United States Oregon Portland Portland Guide Things To Do Essentials Restaurants Itineraries Events All Portland Know Before You Go: Washington Park in Portland By Angela Brown Angela Brown Facebook Twitter Angela has been writing about life, travel, and recreation in the Northwest, where she grew up, since 2000. TripSavvy's editorial guidelines Updated on 08/08/19 Share Pin Email TripSavvy / Alisha McDarris Washington Park has been part of Portland since 1871. Over the years, land and attractions have been added. Today, it is a community hub that contains some of Portland's most popular attractions. Location Washington Park is located west of downtown Portland, on the north side of Highway 26. Fun Things to Do Oregon Zoo World Forestry Center Discovery Museum Portland International Rose Test Garden Portland Japanese Garden Portland Children's Museum Hoyt Arboretum Transportation and Parking The public transportation plaza at Washington Park is served by TriMet's MAX Light Rail. Buses also stop at the MAX Plaza, as well as a few other locations in the park. During the summer months, shuttles provide in-park transportation with stops at the MAX Plaza as well as the Portland Japanese Garden, the International Rose Test Garden, and the Hoyt Arboretum Visitor Center. The Washington Park Zoo Railway runs between a station inside the Oregon Zoo and a station located on a hill above the International Rose Test Garden. The major parking lot, accessed by taking exit 72 of Highway 26, is convenient for those visiting the zoo, forestry center, or children's museum. Limited parking is available in other areas of Washington Park. 01 of 07 Oregon Zoo pelican/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0 In addition to animal exhibits from around the world, the Oregon Zoo offers many kid-friendly attractions. Little ones will love the zoo train, the adorable sculpture garden, the petting zoo, and the play areas. Oregon Zoo visitors can also enjoy a gift shop, snacks and treats, and special events throughout the year. Admission tickets are required. Animal Exhibits Here are just some of the animals you'll find during your visit to the Oregon Zoo. Great Northwest - cougars, elk, bear, mountain goats, otter, farm animals Pacific Shores - penguins, tigers, seals Primates - chimps, orangutans, gibbons, Asian Elephants - including an Elephant museum Africa Savannah and Rainforest - giraffes, zebra, bats, hippos, rhinos Special Events Zoo Brew - Northwest microbrews and live entertainment in June ZooLights - festive holiday lights on evenings Thanksgiving through Christmas Summer Concert Series - purchase tickets at the zoo office, Ticketmaster, or by phone Location: 4001 S.W. Canyon Road, Portland Continue to 2 of 7 below. 02 of 07 World Forestry Center Discovery Museum jlh_lunasea/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0 Located across the parking lot from the Oregon Zoo, the World Forestry Center Discovery Museum will appeal to curious minds of all ages. You'll learn about the forests of the world by participating in such simulated experiences as virtual smokejumping, an African jeep tour, or a Trans-Siberian train trip. Hands-on exhibits will fill you in on the properties that make different woods useful for different situations. Special space on the second floor provides changing exhibits throughout the year. Just outside the building, you'll find Peggy, a historic steam locomotive. The World Forestry Center Discovery Center has a large gift shop that offers books, gift items, jewelry, apparel, and toys. Special event space is available for meetings, weddings, and banquets. Admission tickets are required. Location: 4033 S.W. Canyon Road, Portland Continue to 3 of 7 below. 03 of 07 International Rose Test Garden TripSavvy / Ana Alarcon Portland is famous for its spectacular roses and the Portland International Rose Test Garden is the place to see those roses in blooming abundance. As you walk through the garden, you'll see almost 7,000 bushes that include more than 550 different varieties of rose. Each variety is labeled; rose gardeners will be able to identify appealing specimens to try growing at home. Facilities at the garden include restrooms, food carts, and the Rose Garden Store. While the garden is open year-round, the best rose bloom period is late May through early August. The Portland International Rose Test Garden is perched on a hill, allowing awesome views of downtown Portland and Mt. Hood. Admission is free to the public. Location: 400 S.W. Kingston Ave., Portland Continue to 4 of 7 below. 04 of 07 Portland Japanese Garden TripSavvy / Tanya Nikolic There are five different styles represented in the Portland Japanese Garden in Washington Park: The Flat Garden - manicured stones, trees, and shrubbery The Strolling Pond Garden - still and rushing water, bridges, and accent structures The Tea Garden - inner and outer gardens surrounding a traditional tea house The Natural Garden - a mossy fairyland The Sand and Stone Garden - raked gravel and stone As you wander through the Portland Japanese Garden you'll see beauty everywhere, in a koi pond, a waterfall, or a wisteria arbor. Most of the garden is not accessible for wheelchairs or strollers. Anticipate a short but steep hike if you approach the Japanese Garden through the Antique Gate on Kingston Avenue. On busy days, a shuttle is available to take visitors up the hill to the admission gate. Admission tickets are required. Location: 611 S.W. Kingston Ave., Portland Continue to 5 of 7 below. 05 of 07 Portland Children's Museum Jason Lander/Flickr/CC BY 2.0 The Portland Children's Museum offers lots of fun, hands-on activities for the little ones. Their exhibits and studios include: Water Works - move, spray, watch, and play with water Theater - kids dress up and take the stage between performances by storytellers, musicians, and puppeteers The Market - little shopping carts, pretend food, and noisy cash registers allow kids to play at shopping and meal prep Groundwork - move stuff with dump trucks, shovels, and buckets During a day at Portland Children's Museum, you'll have a variety of fun opportunities, including a chance to hear stories, create with clay, and dance or make music. Admission tickets are required. Location: 4015 S.W. Canyon Road, Portland Continue to 6 of 7 below. 06 of 07 Hoyt Arboretum TripSavvy / Ana Alarcon You can wander among over 1,000 different tree specimens at the 187-acre Hoyt Arboretum. The trees come from all around the world and are organized by plant family and geography. Identification labels will help you learn about the various specimens. Start your arboretum experience at the visitor center, where you can pick up maps for self-guided tours that cover different portions of their 12-mile trail system. Leashed dogs are welcome at Hoyt Arboretum. Bicycles are prohibited. Admission is free to the public. Location: 4000 S.W. Fairview Blvd., Portland Continue to 7 of 7 below. 07 of 07 More Fun Things to Do R0Ng/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0 In addition to the major attractions, there are several other interesting things you can see and do during your visit to Portland's Washington Park. Vietnam Veterans of Oregon Memorial Holocaust Memorial Sacajawea statue Archery range Hiking trails Playgrounds Tennis courts Was this page helpful? Thanks for letting us know! Share Pin Email Tell us why! 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