School’s out for the summer and it’s Father’s Day weekend! YES! That give you two huge reasons to celebrate, and there’s plenty of fun to be had. Whether you fancy guided canoe trips on the Columbia Slough or watching cars race around the track at breakneck speeds, you’ll be able to kick your summer off in style.  columbia slough kids

Eastside

Canoe the Slough
Explorando el Columbia Slough offers kids and adults a chance to take guided canoe trips, climb a rock wall, get their faces painted and enjoy live music, storytelling and folk dancing at this one-day, bilingual celebration of this urban waterway. Sat., 1-5 p.m., Free, All Ages. Event details.

Scandinavian Mid-Summer Festival
Celebrate the coming summer solstice Scandinavian style—that means dancing, food, crafts, and yes, the raising of the Maypole. Kids and adults can dance around the Maypole, singing “Smaa Grodorna ar Lustiga Att Se” (Little Frogs are Funny to Watch), then make flower wreaths to wear.  A full day of live music and dancing will include fiddle/accordion/double bass headliners, MAAR, from Norway. Sat., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.,$7/adult; $4/child (6-12 years); Family $16 (2 adults, 2 children), All Ages. Event details.

Multi-Cultural Fun at the Taste of Parkrose
Parkrose’s 1st annual street fair offers up a big tent food tasting pavilion with local food samples and treats, including lemonade, strawberry shortcake, Thai iced tea, elephant ears, Mexican fruit bars, Chinese sesame balls, tamales and German pastries, to name a few.  Live entertainment will include Mexican, gospel and blues and funk bands, as well as Laos Dancers. The kids’ play area will have old-fashioned carnival games, from a duck pond to knocking down pins with a ball, as well as face painting, arts and crafts and Soccer Shots. Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Free, All Ages. Event details.

Go Speed Racer!  It’s the Rose Cup Races
This is the oldest amateur race in the west, now in its 54th year, attracts over 400 SCCA drivers in more than 25 different classes of modern and vintage race cars, including stock cars, Spec Miatas and Spec Racer Fords.  A Cruise-In will take place on Sunday, featuring classic and show cars.  Ending the event, will be the super speedy go-karts from the Portland Karting Association.  Don’t forget the ear plugs! Fri.-Sun, 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Free, All Ages. Event details.

Westside

Pony Up!  It’s a Barnwarming Party
The horses of Portland’s Mounted Patrol are returning to their home on Naito Parkway, and they’re throwing an Open Barn party to welcome them back. Join the Friends of the Mounted Patrol for an afternoon of fun family activities and an opportunity to meet and support the horses. Sat., 1-4 p.m., Free, All Ages. Event details.

Wave that Flag! Pride Festival and Parade
The Pride Festival goes the whole weekend with a Family Tent filled with activities that pack real kid appeal, like face painting, balloon art, games and crafts. The Pride Parade will take place on Sunday, offering up plenty of reasons to embrace all kinds of families. Festival Sat.-Sun. 12-6 p.m., $7/person; Parade Sun. 11 a.m., Free, All Ages. Event details.

Worth the Drive

Take a Hike
If your special dad is more of an outdoorsman, head to the Magness Memorial Tree Farm for a 45 minute guided hike to learn about native plants, trees, animals and birds that live in the area.  Punch and cookies follow the hike. Leashed dogs and picnic lunches are welcome. Sun., hikes start at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., Free, All Ages. Event details.

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What’s your plan for kicking off summer?  Let us know in the Comments section below!

— Suzie Ridgway

Photo courtesy of katrinaket, Flickr via Creative Commons