February—with its customary gray skies and rain—is here. But don’t let the dreariness get you down. There are several family-friendly events and activities in Portland this month.

Whether you are looking for indoor activities or outdoor explorations, here are 15+ fun things to do with kids in Portland this February — all for free!

We’ve made every effort to confirm this information, but always double check with the organization before heading out!


See the light. One of the brightest parts of February in Portland is the annual the Portland Winter Light Festival. Don’t miss illuminated art installations, kinetic fire sculptures and stand-out performances from February 3-11. This year’s theme, The Light of Stars, was inspired by the truly astounding images the James Webb Telescope brought to the world in July 2022. Take the family on a light scavenger hunt in downtown spots like Pioneer Courthouse Square as well as in farther-out neighborhoods like Lents.

Courtesy of Timothy Niou Photography

Hear a symphony storytime. This series of virtual storytimes features a reader from the library who will tell stories while an Oregon Symphony musician brings them to life with live music.

Courtesy Oregon Symphony

Watch African films. Celebrate Black history and culture with spectacular films from February 3 through March 4. The 33rd Annual Cascade Festival of African Films: Africa Through African Lenses is a hybrid virtual and in-person film festival at the Portland Community College Cascade campus, as well as at Hollywood Theater.

Min Alesh? directed by Amleset Muchie, courtesy Cascade Festival of African Films

Catch ’em all. Celebrate Mardi Gras New Orleans at the annual Portland Mardi Gras parade thrown by the Mysti Krewe of Nimbus on Tuesday, February 21 starting at  7 pm. The community is invited to dress up and dance along with the second line at this family-friendly nighttime parade in the Mississippi neighborhood. Lucky parade goers might even catch a mini umbrella  “throw” from Krewe members. Many neighborhood restaurants will be offering food and drinks specials before and after the parade. The parade starts on North Humboldt Street and proceeds down Mississippi Avenue to Cook Street.

Courtesy of the Mysti Krewe of Nimbus

Look for love. Go on a heart scavenger hunt at Wilsonville parks! Find all seven of Cupid’s Hearts around Wilsonville City parks and facilities and be entered to win a gift basket! The free scavenger hunt runs until Sunday, February 12 (gift basket winners will be announced on Monday, February 13.) Pro tip: You’ll get a bonus entry if you send a photo of your search. You’ll find the clues posted on the Wilsonville Parks & Recreation website, and its Facebook and Instagram (@WilsonvilleParksandRec).

Courtesy of Wilsonville Parks & Recreation

Take an art walk. Join the First Tuesday Art Walk in Downtown Hillsboro. February 7, 5-8 pm. Check out local galleries and art spaces, enjoy live music, participate in family-friendly activities and more.

Celebrate Black excellence. February is Black History Month and there are fabulous local events and festivities spotlighting Black history, culture and more. World Stage Theatre, a multi-cultural, multi-generational organization is back in person this year with its annual, month-long Black History Festival NW. Free events include the festival’s kickoff celebration and art installation; voiceover acting talk with Adrienne Livingston; youth-created displays at various Multnomah County libraries; a flash mob dance; and How Well Do You Know Your Black History gameshow.

Courtesy of Shawnte Sims

Learn about local birds at the Audubon Society Nature Sanctuary. Meet the nonprofit’s famed educational birds, check out the Wildlife Care Center, and see the interpretive displays. If the weather cooperates, walk along nearby trails to explore Forest Park and Balch Creek.

Courtesy of Portland Audubon

Skip the parking fee. February 16 and February 20 are Metro’s Free Parking Days. Enjoy free parking at Oxbow and Blue Lake regional parks, Broughton Beach, M. James Gleason Memorial Boat Ramp, and Chinook Landing Marine Park. Looking for more winter hike locales? Here’s five!

Courtesy Jessica Becker

Take a walk. While there are lots of fabulous paid walking tours in the city, you can take a self-guided Walking with Ramona Tour for free!

Join a read in. Celebrate Black History Month at the North Portland library during its African American Read In on Saturday, February 18 from 1-3 pm. Join community members, teachers and students as they read from their favorite works by African American writers. And bring your favorite book, poems and more along, too! On Saturday, February 25, the library will also host a Black Resistance Storytime for babies and preschoolers.

Visit a bookshop event. Maggie Mae’s Kids Bookshop is hosting a special book clubs and events, including a Galentine Book Swap, Middle Grade Book Club, Virtual You + Me Book Club and more. See all the events on their Facebook page. Find more storytime events here!

Courtesy of Maggie Mae’s Bookshop

Plan a fun outing. Local library systems offer free and discounted passes to popular museums and attractions. Find your library system here to see where you can go.

Create a podcast. Got a great idea you want to share on the airwaves? Make your own podcast with your kids.

Share the love. Enjoy the fresh winter air and a walk in Tualatin’s parks and trails as you search for one of the 175 hand-blown glass hearts by Tacoma-based artist Timothy Jaquet. And finders keepers! The glass hearts will be placed in City of Tualatin parks and trails throughout the month of February. 

Courtesy of the City of Tualatin Parks & Recreation
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