The Ultimate Guide to Rainy-Day Fun in Portland

portland rainy day fun

Well, we knew it when we came to Portland. It rains here. Often. Have no fear – We Portlanders never let a little pesky rain stop us from having some family fun! We have a lot of options for rainy-day shenanigans, both inside and out. Did we miss something? Please let us know in the comments.

Outdoor Rainy-Day Fun

What: The Oregon Zoo. Something about the rain gets the animals out and about but makes it more likely that the humans stay home. So you can see way more animals with way fewer distractions. Plus a number of areas are covered, providing you protection in the unlikely event of a downpour.
Where: 4001 SW Canyon Rd.
Cost: Admission is free for kiddos 2 and under; $4.95-9.95 for ages 3-11; $7.95-12.95 for seniors and military; and $9.95-14.95 for the rest of us depending on the season.

What: Lan Su Chinese Garden. Of course, you can visit this garden in the sun too, but the gorgeous scenery and sheltered views make this a great rainy day stop.
Where: NW 3rd and Everett
Cost:$9.50 adults, $8.50 seniors, $7 students (6-18 and college students with ID), free for kiddos 5 and under

What: Portland Japanese Garden. Winter in the garden is just as stunning as summer. A perfect chance to get entranced by the rain falling on the koi pond.
Where: 611 SW Kingston Ave
Cost: $9.50 adults, $7.75 college students and seniors, $6.75 ages 6-17, free 5 and under

What: Sellwood Playground. If it’s just drizzling, Sellwood Playground is a great option for outdoor playground fun. Because it is largely shaded, it doesn’t seem to get too wet in there. Plus you’ll have the place largely to yourselves. Bring a towel, though, to wipe off the structures. And careful, those slides go FAST when wet! Many school playgrounds also have a covered area to run or bike around in.
Where: SE 7th and Miller
Cost: Free!

What: Ladybug Nature Walk. Portland Parks & Rec hosts a weekly walk for preschoolers at parks across the city from February through November. Kids don a ladybug backpack filled with tools and get to work exploring nature. These walks are rain or shine.
Where: Various locations across Portland.
Cost: $3 per preschooler

What: Puddle jumping. There are plenty of places where you can find some delicious muddy pools of water to jump in. Grab your rain boots and have at it! Check out other ideas to get outside on rainy days here too.
Where: All around you!
Cost: Free!

Indoor Rainy-Day Fun

We’ve compiled hundreds of things to do indoors if the weather is just too dreary to venture out.

Take your kiddo out for some artistic fun at these arts & crafts studios. You can unleash some creative energy, make a total mess, and not have to clean up after!

What better weather to snuggle up with a good book than these dreary gray days? Check out one of these popular storytimes at a location near you.

If your little one is brimming with energy with nowhere to unleash it, check out of Portland’s many indoor gyms and pools.

Want something a little more adventurous? How about a turn on one of these rock climbing walls?

Go retro with some rollerskating fun, or lace up for a spin around the skating rink at one of these local skating rinks.

Who doesn’t love the satisfying sound of a bowling ball hitting a rack of pins? Shine that bowling ball and those bowling shoes and get ready for a fun family outing at one of these bowling alleys.

Get that mind working at some of the dozens of cultured, creative, zany, and just plain weird museums in the Portland area.

And don’t forget to check out the daily happenings on our events calendar – maybe seeing a musician in a local coffee shop or checking out a mommy matinee is just what the doctor ordered. Check here to see what’s on tap today.

Ali Wilkinson
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Ali Wilkinson

Online Editor at PDX Parent
Ali Wilkinson is the Online Editor for PDX Parent, and is one of the founders of PDX Kids Calendar. She loves exploring Portland with her three small children, especially when the explorations lead outdoors, to music or to ice cream. You can read more from Ali at
Ali Wilkinson
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