Powell's City of Books, on 10th and West Burnside, is a perennial favorite for families. The largest independent bookstore in the country, the children's section is immense. Ask about upcoming author readings.
Also within walking distance is the Portland Saturday Market, a great place to find souvenirs. Artisans from around Oregon bring their wares to this large, open-air market, nestled right along the Willamette River. You'll find jewelry, cosmetics, clothing, photographs, sculpture and more.
Only two blocks from Hotel Monaco is the MAX Light Rail, an aboveground subway that you can take to Washington Park. Here you'll find the Oregon Zoo, the Children's Museum and a peaceful Japanese Garden. The kids will be exhausted if you try to do all three sites in one day. On your first day, hit the zoo and see the elephants, giraffes and rhinos in the African section, and the Northwestern coast sea lions and otters at Stellar Cove. Return the second day to create pottery in the clay studio of the Children's Museum, along with pretend grocery store shopping and playing dress-up in the theater. Then wander over to the Japanese Garden to unwind while viewing the koi in the ponds and the turtles sunbathing on rocks. It's a relaxing way to end the day.
Drive 5 to 10 minutes (the valet will give you detailed directions) to reach the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry or OMSI. Five exhibit halls and eight science labs, in addition to a planetarium and Omnimax theater, offer hours of brain-powered fun through interactive exhibits and hands-on demonstrations.
In summer, Portland families drive 10 miles northwest of the city to Sauvie Island. Here, you'll find bald eagles flying atop the tall Douglas firs on the 2-mile Wapato Access Greenway State Park Trail. There's also live music at Kruger's Farm Market and the opportunity to get lost in a large corn maze at the Pumpkin Patch.