PDX Parent Reader Favorites: Family Fun

Check out our readers’ choice award winners for sweet treats, adventure attractions, kid-friendly take out, playgrounds, hikes and more.

Adventure Attraction

WINNER: Mt. Hood Adventure Park at Skibowl

Courtesy Mt. Hood Adventure Park at Skibowl

Families have a wide, exciting range of fun choices at Mt. Hood Adventure Park at Skibowl. Naturally, this place is a wintertime must-visit with tubing and skiing. But it’s just as fun when the powdery stuff has melted. 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 Zoo

Borneo pygmy elephant Chendra plays in the pool at Elephant Lands. © Oregon Zoo / photo by Michael Durham.

Any animal lover will tell you that the Oregon Zoo is a special place. Home to more than 2500 animals, birds, reptiles and more, the zoo also has a stellar family membership.



Family-Friendly Farm

Winner: Topaz Farm

Courtesy of Topaz Farm

It’s no surprise that Topaz Farm is the winner in this year’s first-ever “Family-Friendly Farm” category. Families love their kid-friendly live music events, free animal walks and tractor talks for the littles, harvest festivals, farm-to-plate dinners, regenerative farming practices, and incredible food and beverage options. If you’re looking for a place to relax, to slow down and enjoy old-fashioned farm fun, head to Sauvie Island.

TOP 5:

Family-Friendly Hike

WINNER: Tryon Creek

Photo © Tim LaBarge

Tryon Creek covers 658 acres of second-growth forests, with lots of opportunities to spot squirrels, woodpeckers, owlets, and other wildlife. They host regular guided nature hikes and lots of family-friendly events, including their annual Trillium Festival.



WINNER: Gabriel Park

Courtesy Portland Parks

Ending Westmoreland Park’s multi-year winning streak for the second year in a row is the inclusive playground at Gabriel Park in SW Portland. There’s even an in ground trampoline you can wheel or walk onto! The soft-surface ground is perfect for crawlers, too.


Kid-friendly Bike Trail

WINNER: Banks-Vernonia State Trail

Image courtesy Tina Veets

Kids love all the bridges on the Banks-Vernonia State Trail — there are 13 of them on this 21-mile paved trail! Don’t miss the 733-foot long and 80-foot high Buton Trestle. In between the bucolic towns of Banks and Vernonia await glimpses of wildlife, wide pastures and lush forests.


Sweet Treats

WINNER: Salt & Straw

Image courtesy Salt & Straw.

Breakfast cereal, edible flowers, Thanksgiving turkey — the makers at Salt & Straw ice cream find flavor inspiration in (oftentimes) the unlikeliest places. And our readers love them for it!



Kid-friendly Take Out

WINNER: Slappy Cakes

Courtesy of Slappy Cakes

Slappy Cakes has bested multi-year winner Laughing Planet with its playful take on breakfast all-day. Kids and adults love making pancakes right at their own table, and eating them fresh from the griddle. With seasonal batter, made-from-scratch ingredients, and toppings galore, it’s no wonder families are obsessed with this local business.



WINNER: Pizzicato

Pizzicato is not just a take-out hero with a great selection of kid-pleasing options, it’s also a community hero. Pizzicato has raised funds for local nonprofits such as Street Roots, Urban Gleaners and Black Resilience Fund.


Arcades/Bowling/Family Fun Center

WINNER: Enchanted Forest

Image courtesy Erica Vo

This family-owned business has been serving up imaginative theme-park fun since 1971!


Indoor Playspace

WINNER: Playdate PDX

Courtesy Playdate PDX

Playdate PDX, a NW Portland treasure, has helped many a parent get work done while the kids have a blast in the three story indoor structure.


Birthday Party Spot

WINNER: Oaks Amusement Park

Courtesy Oaks Park

There’s no better place to celebrate than Oaks Park, “where the fun never ends!” It has been operating since 1905, providing more than a century of family fun for Portlanders. Enjoy the amusement park rides in the summer or go for a skate with your birthday party invitees year-round.


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