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.
Open every Saturday and Sunday from March–December, Portland Saturday Market is the largest arts-and-crafts fair in the U.S.
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).
At the Quilt, Craft & Sewing Festival, you will find a wide variety of sewing, quilting, needle-art and craft supply exhibits from many quality companies, along with make ‘n’ takes, free demos, daily door prize drawings and more.
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.
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 attending the St. Johns Parade. After the parade, the entire six block…
Every May, thousands of visitors flock to the city’s famous UFO Festival, featuring four days of parades, costume contests, expert speakers
NOTE: The 2020 event has been postponed until May 29, 2021. TEDxPortland, the largest TEDx event in the world, celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2020. For its first time, the event heads to the Moda Center in North Portland (home of the city’s iconic NBA team, the Portland Trail Blazers). Enjoy a day of notable…
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….