Summer may have taken its time getting here, but now the sun’s out, so get those buns out (of the house)! And what better way to experience summer than by doing something fun and free? Don’t miss these 20 events for the whole family happening this month.

Photo courtesy of Brit Forbes Photography

Light up the sky. One of the summer’s favorite holidays kicks off this month: July 4! Start off the month with a bang! If you’ve got littles with an early bedtime, there’s a free daytime celebration and concert at Beaverton’s Veterans Memorial Park and a festive parade and live music — and a pie-eating contest! — at Millennium Plaza Park in Lake Oswego. (And at 10 pm in Lake Oswego’s Foothills Park, there’s a free laser show!) If you’re looking for the traditional aerial celebration, view fireworks from the Eastbank Esplanade, Mount Tabor or the International Rose Test Garden. For more Fourth fun (some free, some not), see our full Family-Friendly Fourth list here.

Photo courtesy of Portland Opera

Belt it out. Don’t miss the talented artists of Portland Opera as they do a mini live performance at Pioneer Courthouse Square from noon to 1 pm on July 7.

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Sleepover time. Give your kid’s favorite stuffie an overnight adventure during the Stuffed Animal Campout at Cedar Mill Library. Just drop off their stuffie on July 9 and the staff will make sure they have a blast in the library (and send photos!).

Party in the library. Head to Bethany Library for the Bethany Village Summer Concert on July 13 and July 27. There’s live music, plus, get a fun temporary tattoo, a grab-and-go craft and sign up for summer reading.

Photo courtesy of Portland Parks & Recreation

Celebrate Summer. Meet at Ventura Park in Hazelwood on July 9-10 for Portland Parks & Recreation’s first annual East Portland Summer Arts Festival. The two-day event will feature headliner, Esperanza Spalding (who was born and raised in Portland), art activities, dance demos and more.

All the world’s a stage. Visit Beaverton City Park on July 9 to catch 10 spectacular performances — all happening on a 4’x4′ stage.

On your mark, get set, go! Portland Parks & Recreation’s 5K Series Fun Run takes place July 10 at Columbia Park. Stick around for raffle prizes, music, face paint, crafts, vendors and bananas! Free for 17 and younger and only $5 for 18 and older.

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Slurp it up. It’s 7/11, which means free slurpees!

Free for all. Thanks to PP&R, there are 18 fun-for-the-whole-family performances happening this month at parks all across the city.

Take a dip. It’s free Metro parking day! Take advantage on July 15 by cooling off at Oxbow Regional Park.

Photo courtesy of Blueline Studios

Go medieval. The Sherwood Robin Hood Festival from July 15-16 features medieval reenactments, a parade (with lots of candy-catching opportunities), a castle-building contest, a kids’ area, vendors, food and more.

Get crafty. Peruse the talents of more than 120 local artists during the Gresham Arts Festival on July 16. There’s also tasty food and good music.

Photo courtesy of Cathedral Park Jazz Festival

Support local jazz. Revel in the music at the Cathedral Park Jazz Festival on July 15-17 in St. Johns.

Park time. Celebrate Tualatin Hills Parks and Recreation District’s grand opening of Parivar Park on July 20. There’ll be a DJ spinning tunes, prize drawings and other fun, family activities!

Step right up. The Washington County Fair is back! Head to Hillsboro from July 22-31 to see prize-winning livestock, eat fair food, go on carnival rides and more.

Photo courtesy of Pearson Field Education Center

Take flight. Take off to the Pearson Field Education Center at Fort Vancouver for Open Saturdays — free aviation-related STEM activities for kids!

Avengers assemble! Have your kids dress up as their favorite superhero or princess for Enchanted Family Days at parks in the Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District. They’ll be character meet-and-greets, themed activities, music, treats and giveaways!

Photo courtesy Mick Hangland

Beat the heat. Cool off in the Willamette at Poet’s Beach on the South Waterfront. And find more family-friendly spots to cool off here.

Let the good times roll. If you’re looking to stay cool during some friendly competition, head to more than five bowling alleys in the Portland area for a summer of free bowling! Register your kiddo (ages 2 to 15) here.

Play date. Looking to expand your (and your kids’) social circle? BIPOC families can visit NE Swap & Play on Tuesdays from 9 am-11 am for free indoor play. Vaccinated and masked adults only. Play groups are for children ages 0 to 4.

Looking for more fun things to do with kids near you? Check out Kids Calendar or our Summer of Fun Calendar with our editors’ daily event picks.

PDX Parent Staff
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