Put out the tortilla chips, mix up the guacamole and mark your calendar for May 5 to celebrate the history and heritage of our neighbor to the south. This Cinco de Mayo, families in Portland can celebrate all things Mexican with a series of community festivities that include road races, carnivals, traditional markets and live performances. Read on to find out more about Portland’s best Cinco de Mayo events tailor-made for kids.

photo: S Pakhrin via flickr

33rd Annual Portland Cinco de Mayo Fiesta
You’ll find a little something for everyone at the 33rd Annual Cinco de Mayo Fiesta, which will take over Tom McCall Waterfront Park for three fun-filled days in May. Carnival rides? Check. An entire village of skilled Mexican artisans? Check. A live butterfly exhibit, free craft-making and free face-painting? Check, check and check. Just be sure to catch at least one performance of Mariachi Guadalajara and the Ballet Folklórico, both of which will perform daily alongside several other local and traditional musical acts. Check out the complete entertainment schedule here.

When: May 5-7, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
Cost: $10/Adult (13 years & older), $10/Child (6-12 years), Children 6 & under are free

Tom McCall Waterfront Park
1020 SW Naito Pkwy.
Online: cincodemayo.org

Cinco de Mayo Run/Walk
Celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2017, the Cinco de Mayo Run/Walk is the perfect activity for those who suffer from a bit of enchilada guilt. With a half-marathon, a 10K, a 5K and a kids’ half-miler to choose from, this feel-good activity is something the entire family can do together. Registered participants can enjoy food and live music after the race, and adults are even eligible for a commemorative race t-shirt. Kids, meanwhile, will be enthralled by Olive and Dingo, the fun-loving local clowns known for their songs, stories, bike rides and unrivaled skills in face-painting and balloon-twisting. Find complete registration information here.

When: May 7, first race is at 7:45 a.m.
Registration: $79-99/Half-Marathon; $59-79/10K; $39-54/5K; $8-12/Kids’ Half-Miler
SW Broadway and Taylor Street (Half-Marathon, 10K and 5K) and SW Broadway and Alder Street (Kids’ Half-Miler)
Online: terrapinevents.com

photo: photosavvy via flickr

Visit the Portland Mercado
You’ll find so much more than Mexican cuisine and influence at the Portland Mercado, the city’s very first Latino public market that opened its doors in 2015. The food, grocery, retail and service businesses here are a celebration of Latino culture, history and heritage, with indoor shops and outdoor carts that span the map of Latin America. Treat your kids to savory carnitas on freshly pressed tortillas at Tierra del Sol, a little something sweet at Don Churro or a special piñata to celebrate the day at Fiesta Tradicional. In short, the Portland Mercado is a one-stop-shop to create a Cinco de Mayo fiesta of your own.

When: Sun.-Thurs., 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Fri. & Sat., 10 a.m.-9 p.m. (exact hours can vary)
7238 SE Foster Rd.
Online: portlandmercado.org

photo: S Pakhrin via flickr

Visit Your Favorite Mexican Restaurant
Whether you’re searching for tasty take-out tacos or a boisterous dining room with an air of celebration, you’ll have plenty of options for Mexican-inspired cuisine this Cinco de Mayo. Join the ever-present line of patrons outside Por Qué No? for crunchy chips and sweet aguas frescas, bring home a rotisserie chicken with salsa verde and black beans from Pollo Norte or savor incredible tacos de puerco in the lively dining room at Nuestra Cocina. Verde Cocina, Taqueria Nueve, the list goes on and on—each offers tasty food and a stress-free atmosphere that kids (and parents) will love.

Por Qué No?
3524 N Mississippi Ave.
Mon.-Sat., 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
503-467-4149

4635 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
503-954-3138
Online: porquenotacos.com

Pollo Norte
5427 NE 42th Ave.
11 a.m.-9 p.m.
503-287-0669

2935 NE Glisan St.
11 a.m.-10 p.m.
503-719-6039
Online: pollonorte.com

Nuestra Cocina
2135 SE Division St.
Tue.-Sat., 5-10 p.m.
503-232-2135
Online: nuestracocina.com

What are your plans for Cinco de Mayo? Let us know in the comments below!

— Maura O’Brien