Whether you want to eat your weight in waffles, build a dog house out of gingerbread, learn the science of toys or take a walk with dinosaurs, it’s all about sweet surprises this weekend in Portland.

Come celebrate the holidays Trackers-style. Loose an arrow on our indoor range, blacksmith an ornament, shop for knives and homemade treasures, learn some new skills and enjoy the company of other outdoors-people. Skills demonstrations include meat smoking, fire by friction, blacksmithing, natural cordage, needle felting, homemade root beer and tracking. The evening concludes with a waffle-and-all-the-fixin's feast. Everyone, young and old, is welcome!

photo: Trackers Earth

East Side

Here We Go a-Waffling: Trackers Holiday Party
Join the Trackers Family for a Holiday Variety Show Spectacular featuring the best of skills, scrumptious food, the trade blanket, face painting, a handmade goods craft fair, and holiday music. For the Variety Show, families can go caroling around the neighborhood, shoot some arrows at their free open archery range, or help trim the Trackers Tree. Kids can also sign up for an hour of blacksmithing instruction to forge a holiday trinket. The evening holiday feast will offer up savory and sweet waffles. Families are asked to pitch in by bringing a simple potluck dish or waffle topping toa dd to the bounty. Waffles will be provided. Sat., 1-6 p.m., Free, All Ages. Event details.

Walk on the Wild Side: Walking With Dinosaurs
This larger than life animatronic and cinematic show comes roaring back into town again with 10 dinosaur species acting like the real ones might have behaved long ago. Species represented include a T. Rex, Plateosaurus, Liliensternus, Stegosaurus, Allosaurus, Torosaurus, Utahraptor and Brachiosaurus. Fri.-Sun., various start times, $24.50-$64.50/person, All Ages. Event details.

West Side

The Physics of Fun
Science educator, Rhys Thomas, explains the physics behind some of your favorite toys using scientific thinking and a little engineering. Rhys is known to present science with hilarity and dexterity by blending mature science with kid-savvy comedy the whole family can appreciate. The Tualatin Valley Model Railroad Club will be on hand, as well with their N-gauge model train show, and kids can make a toy to take home with museum staff and volunteers. Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Free, All Ages. Event details.

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Pet-Themed Gingerbread House Contest and Holiday Party
Enter your pet house gingerbread creation in The Bonnie Hays Animal Shelter’s third annual competition. Despite the name, all pet-inspired entries are accepted. Traditional-style gingerbread houses, cakes, and anything else you can come up with is welcome, as long as all visible portions are 100% edible. Pre-registration is recommended. Categories include Youth (12 & under) up to Culinary Professionals/Experts. Category winners receive certificates and ribbons. There is no cost to enter, but a donation for the animals is appreciated. Sat., noon-4 p.m., Free (donations welcome), All Ages. Event details.

A Little Shabbat With Little Ones
Want to do Shabbat but have young children who fall asleep early? Join Rabbi Josh Rose for a bit of “Shabbos feeling!” Meet new friends while you sing, hear a story and welcome in Shabbat together. Whether this is your first Shabbat or you’re an old hand, you’ll find something to love. This is open to all and no prior knowledge of Shabbat or Hebrew required. Interfaith families are welcome. Fri., 4:30-6 p.m., Free, All Ages. Event details.

What’s your family getting into this weekend? Tell us in the Comments below!

–Suzie Ridgway