October is a month full of hauntingly, spooky fun for everyone in the family. Opportunities to attend events that ignite the imagination about across Portland. If you are looking to hit a play, help with the harvest or take your Halloween costume for a test run, then you should check out some of the weekend happenings we’ve rounded up below. Read on to find out more.

photo: Amber Kost via flickr

SW Portland

Don’t Missing Squishing of the Squash at Oregon Zoo

The Oregon Zoo’s annual Squishing of the Squash, in which some of the world’s largest land animals demolish some of the area’s largest pumpkins, will be held Friday. Squishing of the Squash kicks off the zoo’s Howloween festivities taking place this weekend and next, include a fun scavenger hunt that directs trick-or-treaters to activity stations throughout the zoo where they can collect candy and prizes and learn about wildlife. During the two Howloween weekends, visitors can also watch the zoo’s enrichment team and keepers provide animals with pumpkins and other holiday-themed treats. Fri. Event Details.

See the Wizard of Oz
Check out Journey Theater’s youth production of The Wizard of Oz! After a tornado whisks away a young Kansas farm girl, Dorothy, to the magical land of OZ, she starts her quest to find the mighty Wizard of Oz who has the power to send her home. Along the way she meets a Scarecrow, a Tin Woodsman and a Cowardly Lion who help her on her journey. Fri. & Sat. Event Details. 


Experience Howloween at Oregon Zoo
The zoo provides a fun and safe setting for this Halloween tradition, where costumed trick-or-treaters learn about wildlife in a fun scavenger hunt throughout the zoo.

Kids can collect treats and prizes at the different stations. Because our everyday actions impact wildlife, the zoo only provides deforestation-free candy. Learn more about palm oil and how you can help orangutans and elephants with your consumer choices.

You can also join U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service experts in the Nature Exploration Station to learn about the “Monster Invaders” of the water world (a.k.a. aquatic invasive species) and their impact on our regional wildlife. Sat. & Sun. Event Details.

See Ella Enchanted on Stage at OCT
On the day she was born, Ella was cursed to obey every command.  She’s always been told there’s nothing she can do to reverse it…Nevertheless, she persisted.

Ella of Frell is anything but ordinary. At birth, she was enchanted by a foolish fairy’s spell and must obey any command she is given, no matter how absurd. At age 15, Ella sets out on a quest to break the curse forever!

Ella Enchanted is a fairy tale musical about self-empowerment, perseverance, and an eagerness to learn! Along the way, she’ll encounter nasty ogres, evil step-sisters, and–if she has time–a handsome prince.

The Big Ideas Set goals! Strive to achieve them. Your role in life is not pre-destined. Always be your true self. Sat. & Sun. Event Details.

SE Portland

Check Out Boom Arts Presents “Pescador” (Chile)
Educational Outreach Programming presented in collaboration with Young Audiences Inc.
Chilean contemporary puppetry ensemble Silencio Blanco returns to Portland after their celebrated Spring 2017 début. Now, Boom Arts presents Pescador (Fisherman), the company’s puppet essay on the nearly extinct character of the artisanal fisherman. In Pescador, man once again encounters the immensity of nature in pursuit of a trade that’s been nearly forgotten in the age of trawling and industrial fishery. In Silencio Blanco’s visually arresting trademark style, vaguely figurative, simple papier-mâché puppet figures co-exist with actor-puppeteers, dancing their way through stormy seas. “By far one of the best pieces of art I’ve ever seen.” – Portland audience member on Chiflón by Silencio Blanco, Spring 2017. Fri. Event Details.

Attend the Portland Insectarium Tea Party

The Portand Insectarium Tea Party is a unique musem experience for insect enthusiasts of all ages. Live animals in their traveling habitats, pinned specimens and informative exhibits will be available for viewing. Guests are invited to join Jessica Szabo, arachnologist and science educator, for 2 short lectures that include insect and arachnid handling. Refreshments provided from local businesses with vegan, GF and niut free options. Kids corners has free activities and crafts to enjoy and take home. The tea party’s theme lends itself to the season and encourages party goers to dress creatively, drink tea and enjoy all that is offered.  General admission is $13, children under 3 are free to attend. Tickets are available through Brown bag tickets. Raffle for OMSI admissions, bug collecting kits and more will be available at the event. Street parking is available. Sat. Event Details.

In Concert for Cancer, Music of Chicago
The legendary music of Chicago comes alive with CTA, featuring Chicago co-founder and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Danny Seraphine and two-time Grammy Winner Bill Champlin, a three-decade member of Chicago.With a world-class band and powerful horn section, CTA will perform 17 of Chicago’s popular songs .

Now in its 7th year, In Concert for Cancer is a joyful annual community concert benefit featuring acclaimed touring musicians. The two-city tour inspires and offers hope to cancer patients, survivors, family members, and caregivers while raising awareness and funding for music medicine programs at Children’s Cancer Association. 100% of each concerts net proceeds fund CCA’s flagship program, MyMusicRx, which delivers the healing power of music to kids and teens facing cancer. Sun. Event Details.


Head to the Great Pumpkin Hunt in Beaverton
Enjoy a night of howling fun activities including

  • Flashlight pumpkin hunt
  • Witches brew and tasty cobwebs
  • Candy corn count
  • Costume contest
  • Haunted house in the library & more!

Parent participation required during flashlight pumpkin hunt for children ages 1-2 yrs. 5-6 p.m. is reserved for kids needing mobility support or with sensory sensitivities. Fri. & Sat. Event Details.

Attend the Fall Festival
Go dressed in your favorite costume and enjoy carnival games, pumpkin painting, face painting, cookie decorating, arts and crafts, bingo, a bounce house and so much more! It is a family friend facility and an event the family won’t soon forget. Sat. Event Details.

—Annette Benedetti