July Guide to Family-Friendly Events in Portland

With school ending in the middle of June this year, it feels like July is the real start of summer in Portland. Here’s a list of some of the family-friendly things taking place this month in Portland and our surrounding areas.

Free Eventsbrass band; portland events july

  • Free Admission at the Portland Children’s Museum (July 7). Every first Friday, Target sponsors free admission to the children’s museum from 4 – 8 p.m.
  • Lake Oswego Millennium Concert Band (July 3 at 7 p.m.) at Millennium Plaza Park in Lake Oswego. This free concert features patriotic music and a “USO Style Performance.”
  • Portland’5 Centers for the Arts Events Arts on Main and Noontime Showcase (Wednesdays starting July 5, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.) Musical performances, kids’ art booths, and local artisans turn downtown Portland’s Main Street between Broadway and Park into Art Street. Bring a brown bag lunch for the noontime showcase performances which feature local talent.
  • Concerts in the Park (multiple days and locations throughout Portland during July and August), Local musical talent and local food vendors featured at free outdoor concerts all around Portland.
  • Music on the Green (Wednesday evenings starting July 5, 6:30-8:30 p.m.) Find family-friendly music, ice cream, and adult beverages for mom or dad in Sherwood.
  • Noon Tunes Summer Concert Series (Tuesdays starting July 11) Musical performers team up with local sports teams and organizations for lunchtime concerts at Pioneer Courthouse Square during July and August.
  • Flicks on the Bricks (July 21 & 28) Watch family favorite films at Pioneer Courthouse Square. Guardians of the Galaxy (PG-13) and The Little Mermaid (G) are this month’s movies.

Independenportland events in julyce Day Events

  • Oaks Park 4th of July Spectacular (Sellwood) Picnic spots are free, but get there early to claim your space for viewing fireworks.  The park will also have extended rides and rollerskating on Independence Day.
  • Fort Vancouver (Vancouver, WA) A patriotic parade, huge fireworks display over the Columbia River, and demonstrations about 1860s Vancouver make this a special spot for 4th of July fun.
  • Tom McCall Waterfront Park (Downtown) Lasting over 20 minutes, it’s the largest fireworks display in Oregon. You can pay admission to the Waterfront Blues Festival or do what we did and scope out a spot outside the festival for decent fireworks viewing and catching snippets of the blues performances on the breeze.
  • St. Paul Rodeo (St. Paul, OR) Go for the rodeo and stay for the fireworks. Other rodeo days run June 30-July 4.

Check your local municipality’s website to see if other firework displays are planned near you, as many Portland metro cities have their own fireworks displays. I  also suggest viewing the larger firework displays at Mt. Tabor Park, Sellwood Park, or elevated areas like the Willamette bridges and Council Crest. Here’s a list of prime viewing spots from last year.

Festivals and Fairsportland events july

  • Mississippi Street Fair (July 8 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.). Take in the dunk tank, the rib-off competition, and performances on multiple stages along Mississippi Avenue.
  • Oregon Lavender Farm Tour (July 8-9) See and smell the lavender in full bloom at 23 participating farms around Oregon. Each location has special activities and events to celebrate all that lavender has to offer.
  • Portland Highland Games (July 15) Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham celebrates Scots Highland heritage with kids’ games, a fun run, physical agility competitions, and a Piobaireachd bagpipe competition.
  • Gresham Arts Festival (July 14-15) A kids’ village, live art demonstrations, and music showcase the Gresham art scene.
  • Sherwood Robin Hood Festival (Festival July 14-15, Archery July 15-16) Featuring a parade, a family stage, and medieval entertainment, this festival in Sherwood is sure to satisfy your little Robin Hood or Maid Marian.
  • Division/Clinton Street Fair (July 22 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.) Beginning with a parade, this fair features neighborhood organizations, vendors, and cuisine.
  • Canterbury Renaissance Faire (July 22-23 and July 29-30). Learn about blacksmithing, sword fighting, and archery or play medieval kids’ games during this two-weekend festival in Silverton. Period costumes are encouraged but not required.
  • Northeast Portland Sunday Parkways (July 23) Ride or stroll through Portland neighborhoods closed off to vehicle traffic.
  • hula dancersThree Days of Aloha (July 27-28) This festival highlights Hawaiian and Polynesian culture with hula dancing lessons and competitions, a 5K Fun Run, Polynesian and Hawaiian food, and keiki (kids) activities at Esther Short Park in Vancouver.
  • Washington County Fair (July 27-30) Get your carnival fix with rides, games, exhibits, and everything else you could want from a county fair in Hillsboro.
  • Portland Mermaid Parade (July 29 12 p.m.) Una the Mermaid presents this second annual, family-friendly, gender neutral, and body-positive event celebrating ocean mythology and water festivals from around the world at Japanese American Historical Plaza near the Steel Bridge.

This is the month to pack your folding chair and your water bottle and head out for some summer fun. I know we’ll go to several of these events; maybe we’ll see you there!

Summer Fun


{Featured image photo credit: Flickr}



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One Response to July Guide to Family-Friendly Events in Portland

  1. Donna June 30, 2016 at 10:00 am #

    You have certainly found a lot of activities 🙂