August?! Already?! In this final full month of summer, Portland really shines. There are street fairs galore, cultural explorations, music and dance, theater, movies, and active fun. And best of all? All this stuff is free. Check out some of our top picks for free family-friendly Portland fun below.

Credit: City of Tualatin Parks & Recreation

Get in your outdoor screen time. Does it even count as screen time if you’re watching it outside? Nah. Come check out one of PP&R’s summer free for all movies at parks all across town. We’ve also added them to our popular Kids Calendar, plus movies in parks farther afield, such as Lake Oswego, Vancouver and more.

Visit farm animals. Join Farmer Kat at Topaz farm every Tuesday for a free animal walk!

Get festive at Washington Park. Don’t miss the Washington Park Summer Festival, August 5-7!

Have fun on Fremont. Your littles will love the Kid Zone at Freemont Fest Marketplace on August 6.

Fun stinks. Speaking of festivals, don’t miss the Elephant Garlic Festival on August 12-13.

Don’t miss the India Festival. This family-friendly celebration gets bigger every year. Head to Pioneer Courthouse Square on August 14 for the fun.

Can’t get enough festivals? Multnomah Days is happening August 20!

We can’t stop. Check out yet another celebration — Gladstone Community Festival.

Transportation enthusiasts unite! Big Truck Day is coming to Conestoga Recreation and Aquatic Center on August 6.

Try a new park. Visit one of these amazing playgrounds.. 

Too hot? Then hit up a playground with lots of tree cover. These local playgrounds offer lots of opportunity to run and climb, while staying cool in the shade.

Or go to a splash pad. Revisit an old standby or find a new favorite in our roundup. 

Spend the day at the lake. Head to Blue Lake Regional Park for Summer Fun Days on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 11 am-2 pm through August 4. There’s free parking, free lunch for kids ages 18 and younger, and nature education and crafts, games and activities.

Speaking of parks … Enjoy free parking at Oxbow, Blue Lake, Broughton Beach, M. James Gleason Memorial Boat Ramp and Chinook Landing Marine Park on August 18, thanks to Oregon Metro. And get free entrance to national parks on August 4 (visit Crater Lake National Park and Lewis and Clark National Historic Park).

Spend Thursdays at Ledding Library. Performers and activities and free lunch! August 4, 11, 18 and 25.

Enjoy Summer Free for All. It’s the last month to catch free lunch+play, concerts and cultural events and more. Huge thanks to Portland Parks and Rec for making summers so magical.

Take a hike. We’ve gathered some of our favorites here.

Go by bike. Join a slide ride with clowns Olive & Dingo, explore east Portland during Sunday Parkways, or children can join the Providence Bridge Pedal & Stride Kids Pedal, a free 3-mile ride over the Hawthorne and Steel bridges. Plus check out our roundup of kid-friendly bike paths.

Take a dip. Portland Parks and Recreation opens up its pools for free open swims across the city. Check out the schedule here, and look for the words “free of charge.”

Do some free back-to-school shopping. This month’s Really Really Free Market is happening August 27. Give what you can, take what you need, no money, no trade. Everything 100% free!

Get free admission for your young rockhounds. Now through October 2, all Oregon youth get free admission to the Rice Museum of Rocks and Minerals.

Have fun at the market. There will be family-friendly crafts, activities, a scavenger hunt, photo booth, bubble machine and more at Kids’ Day at Woodstock Farmers Market on August 14.

Get on your soapbox. Teams of soapbox car enthusiasts from around Portland can spend months building their contraptions to race in the annual Portland Adult Soapbox Derby in Mt Tabor. While we don’t recommend having kids race the cars, it’s a lot of fun to watch.

Explore a new library. Check out one of these destination libraries around Portland. Whether it’s fun interactive play areas, lovely grounds, creative hands-on opportunities or impressive architecture, they each offer something unique and fun.

Read with the Bookmobile Babe. Join the Bookmobile Babe every Tuesday and Thursday from noon to 1:30 p.m. at Lents Park, through August 18, for a free reading event (read-aloud + art activity). They’ll also be at Gateway Discovery Park on August 3 and 10, from 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Looking for even more fun? Check out our popular Kids Calendar.

PDX Parent Staff
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