By Ali, Westmoreland mom to Grady (2) and Clara (2 months) and co-owner and publisher of PDX Kids Calendar.
Although you would never be able to tell now with the torrential rain currently bouncing off our windows, we did get a taste of that glorious Portland summer last week – bright blue skies, warm sun, and lots and lots and lots to do! We are lucky to live in the Sellwood-Moreland area, which is always brimming with kid-friendly activities. And come summer, this area ups the ante with loads of outdoor fun. Below is a list of some of our favorites. I’ve also included a few options outside the Southeast if you’re feeling adventurous. For even more ideas, you can check out PDX Kids Calendar’s summer fun guide.
Portland Summer Free For All – Every summer Portland rolls out movies and music in venues across the city. This year at Sellwood Park we can look forward to The Zookeeper on July 22 and The Muppets (2011) on August 5. The 2011 remake of Footloose will be playing at Brookyln Park on August 4 and Mars Needs Moms will be playing at Woodstock Park on August 14. For all movies, entertainment starts at 6:30 and movies start at dusk. On the music front, there’s a musician every Monday in July at the Sellwood Riverfront Park (over by Oaks Bottom) at 6:30. We’ll be treated to funk, Brazilian dance music, and more. There’s music going on somewhere in Portland every day of the week in July and August, so if you’re willing to explore you’re in for a treat!
Theater – On September 1-3, Portland Actors Ensemble performs the summer tradition of Shakespeare in the Park at a park near us – Reed College. They are performing the comedy Twelfth Night. Shows are at 3 and are free. They are also performing Hamlet this season at parks a bit further away.
Festivals – For those new to the area, the biggest summer extravaganza in our neighborhood is Sundae in the Park, held the first Sunday in August from 12 to 4. Think cheap ice cream, kid-friendly musicians, activities, and easy access to the best playground in Portland. But there are some other wonderful festivals around town if you’re willing to travel. The Washington Park Summer Festival is from August 2-12 and features lots of different types of music, all for free. Or if you’re interested in something a little… different, the Pirate Festival is Labor Day weekend in St. Helens, and is basically just what you think it is. There are also festivals around balloons, strawberries, and of course – beer!
Sunday Parkways – Sunday Parkways is when the city closes off traffic in a neighborhood and lets the people roam free! In addition to car-free streets, there are lots of booths, music, and other entertainment for the family. The Southeast parkway is August 26.
Street Fairs – It’s kind of amazing how many street fairs there are in Portland in the summer! Unfortunately, there isn’t a Sellwood-Moreland street fair YET. We should get on that in all our spare time. But in the meantime, check out some of our favorites – Mississippi (July 14), Fremont (August 4), Alberta (August 11), and Hawthorne (August 26).
Hope to see you at many of these, kids in tow!