Memorial Day marks the start of summer and offers families a great opportunity to spend some high quality, high fun-factor time together. If your clan is staying in town for the holiday weekend, be sure to pack your days with some of the best activities our city has to offer while honoring those who have served. Scroll down to find out what, where and when the best events are taking place.

photo: Howard Lewis Ship via flickr

1. Multnomah County Fair

Join Oaks Amusement Park for the Multnomah County Fair, dedicated to the brave men and women in the military. The fair combines all the fun of Oaks Bottom (carnival rides and elephant ears!) with even more attractions. Art in the Park celebrates hand-crafted goodies, magic shows awe spectators and your kids can even try out a camel ride or the “walk on water” bubbles!
When: Sat. May 27- Mon. May 29
Hours: 12-7 p.m.
Where: Oaks Amusement Park, 7805 SE Oaks Park Way
Cost: Admission and parking are free
Online: multcofair.org

photo: Nathan Rupert via flickr

2. City Fair at the Waterfront

Portland’s oldest festival kicks off on Memorial Day weekend with opening night fireworks! The CityFair on the Waterfront holds rides and fun all weekend long. And if your Memorial Day plans are already packed, you won’t miss the fun—the fair keeps going through weekends in June. Visit A Walk on the Wide Side for exotic animals, arts and crafts in the Kid Zone, and delicious food vendors. Regular attractions include a family-friendly carnival, a food fair, the human catapult at 25 stories high, and lots of stages for entertainment. And for Memorial Day and beyond—admission is free for military and veterans!
When: May 26-29, into June
Hours: 5-11 p.m. opening day, 11am-11pm all others
Where: Gov. Tom McCall Waterfront Park, 1020 SW Naito Pkwy.
Cost: $10 season pass souvenir pin or $8/person per day; free for kids 6 & under and military
Online: rosefestival.org

3. Point One Run

The “shortest half-marathon” at .1 miles, this fun run focuses on the excitement of the final dash to the finish line! How fast can your family race 548 feet? The course stays entirely inside the CityFair, and you’ll be cheered on by clowns, festival-goers, and carnival riders. This event is a great introduction to running races, for you and your kids! And afterwards, you have the whole day to enjoy the fair. Your runner’s admission gets you up to 4 guest passes!
When: Saturday, May 27
Hours: 10:30 a.m. starting time
Where: Gov. Tom McCall Waterfront Park, 1020 SW Naito Pkwy.
Cost: $30 for adults, $15 for children 12 and under. Runners receive CityFair admission and 4 guest admission tickets valid for the day.
Online: rosefestival.org/event/rose-festival-point-one-run

4. Oregon Zoo for Free

The Zoo offers free admission to veterans, active military personnel and their families on Memorial Day. Attendees must show an official military id for free admission. Check out all the regular zoo attractions like the new Elephant Lands, Education Center, or the petting zoo!
When: Monday, May 29 
Hours: 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
Where: 4001 SW Canyon Rd.
Cost: Free admission for veterans, active military personnel and their families. Parking is $4/day maximum. Regular admission is $14.95/adults, $9.95/kids 3-11, free for kids 2 and under.
Online: oregonzoo.org/

 photo: Trevor M. via Yelp

5. Pay Your Respects

On a day to remember the past and honor those who serve, cemeteries throughout the region will offer services and events. This is a great chance to talk with your kids about all that Vetrans have done for our country, especially if your family has a history or presence in the service. The Willamette National Cemetery places flags at every grave and has held services in the past for Memorial Day. Beaverton’s Veteran’s Memorial Park holds a service every Memorial Day at 11 a.m. And the Washington County Fairgrounds holds services near their Veterans Gateway, honoring those lost.

Willamette National Cemetery
When: Open daily
Hours: 7 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: 11800 SE Mt. Scott Blvd.
Phone: 503-273-5250
Cost: No cost
Online: cem.va.gov/cems/nchp/willamette

Veterans’ Memorial Park
When: Monday, May 29
Hours: 11a.m.
Where: Southwest Watson Ave., Beaverton
Cost: No cost
Online: beavertonoregon.gov

Washington County Fairgrounds, Veterans’ Gateway
When: Open Daily
Hours: 7 a.m.-6 p.m.
Where: The gateway is at the corner of NE 34th Avenue and Veterans Drive, Hillsboro
Cost: No cost
Online: washingtonveteranmemorial.weebly.com/

Does your family have any Memorial Day traditions? Tell us in the comments below!

—Katrina Emery