What’s to Love: When we used to live in Northeast Portland, we’d frequent Fernhill Park with our dog. As you can see, there is PLENTY of green space for romping, stomping, running, and jumping. With the tall trees providing cover on the north end, this is a stunning park and the perfect destination if you feel like you need a little space.
Since we moved, the park added some new playground equipment – play structure (slides, climbing board, monkey bars, etc.), swings, and some great toddler gear. There are a couple of picnic benches over by the playground equipment. The park has tennis courts, two large soccer fields, two baseball diamonds, horseshoes, and volleyball. Here is a short video clip.
Caveats: Since there is so much green space, this is not a good destination for biking and/or for families with accessibility concerns.
The park had an old school water feature (wading pool), but these have all been closed due to health concerns. Many parks have received new “sprayparks” already. Fernhill is on the “high priority” list, but nothing has happened as of August, 2010. Hopefully, they will get a new water feature soon!
Website: Portland Parks & Recreation website
Distance from Portland: The park is within 3 miles of downtown Portland. Here is a Google Map.
Recommended Ages: All ages
Parental Stress Factor: Low stress park
Physical Difficulty: Due to the amount of green space without paths, there are some accessibility issues. Paths due exist on the north side of the park.
Family Fun Factor: Bring the whole family to one of the summer concerts.
Pet Friendly: Off-leash area is very big, and there is so much room here for dogs. This is probably one of the best parks for dogs.
Weather Considerations: Park doesn’t offer a lot of cover for rain. In the summer, make sure to bring sunscreen or play more under the shade trees.
Insider Info: The Portland Parks & Recreation Department hosts concerts here throughout the summer. Check their website for details! During the 2010 season, the concerts were on Friday nights. The hills give it an amphitheater type of feel. There are some very nice parks in the same are including Alberta Park and Wilshire Park.
Family Tips: This is a great park for old school park games like “Kick the Can, Kickball, SPUD, Hide and Seek,” etc. If you have older kids, perhaps, it’s time to get them together with some of their friends and teach them these classic games. If you don’t bring food, you’re very close to the Alberta Arts District. There are plenty of options on Alberta for food.
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Mosier Tunnels on July 7th, 2011
Little Big Burger on August 31st, 2011
The Oregon Garden on November 21st, 2011