1. Get out of the rain and explore a West Hills mansion
Pittock Mansion open daily 10am-4pm. Admission: Adults $11, Seniors (65+) $10, Youth (ages 6-18) $8, Children under 6 free
Rain is a fact of life in Portland, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay at home binge watching Netflix. Escape the rain and explore the great indoors at 100-year-old Pittock Mansion. Built for Oregon Trail pioneer and Oregonian owner and publisher Henry Pittock and his family, Pittock Mansion is a castle-like French Renaissance mansion outfitted with top-of-the-line 1914 technologies. Step inside and explore 23 artifact-filled rooms, including the Library, Music Room, Turkish Smoking Room, Kitchen, five bedrooms, and two sleeping porches!
2. Stop and smell the flowers
Park open daily through 9:00pm. Free.
Make the most of a rare sunny day and take a stroll on Pittock Mansion’s grounds. Henry Pittock chose the Mansion’s location because of its forested setting and outstanding view of downtown Portland and Mount Hood. Today it’s a public park maintained by Portland Parks & Recreation and volunteer members of the Oregon State University Master Gardener program. Pittock Mansion’s grounds are stunning year-round, but they are particularly beautiful in spring: cherry trees begin to bloom mid-March; white, pink, and purple Rhododendrons blossom April through June; and the 100 different species of roses on the grounds, including the Gold Struck “Georgiana Pittock” Rose, bloom May through August.
3. Explore Hidden Areas of Pittock Mansion
Mar. 24, Apr. 28, or May 26; 10am, 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, or 3pm. Pittock Mansion members $7, non-members $19. Reservations required. The Behind the Scenes Tour is not recommended for children under 14.
Are you brave enough to explore the basement of a 100-year-old mansion? Prove it by taking Pittock Mansion’s Behind the Scenes Tour. The Behind the Scenes Tour explores rooms in the Mansion’s basement and third floor where public entry is usually forbidden. Enjoy VIP access to the servants’ quarters, Otis elevator machine room, Henry Pittock’s private den, and more. Make a reservation; these tours are offered just once a month and fill up quickly.
4. Play a classical harp in the Music Room
Apr. 7 & 8, 1pm–3pm. Included with Pittock Mansion admission.
Plan your visit during Pittock Mansion’s Hands-On Harp Demonstration to hear local harp expert Misty Williams demonstrate different harp techniques and try them on a harp yourself. You probably won’t leave with a contract at the Oregon Symphony, but you’re guaranteed to learn something new and score a cherubic selfie.
5. Learn about Portland’s Biggest Storms and Disasters
“Forces of Nature: Historic Portland Fires, Floods, Ice & Snow” on view through July 8. Included with Pittock Mansion admission.
You know how well Portland handles snow today (read: not well), but how did Portlanders of the past deal with snowpocalypses? Explore Pittock Mansion’s exhibit Forces of Nature: Historic Portland Fires, Floods, Ice & Snow to learn about Portland’s response to storms and natural disasters, including the Great Fire of 1873, the tragic Vanport Flood, and the infamous Columbus Day Strom of 1962.
6. Explore working-class life in early Portland
Gate Lodge open daily 10am-4pm. Included with Pittock Mansion admission.
You’ll know what life was like for a successful business tycoon in early 1900s Portland after touring the Mansion, but what was life like for Portland’s cooks, maids, chauffeurs, and groundskeepers? Tour the Gate Lodge, former home of Pittock estate steward James Skene and his family, to find out. The Skenes lived in the four-story, Italianate-style home from 1918-1953. Explore its cozy craftsmen-style interior and learn about this immigrant family’s daily life through heirlooms and first-hand stories shared by the daughter who grew up there.