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Parks & Recreation Celebrates Summer with Nearly 200 Free Events

Wednesday, July 08, 2015


The “Summer Free For All” began near the end of June and features 57 free concerts, the Washington Park Summer Festival, 49 free “Movies in the Park,” 40 rock climbing sessions, and 44 sites for the “Summer Lunch and Playground Program.” Photo Credit: Portland's Parks & Recreation (Image Cropped)

Portland’s Parks & Recreation team is serving Portland with nearly 200 free events during the “Summer Free For All” program. 

The “Summer Free For All” began near the end of June and features 57 free concerts, the Washington Park Summer Festival, 49 free “Movies in the Park,” 40 rock climbing sessions, and 44 sites for the “Summer Lunch and Playground Program.”

The summer lunch program anticipates serving more than 111,000 healthy and free lunches to children in Portland. Not only do the children get to eat a healthy meal, but the events will also include sports, games, family fun, and a chance to make it to the top of the rock climbing wall.

Locals are not the only ones excited for the multitude of free events. Portland Parks & Recreation Director Mike Abbaté eagerly commented, “So many neighborhood associations, partners, sponsors and volunteers have pitched in to make possible the dozens of great movies, concerts, games, crafts and 111,000 free, healthy lunches.  They make life better for all of us.”

There’s quite a lot of things about the “Summer Free For All” to be excited about. However, here are some of the events that the Parks & Recreation team feel are the most “unique.”

On Wednesday, July 8th, Legacy Emanuel Medical Center Presents: Music-Community-Legacy - Remembering Janice & Linda.  This concert features the musicians Normal Sylvester and LaRhonda Steele who will perform in honor of the late Janice Scroggins and Linda Hornbuckle. The concerts will take place at Dawson Park, N. Stanton & Williams, at 6:30pm.

Next, on Sunday, July 12th, there will be a special showing of The Book of Life (El Libro de La Vida) in Spanish. This film is being presented at Glenhave Park, NE 82nd and Siskiyou, at dusk.

Of course, it wouldn’t be Portland if there weren’t something special done in honor of The Goonies and its 30th anniversary. So on Sunday, July 19th, the movie will be shown at dusk at Lents Park, SE 92nd and Holgate.

Another great event begins Friday, August 7th, at the Washington Summer Park Festival. Kicking of the eight-day event is the Army Band in the Oregon National Guard, Brass Ops, playing New Orlean-style jazz, military marches, and other popular music. The kick off begins at 6pm in the Washington Park outdoor amphitheater. 

To learn about other fun and free events, complete schedules for the playground sites for lunches, outdoor concerts, movie showings, and rock climbing sessions, are posted on the Parks & Recreation website. 

Homepage Photo Credit: Portland's Parks & Recreation


Related Slideshow: 20 Fun and Free Things to do with Kids This Summer

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1. Movies in the Park

This summer, Portland’s Parks & Recreation team continues its free "Movies in the Park" program. So on Wednesday, July 8th, get your fill of Gru and his Minions and watch Despicable Me 2 at Peninsula Park. 

Peninsula Park, 700 N. Rosa Parks Way. Wednesday, July 8th, pre-movie entertainment begins at 6:30pm and movies begin at dusk. 

Photo Credit: IMDB (Image Cropped)

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2. Sherwood Robin Hood Festival

Grab your kids and take a trip back to medieval times during the Sherwood Robin Hood Festival. This year, there will be a family stage featuring re-enactments, sword fights, and appearances from the “real” Maid Marian and Robin Hood and his Merry Men. Festival admission is free. Monitor the festival's site to learn details as they’re made available. 

The blocks around Sherwood City Hall, 22560 SW Pine Street, Sherwood, 97140. Friday and Saturday, July 17th - 18th. 

Photo Credit: Sherwood Robin Hood Festival's Facebook (Image Cropped)

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3. Open Play Swim 2015

This summer, cool off for free during Portland’s Parks & Recreation's “Open Play Swim 2015.” Swim for free at various pools throughout the city from June 16 - August 28.

Click here for a full schedule of when and where to swim for free. 

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4. Safety Saturdays

Teach your kids to appreciate the sacrifices of their local firemen by taking them to the Historical Belmont Firehouse on a Saturday. Attend the “Safety Saturday” event or schedule a group tour on another day.

Historic Belmont Firehouse, 900 SE 35th Avenue. Safety Saturdays occur every second Saturday between 9am and 3pm. 

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5. Story and Stroll

Take a walk that’s so much more than just walk. On Dragonfly Door’s “Story and Stroll” enjoy exploring nature, play, art, and stories with your children. Registration is required. 

Tyron Creek Park, 11321 SW Terwilliger Blvd. Friday, July 10, from 10am - 11:15am. 

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6. Play with Ramona at Grant Park

Come play with Ramona at Portland’s Grant Park. Located near the area where the Ramona Quimby books took place, Grant Park features the Beverly Cleary Sculpture Garden for Children that’s great for awakening the imagination of your little ones. After visiting Ramona, take the kids to the splash pad that’s open June 1 - September 15, from 11am - 8pm.

Grant Park, NE 33rd Ave & US Grant Pl. Park Hours 5am - midnight.

Photo Credit: Beverly Cleary's Website (Image Cropped)

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7. Flicks on the Bricks

Pioneer Courthouse Square is ready to provide some free entertainment for you and you little one. Their “Flicks on the Bricks” program plays movies geared toward all ages throughout the summer. Be sure to check it out on Friday, Jul 31, when the hit movie The Lego Movie (PG) will be playing. 

Pioneer Courthouse Square, 701 SW 6th Ave. Friday, July 31, 7pm - 11pm. 

Photo Credit: IMDB (Image Cropped)

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8. 7th Annual NW Book Festival

Take your little bookworms to the 7th Annual NW Book Festival held at Pioneer Square Courthouse on Saturday, July 25th. At this event, your whole family will enjoy meeting NW authors and interacting with vendors. Admission is free. 

7th, Annual NW Book Festival, 701 SW 6th Ave. Saturday, July 25th, from 11am - 5pm. 

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9. Playdate PDX’s Weekly Puppet Show

Experience live entertainment during a puppet show. Every Friday, Playdate PDX hosts a free puppet show that will keep your kids giggling on the edges of their seats.  

Playdate PDX, 1434 NW 17th Ave. Fridays at 6:30pm. 

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10. Kidd's Toy Museum

If you're raising a little history buff, then you and your child might enjoy visiting the Kidd's Toy Museum. This is a free museum that’s open to the public. The museum features the collection of Frank Kidd who has collected toys primarily made from 1869 to 1939. This is a great way to get out of the heat and learn about the toys our ancestors may have played with. 

Kidd's Toy Museum, 1301 SE Grand Ave. Monday - Thursday, 12pm - 6pm, and Fridays 1pm - 6pm. 

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11. Musical Story Time

On Wednesday, July 5th, enjoy “Musical Story Time” hosted by Green Bean Books. This is a fun and free event led by Sarah Jones. Sarah Jones will is the creator of Lloyd Llama and will also be doing a book-signing that day. 

Green Bean books, 1600 Alberta Street. Wednesday, July 5th, at 11am. 

Photo Credit: Green Bean Books (Image Cropped)

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12. City Park Fountain

If you don’t want to wait for a free day at the pool, cool off at Beaverton’s City Park Fountain. Splash around in the sun and have a picnic any afternoon during the summer. 

City Park Fountain, SW 5th St. and Hall Blvd. Park Hours 8am - Dark. 

Photo Credit: Beaverton Oregon (Image Cropped)

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13. Wonder Wednesday

If you want to do something low-key and educational, Wonder Wednesday is the perfect event to take your family. Hosted by St. Gabriel Episcopal School, this event is a free story time and art session geared toward children ages 3 - 9. 

St. Gabriel Episcopal School, 17435 NW West Union Rd. Wednesdays at 10:30am - 11:30am.  

Photo Credit: St. Gabriel Episcopal School (Image Cropped)

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14. 5th Annual Portland Wooden Boat Festival

Do some nautical bonding with your child on July 12th at the 5th Annual Portland Wooden Boat Festival. Enjoy free admission and a day of toy boat building, a wooden boat show, and sailboat rides. 

Willamette Sailing Club, 6336 SW Beaver Ave. Sunday, July 12, 11am - 5pm.  

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15. Rose Garden Children’s Park 

A favorite amongst locals, Rose Garden Children’s Park is a colorful park constantly bursting with activity. Located near the Rose Gardens, the park is an excellent place to stop to have lunch and play after strolling through the gardens. 

Rose Garden Children’s Park, 1976 SW Kingston Ave.

Photo Credit: Play Across America (Image Cropped)

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16. Ecotrust's Free Summer Concerts   

Spend a summer evening listening to quality music with your family during the free summer concerts held every First Thursday. In addition to the music, there will be plenty of child-friendly activities. The next free concert is Thursday, August 6th.

Ecotrust’s National Capital Center, 721 NW 9th Ave. First Thursdays from 5:30 to 8pm. 

Photo Credit: Ecotrust (Image Cropped)

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17. Read to the Dogs

Help your little ones practice their reading skills through North Portland Library’s “Read to the Dogs” program. The dogs are therapy dogs and will have their handlers present. This program is free and works best with children in grades 6-8. The next event is Tuesday, July 7th.

North Portland Library,512 N Killingsworth Street. Tuesday, July 7th, 4pm - 6pm. 

Photo Credit: Multnomah County Library (Image Cropped)

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18. Sand in the City

Have your mind blown by the sand sculptures featured by Yoshida’s Sand in the City at Portland’s Pioneer Courthouse Square. The event takes place Friday - Sunday, July 17th - 19th. It features a “Sand Sculpture Competition,” a  free kid’s sandbox time, an award show, and so much more. 

Pioneer Courthouse Square, 701 SW 6th Ave. July 17th - 19th. The event is open from 10am - 9pm on Friday, 10am to 10pm on Saturday, and 10am to 5pm on Sunday. 

Photo Credit: Sand in the City’s Blog (Image Cropped)

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19. Free First Fridays

Offering healthy and educational entertainment, the Portland Children’s Museum opens its doors for free on the first Friday of every month from 4pm - 8pm. 

Portland Children’s Museum, 4015 SW Canyon Road. First Fridays of every month from 4pm - 8pm.

Photo Credit: Portland Children’s Museum (Image Cropped)

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20. Washington County Fair

This year, the Washington County Fair is loaded with attractions, rides, and live entertainment. If you and your family just want to look around, though, admission to the fair is always free. So come on down and check out some of the fascinating acts like the Hypnotist Tyzen or the Juggler, Greg Frisbee. 

Washington County Fair, 873 NE 34th Ave, Hillsboro. July 30th - August 2nd from 10am - 11pm. 


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