Portland is bursting with color as fall sets in. This is the time of year for harvest festivals and creative celebrations. Grab your sweaters and get ready for a weekend filled with animals, arts and crafts and plenty of activities. We’ve put together a list of the best events to fill your weekend with. Read on to find out more.


photo: elauervose via Flickr

NW Portland

Free Puppet Show
Free Puppet show presented by Dragon Theater with paid admission to the structure. These shows are fun for all ages and change weekly! The three story indoor playground and cafe makes for a fun family friendly night.  Full service cafe with coffee, beer, and wine.  Admission is $4 for ages 3&under and $8 for ages 4 and up, adults are always free! Fri. Event Details.

SE Portland

Don’t Miss the Brown Girl Rise and Atabey Medicine Fundraiser
Show your support for this fundraiser to support Brown Girl Rise — a youth empowerment program for young femmes of color and Atabey Medicine—an herbal apprenticeship program working to amplify the BIPOC voices in reclaiming our medicine. The event will feature some DJ’s from Noche Libre, a Latinx DJ collective, as well as some other musicians. The youth with Brown Girl Rise showcase some of their talents to start the night off right! Fri. Event Details.

Head to the Harvest Festival in SE
Enjoy the bounty of Oregon while indulging in snacks, sweets, beer and produce from the Pacific Northwest region! Learn about Oregon specialty crops with over 30 vendors from local farms, CSA’s, cooking demonstrations and artisan vendors. There’s fun for the whole family, including kids activities, llamas, construction equipment, a beer tent and live entertainment on the stage. Come celebrate the harvest season at OMSI! Sun. Event Details.

NE Portland

Attend Tết Trung Thu / Mid-Autumn Festival
Celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival (also known as the Harvest Moon Festival), one of the oldest and best-loved holidays in many parts of Asia. Join with friends and family to hear stories of the festival, participate in fun craft activities, traditional children songs, and enjoy moon cakes. Fri. Event Details.


Check Out the 6th Annual Jim Pepper Native Arts Festival
An all ages, free-admission, community-building celebration featuring performances by Native musicians, a wide variety of Native artists, jewelers, foods, dancers, unique handcrafted items, and fun! Saturday 11a.m. til dark and Sunday 10 a.m.-2 p.m. — featuring a frybread brunch and salmon bake on Sunday! Sat. & Sun. Event Details.

SW Portland

Oktoberfest at the Zoo
The Oregon Zoo is celebrating fall with family activities include live music, dancing, lawn games and fun crafts for kids.

Families can dance to live music from the European Take-Out Band (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) and the Michael Fischer Trio (1:30 – 4 p.m.), check out Wildlife Live! meet and greets at noon and 3 p.m., an elephant pool party at 2 p.m., see the Unipiper wheeling past and enjoy snacks like Elephant Ears.

There will be German-inspired fare including Bavarian pretzels, Bier Bratwurst and Cheddarwurst, along with some of Portland’s favorite food carts at the event. Sat. Event Details.

Join an Oregon Tradition
SOLVE’s Beach & Riverside Cleanup, in partnership with the Oregon Lottery is a great way to enjoy the outdoors with family while making a difference. Sign up to volunteer at your favorite project to support the health of our public beaches, neighborhoods and natural areas, and clean up litter from source to sea! Sat. Event Details.

Head to World Rivers Day
World Rivers Day is a celebration of the world’s waterways that helps raise awareness about the importance of rivers and the wildlife living in river-based ecosystems.

Keepers who take care of river otters, bald eagles and crocodiles will be educating the community about how to create a better future for wildlife and waterways.

10:45 a.m., there will be a species conservation lab talk. 11:00 a.m., head to the river otter station to learn about otters and beavers.11:30 a.m., visit the turtle stream station to find out about turtles, natives/invasives and the western pond turtle project. 12:30 p.m., learn about eagles and salmon/riparian ecosystem health. 1:00 p.m., there will be a reptile talk at Family Farm.  2:00 p.m., visit the crocodile for a feeding and a talk.

Between noon and 3 p.m., experts will be providing educational programming and activities in the Nature Exploration Station, discussing rivers, salmon, beavers, invasive species and more. Sun. Event Details.


Check Out School House Rock Live!
Based on the Emmy Award-winning 1970s cartoon, Schoolhouse Rock Live! follows Tom, a nerve-wracked school teacher who is nervous about his first day of teaching. He tries to relax by watching TV, when various characters representing facets of his personality emerge from the set and show him how to win his students over with imagination and music. Sat. Event Details.


Reading With Author Stephanie Campisi
Don’t miss Stephanie Campisi as she shares her newest book, Luis and Tabitha.  Cat lovers and fans of star-crossed love stories will find joy while reading Luis and Tabitha.  From Stephanie Campisi, author of The Ugly Dumpling, comes a tale about persistence and the power of love.  Luis is an alley cat who has everything figured out . . . until he meets Tabitha, a beautiful indoor cat. Separated by a tragic glass door, Luis will do anything to be with Tabitha—even brave the dangers of a fire. Original illustrations pack a punch of style and personality while engaging readers of all ages. Whether you’re looking to adopt a cat and support your local shelter’s most distinct personalities, or looking to understand love and the paw-sitive forces that exist in the world, you will enjoy Luis and Tabitha. Sat. Event Details.

—Annette Benedetti