Meg Kimmelshue is mom to twin daughters, and shares her wit, and experiences on her popular blog The Boho Mama. We checked in with Meg to find out her opinions on the best family things to do in her home city of Portland, Oregon, and she offered up some brilliant suggestions:

What’s your favorite family friendly attraction in Portland?

“When the weather’s nice, you can’t beat the Oregon Zoo! The campus is beautiful and they feature summertime concerts on the lawn. Just across the way is the Portland Children’s Museum and the World Forestry Center, with hands-on exhibits that keep kids engaged all day. Oh, and OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry), they have hundreds of really cool science exhibits for kids of all ages. We also have parks and libraries and waterfront walks galore, plus the farm stands on Sauvie Island and the hiking trails in Forest Park.”

Where is the best playground? 

“If you’re near the downtown area, the playground in Washington Park is a great destination. But it can get crowded on sunny days, so next in line would be the playground at Chapman School near NW 23rd or the smaller structure at the top of the South Park Blocks by Portland State University. Both aren’t overcrowded and have safe, updated equipment. Across the river, the structures at Laurelhurst Park or Piccolo Park are fun, too! 

And, because we live in the rainy Pacific Northwest, we have a fair share of newer indoor playparks. The Playground Gym or Kidopolis are good options for those days when your kids need to let off some steam but the weather isn’t cooperating.”

Are there any great kid-friendly restaurants that you love in your city?

Hopworks Urban Brewery on is a great combination of world-class brewery and family-friendly space. If you want to engage older kids, Slappy Cakes is a make-your-own pancake and breakfast restaurant with a griddle on every table. Cha! Cha! Cha! on North Williams is bright and airy, and there’s also the Grilled Cheese Grill, which serves all manner of gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches out of a big yellow school bus at their northeast location or in a double decker bus at their southeast location. And all kids will love the Waffle Window for a sweet or savory treat! We also love taking the kids to the PSU Farmer’s Market on Saturdays for some live music, quality coffee (for the grownups), and Pine State Biscuits.”

What is your favorite thing to do in Portland with your kids?

“Our favorite thing to do with our kids is to pack a picnic and hit the parks. Portland has so many wonderful outdoor spaces, from the big ones like Mt. Tabor, Laurelhurst, Cathedral Park, Washington Park and Forest Park, to smaller gems like the new Fields Neighborhood Park, the waterfall at Jamison Park in the Pearl District, or Wilshire Park in the Fremont neighborhood. The Waterfront has a long, paved walking path that spans the length of downtown and runs through the weekend Saturday Market, and Oaks Park has a roller skating rink, go carts and mini golf. We usually hit up one of the many excellent coffee shops on the way to or from our outdoor adventures.”

Where is the best toy-store/ kids book store? 

Powell’s Books has a fabulous kid section, and it’s one of the largest independent book stores in the world. They also sell used books for the budget-conscious, and have a small but creative section of toys and gifts. Finnegan’s Toys and Gifts is another memorable downtown Portland institution. Green Bean Books and Grasshopper in the Alberta Arts district are both wonderful, Spielwerk Toys on North Williams and Kids At Heart on Hawthorne are also unique!”


You can also follow Meg on FacebookTwitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. (You really should, she is pretty awesome.)