Take the stress out of planning spring break in Portland with our list of awesome activities — for all kinds of vacationers. Have a great trip!
Spring Break in Portland for Families
Museums & More
If a few rain clouds threaten to darken your visit, never fear! There are plenty of indoor activities to keep your youngsters entertained. Families can spend the entire day exploring the Oregon Museum of Science & Industry (OMSI) or the Portland Children’s Museum, and ample children’s theaters, indoor play areas and indoor activities ensure that you’ll never run out of warm, dry and family-friendly fun.
Tiptoe Through the Tulips
Head to the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm in Woodburn, located south of Portland, for their annual springtime Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival. This kid-centered fest features 40 acres (16 ha) of gorgeous blooms, plus plenty of children’s activities. Kiddos love the hay wagon rides, duck races, tire swings and cow train rides, along with plenty of food and drink offerings.
Whale Watching at the Oregon Coast
Oregon beaches may not fit certain spring break stereotypes (for example, you’re unlikely to stumble into a wild college party or game of beach volleyball). They are, however, perfect for peaceful whale watching. Every spring, as many as 20,000 gray whales pass through Oregon waters while migrating between Mexico and Alaska. Locals celebrate the springtime migration with Whale Watching Week, when trained volunteers are stationed at more than 20 locations along the Oregon Coast to help you spot and learn more about these majestic creatures.
Portland has numerous kid-friendly hiking spots with trails under 4 miles (6 km) close to the city and bursting with natural beauty.
At these family-friendly Portland attractions, kids can walk in the shoes of the heroes they idolize: police officers, firefighters, astronauts, airplane pilots and sailors.
In a city with more breweries than anywhere else in the world, parents don't have to choose between their children and enjoying a good pint of beer.
Spring Break in Portland for Couples
Portland Dining Month
There’s never a bad time to dine in Portland, but March is undoubtedly the best month to try new restaurants. Every year, more than 100 local restaurants celebrate Portland Dining Month by offering delicious three-course menus for a mere $33. (If your spring break is in April, you’ll still find great eats and deals — maybe you’re in the mood for tacos, ramen, sushi or comfort food?)
Spring is a beautiful time to visit Portland Japanese Garden, one of the most authentic such gardens outside of Japan. The popular attraction expanded in 2017, adding classrooms, a library, a tea café and several additional gardens. Spring is also a beautiful time to visit Lan Su Chinese Garden, a tranquil, walled Suzhou-style garden in the heart of Old Town. And don’t miss the lush Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden, where the flowers reach peak bloom in late April (coinciding with the garden’s annual Rhododendron & Daffodil Show & Sale).
Hit the Slopes
It may surprise you to learn that March and April offer excellent skiing and snowboarding conditions near Portland. (In fact, Mt. Hood Skibowl keeps lifts running through May and Timberline is open year-round.) A quick 90-minute drive will deliver you to Mount Hood for an exciting day of snow sports. Make it a full weekend with a stay at cozy Timberline Lodge.
Spring Break in Portland for Friends
For old-school fun, head to Oaks Amusement Park’s Roller Rink in Southeast Portland. The rink hosts frequent DJ and themed nights, and is the only roller skating rink in the country to still house a traditional Wurlitzer pipe organ.
Itching to explore the city? Portland’s Biketown program makes it easier than ever to rent a bicycle. With 1,000 eight-speed, bright orange bikes spread across 100 locations, you’re never far from Biketown station. Once you’ve saddled up, map your route on the city’s 350 miles (563 km) of designated bikeways and start pedaling!
Eye on the Ball
Cheer on your March Madness picks at one of Portland’s many welcoming sports bars. Favorites include Century, which boasts stadium seating and vegan-friendly eats, the Portland Trail Blazers-inspired Spirit of 77.
Speaking of bars, many of Portland’s 75+ breweries offer limited-edition spring beer releases. Elevate your tasting experience by grabbing some friends and pedaling together from pub to pub on a BrewCycle.
Spring Break in Portland for Solo Travelers
Join the Timbers Army
You’re sure to make fast friends while cheering on the celebrated Portland Thorns and Timbers, the city’s championship-winning major league soccer clubs. At Providence Park, join the famous (and friendly) Timbers Army section to learn all the chants from the dedicated fans.
Shop Like a Local
March marks the return of the Portland Saturday Market, America’s largest weekly outdoor arts and crafts market. After perusing the 250 booths of handcrafted goods, take MAX light rail to the Portland Farmers Market at Portland State University. This massive open-air market overflows with fresh flowers, seasonal veggies and artisan-made snacks.
There are plenty of ways to practice self-care in Portland, including treating yourself to a luxurious spa day. Indulge in a tranquil soak at Knot Springs, a body scrub at The Blooming Moon or a massage at KIVA.
EVENT POSTPONED. Please visit the event website for current information. Considered the “hub” of the annual Portland Rose Festival, CityFair fills Waterfront Park with carnival rides, concerts, food and fireworks for multiple weekends during the festival.
For more than 30 years, the Festival of Flowers at Pioneer Courthouse Square (in the heart of downtown Portland) has been one of city’s most renowned festivals. Every year, the Square works with a local artist or design firm to create a masterpiece of vibrant color utilizing more than 24,000 flowers and plant material, filling…
Open every Saturday and Sunday from March–December, Portland Saturday Market is the largest arts-and-crafts fair in the U.S.
EVENT POSTPONED. Please visit the event website for current information. Cultivation Classic, produced by Willamette Week, is the only competition for craft cannabis produced in Oregon with a regenerative approach, paired with an exceptional public education event curated especially for thought leaders, policymakers, producers, bud tenders and consumers.
Join Portland’s roller derby team, The Rose City Rollers, for their annual Hometown Throwdown, featuring two double-headers every day. Hometown Throwdown Games in 2020: Friday, May 29:7pm Axles of Annihilation (PDX) vs. The Wall Street Traitors (NYC);9:00pm Wheels of Justice (PDX) vs. Mile High Club (DEN)Saturday, May 30: 7pm Bruising Altitude (DEN) vs. The Wall…
EVENT POSTPONED. Please visit the event website for current information. For more than 40 years, Portland’s Starlight Parade has offered funky, eclectic fun for everyone. From traditional marching bands and flood-lit floats, to glow-in-the-dark umbrellas and unique hand-built entries, you’ll see the best of Portland’s diverse community groups (and surrounding Northwest region) together in one…
Join us in celebrating Portland’s favorite meal at the 3rd annual Portland Brunch Festival, benefiting The Jerome Kersey Foundation. This year’s festival will include local restaurants, cafes, popups, food trucks, local artists and designers. Enjoy multiple bars, a photo booth, live music, and games. Bars will be serving your favorite brunch cocktails and entertainment will…
EVENT POSTPONED. Please visit the event website for current information. Since the very beginning of the Rose Festival back in 1907, visiting ships and other fleet-related elements (like submarines) have been making their way to Portland’s waterfront. The City of Portland is known to be a favorite port of call for military (and non-military) visitors…
EVENT POSTPONED. Please visit the event website for current information. This annual rose show is the nation’s largest and long-running rose show, bringing more than 4,000 blooms to Lloyd Center in Northeast Portland. Explore a huge variety of roses, from the quarter-inch micro-minis to the 8 inch standard blooms.
The Portland Night Market showcases many unique businesses that call Portland home. Blending food, culture, music, drinks and retail together for an adventurous evening in the Central Eastside. Come meet some of Portland’s best makers and creators! The Portland Night Market is a bimonthly, free event and open to all ages.
EVENT POSTPONED. Please visit the event website for current information. The Rose Festival is proud to host the Portland Rose Festival Dragon Boat Races, an event that has been bringing an exciting Chinese tradition to Portland for more than two decades, beginning in 1989. Held on the Willamette River near the Hawthorne Bridge, the races…
EVENT POSTPONED. Please visit the event website for current information. Take a closer look at this year’s Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade floats at the Grand Floral Float Showcase on Southwest Naito Parkway, adjacent to CityFair. These unique floats are meticulously decorated with natural materials like seeds and coconut flakes in addition to live flowers.
Come out and get tattooed at the third annual Oregon Tattoo Expo at our all new downtown location. This year‘s event will take place at the Oregon Ballroom at the Riverfront Marriott in downtown Portland. Our new venue has a full service hotel and restaurant on site, valet parking and has an amazing river view.
Enjoy Nordic music, dancing, games, food, vendors, a beer garden, a kids’ area and more at Portland’s annual Scandinavian Midsummer Festival. Enjoy delicious Nordic cuisine, try traditional beverages and scrumptious sweets. Spend the day with us and make your own colorful flower crown and other crafts. Play “Viking Chess”, Nordic Jenga and other fun games….
Portland’s annual Water Lantern Festival is a beautiful experience where you’ll witness the magic of lanterns as they light up the water at Laurelhurst Park. This family-friendly event includes food trucks, pre-made floating lantern kits, markers, ascavenger hunt and more.
GeekCraft Expo is a curated craft market specializing in handmade, “geek”-themed crafts of all kinds; clothing, accessories, toys, home decoration, furniture, art . . . if it’s geeky and made by hand, it can be found at a GeekCraft Expo. Cosplay is highly encouraged and admission is free (you just need to pre-register).
Join Literary Arts’ annual celebration of the state’s most accomplished writers in the genres of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, young readers and graphic literature. Hosts in 2020 are Elena Passarello and Omar El Akkad.
For more than 50 years, the Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts has proudly presented unique art exhibits including more than 600 local, national, and international artists. Visitors can also experience live music on two stages, performances, kids activities, artist demos, and a variety of food. It’s free to the public (donations encouraged) and attracts…
EVENT POSTPONED. Please visit the event website for current information. Come to the Good in the Neighborhood Multicultural Music & Food Festival features live music, a parade, an information Village, marketplace, beer and wine garden and a youth venue, along with a kids’ space. The official parade is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. June…
Soul Queens & Blues Kings A benefit for HEALTH CARE FOR ALL- OREGON “Healing the Healthcare Blues” This very special showcase will celebrate icons of Soul and the Blues pioneers that helped shape the history of music. Norman “Boogie Cat” Sylvester brings together some of our local R&B favorites: Lenanne Miller, Renato Caranto, LaRhonda Steele,…
Every May, thousands of visitors flock to the city’s famous UFO Festival, featuring four days of parades, costume contests, expert speakers
EVENT CANCELED FOR 2020. Please visit the event website for current information. The St. Johns Bizarre is a uniquely crafted celebration that kicks off the summer street fair season in Portland with music, kids’ activities and more. Held annually on the second Saturday in May, the Bizarre brings music, crafts and food to the crowds…