Summer’s over, and school’s back in session, but there’s still lots of family-friendly fun to be had in the Portland metro area this month. Check out these Portland family events to keep the wild times going for you and your little ones.
- Vaux Swift Watch (All September 6-8 p.m.) Vaux swift birds roost at Chapman Elementary School during their migration south for the winter. Bring your binoculars and a chair to watch these traveling birds roost every night in September starting one hour before sunset.
- Ten Toe Express Walks (September 1, 6 p.m. & September 10 9 a.m.) On September 1, Explore Garthwick and Sellwood Bridge or catch the Ramona Quimby 60 Years Later Tour on September 10.
- Free Admission to Portland Art Museum (September 1, 5-8 p.m.) Don’t worry about keeping your kids quiet at the museum. On free First Fridays, the crowd will drown them out.
- Stumpfest! (September 3 & 4, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.) Kids ages 6-12 receive a mission from park rangers at Tryon Creek State Park and learn about conserving resources and protecting the environment as they complete their mission.
- Art in the Pearl (September 3-5, 10 a.m.) The 20th annual Art in the Pearl festival features art, music, and an educational pavilion just for kids at the Northwest Park Blocks in downtown Portland.
- Movies in the Park (September 4 at Overlook Park & September 10 at Glennhaven Park) Entertainment starts at 6:30 p.m. followed by movies at dusk. Pack your picnic blanket and some outdoor chairs to catch the last two Movies in the Park of the season.
- Music on Main Street (September 7, 5-7 p.m.) Catch Pepe and the Bottle Blondes in the final Music on Main Street outdoor concert beside the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.
- September 11 Memorial Commemoration (September 11, 5:30-7 p.m.) Milwaukie City Hall hosts a “solemn recognition of the heroic efforts of first responders and our nation’s armed forces veterans on September 11, and every day on the job.”
- Sidewalk Chalk Art Festival (September 17, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.) Stroll along the streets in downtown Forest Grove and watch thousands of people paint the sidewalk. It’s free to check out the art, and only $12 to claim a square of the sidewalk for the day.
- Museum Day Live (September 24) Museums across the nation follow the lead of the Smithsonian in offering free admission for one day only. Participating Portland-area museums include the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center, the World Forestry Center Discovery Center, the Oregon Historical Society Museum, and more. Don’t forget to get your free ticket in advance by visiting the website.
- National Public Lands Day (September 24) In celebration of the 100th birthday of the National Parks, enjoy free admission to various public lands including Crater Lake National Park, Fort Vancouver, and the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park.
- American Indian Day (September 25, 12 p.m. – 7 p.m.) Local American Indian groups host a celebration of culture including food, dancing, drumming, and vendors at Pioneer Courthouse Square.
Fairs and Festivals
- Oregon State Fair (September 1-5, 10 a.m.) Featuring rides, events, and concerts, the state fair has something for everyone in Salem!
- The Standard Volunteer Expo (September 8, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.). Volunteers and organizations can find perfect matches at this annual expo at Pioneer Courthouse Square.
- Beaverton Celebration Day (September 10, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.) Run a 5K at 9 a.m. or catch the parade starting a 10 a.m. Stay for activities in City Park for the rest of the afternoon.
- Tigard Street Fair (September 10, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.). Downtown Tigard’s Main Street is your place for food, vendors, kids’ activities, and more during this street fair.
- Festival at the Farm (September 10, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.) Weave your way through corn and hay mazes, dance to live music, and play with clay at this unique festival benefiting Neighbors for a Livable West Linn at Fiala Farms.
- Wings and Wheels (September 10, 10 a.m.) Check out airplanes, cars, and motorcycles while you boogie to the sounds of the Hit Machine at Scappoose Industrial Airpark. Bring a non-perishable food item for free admission.
- Carlton Crush Harvest Festival (September 10, 9 a.m. 9 p.m.) Competitive grape stomping, a barrel-rolling race, and a watermelon-eating contest are just a few of the fun activities in store for you at this harvest festival in Carlton.
- Mt. Angel Oktoberfest (September 15-18) Oregon’s oldest and best-loved Oktoberfest, hosted in the small community of Mt. Angel, just outside Salem also boasts the largest folk festival in the Northwest. Featuring hundreds of food and craft booths, several venues of live, Bavarian music, a kindergarten for the little ones, and three biergartens with local NW beer, wine, and spirits, it is four whole days of family fun!
- Oktoberfest at Oaks Park (September 23-25) Put on your lederhosen and head down to Oktoberfest at Oaks Park. Visit the Kinderplatz (kids’ place) or cheer on your favorite hound in the dachshund race as you chow down on authentic German food and beverages.
- Oktoberfest at McMenamins (September 24-25) Bop to the polka beat and grab some bratwurst at your favorite McMenamins locations.
- Portland Juggling Festival (September 30 – October 2) Learn to juggle or improve your juggling skills with the Portland Jugglers at the Kaul Auditorium at Reed College.
As you can see, the end of summer is just the beginning of a new kind of fun in Portland.