Oaks Amusement Park in Portland

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Do you ever feel like doing the hokey pokey? How about turning yourself around? Do you ever want to put your right foot in and then shake it all about? If you do, you’re in luck because at Oaks Amusement Park and Roller Rink, that’s what it’s all about!

Oaks Park is the oldest amusement park west of the Mississippi River. The park is small when compared to the likes of Six Flags, Disneyworld, Magic Mountain and all those other popular destinations, but it still has a lot to offer. Located just blocks from the Sellwood Bridge in the heart of the historic Sellwood neighborhood, Oaks Park offers year round rolling skating, a pavilion used for dances, concerts and bingo nights, and enough charm to make the Queen Mother envious.

During the warmer months, the roller coasters, rides, carnival games and a large picnic area are open, bringing in a bevy of families, tourists and amusement park connoisseurs. That’s where we are today. This year, my company’s annual barbeque is at Oaks Park. As my little family and I weave our way through the park, my youngest begins pulling on my sleeve to take her to the “big slide”. Soon, she is racing down the slide with glee. After a while, we make our way over to an old fashioned type car ride. Round and round we go. This is the only time my wife allows me to “ride” a motorcycle.

Next comes the highlight of our day, we move inside for a two hour rolling skating session.

We rent our skates, which doesn’t take long, because the Oaks Park staff is very helpful.  We stumble across the room until we reach the large skating rink. The littlest one holds on to the railing with trepidation as she tries to find solid footing. Then it’s announced that the Hokey Pokey will begin.

All the skaters get in the middle of the rink and shake our “thangs” all about. There are a few tumbles and lots of laughter, and then the couples skate. We glide around the oval slowly and with grace. She smiles. I smile, and then fall. She laughs. I pout.

Skating ends and I decide to take a spin on the little roller coaster. No problem. I ride it and then move back to the picnic area and say goodbye to my coworkers. We round up the kids, which takes some time, since they are reluctant to leave, and then we drive over the fabled Sellwood Bridge and are back home in Cedar Hills in a mere twenty minutes. As we pull into our driveway, I make a mental note to tell my boss what a great choice the park was for the company picnic…and apologize for crashing into him on the skating rink.

By Justin Price

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