Family Friendly Lifestyle

The Pacific Northwest is an ideal setting to cultivate a healthy, happy family life. The region offers a broad variety of indoor and outdoor activities, family-friendly amenities, and excellent schools. Below are just a few examples of what the Pacific Northwest has to offer families of all sizes.

Award-Winning Schools

The Pacific Northwest’s public and private schools offer diverse and rewarding educational experiences designed to foster the personal growth and intellectual progress of each student. Among the many academic options available, one will find schools featuring arts-integration, foreign language immersion, award-winning instructors, innovative teaching methods, and much more. Some of our excellent schools include:

  • Buckman Arts Focus Elementary School, Portland
  • International School of Beaverton, Beaverton
  • Kelso Virtual Academy, Kelso/Longview
  • Vancouver School of Arts and Academics, Vancouver
  • Yujin Gakuen Japanese Immersion Elementary School, Eugene

Family Enrichment

Enriching the whole-life experience of the family is a top priority for residents of the Pacific Northwest, and this is reflected in the vast number of opportunities for entertaining and educational family activities.

Fort Vancouver National Historic Site

Families can tour a working blacksmith shop, wood shop, and other period trades at the reconstructed fort, and kids can actually dig for artifacts on site.

Kids’ Adventure Club

Explore, learn, and discover with Eugene’s Kids’ Adventure Club. The Cascades & Coast Adventure Center hosts many Kids’ Club events, and can be visited any day for resources on family activities.


The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is a family favorite, with five unique exhibit halls, 200 interactive exhibits, and eight hands-on science labs for all ages.

Oregon Zoo

The 64-acre Oregon Zoo houses 1,955 individual animals representing 232 species. Of these, 22 are endangered species and 37 are threatened species, and the zoo is active in many Species Survival Plans.

Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum

Located near Portland in beautiful McMinnville, the museum features historic and military aircraft, tanks, and space-flight artifacts, as well as other exhibits and is home to Howard Hughes’s famous Spruce Goose.

Gilbert House

The Gilbert House Children’s Museum is a private nonprofit children’s museum composed of three historic houses in downtown Salem’s Riverfront Park. The museum offers fun and challenging exhibits, camps, birthday parties, and outreach programs in the sciences, arts, and humanities.

Outdoor Exploration

Our passion for the great outdoors and connection to our beautiful environment are essential elements of what makes Pacific Northwest life so satisfying. Here, your family will never run out of opportunities for stimulating outdoor excursions.

Aragon Alpaca Farm

A lovely, petite, family-owned and operated alpaca farm that offers tours, local wool goods, and even felting classes for all ages.

Oregon Dunes

Covering 40 miles of the coast, the Oregon dunes are North America’s largest coastal dunes. The dunes can be experienced by air, foot, or dune buggy tours. The area also offers beachcombing, fishing, sandboarding, and camping.

Canterbury Renaissance Faire

Located in the Salem/Silverton area, the fair is an imaginative, interactive environment modeled on Elizabethan-era village life.

Great Wolf Lodge

A resort, hotel, and water-park combined, the Great Wolf Lodge in Grand Mound, Washington is a favorite destination for families around the region.

Sea Lion Caves

A privately owned wildlife preserve and bird sanctuary where one can observe hundreds of sea lions in their natural environment.

Skamania Lodge

A mountain resort on 175 acres of forest in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. The rustic yet elegant lodge is just 45 miles east of Portland, on the Washington side of the Columbia River.

Whale Watching

Orca whales, harbor seals, sea lions, porpoise, and much more can be viewed on any of the exhilarating whale-watching excursions available all along the Pacific coast.

Wildlife Images, Southern Oregon

Wildlife Images, a non-profit wildlife refuge and rehabilitation center offering guided tours, in which families can interact with “animal ambassadors” and learn about wildlife.

In the Pacific Northwest, we cultivate the life experience of the whole family. Our progressive education system, knowledge-loving community, rich history, and beautiful natural landscape make the Pacific Northwest an ideal environment for you and your family. Visit our Northwest Living Resources page for more inspiration to explore the Northwest.

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