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.
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.
Check out a street fair. Wow, so many street fairs coming up this month! You can explore Fremont, Lents, Alberta, Multnomah Village and the Hawthorne neighborhoods as they fill their streets with crafts, artisans, food, games, freebies and more. Check out all the upcoming street fairs here.
Bring the crew to Fun in the Park in Wilsonville. The annual Fun in the Park festival offers kids activities, crafts, inflatables, music, a petting zoo, and food vendors at Town Center Park. August 3, 10 am-4 pm.
Go fish. Head to Blue Lake Regional Park for free fishing lessons on Thursdays, from 10 am-noon through August 7. Gear is provided and kids under 12 fish for free. Plus, there’s free parking when entering from 10 am-1 pm on event days, free lunch at noon for kids ages 18 and younger, and nature education and crafts, games and activities (Tuesday-Thursday). Learn about Blue Lake summer fun here.
Get your groove on. Head to Director Park on the weekend of August 2 to take part in everything dance with the Polaris Galaxy Dance Festival. You can check out dance performances, and take part in free dance classes of all genres. Fun for all ages and all abilities.
Learn about a new culture. There are many, many cultural festivals going on around town this month. Check out the India Festival, Festa Italiana, the Pan-African Festival, the Middle East Festival and more. See our calendar or Fairs and Festivals page for more information.
Go by bike. Explore the Green Loop (Downtown/Central Eastside Portland) during Sunday Parkways on August 25. Streets will be closed to traffic for this 7-mile rolling bike parade. Enjoy the festivities with family activities, vendors and lots more, from 11 am-4 pm.
Take in the classics. Hear the members of the Portland Festival Symphony play their annual series of free concerts at some of Portland’s most beloved parks. The festival includes music by Vivaldi, Mozart, Beethoven and others. See them August 10 at Laurelhurst Park and August 11 at Peninsula Park.
Take a dip. Portland Parks and Recreation opens up its pools for free open swims across the city Mondays through Fridays throughout the summer. Check out the schedule here.
Do some back-to-school shopping, plus entertain the kids (win-win). Columbia Gorge Outlets in Troutdale hosts their Adventure Kids Club the first Saturday of every month from 9 am-10 am. On August 3, the theme is All About Dogs; Adventure Kids Club includes character meet-and-greet, dress up, and snacks! You can also head over to Club Bridgeport in Bridgeport Village in Tigard, which runs Wednesdays from 11 am-12:30 pm. Join them for hands-on kids activities and demonstrations, like a visit from Mary Poppins, a show with Mad Science, archery with Cabela’s, or a puppet show. Check the schedule to see each Wednesday’s theme and activities.
Fossilize this. The Northwest Fossil Fest takes place at the Rice NW Museum of Rocks and Minerals in Hillsboro on August 10. You can hear lectures, check out exhibits, and take part in lots of kids activities, including screening for shark teeth, a fossil hunt and other educational games. Plus you’ll gain free entry into the museum.
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 on Saturday, August 17.
Have a blast with STEM. At the grand opening of Code Ninjas in Tigard, kids can explore coding, robotic battling, and drones, plus there will be treats, prizes and raffles. The West Linn High School Robotics Team will bring their huge robot, too! Saturday, August 17. Sign up here.
Celebrate Street Roots newspaper. Street Roots is holding a street party to celebrate their 20th anniversary on Sunday, August 18 on NW Davis Street. It’s a family-friendly event with music, food from Laughing Planet and Toro Bravo, Stumptown cold brew, and a kids’ art area. Note: this event date was changed from Saturday, August 17.
Eat, Dance, Love. Enjoy free music during your lunch hour as part of the Portland’5 Summer Arts on Main Street program. Performances happen every Wednesday from 12 pm-1 pm, but head over at 11 am to take part in children’s activities and check out local vendors selling their wares. Other options for summer music include Noon Tunes in Pioneer Square (held on Tuesdays at, well, noon), and PP&R’s extensive summer concert series.
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.
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. Movies include Moana, Coco, Dumbo and Up among many others. Here’s the full schedule.