June is prime season for extra festive fun in the Pacific Northwest. The sun is out, summer has begun, and there’s something to do most week days and every weekend. If dragon boat racing, flying in balloons and listening to the blues sounds good to you. Then read on! We’ve rounded up seven of the best, must-do events the whole family will love in June.
photo: Scandinavian Center via flickr
Faire in the Grove
Step back in time for this Renaissance-era festival! With story-telling, dancing, wandering minstrel musicians, jugglers and jokesters it will keep you entertained while you peruse the medieval merchants. Kids can try out the lawn games, make their own Norse hats or necklace rune, and watch live fighting tournaments—with real rapiers! Cooking demonstrations and merchants will help immerse the whole family in historical fun.
June 3 & 4 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
McMenamins Grand Lodge
3505 Pacific Ave., Forest Grove, Or
Scandinavian Midsummer Festival
Maypoles, floral wreaths, trolls, crafts, food, and fun await at this midsummer celebration of Scandinavian culture! No Scan-heritage is required to enjoy the festivities, so bring the family by Oaks Amusement Park for lawn games (like kubb, or ‘Viking Chess’), Danish aebleskivers, locally made artisan crafts, dala horse painting, and traditional dancing. The main event is the Maypole ceremony (with a parade and dancing) around 2p.m., so don’t miss it!
June 10 from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Oaks Amusement Park
7805 SE Oaks Park Way
$8/adult; $7/senior or student; $17 family pass (2 adults, 2 children); free for kids under 12
Dragon Boat Racing
Portland has hosted traditional Chinese dragon boat races for over two decades! The exciting races happen right on the Willamette, and can be viewed from either side of the river near the Hawthorne Bridge. Over 80 teams compete in waves all throughout the day. The action happens every nine minutes, so you’re guaranteed continuous fun. Expect the westside green to be chock full of spectators, food vendors, and entertainment.
June 10-11 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Gov. Tom McCall Waterfront Park
SW Naito Pkwy
Aaron Hockley via Flickr
Festival of Balloons
From the gorgeous early-morning launches to the glowing lights at night, these balloons will amaze the whole family! Watch them dot the sky each morning then light up the night, and in between you can find the Festival of Cars, a beer garden, live music, and craft vendors. And the kids won’t want to miss the carnival and activities geared just for them at the Fun Zone!
Fri. & Sat., 5:45 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun., 5:45 a.m.-5 p.m.
17005 SW 92nd Ave., Tigard
$7/person 3-day pass onsite or $5 online; free for kids 6 & under
WIth over three weeks of events all over the city, there’s plenty of ways to have fun! Check out the online calendar for the family friendly rides (marked in green), like the Magical Unicorn Ride, the New Rider Ride, or the Wonder Woman Ride. Everything culminates in Sunday Parkways in North Portland on June 25, for miles of car-free fun all day.
Over three weeks of fun
A whole festival dedicated to berries! Berry milkshakes, pies, marionberry donuts, and lots and lots of fresh berries. Peek at the farm animals, let the kids loose in the fields to pick their own berries, and enjoy the festivities at this seven-generation family farm. A wristband for the weekend includes activities like the bounce pillow, haymaze, hayrides, and barrel wagon rides.
June 16-18 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
21975 SW 65th Ave., Tualatin, Or
$10 Unlimited Activities Wristband/$15 day-of
photo: Svetlana via Flickr
This year marks the 30th anniversary of this renowned festival! With legends like Chris Isaak, regional names, and local up-and-comers, this event brings together some of the country’s greatest musicians to the shores of the Willamette. The whole family can groove to these tunes while supporting the Oregon Food Bank.
June 30-July 4 from 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Gov. Tom McCall Waterfront
SW Naito Pkwy.
$40 festival entry all 5 days. $10 single day pass
What summer festival is your family’s top pick? Tell us in the comments below!