For many of the same reasons that the Portland Rose Festival Fun Center sucks, Oaks Amusement Park on the East Bank of Portland’s Sellwood Bridge sucks and should be strictly avoided.* Like the Fun Center, there are indeed corn dogs, toothless carnies, shoddy rides and the faint aroma of vomit in the air. In addition, the name “Oaks Amusement Park” implies that there is actually some sort of amusement to be had here. There is one critical difference which propels Oaks Park into its own realm of suckiness – this difference is that Oaks Park is permanent.
The “park” has been in operation since 1905 (yes – gasp! – over 100 years), and probably wore out its welcome sometime in the 1980’s. I imagine that many moons ago, Oaks Park was a real attraction and has been the source of some good memories for many families. I’ll even admit to having a few happy childhood memories there – memories that are only slightly marred by the sight/smell of regurgitated curly fries on the carpet of my parent’s station wagon.
So my advice is this: folks seeking real amusement should steer clear. For those craving corn dogs, those who are impervious to nausea or perhaps those looking to abduct a small child, this is your Disneyland.
*The Oaks Park Roller Rink is exempt from this judgment. Where else can you lace up a pair of wheels and roll around to the tunes of a Wurlitzer?