Break out the bikes, hiking boots and your sweet tooth this weekend as Portland celebrates summer with an ice cream social, NoPo’s Sunday Parkways, a solstice hike and kids getting creative.  If you’re looking to get away, head to Cannon Beach to see the amazing – and temporary – architectural marvels at the 50th annual Sandcastle Day, before they wash away with the tide.

Westside

Kids Get Creative
Lake Oswego Mother’s Club (LOMC) invites you to celebrate the start of the Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts with Kids Get Creative, an afternoon featuring a full schedule of live performances, crafts, games, and tasty food. Fri., 12-4 p.m., Free, All Ages. Event details.

Up, Up and Away at the Hot-Air Balloon Festival
In addition to morning hot-air balloon launches and viewing the beautiful glowing balloons at night, the weekend’s events will include thrill rides and carnival games, food, a Twilight 5k, a Festival of Cars, youth soccer tournament and rib and corn eating contests.  Balloon launches take place each morning from 5:45-6:15 a.m., weather permitting. Fri.-Sat. 5:45 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun. 5:45 a.m.-5 p.m., $7/person 3-day pass onsite or $5 online; free for kids 6 and under, All Ages. Event details.

Summer Solstice Hike
Join Tryon Creek as they celebrate the longest day of the year, and the shortest night, with a guided hike.  Along the way, learn about why the seasons change and how different cultures celebrate the solstice. Fri., 7-8:30 p.m., Free, All Ages. Event details.

Eastside

We All Scream for Ice Cream
Who doesn’t love ice cream, especially when it’s free?  Gather with neighbors and Peninsula Park as they host a cool-as- a-cucumber, community ice cream social to celebrate summer. Fri. 6-7 p.m., Free, All Ages. Event details.

Roll and Bounce with Sunday Parkways – North
Celebrate the kickoff to summer by biking, walking or skating under your own power around 9.5 miles of car-free city streets through North Portland.  Take pit stops at Arbor Lodge, Kenton, Peninsula, Columbia Annex and McCoy parks along the way for food, live music, bike repair and sales, as well as activities galore, including a rock wall, an inflated bounce house and hula hoops. Sun., 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Free, All Ages. Event details.

Worth the Drive

Sandcastle Day
Drive out to Cannon Beach to see dozens of masterfully crafted sandcastles built by teams for the 50th annual Sandcastle Contest, the oldest of its kind in the northwest. Witness the madness that begins with backhoes and shovels early in the morning, or come out to see the finished pieces mid-afternoon before they wash back into the ocean.  The weekend will include additional activities, like a spaghetti dinner, a parade through downtown Cannon Beach, pancake feed, concert, beach bonfire with s’mores and a 5k fun run. Fri.-Sun., various start times, sandcastle viewing, parade and bonfire are free, All Ages. Event details.

Do you have any favorite family Summer Solstice rituals?  Let us know in the Comments section below!

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–Suzie Ridgway

Photo courtesy of Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts