Portland is a city that is very health conscious and strives to provide family-friendly outdoor recreation areas that are safe and convenient for its citizens. There are many parks around the city that offer natural settings and opportunities to enjoy the Portland landscape. Here are three parks that are worth getting out and enjoying with the family.
Situated in the southwest hills above downtown Portland, Washington Park is a 400 acre preserve of gardens, trees and activities for the whole family. Washington Park is the home of the Portland Children’s Museum, the Oregon Zoo, Portland Japanese Garden, World Forestry Center Discovery Museum, the International Rose Test Garden and the Hoyt Arboretum.
Washington Park also features 15 miles of hiking trails along with outdoor concerts, tennis courts, archery ranges and much more. There are a number of specialty stores throughout the park as well as the Vietnam Veterans of Oregon Memorial and the Oregon Holocaust Memorial.
The property for Washington Park was purchased by the city in 1871 and was first called City Park. In 1909, at the urging of the Olmstead Bros. who were responsible for the design of many of the cities parks, the name was changed to Washington Park and public transit made the park more accessible for the general public. http://www.washingtonparkpdx.org/index.htm
Located in the center of Portland, Laurelhurst Park is a 31 acre park with many amenities for a family to enjoy including paved and unpaved hiking trails, basketball, tennis and volleyball courts as well as picnic tables, playgrounds and more.
The park is east of the Willamette River, on the corner of SE Oak St and SE Cesar E. Chavez Blvd and is open each day from 5 am-10:30 p.m. The park has many handicap accessible areas including play and picnic areas along with handicap restrooms.
Laurelhurst Park surrounds a pond that is patrolled by swans, ducks and turtles, as well as being inhabited by many catchfish, black crappie and carp. The trails are lined with native plants and flowers, providing a great opportunity for educational outings with your children. http://www.portlandonline.com/parks/finder/index.cfm?PropertyID=224&action=ViewPark
Oaks Amusement Park
Set on the east bank of the Willamette River, north of the Sellwood Bridge on SE Tacoma St, the Oaks Amusement Park is a family-friendly environment, filled with attractions and events for everyone. The park includes carnival rides, games, a skating rink, miniature golf, a pavilion, picnic area and more.
Oaks Amusement Park hosts many special events including an Oktoberfest, Concerts, Kids Morning Clubs, Birthday Parties and special discount days. You are sure to find something for everyone here at Oaks Amusement Park. http://www.oakspark.com/