Summer is quickly approaching and there are many family-friendly Portland events in June that you should know about. There is always something to do here that everyone in the family is sure to enjoy. Our family loves to pick a few each month to put on the calendar. It give us something to look forward to, and some have become family traditions that we can’t imagine missing!
Honey Bee Hikes at Leach Botanical Gardens (Wednesdays)
Every Wednesday from 10-11 a.m. take your 2-5 year-olds to Leach Botanical Gardens Honey Bee Hikes. Explore the garden, look for wildlife, and visit the bees working in the Children’s Discovery Garden. There is also story time, and craft-making, with a different seasonal theme each week.
The Rose Festival
This Portland event has been going strong for over 100 years. It is full of activities for all ages, cultures, and tastes in one way or another. Here are just a handful of the festival activities our family loves. Be sure to check out the website for the entire list of events in June.
♦ City Fair (June 1-2, 7-9)
Enjoy entertainment, food, and rides on the waterfront. This runs for three consecutive weekends, and entry is free for ages six and under. The rides cost extra, and can be pricey in my opinion. For more information on the weekend events and where to buy your pass ahead of time click here.
♦ Starlight Run (June 1)
Bring out your best running costume for you and your group. and run (not for walkers) the 3.1 miles in front of about 250,000 spectators awaiting the Starlight Parade. Sound like your idea of fun? Register here.
♦ Starlight Parade (June 1)
What’s better than a parade? An illuminated, twinkly, light-up-the-night parade! I can’t wait to see this parade in all it’s nighttime glory.
♦ Junior Parade (June 5)
This Parade started in 1936, and is the oldest and largest children’s parade. Sign up with your kids to join in the fun. Dress up, decorate your wagon into a small float, or bring your furry friend along.
♦ Fleet Week (June 5-9)
The Portland Rose Festival is extremely fortunate to be one of the last few U.S. Ports of Call for visits from the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, and Royal Canadian Navy. The ships at Fleet Week are really a site to see! Lines can be long to walk through the ships, so be prepared for a wait, but it’s worth at least strolling by on the waterfront to see them.
♦ The Grand Floral Parade (June 8)
This is a beloved annual tradition in the Rose City. This year’s parade route HAS CHANGED, but it will still feature 16-all-floral floats (those alone are worth seeing), 13 all floral mini-floats, 13 marching bands, 22 equestrian units, as well as other special entries. Get up early and save your spot!
♦ Dragon Boat Races (June 8-9)
Bringing Chinese tradition to the waterfront for 27 years and counting, more than 80 teams compete in the dragon boat races held near the Hawthorne bridge. It’s a graceful, yet powerful event to witness. Bring the kids and cheer them on!
♦ Milk Carton Boat Races (June 23)
The Royal Rosarians Milk Carton Boat Race is one of our favorite Rose Festival events! This one is at West Moreland Park, just south of downtown, and free to attend and to enter. Children and adults race and show off their handmade, human-powered boats that float only by means of recycled milk cartons and jugs. Besides free entertainment there is always free milk, yogurt, and root beer floats.
The Festival of Flowers (through June 7)
We love going to see flowers transform Pioneer Courthouse Square, in the heart of downtown. The Festival of Flowers is one of Portland’s most renowned festivals. Each year, the Square works with a local artist or design firm to create a masterpiece of vibrant color utilizing nearly 20,000 flowers and plant material. Enjoy free performances at noon by local school groups and organizations, along with giveaways, and more!
Scandinavian Midsummer Celebration at Oaks Park (June 8)
Everyone is welcome at the Scandinavian Midsummer Festival. As anyone who’s been there before knows, it’s always a fun, family-friendly day filled with games, dancing, food, Nordic vendors and crafts, and of course, the raising of the Maypole.
Discounted Admission at the Zoo (June 11)
Second Tuesdays of each month at the Oregon Zoo are now called Twilight Tuesdays. Admission is only $9 per person after 4 p.m., and free for zoo members. The carousel and train will be offering rides for an additional charge. Zoo gates will close at 8 p.m. (instead of the standard summer hours of 6 p.m.), with grounds being open until 9 p.m. We always love a trip to the zoo!
Father’s Day/Weekend Activities
♦ Fathers at the Arial Tram (June 16)
There will be kids crafts, face painting (I hope this is for the dads), and a photo booth for family pictures. After the activities take a ride up in the tram to enjoy the beautiful view of the city. The tram is open from 9-5 and little ones under 6 ride free with a paying adult.
♦ Berries, Brews & BBQs (June 16)
Head out of the city for two things dad loves, BBQ and beer at the French Prairie Gardens. There is free admission and free parking. Activities for everyone to enjoy include u-pick strawberries, tractor wagon rides, tube slide/tire pile, hand-pump duck races, barns with farm animals, pig barrel train rides, beer tasting in the covered event area and live music. Some activities require ticket purchase.
Tigard Festival of Balloons (June 21-23)
Experience the majestic fields and a sky full of hot air balloons at the Tigard Festival of Balloons. There will be food, crafts, a carnival fun center, live music and a beer garden for the adults. It’s a fun event with a good cause, raising money for many local nonprofits.
Lincoln City Kite Festival (June 22-23)
I love getting away to the beach; it’s my happy place. Pair that with a sky full of beautiful kites, fun activities, and it’s a win-win. The weekend festival includes kite flying demonstrations by experts, free kite-making for kids, running of the bols, and some of the most colorful “big” kites in the world!
11th Annual Lavender Festival (June 29-30)
The Clackamas County Lavender Festival features music, food, beer and wine tasting, local vendors and fun for the kids. Enjoy a stroll through the beautiful, purple lavender fields with a majestic view of Mt. Hood in the distance.
Sunday Parkways (Starting June 30)
An awesome time to ride your bike through each section of the city over the course of the summer and fall while having the streets closed to car traffic. This is a safe and fun way to stroll through other neighborhoods and parts of the city you may not have been to before. For more information, visit Sunday Parkways.
Any events in June we missed that you love to attend? Share them in the comments!