It’s tough to find a thread that links together this weekend’s Portland events. We have lots of free outdoor music from opera to classical to funk. There’s a mouthwatering BBQ and beer festival. And there’s a Japanese heritage celebration, family bug hunting field trip, brunch on Hawthorne Bridge, wild-foods s’mores-making class, puppet show, and alfresco Shakespeare. Oh, and a huge coastal sand dunes festival. Just keepin’ Portland weird … and family friendly.

Westside

Hawthorne Bridge Brunch (pictured)
Experience the Hawthorne Bridge as a playful and magical space fit for a picnic of thousands. This event is to raise awareness around issues of hunger in our communities and strengthen the bonds between our urban and rural communities through the food we eat. Portland’s best food carts will be on hand, or you’re welcome to bring your own picnic basket to enjoy. Sat, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. Adults (12+) $25.00 Kids (6-11) $10.00. All ages. Event details.

Washington Park Summer Series
You can’t beat the location, and the popular and diverse musical acts include something for every taste. This week you can enjoy opera, funky-soul-hip hop, or symphony grandeur, all in a beautiful urban forest theater. And I think to myself…what a wonderful city! Aug 4 -13, 6:00 pm. Free. All ages. Event details.

Eastside

17th Annual Bones and Brew
Last year’s event drew more than 4,000 people to Portland’s historic Pearl District and raised more than $10,000. This year’s family and dog-friendly event will be a celebration of the American Backyard BBQ and include BBQ vendors, a BBQ contest, Kobe Bleu Ball eating contest, Dog Vendors, Charity Dog Wash and 30+ Microbreweries. Proceeds will benefit The Oregon Zoo. Sat, 12:00 pm – 9:00 pm and Sun, 12:00 pm – 5:00pm. Buckman Botanical Brewery. $3:00 suggested donation. All ages. Event details.

Obonfest 2011
Join hundreds of festivalgoers for Bon Odori dancing set to music by the acclaimed HAPPYFUNSMILE. Enjoy taiko performances, kids games and activities, and Asian crafts. Traditional Japanese foods prepared by Oregon Buddhist Temple members including yakisoba, yakitori, shave ice and manju will be for sale. Sat, 3:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Free. All ages. Event details.

Suburbs

Family Bug Class
It’s time to hunt for insects, spiders, crustaceans, millipedes and centipedes. Carefully and humanely catch (and later, release) live bugs at Graham Oaks, and then bring them to Arthropod Headquarters and try to figure out what they all are. Can you do it? Sat, 10:00 am – 12:00pm. Graham Oak Nature Park, Wilsonville. $6/adult, $11/family. 6 and older. Event details.

Shakespeare in the Park
Introduce your kids to Shakespeare the way it was originally performed—in the open air, in natural light, with minimal sets, and with great, fast-paced, energetic acting and lots of audience interaction! Sat, 2:00 pm. George Rogers park, Lake Oswego. Free (donation appreciated). All ages. Event details.

– Cheyenne Terbrueggen