3 Reasons to Bring the Kids to Portland, Oregon

Here are three reasons Portland makes an ideal destination for planners to host a family-friendly convention or attendees to bring the fam with them.

3 Reasons to Bring the Kids to Portland, Oregon

Desiree Everett CMP, CGMP, vice president of convention sales at Travel Portland has a suggestion for attendees struggling with childcare: Bring the family with you. 

Portland, a hub of innovation and creativity in the Pacific Northwest, is a natural destination for events, particularly in the corporate and technology sectors. Its natural beauty and citywide amenities also make it popular for vacations. And during summer, when much of the nation is sweltering, Portland experiences pleasant temperatures. 

With two young children in tow, a reporter decided to take Everett up on her advice.

Washington Park

Few cities have a space that matches this sweeping 413-acre campus. Parents can park here (early to guarantee a spot) and not drive off until dinner. The Oregon Zoo and Portland Children’s Museum are steps from each other. The zoo’s concentration on conservation matches the events industry-wide focus on sustainability. It is also available for private events, including receptions and galas. 

Take the Washington Park Shuttle to the International Rose Test Garden and Portland Japanese Garden. The Portland Japanese Garden recently completed a $33.5 million renovation and is available for private events.

Downtown Attractions

“Something that surprises meeting planners and attendees coming to Portland is the accessibility and walkability between famous points of the city,” says James Jessie, senior vice president of convention sales at Travel Portland.

For instance, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is a 10-minute drive from Oregon Convention Center. OMSI is a perfect example of a venue that doubles as a spot to entertain children and a site for an off-site event. It includes a planetarium and a giant-screen theater and provides tours of the retired Navy submarine, the USS Blueback. Groups can spend the night in the submarine or go a less claustrophobic route by selecting one of the museum’s event packages that feature private reception space and meeting rooms. 

Natural Attractions

Rain in the Pacific Northwest can be overstated, but the temperate climate allows Mother Nature to shine. Corporate or faith-based groups looking for a retreat can ride 30 minutes outside the city to Multnomah Falls. Home of Oregon’s tallest waterfall, Multnomah Falls provides a worthwhile hike that two children under six were able to achieve with only minimal complaining. Adults with experience with waterfalls will appreciate Multnomah’s grandness—few falls match this site. In total, Portland spots 70 miles of trails.