Breaking the Summer Slump: What To Do Around Portland When You’ve Already Done EVERYTHING


It’s only July and we’ve already hit it…the Summer Slump. You parents of school-age kids might know what I mean. It’s the time when summer officially loses its glamor not just for me, the stay-at-home parent, but for the kids as well!

summer-slump-2We’ve signed up for the library reading program and gone once a week since summer started; done the $1 movies at Regal Cinemas each week, and gotten free lunches at local parks. We’ve visited nearly every local play place at least once, and the kids are tired of the sprinkler, kiddie pool and sandbox. They’ve played with every toy and read every book they own. We’ve been to Vacation Bible Schools, soccer and art camps and done swimming lessons. Our family has even taken a few trips to the beach, to the lake, gone camping and to some county fairs and local rodeos.

And here we are, still two months away from the changing of seasons and we are already summer’d out. The kids tell me each day how bored they are, and don’t want to do anything but lay around the house with the TV blaring and whining every five minutes that there is nothing to do.

Sound familiar?

So, what do we do to break the summer slump? Is there ANYTHING we haven’t done around Portland or the outlying areas yet? Seriously, even small-town events will be welcome at this point!

Here is my list of things we try to do each week or at least hit up once or twice during the summer. Maybe you can find a few new things on the list to end your summer slump, and if I’ve left anything off, please leave a comment with more suggestions so we can try out your ideas as well. (Especially more on the Portland east side, as I’m a west-side girl these days.)

Indoor (Air Conditioned!) play places/activities:

  1. John’s Incredible Pizza (Tigard)
  2. Sky High Sports (Tigard)
  3. The Wiggle Room (NE)
  4. Outdoors In (Hillsboro)
  5. My Masterpiece Art Studio (Beaverton)
  6. North Clackamas Aquatic Park (Clackamas)
  7. Mimosa Studios (NE)
  8. Evergreen Wings and Waves Waterpark (McMinnville)


  1. Children’s Museum (Portland)
  2. World Forestry Center (Portland)
  3. OMSI (Portland)
  4. Gilbert House (Salem)
  5. Evergreen Air and Space Museum (McMinville)
  6. Portland Art Museum
  7. Rice Museum of Rocks and Minerals (Hillsboro)
  8. Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation (Portland)

Outdoor Parks and Activities

  1. Oaks Amusement Park (Portland)
  2. Oregon Zoo (Portland)
  3. Oregon Pacific Railroad train rides (Portland)
  4. The Outpost FREE summer activities and lunch (Hillsboro)
  5. Bullwinkle’s (Willsonville)
  6. Enchanted Forest (Salem)
  7. Jackson Bottom Wetlands (Hillsboro)
  8. Hillsboro Hops minor league baseball
  9. Portland Timbers and Thorns soccer
  10. Local, weekly Farmer’s Markets
  11. Neighborhood parks offering movies or concerts on the lawn (check your local or nearby Parks & Recreation website)

Fairs, Festivals and Rodeos

  1. Washington County Fair (Hillsboro)
  2. Clark County Fair (Vancouver)
  3. Oregon State Fair (Salem)
  4. Downtown Portland Waterfront activities & Saturday Market
  5. Molalla Buckaroo
  6. St. Paul Rodeo
  7. Clackamas County Fair & Rodeo (Canby)
  8. Tualatin Crawfish Festival
  9. Highland Games (Gresham)
  10. The Big Float down the Willamette River (Portland)

Summer Classes/Camps

  1. Local parks and recreation groups offer affordable and fun sports, art and cultural camps
  2. Vacation Bible School is hosted at multiple churches all over the area
  3. Swimming lessons are great in the summer and offered at most public pools


  1. County library activities
  2. U-Pick berry, fruit and vegetable farms
  3. Local water fountain and splash pad play areas
  4. Sand park play areas

For additional information on a number of the activities noted above, you can also check out our lists of local free indoor activities and free outdoor activities for families.

Enjoy the rest of your summer!


  1. If you are celebrating a birthday party or some other occasion you might want to check on Amazing Fairytale parties. They have an event location on 2137 East Burnside, Portland.

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