Oaks Amusement Park (503) 233-5777. Amusement park is seasonal, Apr-Sept; skating rink is open year round, Tu-Sun. Admission fee varies depending on rides. Free parking.
Located beside the Willamette River at the foot of the old Sellwood Bridge, this was the first amusement park in the West. Now more than 100 years old and a non-profit, it opened in 1905 and was once called “The Coney Island of the West.” Rides are well-priced, and it is a popular place to roller skate and picnic. Nostalgia reigns with a section of kiddie rides and miniature golf, plus a hand-carved 1911 Herschell-Spillman “Noah’s Ark” carousel, bumper cars, and a miniature train that chugs all around the park.
|carousel at Oaks Amusement Park in Portland, Oregon|
My mom, who grew up in nearby Gresham, skated at the Oaks Park roller skating rink here when she was in high school. She remembers the organist--who performs live on the beautiful Wurlitzer here on Thursday nights and all day Sunday--and the fun bumps at the back of the rink that they skated over (which are still there). This rink is the largest in America, and the last to play a live pipe organ. Its floor was replaced in 1948 when the original floor was destroyed in the Vanport flood, and the ingenious barrel flotation system that was used in the replacement floor has saved it several more times.
|exterior of roller skating rink at Oaks Amusement Park in Portland, Oregon|
|skate counter at roller skating rink at Oaks Amusement Park in Portland, Oregon|
|colorful rental skates at roller skating rink at Oaks Amusement Park in Portland, Oregon|
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images and videos ©2018 Carole Terwilliger Meyers