Ah, toddlers… so predictably unpredictable. We’ve all had the humbling experience of preparing an activity, often at no small expense, only to have your small child declare they are “all done” at the ten-minute mark. Enter: this five-day summer bucket list for toddlers which is sure to keep your kid engaged and your sanity intact, all for a total of $15.
The closest waterfall to Portland, Latourell Falls is also one of the most stunning. It is free to park in the spacious lot at the trailhead, and by completing the trail backwards (start down the stairs to the right of the trail sign), you’ll find the big views at less than half a mile from the trailhead. Once at the falls you can continue the loop for a 2-mile hike that takes you to the upper falls (child hiking pack recommended), or stop at the waterfall for a snack break before tackling the short uphill jaunt back to your car.
These immaculately kept gardens are the perfect place to let your toddler explore. Children under 5 are admitted for free, and adult tickets are $5. Let your kiddo lead the way along the maze of gravel paths, do laps around the tree walk, and watch the honeybees at work from one of the many fun benches and nooks. We spent hours (seriously, hours) enjoying this peaceful break from the hustle of the city.
Every Wednesday at 10:15 Farmer Kat hosts a free tour that highlights different animals on Topaz Farm. Pet a goat, feed the pigs, and hear about a cow-and-donkey-friendship that’s fit for a Disney movie. After the 30-minute talk you can explore the rest of the expansive farm, including tractors to sit on, misters to dance in, and a perfectly toddler-sized play area.
Toddlers will love this 45 minute music exploration with Zazzy Zoe, hosted at the event space inside beloved toy store and PDX Parent Reader Favorites Winner Hammer + Jacks. Kids can dance, sing, and try out a variety of percussion instruments all for $10. The Rec Room also offers many other toddler-friendly classes on a weekly basis, updated regularly through their events page.
Round out your week of fun with a trip to the library for Toddler Storytime. More than just a read-aloud, young kids will delight in a celebration of early literacy through singing, movement, and play. We’re partial to our neighborhood spot, the Hollywood Library, where toddler story time is hosted each Friday at 10:15, but there are a variety of locations, times, and days all listed on Multnomah County Library’s website. Details for each spot vary in terms of capacity and participation, but all are free.