Portland Airport Play Area a fun thing for kids to do

Portland International Airport with Kids

Whether you’re arriving Portland to enjoy a wonderful family vacation, or you’re headed out of town, the Portland International Airport (PDX) offers plenty of kid-friendly diversions. Who’d think that going to the airport could be so enjoyable? Who knows, you might even want to arrive a few minutes early.

What to Do with Kids at Portland International Airport (PDX)

Families visiting en route through PDX have a few options. You can take them to the kids’ playground, visit the shops and restaurants, ooh over the art, or take a quiet break.

Kids’ play areas at Portland International Airport

Portland Airport Play Area things for kids to do
Portland Airport Play Area

Two play areas keep little ones busy at PDX. Tired parents and grandparents can rest weary legs on the nearby seats (just don’t fall asleep!).

The newer children’s play area is on Concourse D near Gate D7 for ages 1-6. You’ll find parent seating, shoe cubbies, sculpted foam deer, bears, logs, ladybugs and a bridge. It’s all built onto a soft floor.

PDX’s play area on Concourse C offers an airplane-themed play space for toddlers and a flat screen TV.

Watch a Movie with Kids

At Concourse C, find the super cute “microcinema,” with just 22 seats. The Hollywood Theatre microcinema shows all-ages films by indie directors. Find the current film list at the theater’s website.

Enjoy Live Music at the Portland Airport

Catch a volunteer guitarist or pianist in action — live music enchants many kids. The airport’s 20 rotating musicians play a variety of styles, but I’ve mainly overheard classical and jazz when at PDX. It’s soothing, even if you’re running to a gate.

View PDX Art with Kids

The Portland airport emphasizes contemporary and modern art—a great fit for kids, actually. It’s all shapes, color, and movement in the form of murals, sculptures, and supersized art. See what’s on the walls and hanging from ceilings on the PDX art page.

Shopping and Dining with Kids at PDX

  • Visit Calliope for toys and cool things for toddlers through teens.
  • Tender Loving Empire offers handmade-in-Oregon jewelry, treats, and more—best for teens, maybe.
  • Buy flight snacks and goodies at The Oregonian
  • Oregon restaurant Cafe Yumm! serves up many natural, healthy kids menu options like the kid quesadilla and Original Kid Yumm! Bowl (organic brown rice and black beans, cheddar cheese, and Yumm sauce).
  • Other PDX restaurants with kid-friendly menu options include Red Robin (pizza, burgers, chicken, milkshakes and sundaes) and local favorite Tillamook Market (mac n cheese, grilled cheese, both served with apple crisps and milk or apple juice).

Family Essentials at the Portland Airport

Breastfeeding at the Portland Airport

Four Lactation Rooms throughout the airport offer a convenient bench, along with plenty of counter space, electrical outlets, a sink and a chair. They’re designed for women who need to express milk (using an electric pump), but can be used by moms who need to nurse a baby too. Here’s where you’ll find them:

  • Before security near Capers Café
  • Concourse B: Near the restrooms adjacent to gate B6
  • Concourse D: Near the restrooms adjacent to gate D5
  • Concourse E: Near the restrooms adjacent to gate E8

More Travel Tips for the Portland International Airport with Kids

  • Parents traveling with kids with autism or ASD may want to visit the Sensory Room at Concourse D near gate D10.
  • PDX offers trained therapy dog teams who rove the airport offering stress relief

Thanks to Annie Linstrom and Steve Johnson at the Port of Portland for background information and photos.