astoria oregon with kids. columbia river maritime museum ship

20 Things to Do in Astoria with Kids That Deserve a Spot on Your Itinerary

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If you are traveling to Astoria, Oregon with the family and trying to figure out what to do, here is a list of the top things to do in Astoria with kids that you should add to your list!

Let’s be honest, Oregon is amazing! Its natural beauty feels out of this world sometimes! Or out of this country, even though it’s not! Nestled in the Pacific Northwest at the mouth of the Columbia River, it is a very unique place to visit in the United States. Of all of the places we have gone to in Oregon, we still have a soft spot in our hearts for Astoria, Oregon. Even though it is a little unknown, Astoria is a great place for the entire family! It is about a 2-hour drive from the Portland Airport, and Astoria is a short drive from other Oregon destinations (like Cannon Beach!), and there is plenty to keep the whole family busy. We love this little town and are sharing our favorite things to do in Astoria with kids! You would be surprised how much there is to do. I know we were! So get ready to add a bunch of things to your Oregon itinerary and have an amazing trip!

This post is all about what to do in Astoria with kids.

astoria oregon with kids. columbia river maritime museum ship

How to Get Around in Astoria

Ok, let’s talk about how to get around in Astoria. I’ve talked about how to get around when you are going there on a cruise and don’t have a car and what I recommend in this blog post. However, if you are going to Astoria with kids, let’s talk about the best ways to get around Astoria!

Car Rental

If you are flying into Portland, I recommend renting a car at the Portland airport and driving to Astoria. We love airports where the car rental is right there in the airport and doesn’t require a shuttle. Portland is one of them! The drive to Astoria is about 2 hours which is not too bad when traveling with kids, especially with older kids. 


Once you get to the town of Astoria, you can do most of your sightseeing by walking! The major attractions are within easy access of the main city area and you can easily walk to them if you don’t want to worry about getting in and out of the car and finding parking spots.

Astoria Riverfront Trolley

For something more unique and historic, hop on the Astoria Riverfront Trolley for a fun and nostalgic way to explore the town. The Trolley runs all over town and the price for it is really decent. Just remember to have cash with you! We have had a great time riding the Astoria Trolley and resting our legs.

Where to Stay in Astoria with Kids

We have stayed in a few different places in Astoria, Oregon, and here are our recommendations of the best, family-friendly places to stay in Astoria with kids!

Cannery Pier Hotel & Spa

Staying at the Cannery Pier Hotel & Spa in Astoria with kids is a little bit of a splurge, I will admit. However, it is so worth it! The hotel is a 4-star hotel and it definitely shows! The hotel sits on the Columbia River, literally, and has pretty amazing views of the Astoria-Megler Bridge. The rooms are gorgeous, spacious, and so comfortable. Where it really is set apart from other 4-star hotels we have stayed at is that the Cannery Pier Hotel & Spa offers free breakfast and free parking. Staying at this hotel in Astoria with kids is a one-of-a-kind experience!

Holiday Inn Express and Suites, Astoria

If the Cannery Pier Hotel & Spa is outside of your price range, but you still want to be close to the Astoria-Megler Bridge, then try the Holiday Inn Express and Suites! This hotel offers a pool free breakfast, free parking, city or river views, and the option for suites! If you are traveling with kids, we always recommend getting suites where you can! Having your own space when sleeping makes getting a good night of rest so key!

Hampton Inn and Suites Astoria

We loved staying at the Hampton Inn and Suites not only because they offer free breakfast, which is always nice when traveling with kids, but we also had great views of the Columbia River! The Hampton Inn and Suites also have large rooms, a swimming pool, and the option for suites! The only downside was that it was a little further away from all of the major sites in Astoria.

Things to do in Astoria with Kids

1 // Astoria Column

Fee – $5 for parking and $1 for a glider

what to do in astoria oregon with kids

The Astoria Column is one of the most recognizable things about Astoria, Oregon! It’s also super kid-friendly, which is a plus! The Astoria Column is one of the best places to get great, panoramic views of the Columbia River and, if you squint, or bring binoculars, you can see the Pacific Ocean! We have been on clear days, but the last time we went, it was super foggy which was a bummer, but still a cool experience! They have gliders that you can buy and fly from the top of the column, which was a highlight of the trip for our son!

There is a small parking fee if you drive up and park in the Astoria Column parking lot.

2 // Cathedral Tree Trail


If you want to take in some of that Pacific Northwest beauty, going on a “hike” on the Cathedral Tree Trail is a great way to do that! Even though it is a 1.6-mile trail, it’s one of the most chill hikes around, which is why I recommend it! Especially if you are going with kids. We have done the full Cathedral Tree Trail and I recommend taking the trail back from the Astoria Column into town. It’s all downhill and so much easier than going up to the Astoria Column, even though that’s not too strenuous as is.

3 // Flavel House Museum

Fee – Flavel House Website

things to do in astoria with kids

Since you are in Astoria, why not learn more about its history by going to the Flavel House Museum? Situated right across the street from the Oregon Film Museum, the Flavel House Museum is the home-turned-museum of one of Astoria’s wealthiest men, George Flavel. The home and gardens cover an entire block and are worth a visit! If you decide to go to the Oregon Film Museum and the Heritage Museum, you can buy an Adventure in History pass that gets you into all 3 museums at a lower cost!

4 // Oregon Film Museum

Fee – Oregon Film Museum Website

things to do in astoria with kids

If you love movies, then going to the Oregon Film Museum is a great way to spend some time in Astoria with kids. The Film Museum houses many different props and a whole lot of history from the many movies that have been shot in Oregon, including Goonies! The Oregon Film Museum is also housed in the old jail building that happened to be in Goonies, which is pretty cool! If you decide to go to the Flavel House and the Heritage Museum, you can buy an Adventure in History pass that gets you into all 3 museums at a lower cost!


5 // Garden of Surging Waves


The Garden of Surging Waves is a fairly recent addition in Astoria, but definitely worth the visit! This garden was the city’s bicentennial legacy gift and a way to honor their Chinese roots and contributions. It is a beautiful public space that is definitely worth adding to your list of places to visit in Astoria Oregon with kids.

6 // Astoria Sunday Market


If you happen to be in Astoria on a Sunday between May and October, you can make your way to the Astoria Sunday Market! Like a farmer’s market, there are vendors that line the streets and sell their homemade items. It’s super fun to see and experience with the family and a great thing to do in Astoria with kids.

7 // Heritage Museum

Fee – Heritage Museum Website

The Heritage Museum is another great museum to visit in Astoria, Oregon. This museum is home to the history of the local area with exhibits that range from the Native Americans to local industries. If you decide to go to the Oregon Film Museum and the Flavel House Museum, you can buy an Adventure in History pass that gets you into all 3 museums at a lower cost!

8 // Columbia River Maritime Museum

Fee – Columbia River Maritime Museum

things to do in astoria oregon with kids
astoria with kids

The Columbia River Maritime Museum is a very cool and family-friendly stop in Astoria, Oregon. The museum is right on the Columbia River and has some pretty amazing displays and history! The museum is also very family-friendly, with a lot of interactive exhibits that are also educational. The Columbia River Maritime Museum is one of the best family-friendly activities to do in Astoria and teaches so much maritime history! Don’t forget to stop by the gift shop on your way out!

Your ticket also includes entrance to the Lightship Columbia, a retired naval boat that you can take a self-guided tour through.

9 // Astoria Riverfront Trolley

Fee – $1 per ride or $2 for a day pass

places to visit in astoria oregon

I mentioned the Astoria Riverfront Trolley earlier as a way to get around Astoria, Oregon. However, it is also a great thing to do in Astoria with kids! The Astoria Riverfront Trolley is a streetcar that goes along the Columbia River from the Port of Astoria to 36th Street. If you take the trolley for the whole length, it takes about an hour. Riding the Riverfront Trolley is also a great way to spend some time in Astoria with kids! It is not only a great way to get around the city, but also a great way to get to know the city! 

10 // Astoria Riverwalk Trail


The Astoria Riverwalk, or the Astoria River Trail is a 6.4-mile trail that goes along the Columbia River. Although I wouldn’t recommend going along the whole trail, especially with young kids, walking or biking part of it is fun! The parts I recommend are by the Astoria-Megler Bridge or by the Columbia River Maritime Museum. Most parts of the trail are pretty cool though, but it just may be too much with kids.

11 // Astoria-Megler Bridge


astoria oregon with kids

If you noticed a huge bridge when you were up on the Astoria Column, that is the Astoria-Megler Bridge! When it comes to your list of things to see in Astoria with kids, I would recommend adding it to your list! The bridge crosses the Columbia River and connects Oregon and Washington. Josh and Ollie hadn’t been to Washington before, so we were definitely tempted to cross on over, but we just ran out of time. Next time for sure!

12 // Maritime Memorial


On the Astoria end of the Astoria-Megler Bridge and along the Astoria Riverwalk, you can see the Maritime Memorial. Because of how dangerous the everchanging sandbars of the Columbia River can be where it meets the Pacific Ocean, many lives have been lost at sea. The Maritime Memorial commemorates all of those people! This tribute is really very lovely and in such a beautiful location! If you are in the area, you don’t want to miss it.

13 // Tapiola Park


If you are traveling to Astoria with kids, especially young kids, then you should definitely add Tapiola Park to your Astoria itinerary. This park is a kid’s dream come true! There is a castle of sorts for kids to play in and explore. The park also has a young kid’s area that is fenced off, making it easy to keep track of wandering little explorers.

14 // Goonies House


what to see in astoria oregon with kids

I know that Goonies wasn’t a recent movie, but if you or your kids have seen it and are fans, you can always go take your picture in front of the home from Goonies! The home is a private residence though, but the homeowner has been kind enough to let people come take their picture in front of the home. My recommendations for getting your picture without any neighbors getting upset though would be to walk up to the home (it’s on a dead-end of a dirt road) and be respectful of the people living there and their neighbors.

If you or your family love visiting movie sites, then I would recommend adding this to your list of things to do while in Astoria with kids.

15 // Bumble Bee (Hanthorn) Cannery Museum


Although small, the Bumble Bee Cannery Museum would be a great place to visit when in Astoria with kids. The museum serves as a way to preserve the cannery’s history! The museum is housed in the oldest fish processing plant on the Columbia River which is pretty cool! 

16 // Fort Stevens State Park

Fee – Fort Stevens Park Website

Looking for another way to get out a lot of pent-up kid energy? Especially if you’ve gone to a bunch of museums and sites. If so, then you’ve got to make your way to Fort Stevens State Park! This park is massive. There is so much room to play here, whether you want to swim, go to the beach, camp, or just relax. Fort Stevens State Park is probably most famous for the old Peter Iredale Shipwreck on the beach, so you can’t miss that!

17 // Lewis and Clark National Historical Park and Fort Clatsop

Fee – Lewis and Clark Park Website

Although a little ways from the city center, the Lewis and Clark National Historic Site is a fun place to visit in Astoria with kids! Included in your visit, you will get to see Fort Clatsop, a replica of the camp where the Lewis and Clark expedition spent one of their winters during their expedition. The historic site does such a good job at teaching all of the history of the area and the part that Lewis and Clark have in the history of the region. The site is very interactive and so beautiful! Going to the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park with school-age kids who are learning about American history would be a great way to immerse them in what they are learning and bring history to life for them.


Things to Do Near Astoria with Kids

Here are some things that you can do near Astoria with kids that are a blast!

18 // Cape Disappointment and Lighthouse

Fee – North Head Lighthouse Website

If you want to cross off more than one state on your trip to Oregon, then head across the Astoria-Megler Bridge into Washington and visit Cape Disappointment! It is only about a 30-minute drive and I’ve heard it is super worth it! We didn’t have time to make it over this time, but it is on our list for our next visit for sure. If you go, give yourself a few hours (or a full day) to explore this massive and BEAUTIFUL park. You can also take a tour of the North Head Lighthouse! It is only open from 11 am-3 pm from May to September though!

19 // Cannon Beach


things to do near astoria oregon

About 30 minutes from Astoria, you can find one of the many nearby cities, Cannon Beach! Famous for Haystack Rock, this beautiful beach would be a perfect little trip place to take your kids to when visiting Oregon. We love beach days, and we especially love them at Cannon Beach. If you get tired of the beach, there are also a lot of beautiful hikes in the area that you can go on.

20 // Young River Falls


One thing Oregon is known for is its waterfalls. If you want to see a waterfall near Astoria, then Young River Falls is right for you! It is about 8 miles from downtown Astoria and so beautiful! There is a little hike that you and your family will need to take to get to Young River Falls, but it is so worth it!


What to Do in Nassau With Toddlers: Cruise Guide

So there you have it! If this is your first time going to Oregon, or if you are looking for other interesting things to do, make sure to add Astoria to your bucket list. Going to Astoria with kids is the ultimate destination packed with adventure, history, and so much nature. From riding the trolley and exploring maritime wonders to chasing waterfalls and reliving movie magic, this little gem on the Oregon Coast has something for everyone in the family. So pack your bags, grab the kids, and get ready to create some core memories in Astoria, Oregon!

astoria with kids

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