Check out our readers’ choice award winners for sweet treats, adventure attractions, kid-friendly take out, playgrounds, hikes and more.
WINNER: Mt. Hood Adventure Park at Skibowl
Families have a wide, exciting range of fun choices at Mt. Hood Adventure Park at Skibowl. Find tamer thrills for younger kids, like the kiddie go-karts, pony rides or carousel. Your tweens and teens will flock to the adrenaline-producing attractions that include a bungee jump, zip lines and sprint karts at the Malibu Raceway. And just about everyone loves the Alpine Slide.
Museums & Family Memberships
WINNER: Oregon Museum of Science & Industry (OMSI)
It’s been a hard year for our beloved museums. But we’re so glad OMSI has weathered the pandemic and is back open in a limited capacity. Not only that, they’re bringing in exciting, new exhibits like Dinosaurs Revealed.
Portland Children’s Museum (The news that the Portland Children’s Museum permanently closed hit us so hard. Everyone on staff has incredible memories of visiting with their children.)
WINNER: Tryon Creek
With its canopy of red cedars, Douglas firs and Ponderosa pine trees that keep you dry in the winter and cool in the summer, Tyron Creek in Southwest Portland is a wonderful year-round hiking spot for families. (Fun fact: It’s the only state park within a city in Oregon.) It’s no wonder many schools bring kids by the busload to partake in its natural wonders on educational guided hikes. Pro tip: The .3-mile, barrier-free Trillium Trail is designed for people of all abilities (and great for parents pushing strollers).
WINNER: Westmoreland Park
Westmoreland Park’s nature play area is the reigning champ for favorite playground. And it’s nosurprise; with a giant rock pile to climb, logs to scamper across, water pump, and shaded sand area to dig in, kids always find new and inventive ways to keep themselves busy. And watching the noisy flock of geese that calls the park home provides even more entertainment.
Kid-friendly Bike Trail
WINNER: Springwater Corridor Trail
Stretching between Boring, Oregon, and the Southeast Waterfront, the paved Springwater Corridor Trail is designed to accommodate walkers, joggers, hikers, bicyclists, those in wheelchairs and people pushing strollers. (FYI: You might even spot folks on horseback east of I-205.) More reasons why Portlanders love the Springwater Corridor? It’s intertwined with Johnson Creek and connects people to nature areas like the Tideman Johnson Nature Park, Beggars-tick Wildlife Refuge, Leach Botanical Garden and Powell Butte Nature Park.
WINNER: Pips Original Doughnuts & Chai
If the tiny doughnuts weren’t reason enough to love Pip’s, then there’s the fact that the business is all about supporting the Portland community. Early in the pandemic, as closures rocked the restaurant scene, Pip’s turned the fryers off and only sold bottles of Community Chai — and donated 10% of the profits to fellow small businesses. Happily, the doughnuts are back on the menu these days. Pro tip: Follow @pipsoriginal on Instagram for the “secret menu”!
Kid-friendly Take Out
WINNER: Laughing Planet Cafe
Even without being able to play with those dining-room dinosaurs, Laughing Planet still ranks as a favorite with families. It doesn’t hurt that kid-approved smoothies, burritos and bowls add up to one of the healthiest kids’ menus in town. (Just check out all the veggie options in the kids’ trifecta!) Their locations in über-family-friendly neighborhoods make it so easy for parents to pick up a lunch or dinner that kids will eat with no complaints.
WINNER: Pizzicato Pizza
If there were ever a year for takeout pizza — this was it. And Pizzicato did a solid for exhausted parents who couldn’t bear the thought of cooking one … more … meal. With kid-approved classics and inventive, seasonal pies, there’s something on the menu to please everyone in the family.