Portland Kids' Calendar 2016

A year of things kids like that you won’t hate.

Jan. 6-20

Youth Beginning Ballet Series

You couldn't be a famous ballerina, but maybe your kids can…or perhaps it'll become a Black Swan tale. Either way, free ballet for four weeks beats getting a babysitter. The Portland Ballet, 6250 SW Capitol Highway, 452-8448, theportlandballet.org. 5:15-6:15 pm. Free.

Jan. 15

Disney Live! Mickey and Minnie's Doorway to Magic

It's kind of like Ice Capades, but with more capes and handkerchiefs, and no skates. Rose Garden, 1 N Center St., 235-8771, rosequarter.com. 4 and 7 pm. $23-$60.

Jan. 16-Feb. 14

Geronimo Stilton

A play about a mouse who saves the world…in space! Ages 4 and up. Newmark Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway, 228-9571, octc.org. $14-$28.

Jan. 30-Feb. 28

Alice in Wonderland

Your favorite Disney movie staged to an original jazz score. There probably won't be as many drug references in this one. Northwest Children's Theater, 1819 NW Everett St., 222-2190, nwcts.org. $17-$23.

Jan. 30-Jan. 31

Three Billy Goats Gruff

Talking animal puppets by Tears of Joy Puppet Theatre. ComedySportz Arena, 1963 NW Kearney St., 248-0557, tojt.org. 11 am Sat. and 3 pm Sun. $11.

Feb. 8-22

Chinese New Year

Plane tickets to China are only $500. Did you know that? Anyway, here's the next best thing. Lan Su Garden, 239 NW Everett St., 228-8131, lansugarden.org. 10 am-5 pm. $7-$9.50, kids under 6 free.

Feb. 13 (2nd Saturday of each month)

Meet a Scientist at OMSI

Bill Nye will not be there, but real Portland scientists working on real research will. OMSI, 1945 SE Water Ave., 797-4000, omsi.edu. 1-4 pm. $9.75-$13.50.

Feb. 27-28

Bricks Cascade 2016

An entire room full of huge creations that will fool kids into thinking "Lego builder" is a viable career. Oregon Convention Center, 777 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 235-7575, brickscascade.com. 10 am-4 pm. $9 per person, $30 family of four.

Feb. 27-March 27

Bad Kitty on Stage

A play about a cat who wants attention, but whose owners are preoccupied with a new baby. Ages 4 and up. Winningstad Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway, 228-9571, octc.org. $14-$28.

March 17

St. Patrick's Day Family Festival

Turn a drinking holiday into a family holiday by replacing Guinness with Irish dancing. Pro tip: Drink Guinness first. Ambridge Events Center, 1333 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 239-9921, ambridgeevents.com. 4-9 pm. $1-$10.

March 19

Oaks Park opens

The outdoor section of the "Coney Island of the Northwest" opens for business, from roller coaster to mini-golf. Oaks Park, 7805 SE Oaks Park Way., 233-5777, oakspark.com. Noon-5 pm.

March 25-May 1

Wooden Shoe Tulip Fest

Laughing children hold tulips and ride ponies. It's like the Small World ride at Disneyland come to life. Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm, 33814 S Meridian Road, Woodburn, 634-2243, woodenshoe.com. 9 am-6 pm. $5, kids under 13 free.

March 26

Rabbit Romp

The annual Easter egg hunt at the zoo. Yes, there will be bunnies. Oregon Zoo, 4001 SW Canyon Road, 226-1561, oregonzoo.org. 9 am-3 pm. Free with zoo admission (free-$11.50).

April 2-17

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

A play about the life and journey of a stuffed animal. Ages 7 and up. Winningstad Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway, 228-9571, octc.org. $14-$28.

April 16-17


Famous, award-winning puppet show about a clown who falls in love with a ballerina. Presented by Tears of Joy Puppet Theatre. ComedySportz Arena, 1963 NW Kearney St., 248-0557, tojt.org. 11 am and 2 pm Sat., 1 and 3 pm Sun. $11.

April 16-17

Peter and the Wolf and Other Works

A classical and contemporary dance show full of talking, dancing animals from Northwest Dance Theatre. PCC Sylvania's Performing Arts Center, 12000 SW 49th Ave., 925-3898, nwdt.org. 7 pm Sat. and 2 pm Sun. $10-$18.

April 17

Oregon Symphony Kids Concert

You get to tell your mother-in-law her grandkids are cultured now. Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway, 248-4335. orsymphony.org. 2 pm. $10-$40.

April 23-May 22

Snow White

An anime twist on the classic tale. Instead of dwarves, there are "seven spirits," and somehow sibling rivalry gets thrown in as a theme. Northwest Children's Theater, 1819 NW Everett St., 222-2190, nwcts.org. $17-$23.

May 5-8

Cinco de Mayo Fiesta

Only the most culturally appropriate sombreros, plus churros and amusement park rides. Tom McCall Waterfront Park, 1020 SW Naito Parkway, cincodemayo.org. 11 am-11 pm. $4-$8, kids under 6 free.

May 7-29

James and the Giant Peach

A live version of the best claymation movie of all time. And this one's also a musical. Ages 4 and up. Newmark Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway, 228-9571, octc.org. $14-$28.

March 21-25

Spring Break Day Camps

Spring break day camps are a good way to ensure your kids aren't watching Spring Breakers while you're at work. Portland Parks and Recreation Community Centers, 823-7529, portlandoregon.gov/parks. $25-$180.

May 17-22


If your kids only saw the Jay Z rendition, this is a must. Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay St., 241-1802, portland.broadway.com. $35-$90.

June 4-5

St. Paul Youth Rodeo

Rural Oregon kids doing things you can't, and no mechanical bulls allowed. St. Paul Rodeo, 20025 4th St. NE, St. Paul, 633-2011, nwyra.com. 10 am. Free.

June 7

Final day of school for students in the Portland Public Schools

School's out—not forever, but until August.

June 8

Portland Rose Festival Junior Parade

The kids take to the streets and rule Portland for one day, or at least for one popular Fox 12 broadcast, in the country's oldest and largest children's parade. It also marks the first day of the carnival on the waterfront. Hollywood District, Northeast Sandy Boulevard and 52nd Avenue, 227-2681, rosefestival.org. 1 pm. Free.

June 11-12

Dragon Boat Races

Eighty four-member teams from all over the world race dragon boats down the Willamette. South end of Tom McCall Waterfront Park, 1400 SW Naito Parkway, 246-4055, pksca.net. 8 am-4 pm. Free.

June 13

Projected opening date for the city of Portland's seven outdoor pools

No splashing!

June 18-Jan. 8

Space: An Out of Gravity Experience

OMSI's space exhibit is more gravity and less science class as it explores space, who's in it and what its future looks like. OMSI, 1945 SE Water Ave., 797-4000, omsi.edu. 9:30 am-5:30 pm Tues.-Sun. $9.75-$13.50.

June 24-26

Festival of Balloons

An old-fashioned carnival with a beer garden and hot-air balloons. The latter don't mix well, but you can still watch. 19600 SW Cipole Road, Tigard, 612-8213, tigardballoon.org. 5:45 am-11 pm. $5-$7, kids under 6 free.


Start of Movies and Concerts in the Parks

Portland parks start filling with weekly free summer entertainment, namely Flicks on the Bricks (at Pioneer Place—see thesquarepdx.com), and movies and concerts in various parks (see portlandoregon.gov).


Yoshida's Sand in the City

One hundred forty tons of sand professionally crafted into sculptures in the middle of downtown, and you don't have to clean up any of it. Pioneer Courthouse Square, 701 SW 6th Ave., sandinthecitypdx.org.

Aug. 5-7

Pickathon Music Festival

An indie-folk fest for adults, forested farm playground for kids and camping trip for the whole family. Pendarvis Farm, 16581 SE Hagen Road, Happy Valley, pickathon.com. Kids under 12 are free, adults cost a goddamn fortune.

Aug. 13

Alberta Street Fair

Children's parade, hemp bracelets galore and music for the short. 1722 NE Alberta St., albertamainst.org. 11 am-6 pm. Free, suggested $2 donation.

Aug. 26-Sept. 5

Oregon State Fair

Corn dogs, bumper cars, culinary contests and cow auctions, for a little bit of all of Oregon. Oregon State Fair & Exposition Center, 2330 17th St. NE, Salem, 947-3247, oregonstatefair.org. $6-$8, kids under 6 free.

Aug. 31

Portland Public Schools school year begins

Free babysitting returns.

September-Oct. 31

The Maize at the Pumpkin Patch

A five-acre maze you'll be ready to get out of after walking its two and half miles. 16511 NW Gillihan Road, 621-7110, portlandmaze.com.

Sept. 15

Children's Rodeo

On day two of the Pendleton Round-Up kids wear small cowboy hats and rope fake bulls. 1205 SW Court Ave., Pendleton, 541-276-2553, pendletonroundup.com. 10:30-11:30 am. Free.

Oct. 7-9, 14-16

Apple Harvest Tasting

Each year, the kids' tent has pumpkin painting, face paint and a cider press, while adults get apples and bands. Portland Nursery, 5050 SE Stark St., 231-5050, portlandnursery.com. 10 am-5 pm. Free.

Right before Halloween

Squishing of the Squash

Watch kids watch elephants demolish pumpkins. Oregon Zoo, 4001 SW Canyon Road, 226-1561. 10:30 am. oregonzoo.org. Free with zoo admission (free-$11.50).

Nov. 25

Tree Lighting Ceremony

Lights! On a 75-foot-tree! For even more fun, watch Portland rebuild the tree out of amputated parts in the two weeks beforehand. Pioneer Courthouse Square, 701 SW 6th Ave., 223-1613, thesquarepdx.org. Free.

Late November-early January

Zoo Lights

Each year, the Oregon Zoo celebrates Christmas by confusing its animal captives' natural sense of time with 1.6 million flashing lights, well past sunset. Oregon Zoo, 4001 SW Canyon Road, 226-1561, oregonzoo.org.


The Nutcracker

Portland has one of the few ballet companies with rights to produce George Balanchine's version of The Nutcracker. And so it does every year. Oregon Ballet Theatre, 222-5538, obt.org.

Mid-December-dec. 31

Peacock Lane

A bunch of houses off Southeast Stark Street with lights all over them welcome looky-loos from everywhere until New Year's Eve. Southeast Peacock Lane, one block east of César E. Chávez Boulevard between Stark and Belmont streets, peacocklane.org. Free.


Portland Bars Where You Can Bring Kids

Portland's Best Kindie Musicians

A Free-Range Mom Talks About Why She Refuses to Helicopter

A Primer to the Parenting Fights of Portland

I'm Not Your Granny, Bitch

The Social Baby: The Ethics of Posting Kids' Pictures Online

Thrift Stores for Kids in Portland

The Big People's Guide to Hanging Out with the Little People

Portland Kids' Calendar 2016

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