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August Guide to Family-Friendly Events in Portland

I have no idea how we have already arrived in the month of August. It simply seems impossible that it’s the last month of summer and I want to soak up all the sunshine, lazy mornings, hours in the hammock, and fun activities that we can before we head back into the school year. Once again, there are too many family-friendly events around Portland to include here, but here is a good list to get you started.

augustMovies in the Park

August is a great month to watch a movie in a park with the family. The evenings are usually warm but the mosquitoes can be plentiful so plan accordingly. Check out the long list of parks, dates, and movie titles here.

Chipper’s Preschool Rides (Every Tuesday & Wednesday)

Oaks Park offers kiddie and selected family rides for kids under six from 9:30-11:30 a.m. (They will not allow older siblings, so be aware of that). There is also a cookies and milk and story time with Chipper the squirrel and the Oregon dairy princess at 11:30 a.m. $9 per child; adults FREE!

Kids Bowl Free (Every Day)

Register your kids with Kids Bowl Free and they can bowl two free games each day, all summer long. Select bowling centers and schools around the country are participating in the first ever Kids Bowl Free program. This program is designed by bowling centers to give back to the community and provide a safe, secure, and fun way for kids to spend time this summer.

Caravan Campfires Songs and S’mores (Every Wednesday)

Gather around the bonfire every Wednesday evening from 7-10 p.m. to listen to music from fantastic local bands, make s’mores, eat BBQ, and introduce Caravan guests from around the world to our creative and inspiring Portland community. Enjoy the funky courtyard of the first tiny house hotel in the world. Attendees can BYO BBQ to cook on the grill. $10. Kids ten and under are FREE.

Sunset in the Garden (Every Wednesday)

Enjoy Sunset at the Oregon Gardens. Admission includes: three tastings from our featured winery, brewery and distillery for guests 21+, a full glass of the drink of your choice from our featured winery or brewery for guests 21+, live music, sunset viewing in the garden, tram tours, and sunset yoga available some dates, beginning 1 hour before to the event. Check the times for each date as they vary. General Admission 21+: $20 online, $25 at the door, Under 21: $10, Garden Members: $10. 

Music on Main  (Every Wednesday)

The Portland’5 Centers for the Arts and Art Bar & Bistro are proud to present the 12th Annual Music on Main outdoor concert series. The concerts are free and are held downtown on Main Street from 5-7 p.m.

Summer Arts on Main (Every Wednesday)

Summer Arts on Main is presented every Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. It is located along Main Street between SW Broadway & Park Avenue and includes free music from 12-1 and other miscellaneous performances, children’s activities, and outdoor booths featuring local artisans selling handmade crafts.

National Night Out

Kids Cook at The Market (Every Saturday)

Enroll your junior chefs, ages 7 to 11, in Kids Cook at the Market classes, where they’ll cultivate culinary skills and experience a cornucopia of farm-fresh foods. At Kids Cook classes, kids learn about the seasonality of food, meet local farmers, and prepare ingredients purchased fresh at the market. Classes are 8:30-10 a.m. and include a guided market tour, hands-on instruction, and recipes to take home so students can share what they learn with family and friends. Pre-registration required, $10. 

National Night Out (August 2)

This will be our third year hosting National Night Out in our neighborhood, and I can’t wait. The heart behind it is to have an annual community-building event that promotes police/community partnerships and neighbor camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, better places to live. We all want and need that! A police or fire unit visits each block party and the kids love it. Check out Nextdoor.com or to find a block party near you. And if there isn’t one, maybe next year you can host one

Tualatin Crawfish Festival (August 4-5)

Children and adults alike come to enjoy the activities of the Crawfish Festival, which include a parade, a kids race, 5K, half marathon, live music, craft vendors, food, beer, and wine, and of course, the crawfish themselves. There’s also a crawfish and watermelon eating contest for kids and adults.

Gardening for Kids at Al’s (August 5, 12 & 19)

Al’s Kids Club offers fun, educational classes on Saturdays in Woodburn (5th), Sherwood (12th) and Gresham (19th) to nurture children’s awareness, confidence, and connections to the natural world and foster hands-on learning. This August the kids will get to make a Ladybug House and learn why this helps the garden. $7.50 to register. 

Big Truck DayBig Truck Day (August 5)

Big Truck Day is an opportunity for anyone big and small to walk around, touch, feel and climb into the big rigs and trucks they witness in their everyday life. Conestoga Recreation Center’s parking lots will be packed with everything from bulldozers to fire engines, freight trucks to cranes, buses to tow trucks, and dozens of specialty vehicles. Suggested donation is just $1 per person. My son would love this!

Free evening at the Children’s Museum (August 4)

The first Friday of each month you can visit the Children’s Museum for free from 4-8 p.m.

23nd Annual Columbia Slough Regatta (August 6)

The Columbia Slough Regatta is not actually a race, more of a leisurely wildlife-watching group paddle. Keep an eye out for great blue heron, osprey, western painted turtle, beavers, and more! There will also be live music and guided tours of the St. Johns prairie, a former landfill site.

20th Annual Elephant Garlic Festival (August 11-13)

Their slogan is “May the STINK be with you,” so I’m assuming my son would get a kick out of that alone. The Garlic Festival is just west of Portland, off highway 26, in North Plains (I’ll admit I had to look that up), and the admission is free. There is food, entertainment and a smelly good time to be had.

Providence Bridge Pedal (August 13)

A six mile walk or 3-37 mile bike ride with stunning views from the all Portland bridges. Register here!

Flicks by the Fountain (August 25)

Join the community in Beaverton for Flicks by the Fountain. On the the 25th they will be showing School of Rock. 

Hood to Coast (August 25-26)

Teams of runners start at Mt. Hood and run to the Coast. It’s known as the Mother of all Relays and is 198 miles long. It can be fun to watch as they pass through the Springwater Corridor or even as they cross the finish line at the coast (where there are sure to be big crowds).august

Oregon State Fair (August 25-September 4)

With roots that go back to 1861, the Oregon State Fair is eleven days of fun and entertainment. From concerts, to food, to carnival rides, to animals, flowers, and exhibits galore there is something everyone might enjoy. A bit of a drive to Salem, Oregon, but well worth it!

Annual Dahlia Festival (August 26-28 & September 2-4)

A must see for the dahlia lover, or if you just love flowers. View over 400 floral arrangements of dahlias, over 15,000 cut dahlia blooms on display, three indoor display rooms. This is the largest display put on by one grower anywhere in the United States! Free admission, free parking. Indoor display hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., field hours: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Any events we missed for August? Please feel free to list more in the comments!

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