Big events are still going strong, but if you’re looking for something a little different – and away from the massive crowds, try out one of these smaller-venue events that still pack in plenty of magic, creativity and entertainment for the wee ones, like the All American Holiday Magic Show, Electrifying Science and Stories of the Monkey King.  If you’re up for a drive, migrate to the coast this weekend for the start of Whale Watch Week, and catch a glimpse of these mighty mammals in action.  While you’re there, stay the night for more aquatic fun than you can handle at the Family Sleepover at the Oregon Coast Aquarium.


Sleight of Hand
Now you see it, now you don’t! The All American Holiday Magic Show will be two full hours of entertainment for the whole family, starringmagician Mark Benthimer and ventriloquist Scott Davis. Popcorn and cotton candy are available at concessions, or families can purchase the Snack Pack, which includes admission for 5, as well as popcorn, cotton candy and drinks. Sat. & Sun., 2 – 4 p.m., $8.50/person-$50/family, All Ages. Event details.

Fairy to the Rescue
Newton, a little Fir tree, wishes his pine needles were more important and beautiful to help him stand out, so much so that he makes a wish upon a falling star. Fay the Fairy comes to grant his wish. But is it really what Newton needs? Join us in this adaptation of a classic folktale and sing, laugh and dance our way to the answer. A mini- musical original by Penny’s Puppet Productions. Stickers, coffee and tea for all. Face painting available for a small fee. Fri., 10:30 a.m., $5/person; $17/four people, 7 and under. Event details.

Shocking News
Did you know that electricity moves at the same speed as light, roughly 186,000 miles per second?  Learn fascinating and shocking information like this at Electrifying Science at Vancouver’s Cascade Park Library, presented by the OMSI crew.  Science loving kids will learn all about where electricity  comes from, the different types and how you can make your own. Sat., 2-3 p.m., Free, All Ages. Event details.


Monkey Tales
At Stories of the Monkey King, Dr. John M.K. Wang, a master storyteller from Taiwan, will share traditional folk stories, from China and Japan. Portland’s Ping Pong’s Pint Sized Puppet Museum will also showcase their puppets, including how to handle the “Jade Empress,” a 15-ft. New Year’s parade dragon.  The Taiwanese Women’s Club of Greater Portland will demonstrate the bamboo stick jumping game.  The event is a fundraiser for the Mandarin Immersion Program of Portland Public Schools.  Sun., 1 – 3 p.m., $10-$15/person, All Ages. Event details.

Worth the Drive

Whale Spotting
Grab your rain gear and head to the coast this weekend for your chance to see mother whales migrating south to the warm waters of Mexico to give birth. Winter Whale Watch Week expects thousands of whales to pass by Oregon in a two-week period.  Volunteers will be located at 24 sites along the coast to offer up information and help spot tales, breeches and spouts.Fri.-Sun., 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., Free, All Ages. Event details.

Aquarium Overnighter
Round out your weekend whale watching with a Family Sleepover at the Oregon Coast Aquarium. Travel through exhibits minus the crowds and take part in a scavenger hunt, hands on activities and early morning behind the scenes happenings.  That night, sleep peacefully in the Passages Tunnel for an unforgettable experience your kids won’t soon forget. A full dinner, as well as snacks and a light breakfast are included.  Advance reservations required. Sat., 6 p.m.- 9 a.m., $60/person, Ages 6 and up. Event details.

What are you up to this weekend? Tell us below!

— Suzie Ridgway

photo credit: kohane via creative commons flickr