Home of amazing Oregon Zoo, World Forestry Center, Portland Aerial Tram and fun of activities to do on Memorial Day in Portland. We've compiled some of the best things to do in Portland on this Memorial Day holiday.
Formerly known as the Washington Park Zoo, the Oregon Zoo is home to over 2,000 animals that reside in a variety of habitats across 64 acres of land. Founded in 1888, the zoo is one of Portland’s greatest attractions and has millions of visitors every year.
The zoo is renowned for its excellent species survival plans, which include successful breeding programs for the endangered Californian condor, Asian elephant, and African lion. Regional exhibits allow visitors to explore different parts of the world -such as the rainforests of Africa and Amazonia, the Great Northwest, and the plains of the Serengeti - and learn about the animals that reside in them.
During Memorial Day, the zoo hosts a variety of summer shows, presentations and educational workshops for both adults and children; winter sees the production of ZooLights, a fantastic holiday light show.
Located in Portland’s Washington Park, the World Forestry Center is a 20,000-square-foot museum that focuses on the importance of trees and forests and on the vital role environmental sustainability plays in today’s society.
One of Portland’s icons since 1971, the outstanding Discovery Museum was built in a dramatic Cascadian architectural style and features a wealth of hands-on exhibits, interactive displays and educational presentations for all ages. Visitors on Memorial Day can see the forest from a bird's-eye view and learn about various cultures and tribes who rely on the forest for their survival.
They can enjoy a “wet-free” raft ride through the woods, or “travel” to Brazil, China, South Africa or Russia to see how other regions manage their forestry systems and the challenges they face. Explore the importance of the Pacific Northwest’s forests and how these forests provide habitats, water and wood for the region.
Adventurous travelers can see Portland from the air with an unforgettable aerial tram experience. The Portland Aerial Tram operates 500 feet above the city, allowing passengers to soak up magnificent views.
The tram departs from the South Waterfront and travels 3,300 feet up to Marquam Hill, where an upper deck with an outdoor patio boasts unrivaled views of downtown Portland. The summit of Marquam Hill is a protected natural area and features several walking trails, so visitors can enjoy a hike through the forest on Memorial Day weekend.
There’s also the Summit Espresso coffee shop, which serves light meals, snacks, and drinks to enjoy against the backdrop of some of the city’s most spectacular surroundings. The tram consists of two cabins, has a seating capacity of 79 people, and operates on a “load and go” system. Departures are every few minutes.
The world-renowned Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is one of the top science centers in the United States. OMSI’s aim is to inspire curiosity and encourage experimentation and the exchange of ideas through engaging scientific learning experiences.
With five vast exhibit halls housing hundreds of interactive displays, exhibits, presentations and educational programs, this science center sees more than a million visitors a year. OMSI is home to the the USS Blueback, the last non-nuclear-powered submarine built by the U.S. Navy. The Blueback is open for public tours on Memorial Day.
The museum also features the Kendall Planetarium, where visitors can get an up-close look at the universe around us. If you are wondering what to see in Portland with kids who love science, this is a great place to visit. Eight fantastic hands-on science labs offer an array of earth science, engineering and nutrition activities, such as “Forest Puzzles,” “Everybody Eats,” and “Engineer It!,” and visitors can take in science- and discovery-themed films at the beautiful Empirical Theater.
Take the freshest local ingredients straight from the farm, add a dash of old-fashioned Southern goodness and a splash of Portland foodie sensibility, and you have the unrivaled Pine State Biscuits.
After Pine State Biscuits made its first appearance at the Portland Farmers Market in 2006, founders Walt, Kevin, and Brian went on to open a small shop on Belmont Avenue and haven’t looked back since. Featuring breakfast, lunch and dinner every day of the week, the menu includes creamy buttermilk biscuits served with an array of delicious toppings, fried chicken, generous portions of bacon and eggs, sausage or mushroom gravy, and a variety of grits and preserves.
Pine State Biscuits can be found at the Portland Farmers Market as well as on NE Alberta and in Southeast.
Floating World Comics is a delightful bookstore in downtown Portland that specializes in comic books of all kinds. You will always find a crowd of readers, artists, book lovers, and geeks browsing through their packed shelves and tables heaving with comic books for the kids in all of us – old and new, self-published and classic, rare and those sold by pound. If you come on Wednesday, you can go through a fresh batch of all genre comics – superhero, crime, drama, horror, humor, romance, sci-fi, action, fantasy, and adventure. Explore the literary section with new authors or the all ages section with contemporary and classic children’s books and graphic novels. Browse through the selection of self-published, small press, underground, and international comics. You can even bring your own comic and try to sell it there. It might be the only comic book store in downtown Portland, but it is considered one of the best in the country, and for good reason.
The Portland Farmers Market is an organization that runs seven different vibrant farmers markets and fresh produce markets in and around Portland. Established in 1992, the organization began with one small market in a parking lot in Albers Mill.
It has since grown into a group of seven markets, featuring over 200 vendors selling a variety of farm-fresh products and handcrafts. Innovation meets industry in all seven of the markets, which are located all over the city: Portland State University, Pioneer Courthouse Square, Shemanski Park, and in the Buckman, Northwest, Kenton, and King neighborhoods.
The flagship market is at Portland State University. The campus is an attractive setting for the market, which buzzes with over 140 stalls and vendors selling fresh produce, homemade and hot foods. Market-goers can also enjoy chef demonstrations, kids’ cooking classes, market music and a selection of food presentations and tastings.
Memorial Day for Voodoo Doughnut is all about the super-sweet, sugar-coated treats the shop is named for. Founded by Kenneth "Cat Daddy" Pogson and Tres Shannon, who wanted to bring something different to Portland, Voodoo Doughnut has five stores around the city and serves a selection of delicious doughnuts with various toppings.
These toppings include berries, buttermilk, banana cream, sprinkles, chocolate and sugar. Voodoo also serves apple fritters and the famous Voodoo Doughnut Doll. Voodoo Doughnut caters for special occasions like birthdays, weddings and anniversaries.
One of the oldest and most enjoyed parks in Portland, Washington Park is visited every year by thousands of people who come for its beautiful green landscapes and gardens, myriad attractions and activities, and 15 miles of winding trails on which to walk, jog, run or bike.
The park features a variety of attractions and fun things to do for the whole family on Memorial Day, from outdoor adventures to cultural explorations. Visit the Oregon Zoo, which is home to nearly 2,000 animals living in five major ecosystems, or spend a few hours learning about the arts and sciences with the kids at the Children’s Museum.
Hike one of the many forest trails that crisscross the park, or enjoy an outdoor summer at the Washington Park Amphitheater or the Oregon Zoo. Stroll through the Portland Japanese Garden or the Hoyt Arboretum and soak up the wonderful peace and tranquility that surrounds you.
Grand Central Baking Company is an acclaimed American bakery chain offering locations throughout the Pacific Northwest, including a beautiful location in Portland's Beaumont Village neighborhood. The chain was founded in 1972 within the Grand Central Building in Seattle, opened by Gwyneth Bassetti and rebranded to its current name in 1989. Today, its rustic artisan loaves have been recognized by international publications like Travel and Leisure, Saveur, and The Seattle Times, regularly named as one of America's greatest bakeries. Classic and seasonal sandwiches are served up throughout the week, crafted with the bakery's signature slow-fermented, hearth-baked breads. Sandwich options range from traditional favorites like tuna melts and vegetarian grinders to decadent specialties like the Green Goat, crafted with local chevre, roasted beets, and hazelnut-parsley pesto.