10 Fun Things To Do in Portland, OR for Under $10


Portland is the largest city in Oregon and has a huge variety of amenities and attractions. Whether you like spending time outdoors or you enjoy dining in unique eateries and shopping in vintage boutiques, there’s truly something for everyone there. If you want to have fun exploring Portland, OR without spending a ton of money there are more options out there than you think.  Because of how beautiful a city this is, merely walking in it will keep you busy.   But we decided to dig a little further than just walking to get the most bang for your buck.

Here are 10 fun things to do in Portland that cost less than $10:

1. Mission Theater and Pub

Mission Theater and Pub

For family friendly movies in a fun setting, visit Mission Theater and Pub. Its one of the many historic landmarks in Portland, OR as well as an important part of the city’s arts and culture scene. In addition to films and shows, Mission Theater and Pub hosts live music, sports, and other events. The sound system there is great, and you’ll find plenty to love in the way of concessions. There’s a full bar, salads, pizza, hot and cold non-alcoholic drinks, candy, and good popcorn.

Cost: Tickets are $2 for everyone for shows before 5pm. Shows that start after 5pm cost $3 for children and $4 for adults.

2. Powell’s Bookstore

Powell’s Bookstore

Bibliophiles will find paradise at Powell’s Bookstore, which is the largest independent bookstore in America. This place is the real deal, and the vibe there is awesome. The book and media selection is great, and there’s also a cafe inside with affordable prices. The books at Powell’s are used and new, so there’s tons of bargains to be found.

Cost: There are lots of cheap books there, so you can leave with several for less than $10. Powell’s also has free WiFi.

3. Portland Saturday Market

Portland Saturday Market

If you want to mix and mingle with Portland, OR residents or just shop like a local, head to the Portland Saturday Market. On Saturdays and Sundays the Market has live music, food vendors, artisan crafts, and more such as handmade soaps, apparel, and decor. Portland Saturday Market is the largest outdoor market in the country, and if you’re a fan of unique items it’s not to be missed.

Cost: Entering the market and enjoying the live music is free. The cost of items and eats varies by vendor, but there’s a wide variety of craft and artisan items available for less than $10.

4. Portland Japanese Garden

Portland Japanese Garden

The Portland Japanese Garden is a traditional garden spread across 5.5 acres in Washington Park. Its serenity is unmatched by anywhere else in the city, and the natural beauty of this landmark is incredible. There’s a tea garden, sand and stone gardens, strolling pond, and much more.

Cost: Children 5 and under get in free, and children age 6 to 17 pay $6.75. Admission is $7.75 for seniors age 65 and older and college students with an ID. Adult admission is $9.50.

5. Hollywood Theatre

Hollywood Theatre OR

Hollywood Theatre is a Portland, OR landmark that has been around since the early 1900s. A restoration was completed a few years ago that brought the theater back to its former glory, and now it’s better than ever. Hollywood Theatre shows old film favorites as well as newer titles. The main auditorium has a 50 foot screen and digital sound system, plus there’s great concessions. Atomic Pizza has a storefront there, and you can also get sweets, beer, and snacks before each show.

Cost: Regular admission is $9 for adults and $7 for children, students, and seniors.

6. Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade

A sea of glowing lights flow out from the many screens of the interior building during the beginning of a typical Friday night.

Asteroids, Pac-Man, and more can all be yours for the playing when you visit Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade. It’s one of the few old school arcades left in the country, and you’ll find over 60 video games and 27 pinball machines. Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade also hosts events throughout the week, karaoke, tournaments, trivia nights, comedy acts, and local DJs. There’s a bar with wine and beer on tap, plus a food menu full of bites including nachos, BLTs, cheese dogs, and desserts.

Cost: Just grab a handful of quarters and start playing. Most of the menu and bar items are inexpensive as well, so you can easily get a beverage and a filling snack plus play games for less than $10.

7. Blue Star Donuts

Blue Star Donuts

Why visit Blue Star Donuts? Because it’s a solid alternative to Voodoo Donuts — the taste is excellent and the price is much more reasonable. Go to Voodoo if you want to check out its interior, and then head here for a few treats at prices that will fit your budget. Blue Star makes their donuts from brioche dough made with sustainable and local ingredients. They also serve coffee from Coava and Stumptown Roasters, along with Steve Smith teas. There are four locations in Portland and with flavors like Chocolate Salted Almond, Rose Hibiscus, Vegan Raspberry Pistachio, and Maple Bacon you won’t miss the competition.

Cost: A couple of donuts and a coffee will cost just under $10.

8. Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

Portland is flush with great craft breweries, but very few offer complimentary tours that include generous free samples. Widmer Brothers Brewing Company holds 30 to 45 minute tours of its operations, and each includes a free pint of beer at the end. If you’re over 21 and looking for a taste of the brews this city has to offer, the Widmer Brothers Brewing Co. tour is the perfect thing to do.

Cost: Free, but you need to call ahead to reserve your place on a tour — group sizes are limited and spots fill up quickly.

9. Tom McCall Waterfront Park

Tom McCall Waterfront Park

If you’re looking for a place to enjoy the views of the Willamette River, go boating, bike, or take a peaceful walk, head to Tom McCall Waterfront Park. This public park in Portland, OR spans nearly 37 acres and is in the downtown area. There’s a boat dock, well kept lush areas, and plenty of biking trails. The Salmon Street Springs is also located in Tom McCall Waterfront Park.

Cost: Free

10. Washington Park

Washington Park Portland

Washington Park’s name is a bit misleading, because it’s a lot more than that. It contains some of the most popular activities in Portland, OR including the Portland Zoo, forestry museum, and rose garden. It’s one of the city’s oldest parks, and though you’ll have to pay for admission to some of the attractions there you can spend an entire day enjoying the many free activities available. Washington Park’s features include several gardens, playgrounds, memorials, and an amphitheater.

Cost: Some areas, such as the children’s playground, International Rose Test Garden, and memorials are free. The Oregon Zoo and Children’s Museum will put you over budget, but the World Forestry Center costs $7 and below for admission and is free for children under 3 years old. Parking starts at $1.60 an hour, or you can try parking on Sherwood Boulevard and taking the free shuttle to Washington Park.


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