Pioneer Courthouse Square
Pioneer Courthouse Square
Downtown Portlandview website
715 Sw Morrison St # 702
Portland, OR 97205
Live Music Venue
Pioneer Courthouse Square Description
Portland is a city of well-planned parks and open spaces, and Pioneer Courthouse Square, which opened in the mid-1980s, is a terrific example of an awesome urban space and a cool place for kids. More than 26,000 people pass through the square every day, and there's lots of free stuff to see and do for visiting families. Kids will love the weather machine, the waterfall fountains, Portland's signature bronze statue of a man with an umbrella (of course) called "Allow me," and the echo chamber, to say nothing of the people watching.
Babies: Babies will enjoy fresh air. Plus, there are plenty of benches, especially in the amphitheater, where moms can nurse.
Toddlers & Pre-K: What's more fun than running around squealing and laughing? Toddlers and preschoolers can also climb the steps to the Keystone Lectern and shout in the echo chamber.
School-Age Kids: Portland school groups flock to the square throughout the year. Challenge your child to find celebrity-named bricks, but first pick up a map at the visitor information center (located through the waterfall fountain). Have them look for favorites like the Micky Mouse brick (spelling was at the purchaser's request), Sherlock Holmes, John Lennon, and John F. Kennedy.
Pre-Teens & Teens: If the people-watching doesn't do it, the movies in the visitor information center (the 12-minute "Perfectly Portland" and 15-minute "At the Frontier of Adventure and Architecture") may appeal to the sighing set.
- Take TriMet. There is some on-street parking and a few garages, but it's better to leave your car and ride Oregon's public transit system, TriMet, which stops on both the south and north sides of the square.
- Go at noon. The weather machine makes its pronouncement every day at noon, misting onlookers and presenting either a helia (a sun to indicate sunny weather), a blue heron (for drizzle or mist), or a dragon (heavy rain and wind).
- Bring chess pieces. There are chessboards throughout the square.
- Go for a show. Over 300 events a year are hosted on Pioneer Courthouse Square, most of which are family-friendly. Take in Sand in the City, a sand-castle competition in July, or attend Noon Tunes, a noontime concert Tuesdays and Thursdays in July and August. Flicks on the Bricks, an outdoor movie series, is another popular event with visitors and locals alike. Check the calendar at: http://www.pioneercourthousesquare.org/calendar.shtm.
Just the Facts
Hours: 5 a.m.-midnight daily Visitor Information Center: Mon.-Fri. 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Sat. 10 a.m-4 p.m.
Recommended Time: 1 to 2 hours