Summer officially arrives this month, along with the end of school. There is a lot to look forward to! But how to enjoy this lovely month without breaking the bank? We’ve put together 20 ways below.

  1. Party with us! Don’t miss our PDX Parent Celebrates with City event at Oaks Park on Saturday, June 22. Enjoy great musicians, kid activities, family fun, and giveaways.
  2. Celebrate LGBTQ +  Pride! Hillsboro’s all-ages Pride Celebration is June 1, 12 pm-7 pm and features live music and entertainment, a plethora of community resources, and all-ages activities. Poison Waters will emcee in the afternoon!
  3. Explore nature. During Metro’s Free Parking Day, parking fees are waived at all your favorite Metro parks. Think Oxbow, Blue Lake, Broughton Beach, and others. This month, parks are free on June 20. It’s a great excuse to check out the new nature play areas at Oxbow Regional Park.
  4. Hit the market. Did somebody say strawberries? Head to your local farmers market to taste your way through the delicious vendor offerings.
  5. Enjoy a night-time parade. The Starlight Parade has marching bands, floats, glow-in-the-dark umbrellas and more—all while highlighting Portland’s diverse community groups. Plus come on—a parade at night? How cool is that! This year’s parade takes place on June 1.
  6. Sign up for your local summer reading programs. Worried about your kids forgetting everything they learned at school the past year during summer break? The summer reading program keeps kids motivated to read and learn all summer long. Sign up for free to get a game board, encouraging your kids to read for a certain number of minutes or do a reading-related activity. At stops along the way, they can pick out a toy, book or coupon for local fun. At the end, they get a free t-shirt or onesie. Here’s the link for Multnomah County, Clackamas County, Washington County, and Clark County’s programs.
  7. Tap into your inner archaeologist. Learn about archaeology while participating in hands-on activities as part of this free program. This year’s Archaeology Roadshow takes place on PSU’s campus on June 1.
  8. Climb aboard. Say thank you to a sailor, climb aboard a ship for a free tour, or just be awed by the size of these massive vessels. Fleet Week coincides with the Rose Festival, and will take place June 5-9 this year.
  9. Go au natural. Take a break from the monkey bars! Climb, scamper and dig in all-natural materials like wood at one of these new nature playgrounds.
  10. Try out a new playground. There are playgrounds. And then there are these playgrounds. These ones are unique and utterly wow-worthy—totally worth the trip.
  11. Go for a dip. Portland Parks & Recreation offers free swim times on weekdays throughout the summer, beginning June 18. Find the free summer swim schedule here.
  12. Take to the streets. Take the kids bike riding at one of these family-friendly bike riding events (many are free).
  13. Enjoy a free lunch. Portland Parks & Rec’s Free Lunch & Play begins on June 17. Your kids will get free lunch at parks around town, along with sports, games and arts & crafts activities. Find the schedule here.
  14. Make (and see) art. Vancouver’s Recycled Arts Festival celebrates waste reduction, reuse and recycling in an artistic, family-friendly environment. Check out local bands, make recycled instruments and arts & crafts and more. The festival takes place June 29-30 in Esther Short Park.
  15. Go for a swim adventure. Is it warm enough yet? Is it warm enough yet? Check out one of these local swimming holes for a break from the heat.
  16. Volunteer! Try one of these family-friendly volunteering opportunities; or read a recap of one family’s experience helping out at The Children’s Book Bank and sign up for a group volunteering session.
  17. Get those little toes tapping. The Little Ears free concerts for children series wraps up its 2019 season with Red Yarn on June 18. Catch him and the critters at 10 am at The Old Church.
  18. Celebrate diversity and strengthen community. Catch the Good in the Hood festival at King School Park on June 21-23. There will be music, multicultural food, kids’ activities, and a parade.
  19. Support and celebrate local refugees. PDX World Refugee Day is Saturday, June 29 at Lents Park. There will be performances and kids’ activities, plus food carts and a refugee marketplace.
  20. Maaa-ke memories. Sure you can see the Belmont goats all year long—but you’ve gotta admit it’s nice to visit them without getting rained on. Find out all the details you need here.

For more great ideas, check our Summer of Fun calendar of 92 daily activities!

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Michelle Carew
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