Do you miss exploring Portland with the kids? We sure do!
We have found some fun socially distant adventures to help get you out of the house safely. And good news: the Portland area still has great options for art, quirky fun, animals, nature and more.
For some of these ideas, you can stay in your car, and for others, you may want to explore on foot. If you head out, please follow social distancing best practices. Stay at least 6 feet from others, wear a mask, and if you find a place is crowded, go back at another time.
Murals in PDX
When businesses on Southeast Foster Road began boarding up their windows, the once-bustling street looked scary. A group of local muralists, led by Travis Wheeler, the owner of the shop Idle Hands Collective on Foster, began painting the plywood into artwork and inspiring messages. How Portland is that?
In addition to new murals popping up on storefronts, there are also permanent murals, including these that might appeal to kids, and are fun for photo opps:
- The BotJoy murals by Gary Hirsch.
- The 82nd Ave Max train station mural by local artist, illustrator and stay-at-home dad Alex Chiu. This one, like many of his others, includes his daughter Mazzy — plus Olive and Dingo!
- Alberta Art District murals — there’s even a walking tour map of them.
A to Zoo and Itsy-Bitsy Insect Zoo
Recently artist Mike Bennet finished the A to Zoo wood art installation in front of his house, with cutouts of one animal for each letter of the alphabet, created in a colorful, cartoon style. The A to Zoo has moved to a new home at popular toy store Hammer + Jacks. You can view it in their front window 24/7.
Bennet is now creating five new insects a week for The Itsy Bitsy Insect Zoo, which will be displayed in front of Bennet’s house in the Alberta Arts District. We can’t tell you exactly where it is, but on his Instagram account, Bennet gave a good clue: If you can smell grilled cheese, you’re close. We’ve heard the street can get crowded, and at one point, there were spots on the sidewalk marked off to help with social distancing. If you plan a trip, watch the videos on Bennett’s Instagram account that show him creating the cutouts; they also include educational information on the animals and insects.
The Insect Zoo should run through mid-June. 11 am – 9 pm daily (cutouts are generally on display when there is no rain in the forecast.) Check Bennet’s Instagram for the latest about the installations. Free.
Plumper Pumpkin Patch Drive-Through Farm Tour
Head out of the city for the Plumper Pumpkin’s drive-through farm animal tour. You stay in your car the whole time, slowly passing by baby goats and lambs, plus cows, pigs and more — and get to munch on six pumpkin doughnuts. Pro tip: Plan to get there when they open to avoid the line (although the line does move quickly). The farm is not open every day, so check their Facebook page for future dates and to pre-purchase tickets. $10 per car through mid-June.
Frog Pond Safari
Frog Pond Farms is offering a drive-through safari at their large farm in Wilsonville. For $15 per car, you tour the farm in your car and see llamas, goats, sheep, pigs, mini donkeys and even a camel. They also give each car a bag of donuts. Check their Facebook page for dates and times. Pro tip: Get there early to avoid the line.
Although there have been some changes for safety during COVID-19, many farms are open for berry picking. Some farms are requiring customers to wear masks, and families cannot bring their own containers. (We went last weekend and found there was good space for social distancing.) Check out our list of local farms and plan a trip!
Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge
If you want to really get away from it all, try The Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge. Right now the refuge is only open to car traffic, and it’s a scenic and pretty drive-through experience. Your family might spot deer, ducks and rabbits. Pro tip: If you go, it is a 35-minute drive from Portland, and there are no restrooms available. Free.
Do you have an adventure to recommend? Email us at [email protected] and we’ll add it to the list!