GeekDad has a good list of places to take little geeklets in Portland, Oregon. Although most of the suggestions will be well known to natives, there were a few really good ideas I hadn't seen before. Here's a couple of direct quotes from the article:
- Side trip (from OMSI): The Portland bridges. From OMSI it is a quick walk to the downtown bridges and more than once I've been offered tours of the towers and inner workings just for showing interest.
- Willamette Locks at Oregon City: River engineering is a big part of the economy in the region (for good and ill) and the Willamette Locks are a great, close in, example of how the rivers are operated for commerce. My kids got to operate the locks under the supervision of the lock master - smiles from ear to ear. Make sure the locks are in operation before visiting. The Army Corps of Engineers operates the locks only when they have the budget to do so. If your kids like this trip consider a visit to Bonneville.
- Arrival of the Jayhawks: A few times a year the Coast Guard Jayhawk rescue helicopters come up from Air Station Astoria to do a SAR demonstration. They always do a demonstration at the June Rose Festival Fleet Week but my favorite place to get up close and personal is the occasional open houses at Coast Guard Sector Portland. The demonstration is within about 100 feet of dock and you get a great view. At either of these events you can tour the USCGC Bluebell, our local buoy tender. (I'm a Coast Guard Auxiliarist so I have a bias on this one). Photos here.
- Evergreen Aviation Museum : Home of the Spruce Goose. If the kids are interested aviation this is trip you must take. They have wonderful collection of aircraft from the beginning of flight to WWII war birds to an SR-71 all under the longest wingspan of any aircraft ever built, Howard Hughes' Spruce Goose.