Oregon_ZooWhen we found out that the military was going to station us in Portland, Oregon we were excited.  I didn’t know what to expect, but I knew it was a large area compared to where we were currently stationed.  Although the weather is often unfavorable, this is a must vacation for families.  I recommend going sometime between June and October.

Here are my top things for you and your family to do:

Oregon Zoo – This zoo is huge and will take up the whole day if you like. It is a beautiful zoo and plenty of places for a picnic so pack a lunch.  Keep in mind that you are going to do a lot of walking.  www.oregonzoo.org

Latueral_FallsOMSI – This science museum has an awesome area for younger kids as well as lots of hands on displays for older kids. We really enjoy the little kid’s areas and the science experiment areas! The ball room is also lots of fun. You can take a picnic here as well.  If it is raining one of the days you are there this is the place to go!  www.omsi.edu

Multnomah Falls – Plan at least a half day on Historical Columbia Highway.   Get on the historic highway in Troutdale, OR and then take that up to Crown Point.  After enjoying the phenomenal lookout continue on the road hitting one waterfall after other. I believe they start with Latourell Falls which is extremely easy to get to, just a short walk. The next it Bridal Veil which is a short hike but is steep. There are about five water falls that are very easy to get to if you just keeping going down the road. The last one is Horsetail falls.  http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/columbia/recreation/waterfalls.shtml

Rose Garden – Portland has a massive international rose garden.  It has open spaces for the kids to play and occasional concerts.  This garden is free.

Jamison_ParkBlue Lake Park – This easily became one of my favorite places. You have to pay around $4 a car to get in. There is a beach area with a roped off area for the kids to swim in. There is a large splash pad biking trails and more. https://www.travelingmom.com/?s=oregon

Jamison Square Park – In the middle of the Pearl district is a great spot when it is warm. There is a water area where kids can play for free. The water builds up slowly through a waterfall system and then drains before it gets too deep. Take a lawn chair or blanket.  There is plenty of shade and the coffee shop across the street Sip and Kranz has a little playroom for kids!

Meagan is our Military Traveling Mom. You can also find her blogging at Mommy Travels. She has a passion for family travel, including maximizing military travel options. For more of Meagan’s adventures find her on facebook Mommy Travels, or follow her on twitter @MommyTravels