Parking $1

  • OAKS AMUSEMENT PARK

Oaks Park is in its 100th consecutive year of operation, making it one of the oldest continuously operating amusement parks in America. Not exactly Disneyland, this smaller carnival-type amusement park is still packed with great fun. There are thrill rides, bumper cars, an old-time shooting gallery, and even carnival games. In addition, there is a real-wood-floor roller skating rink.

Rides are open mid-March through September, with varying hours. Admission prices are a free gate admission, a $14.00 charge for a deluxe ride bracelet, and $11.25 for limiited ride braclets. Go-carts are extra. Skating is included.

More About Having Fun in Portland

* All of the places listed above have websites with more information, for visitor use.

* Also consider visiting nearby Vancouver, Washington (and the rest of Clark County), just across the Columbia River from Portland.

© Janienne Jennrich, Feb 7, 2008 - Revised 2015

Oaks Amusement Park

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A Map of River City

Lan Su Chinese Garden

A Peaceful Spot in the City

The Lan Su Chinese Garden is a little slice of heaven tucked into the middle of the busy city. For a small entrance fee you and your date can enjoy touring the lovely gardens and buildings and sit and talk overlooking serene ponds with colorful koi. For a special treat, have an authentic meal and discover Chinese tea culture. There is a small gift shop outside the gates as well.

Lan Su's street address is:
239 NW Everett Street
Portland, OR 97209

It is located between NW 2nd and 3rd and NW Flanders and Glisan in Old Town/Chinatown.

Fees to visit:

  • Adults—$10
  • Seniors (age 62 & over)—$9
  • Students (age 6-18 & college students with I.D.)—$7
  • Children five and under—Free

A Great Place to Eat!

The main Elephants Deli in Portland
The main Elephants Deli in Portland

Elephant's Delicatessen: A Review of a Great Place to Meet and Eat

The main Elephant's Deli location in Portland is at 115 NW 22nd Avenue. Unique even on the outside, with a rounded front, colorful green and reddish paint, a patio with umbrella-covered tables, and a dish of water just for canine visitors. It is easy to see why this Portland eatery has become an out-of-the-way popular treasure with the locals.

Once inside, one must take a moment to take in all the alluring sites and tempting aromas that suddenly surround you. There are cute curtained tables for two, a huge rustic wooden table for ten or twelve, and a coffee and drink bar sporting cool stools. Part of this drink bar is portioned off with myriad breakfast buffet items, an anti-pasta bar or the treats of the day for dinner.

Further on are large deli cases. On one side are casseroles and hot dishes like vegetarian lasagna, old-fashioned Macaroni and Cheese, Chicken Enchiladas Verde, Squash & Black Bean Enchilada, and much more. In the other cases one finds cold freshly made salads and side dishes such as Chinese Chicken Pasta Salad, Elephants Chicken Caesar Salad, Orzo Greek Metala Salad, Nutted Wild Rice and Classic Cobb Salad.

There are also a bakery, a real fired pizza oven, a sandwich spot (where they make yummy paninis), a cheese section galore, a cold drink and take out item fridge, and a freezer full of take-home entrees and appetizers... all freshly made then frozen.

Elephant's has very cool gifts too. Candies in fancy packages, delicious baked goods, fine wines, homemade breads of many types, tableware in awesome colors and styles, and other neat presents one won't find just anywhere.

If you're in the area, drop in for a cup of coffee, snack, a great meal, or take-out beyond any other take-out. Also heck out the lovely Garden Party Room featuring a large fireplace. Perfectly beautiful & romantic in a funky Boho kind of way.

www.elephantsdeli.com/

115 NW 22nd Ave, Portland 97210

Tel: 503-299-6304

Store hours:

Mon-Sat, 7:00 am-7:30 pm

Sun, 9:30 am-6:30 pm

The two best ways to describe Elephants Delicatessen?

"Extraordinarily Delicious and Enormously Divine"

- Janienne Jennrich, Author

Please say hi!

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    • PDX tours profile image

      PDX tours 

      5 years ago

      I suspect ours is the only city to have zoobombers, and a public artwork celebrating them! Long live Portland Weird!

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      5 years ago from Canada

      My husband and I definitely want to do more traveling in the future so we may wind up in Portland Oregon one day.

    • thehandmadesecret profile image

      thehandmadesecret 

      6 years ago

      I live in Portland currently, and I agree. It really is a beautiful city.

    • profile image

      MrTibbs 

      6 years ago

      Don't forget to stop by the great cocktail bar Kask!

    • profile image

      Mmfh 

      8 years ago

      If you want to go east of town about 30 minutes checking out Multnomah Falls is always good for a little exercise and some great scenery. It's a great place to visit!

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