How To Enjoy a Rainy Winter Vacation in Portland

Fun, Worthwhile Family Activities Await Travelers to Portland

Whether under an umbrella in the Portland Japanese Garden or finding interesting indoor activities at OMSI, guests to this NW city enjoy a winter vacation.

When planning a winter vacation, a trip to the Northwest should not be counted out because of wet, cold weather. Many indoor activity options await travelers to the Northwest. Sunny breaks in the cold, wet weather also allow for outdoor activities and visits to exciting attractions. Large NW cities like Portland offer guests ample opportunities for fun and learning.

Portland Indoor Activities

OMSI – Oregon Museum of Science and Industry

One of the most famous attractions for families in Portland is OMSI. Most school children in the area have visited OMSI on field trips and during summer vacation. Yet, OMSI is a great place for visitors of all ages. From hands-on science exhibits to watching the stars in the planetarium or exploring a submarine, OMSI showcases the best of science. OMSI has a Featured Exhibit every so often that sets the theme for the science center. Visitors also enjoy spectacular scenes in the OMNIMAX Dome theater or the Laser Light Shows.

The Kendall Planetarium is an excellent place for learning and amazement. With shows like “Extreme Planets” or “Cosmic Collisions,” visitors learn about astronomy while they are awed at the amazing sights in the planetarium.

OMSI is located at 1945 SE Water Ave. in Downtown Portland along the Willamette River. Admission is $11 for adults, $9 for youth and seniors and free for members. Visit the OMSI website for more information on exhibits and directions.

Portland Outdoor Activities for Sun Breaks or Umbrellas

Portland Japanese Garden

Visitors to Portland finding sun breaks or touting umbrellas will enjoy a stroll through the Portland Japanese Garden. The Portland Japanese Garden is a quiet place of beauty. This 5 ½ acre garden contains 5 distinct garden areas including:

  • Flat Garden
  • Strolling Pond Garden
  • Tea Garden
  • Natural Garden
  • Sand and Stone Garden
  • Color in the Garden

Visitors explore the distinct styles of the Japanese Garden through a visit to each area, amazed at the contrast between abstract and formal gardens. The garden hosts events each month, including festivals, workshops, art shows, and exhibits. Daily guided tours are available with no reservations, lasting about one hour.

Admission to the Garden is $8 for adults, $5.25 for youth while children under 6 are free. Group tours are available. The garden is open year-round, every day except holidays. The Portland Japanese Garden is located in SW Portland, just above the International Rose Test Gardens in Washington Park. The garden is accessible to all visitors, but the garden does lie on a hillside, with gravel pathways and uneven steps.

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