Apr 17, 2024 - Guides

Where to be a kid again in Portland

Two women bouncing on a trampoline doing the split in the air in a black lit room

Hopscotch guests jump on the Quantum Trampoline for an interactive cosmic experience. Photo: Hopscotch Portland/Roger Ho

Here are six places a grownup can play like a kid without getting weird looks.

Next Level Pinball Museum

This renowned museum in Hillsboro is heaven for video gamers and "Tommy" types, with 615 of its 650 games on free play.

  • It has big versions of faves like Ms. Pac-Man and Centipede, a designated "man cave" has creaky console games going back to The Battle of Midway, and the decor is licensed character lunch boxes and movie merch.
  • It'll even sell you a pinball machine if you feel the urge.
  • Cost: $22, age 6 and up.

Hopscotch Portland

You'll dig this series of trippy, walk-through art installations in the tradition of Meow Wolf in Las Vegas and Dopamine Land in Washington, D.C.

  • Hopscotch has a bar and food by "Top Chef: Portland"' Sara Hauman, and 14 rooms, including one that feels like an ice cave made of plastic bags, another with illuminated pool noodles, and one that is a lit-up ball pit.
  • Cost: $24, adults. $15, ages 4-15.

OMSI After Dark

On the last Wednesday of the month, the adults roam free with no rug rats underfoot.

  • The next one is the plant-themed Garden Party, 6-10pm, April 24, when the science museum wants you to "get your cottagecore on."
  • It'll include science demos, performances, DJs and artisanal food and bevs. Caesar the No Drama Llama will be there for the anxious.
  • Cost: $25, age 21+ only.

Freakybuttrue Peculiarium

This would do well in a seaside town but it also suits the north edge of Slabtown.

  • The Peculiarium is like an off-brand Ripley's, a cute warren of movie props and posters about aliens, freaks and other alternative beliefs.
  • Still doubtful? Check out their hilarious gift store.
  • Cost: $10.

Wings and Waves Waterpark

Oregon doesn't do big, flashy adventure parks (Enchanted Forest is more our vibe) but Wings and Waves is as close as it comes to a big day out for the nuclear family.

  • All ages will love the wave pool and slides, including one that starts in a decommissioned 737 jet mounted on the roof.
  • And did we mention it's always warm, even while the huge windows are being pelted with rain?
  • Cost: $29.99, or $36.99 without a reservation.

Adult Skate at Oaks Park Roller Rink

Tuesdays at Oaks is the place to boogie backward to Kool & The Gang or André 3000. With live DJs and that knot in your stomach, you can be 15 again. 7-9:30pm, Tuesdays.

  • Cost: $13, ages 18 and up, including skate rental.

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