The sun has (finally) arrived in Portland! But whatever the weather, there is so much to do in Portland in the spring! And the great news is that this May, there are plenty of family-friendly events — that are fun and free.
Enjoy the classics. Head to the Tualatin Public Library on Sunday, May 7 for a performance by Classical Up Close. Comprising the talented Oregon Symphony musicians, these 45-minute concerts are a fun way to introduce classical music and orchestra instruments to children of all ages. Even better, your littles are encouraged to clap, dance or respond to the music in whatever way brings them joy.
Clean up. Help your kids earn money and get organized by selling their old toys to consignment shops.
Go on a quest. Join Music Quest at Hammer + Jacks new, indoor play space on Monday, May 8 with a special performance from 10:30-11:15 am. There will be fun songs, groovy dancing, and a joke or two. (Donations appreciated.)
Free comics! Score some free comics from six shops around, all participating in Comic Book Day on the first Saturday in May — this year, that’s May 6. Many shops are also hosting fun activities, like readings, author meet-and-greets, games, free food and more.
Fiesta time. Celebrate Cinco de Mayo at the Rockwood Market Hall in Southeast. There will be live music from Guadalajara and breathtaking performances by the Ballet Folklorico. Be sure to peruse local vendor booths offering handmade gifts, jewelry, face painting, cotton candy, and more.
Hit the market. May means it’s officially Farmers Market season again, with markets opening back up or extending their hours.
Grow a garden. Check out plants, flowers and more at the Annual Camas Plant & Garden Fair on Saturday, May 13 from 9 am to 4 pm. Don’t miss the Kids’ Zone including garden activities, petting zoo and face painting.
The truth is out there. Calling all fans of the extraterrestrial! The delightfully weird UFO Festival in McMinnville is back and features a spooky UFO parade, speaker panels on all things alien, live music, a family-friendly 5K and a pet costume contest. Friday and Saturday, May 19-20.
Have a playground adventure. Visit one of these Portland-area destination playgrounds.
For the birds. Learn about local birds at Portland Audubon. Meet the nonprofit’s famed educational birds, check out the Wildlife Care Center and see the interpretive displays. If the weather is nice, take advantage of the sun with a walk along nearby trails to explore Forest Park and Balch Creek.
Get crafty. Head to the Beaverton Home Depot location for its annual kids workshop party. This pirate-themed celebration features special guests, entertainment, and more. And kiddos will make a Mother’s Day planter just in time to give to mom.
Coloring time. Celebrate the launch of a fun new coloring book, Creatchers in Ayaland, created by 8-year-old Aya. Held at Hammer + Jacks the book launch party will feature an artist signing, a kid’s community mural coloring project, and free balloons and stickers to the first 25 children.
Hear a story. Foster a love of reading and books during a fun story time. There are several free ones throughout the Portland area, tailored for young readers from littles to tweens.
Roll out. Don’t miss the first Sunday Parkways of the season! It’s held at Gateway Discovery Park, Ventura Park and Lincoln City Park. So, grab your bike, skates, stroller, or just your walking shoes for this family-friendly event. There’s also free entertainment and activities throughout the day at each park.
Hop around Hillsboro. On May 2 from 5-8 pm, head to Hillsboro for its First Tuesday Art Walk in downtown. Check out local art, plus, there’s live music, activities and food.
Go by bike. Try one of our recommended kid-friendly bike paths!
Trivial pursuits. From Scrabble to Super Mario, the 4th Wall on Hawthorne is the place to be for the gamer in your family. On Wednesdays from 6-9 pm, there’s Nintendo Game Night and for board game fans, there’s Tabletop Thursday, also 6-9 pm. And if cartoons are your family’s thing, each Saturday, the cafe and lounge hold Saturday Morning Cartoons — screened on a 150″ projector — from 8 am to 3 pm.
Manga time. For tweens and teens who love manga, this weekly event is for them. Drop them off at the Woodburn Public Library every Monday at 4 pm, where they can talk about their favorite manga, watch anime, meet new people and work on fun
Read to Rover. Kids will love reading to therapy dogs. Head a library near you for this adorable opportunity.
Baby talk. Socialize your baby, while also getting in some much-needed adult conversation during the Baby Morning Meet-ups at the Lake Oswego Library. This weekly event takes place on Fridays from 10 am to noon.
City reunion. Portland’s favorite festival is back! The Portland Rose Festival kicks off with a bright fireworks display choreographed to music on Friday, May 26. Don’t forget a blanket to sit on!
Scavenge the city. For a competitive, but fun adventure, have your family participate in the Rose Festival Treasure Hunt. Look for hidden clues for prizes in this city-wide scavenger hunt. Clues released online daily.