Oaks Park Portland – Oaks Amusement Park

Oaks Park Portland – Oaks Amusement Park Guide.  Locals
recognize Oaks Park, also known locally as “The Oaks”, as a place of
fond memories and nostalgia.  Oaks Park, in Sellwood, a popular Portland
neighborhood, borders the Willamette river on the South end of Downtown
Portland.  It was built by the Oregon Water Power and Navigation Company
and opened on May 30th, 1905 and was once known as the Coney Island of the
Northwest.  Streetcar amusement parks like Oaks Park were popular back in
the day and were partly intended to help increase the ridership along the
streetcar lines that existed in Oaks Park back then:

“In 1905, Fred Morris, president of the Oregon Water Power and Railway
Company, invested a hundred thousand dollars to develop a forty-four-acre
amusement park on the banks of the Willamette River. It was a time when
trolley companies occasionally built amusement parks at the end of their lines
to increase ticket sales during evenings and weekends, when the trolleys
carried fewer passengers. A trolley line ran from downtown Portland to Canemah
by way of Oregon City, and Morris located The Oaks at an intermediate point in
order to increase short-haul traffic. He also hoped that the park would
attract the crowds that were expected to attend the 1905 Lewis and Clark
Centennial Exposition — a world’s fair being constructed in Northwest
Portland that would attract 1.6 million people during the four and a half
months it was open.
Morris chose as the site for The Oaks a small isthmus in the city’s Sellwood
District, beneath a bluff on the east side of the Willamette River. The site
lay partially on a floodplain and was a difficult and costly place to
construct a park. With only twenty-one acres suitable for building, nearly
every structure at Oaks Park — anything that extended beyond the narrow
strip of land occupied by the midway — had to be constructed on
pilings.” (Source: Bryan Aalberg at HistoryCoorperative.org)

As one of the oldest continuously operating amusement parks in the country,
the park still maintains a smaller old-timey feel compared to the extreme
theme parks of the day.  Many Portlanders remember spending time at Oaks
Park as a child, and new generations of Portland families visit the park
today.  Oaks Park celebrated 100 years of continuous operation in 2005,
making it among the oldest parks in the United States.

Oaks Park Portland Ferris Wheel Photo

Oaks Park is known for a small amusement park featuring seasonal rides with
bumper cars, kiddie rides, classic carnival rides, smaller coasters and thrill
rides, and a carousel.  The amusement park section of Oaks Park is
definitely modest by today’s standards, but still loads of fun for local
families and visitors.  One of the best features of Oaks Park is the Oaks
Park Roller Rink.  You can come skate at Oaks Park year round, have your
birthday party at Oaks Park, and even take skating classes.  The large
wooden roller skating rink has another amazing vintage feature: the largest
remaining pipe organ installed in a skating rink in the world.  “The
park, being at a very low elevation and adjacent to the Willamette River, is
prone to flooding. In the past, flooding was so frequent that the floor of the
Oaks Park roller skating rink was put on floating pontoons which keep it
safely above the water. When a flood is imminent, the floor is separated from
the foundation of the building until the danger of flooding passes, when it is
reattached to the building. This last occurred in 1996.” (Source: Wikipedia).

The Oaks Park dance historic dance pavilion has been used as the site for
dances, weddings, and other events over the years.  You can rent Oaks
Park or host a group picnic at the park.


About Oaks Park Portland

Oaks Park
Read about the history of Oaks Park.  In addition, you
can view some fantastic historical photos of Oaks Park at: http://www.pdxhistory.com/html/oaks_park.html.

Park Hours

Oaks Park

Park Dance Pavilion

Oaks Park
Group Picnics

Oaks Park Skating – Oaks Park Roller Rink  

Park Roller Rink Hours

Oaks Park
Roller Skating Classes

Oaks Park
Roller Skating Birthday Parties

Oaks Park
Birthday Parties

Oaks Amusement Park Rides

Park Rides

Map of Oaks Park Portland – Oaks Amusement Park

View Larger Map

Directions to Oaks Park

Oaks Amusement Park Map – Oaks Park Map

You can also ride your bike to Oaks Park along the Springwater Corridor Trail.

We hope you enjoy your visit to Oaks Park Portland.  if you have photos or stories of Oaks Park you’d like to share with us here on the site, please contact

For additional ideas for Portland Attractions, you may also want to visit these pages:

Visit the Portland Oregon Events page for ideas of what to see and do while you are
visiting Portland!

Also visit our Portland Music Venues page if you are looking for clubs with Portland live music.

While visiting Portland, check out our Portland Hotels summary to find the best hotel in Portland for your stay. And if you’re looking for someplace special, try our Best
Portland Hotels
page with a select list of some of the best hotels in Portland.