Article by: Darwin Gomez / Photo by: Kindel Media via Pexels

There are tons of amazing outdoor activities to do in Portland as a family, with loads of great spaces for skiing and snowboarding. If you’re looking for some summer fun or other ways to cool down across the seasons, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to do so in Oregon’s largest city.

Swimming is not just a great activity for the water aspect, as it’s an enjoyable and easy way to get some much-needed sun time. Love Holidays even marks the USA as one of the most popular countries people travel to for the purpose of having “fun in the sun.” This is largely because the country leads the most popular beaches in the world on social media. If you’re looking to take the family for a dip, here are some great places to swim in Portland.

Broughton Beach Park

If you’re looking for glorious sandy beaches with clean waters to swim around in, then Broughton Beach is an easy pick. It’s a popular pick for families because alcohol is not allowed on the premises and pets are allowed on a leash.

There is a $5 fee for day use per vehicle, although there is an annual pass if you plan on going often throughout the year. You’ll see a lot of other families during the day, but you can also visit at night as there is evening security.

A dog in a lake at sunset

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Walton Beach

Portland is on track for a sunny 2023 summer, with high pressure building over the Great Plains. So, what better way to spend these days than going to a family-friendly beach by the Columbia River? A lot of families go here to have a relaxed day of sunbathing, birdwatching, and swimming.

You can get a daily pass for $10 or buy the annual permit that you’ll need to place on your dash when parking. Do note that there are no lifeguards here, so it’s better to go with older kids or just make sure you keep a close watch on any children.

Instagram video of the beach waves

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Oxbow Regional Park

Oxbow Regional Park houses the Sandy River Gorge, which is a nice area for swimming, kayaking, and tubing. There are also great spots to go fishing for Steelhead salmon. Because the river is not too deep, there are areas where even very young children can go for a wade without the worry of sudden drops.

The park is also generally known as a safe space for family recreation, so even the rowdiest of kids won’t get bored here. There is a parking fee of $5 per car, but you can also get an annual pass. Keep in mind that pets aren’t allowed anywhere on the premises.

Image of the river flowing through trees and rocks at the Sandy River Gorge

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East Portland Community Center

If you’re uncomfortable with natural bodies of water with unexpected elements, then you may want to visit the East Portland Community Center and check out their indoor pool. It provides all the water-based fun you may want to have with the family without the potential issues from sunburns and bad weather.

One great thing about the East Portland Indoor Pool is its accessibility, with all-user changing rooms, zero-depth entry, and a pool lift. There is a designated area for kids that aren’t comfortable swimming in deeper pools, and it even features a shark slide to add a bit of added fun. Dedicated times for Family Swim are on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

lanes of the indoor swimming pool at East Portland Community Center

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Sellwood Pool

If you’re looking for an outdoor pool that is well-maintained, clean, and nice to look at, then you’ll likely enjoy a visit to Sellwood Pool. It’s a quick place to cool down from the heat and enjoy some water features like drop slides and spray fountains. It’s a great option if you still want the benefit of spending time in the sun without having to hike and be at the mercy of nature.

The Sellwood Pool is open seasonally, with dedicated Family Swim time on Saturdays and Sundays. Open Swim is available every day.

video of the outdoor poll at Sellwood Pool

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Grant Outdoor Pool

Grant Outdoor Pool is a great recreational space with various water activities that will appeal to different family members. There’s a shallow pool that kids can enjoy, especially as it’s still within view of the larger pool that adults can swim in.

Saturday is the only day with dedicated Family Swim time from 4:30 to 6:00 PM. Earlier at noon, there is Preschool Swim which has the pool area will be reserved for children five years and under. Life jackets are available, but a parent or guardian is still required before any child can step into the water. This is one of the outdoor pools that has recently been reopened by Portland Parks and Recreation, so you can expect a clean and spruced-up place to enjoy some family bonding.

Grant Outdoor Pool showing a water hole surrounded by trees and the clear sky

Credit – @kiss_me_soft / Address: 2300 NE 33rd Ave, Portland, OR 97212