Have you been thinking about moving to Portland, OR with your family? I don’t blame you. Portland is a wonderful city to raise kids. Here are my top reasons why:
1- Endless access to nature
I am from Brazil, so access to nature was always available to me. But let me tell you, what we have here in the Pacific Northwest is something else.
I’ve been living here for 4 years and every time I think I’ve seen everything there was to see , I find something else even more amazing. As a photographer this is obviously a plus, because I get to photograph families in some of the most amazing locations in the country, like the Columbia River Gorge.
From rivers, to swimming holes, state parks, lakes, trails, nature playgrounds, river beaches, nature reserves all the way to the absolutely majestic Columbia River Gorge. You name it! You can find it all within 1.5hr and a half of Portland.
Since moving here we have spent more time outside than any other time in my life. We explore outside rain or shine, but of course the summers are a particularly wonderful time to do so.
2 – Community
I have lived in three different continents now and I can tell you that finding community is not always a walk in the park. Making friends and meeting new people can be very tricky specially when you move to a new place, but I never had any issues meeting new families here in Portland, OR. Almost every time we go to a playground we are able to strike conversation with other parents.
What happens after that is really up to everybody’s personality, but if I feel like the kids got along really well and I would like to get to know that family better, I make an effort to get their contact details so that we can stay in touch, and we’ve made some wonderful friends this way.
There are also a ton of ways to get involved in your community here, like volunteering opportunity, mom/dad groups, outdoor fitness classes for parents, recreation centers and athletic clubs.
3 – Big City with a small heart
I’ve lived in some pretty massive cities in my life ( one of them with over 20 million people!) and I know how hard it can be living in a huge city. Portland has a lot of the big city amenities but really is a small city and for the most part it feels like one. A ton of small and independent businesses to support, neighborhoods where kids can play and run around the streets, traffic is not too bad depending on how far you have to go for work everyday.
I would definitely recommend sticking to one side of the river for work and home,so if you work on the west side, live on the westside, that should save you a ton of time driving around.
4 – Family friendly activities all year around
One thing that really struck me when moving here was the amount of family friendly activities available all year. Farmers markets run most of the year, in the Fall you have your pick of pumpkin patches with a ton of activities for the kids ( and of course Fall Family Photos) . Spring and Summer bring a ton of outdoor events like movies at the park, fairs, festivals (Covid allowing of course). In winter you can (hopefully) take refuge in places like OMSI, Portland Art Museum, Play Street Museum and Playdate PDX.
The zoo is an absolutely delight and we go there at least once a month all year, very accessible by car or public transport. The Hoyt Arboretum has kid friendly trails and they also rum educational programs for kids most of the year.
5- Diversity in Schooling Options
Portland obviously a public system and some of the schools are considered very good for different reasons. However, If public schooling is not what you are looking for, Portland, OR offers a variety of schooling options like the Village Free School, Forest Schools, Homeschooling co-ops and more.
We choose to homeschool and have started creating our very own community of families who do the same and it’s been a really wonderful experience so far. For Summer and Spring you can count on a variety of camps ranging from Science, theater, cooking, arts, nature, etc.
So, are you ready to move to Portland? Don’t forget to book your family photos! Fall gets booked up pretty soon, so contact me here to book your date