Channel Your Inner Hulk at this Portland Rage Room

Looking to aggressively destress? Head to this Northeast rage room to let it all out.

Courtesy of Smash PDX

I first saw a rage room video in a news story about a chronically ill patient who took a moment to hit back at life, smashing glass and releasing tension with glee. The experience appeared on my social feed again and again: Adults smashing their breakup reminders, kids channeling excess energy and families flinging paint with abandon. I was fascinated that there are people who will seriously let you break stuff without consequences and clean up for you too! I had to try it for myself. 

Channeling my inner Hulk, I booked our family a weekend spot at Smash PDX, located in the Parkrose neighborhood. Smash PDX is billed as Portland’s only rage room. My second grader was initially thrilled, and upon reflection, a little hesitant. His entire life adults have told him not to break things, so he told us we were “a little sus.” We reassured him this was a special place where you could make videos like his favorite YouTubers and crossed our fingers.

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How to Book

Participants must book the PDX Smash Rage room in advance. Admission is based on the package you book, and the number of people participating. If you’re smashing solo, admission is $30 for 30 minutes. Group rates come out to $35 per person, but you get to rage for longer. (It’s free to watch.) Pro tips: As you probably guessed, this isn’t for littles. Children must be at least five years old and minors must be accompanied by an adult. Close-toed shoes are also required.

There are two smashing options, and we choose the “Into the Darkness” experience and the “Three of a Kind” package, which includes three buckets of breakables and complimentary safety gear — which must be worn at all times. You can purchase additional buckets of breakables or even bring your own. Bookings are typically 45 minutes long.

Get Ready to Rage

Courtesy of Kate Hagan Gallup

Smash PDX recommends you arrive 15 minutes early. There is a little paperwork, including the waivers you need to sign to take part. We found the staff friendly, helpful and attentive to our needs. Pro tip: Park across the street at the park and ride, you’ll find details in your email confirmation.

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The required safety gear includes coveralls, gloves, and helmets with a face shield. The coveralls were big for my son, but all the suits roll up easily to accommodate, plus you want a baggy fit. There is a bathroom onsite and a bench with space where you can change into your protective gear. Pro tip: For sound sensitive kids, there are helmets that include noise-canceling earmuffs too.

Give Me Something to Break!

Courtesy of Kate Hagan Gallup

Each group gets a private room, with a breaking orientation from staff (i.e. no fighting, no damaging the room itself). 

Our experience felt a little post-apocalyptic — the room was dark and gray with some colored lights across a dystopian smashed landscape. We saw a battered mannequin, a pile of smashed glass and ceramics, a dented wall, and a cinder block corner. The middle of the room hosts a platform to set your breakables on for more ergonomic smashing. There’s a selection of tire irons, baseball bats and a giant wrench. You can swing, kick, or toss things to the far side of the room. 

We were given three buckets of breakables, such as a ceramic lighthouse, holiday tree ornaments, wine glasses, plates and little teacups. There is a speaker in the room and you can connect your own tunes via Bluetooth, whether it’s Limp Bizkit or Baby Shark. 

I cranked up the volume and let Eminem lead as I crashed and smashed towers of items I built on the main platform, while my husband tested all the different tools and kicked any remaining pieces to smithereens. We kept asking each other, “Did you see my giant tower? Did you get that shot on slowmo? What about that unbreakable ornament?” We took turns smashing after our son tired of the process. The adults fully enjoyed the experience, leaving the room smiling. My kid also smiled, because he was leaving the room.

One of the unique parts of this experience was the extra you could add on. The group had specials on smashing tvs, extra buckets or breakables, and more. Pro tip: if you want to film yourself smashing, bring a friend. You don’t want your camera too close to the smash stations.

Kid Smash – Or Not!

Courtesy of Smash PDX

Before we went to Smash PDX, my son and I watched some YouTube videos and he loved the smash and crash of broken glass. While initially excited, he realized real life isn’t always a video. The smashing experience was a little intense for our neurodivergent 8-year-old. He made his scary Hulk face and gave it his best shot, but ultimately decided that “Broken glass is dangerous,” and it wasn’t really his thing.

That’s OK, because you don’t have to “break stuff” to have fun here. The staff gave us markers to use in our Rage room, where we could graffiti the walls. The facility also offers a “Blacklight Splatter Paint” option, too (pictured above). I was impressed by the staff’s organization; throughout the process, they were gentle, understanding and accommodating.

We would definitely go back, and have been talking ever since about bringing some friends who could use a stress break too. I think my kid will appreciate the experience more when he’s older, and a little braver, although that will be here before we know it, too.

Kate Hagan Gallup
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