The beautiful port city of Hood River is located in northern Oregon, just across from Washington, where the Columbia River Gorge meets the Cascade Range. It is known as the world’s windsurfing capital, boasting incredible natural beauty and plenty of action-packed outdoor activities.
In this gorgeous city, you can marvel at the spectacular sights on a scenic hike, get the adrenaline pumping on a white-water rafting expedition along the immense river, or head out on a biking adventure along one of the many mountain trail routes.
But how about things to do with kids? You’ll be happy to hear there are plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Hood River. Whether you have toddlers in tow or older kids to keep entertained – you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Here are the top 5 things to do in Hood River, Oregon, with kids:
1. Explore the Incredible Columbia River Gorge
The impressive Columbia River Gorge is one of the most spectacular attractions in the area, and it’s a fantastic place to take kids. There is so much to do here, from waterfall hikes and boat trips along the spectacular Columbia River to water sports activities and biking trails.
Get the whole family out on the bikes and enjoy a leisurely bike ride through the stunning Oregon landscape. Pack a picnic up and stop for lunch, admiring the incredible views. There are plenty of bike routes to choose from, with some suitable for all abilities, so you won’t need to worry about tiring little legs out (unless that is your aim!)
Kids will love getting out into nature and exploring the gorgeous spots on the Gorge. Take a hike to one of the scenic waterfalls and discover plenty of the local nature and wildlife on the way. Spot different plants and flowers and test their knowledge to keep little minds learning while having fun!
2. All Aboard for a Ride On the Mount Hood Railroad
Take a fantastic train ride through the gorgeous Oregon landscape on the classic Mount Hood Railroad. Kids will love jumping onboard the authentic train and settling in for an incredible view of valleys, orchards, and the snow-topped Mount Hood – the highest peak in Oregon!
This round-trip train ride is a great way to see so much of the spectacular landscape if you are short on time, and the whole family will enjoy taking in the views while chugging along this beautiful railroad.
During Christmas and Easter, special holiday train rides offer a bit of magic for little ones. Kids will love admiring the glistening Christmas lights during the winter season, and they can participate in egg hunts and bonnet-making during Easter.
3. Stop By Mike’s Ice Cream for a Tasty Treat
Although only a seasonal ice cream shop open between May and October, Mike’s Ice Cream has been around for almost thirty years, serving delicious tasty treats for kids and adults alike. The quaint wooden ice cream hut serves up traditional flavors as well as unique ones too.
There’s a grassy area in front of the shop with chairs and tables to sit and enjoy your ice cream in the sunshine when the weather permits. Mike’s Ice Cream is a Hood River institution that people have been visiting for years; the kids will love enjoying a tasty treat after a long day of exploring!
4. Spend An Afternoon Fruit Picking
Hood River is known for its incredible produce, from wine to apples – the area is rich in vineyards, farms, and fresh produce. The area has a 35-mile route called the Hood River Fruit Loop which encompasses plenty of these stops.
Drive along the scenic ‘fruit loop’ road and stop at Mount View Orchards for a fun day with little ones. Go fruit picking in the fields, take a hayride through the fields during October, and settle in a picturesque spot for a delicious afternoon picnic. It will be needed after all that hard fruit picking!
From July to October, there is plenty of seasonal produce for you to pick, such as apricots and blueberries in July, nectarines and plums in August, and of course, pumpkins, squash, and corn in October.
October is a popular time to visit due to the gorgeously colorful pumpkin patch that little ones love exploring! Let the kids pick out a selection of pumpkins to decorate your home, and join in with all the fall fun!
5. Hood River Waterfront Park
If the sun is out, check out Hood River’s very well-designed Waterfront Park. It’s a great place to watch wind and kite surfing. There is also a beach that kids can play at, although note that the “sand” is somewhat rocky. Kids of all ages will enjoy the playground with numerous play structures and drum-banging. Lots and lots of drum-banging. If that is too much for you, pFriem is just across the street.