February is bursting with fun. Between sun breaks, hail flurries, and lots of rainbows there’s a bunch of festivals and activities just waiting to capture your imagination. Celebrate the Chinese New Year at a cultural fair, Catch a clown show, or try out a Nordic carnival. There’s always something unique to fill your weekends with here in our beloved city.

photo: Nordic Northwest via facebook

NE Portland

Attend Racing to Change: Oregon’s Civil Rights Years
The Oregon Black Pioneers have been working to tell the forgotten stories of the region’s diverse past for years. Their latest exhibit in the Oregon Historical Society focuses on the Civil Rights Movement in Oregon in the 1960s and 1970s. Using photos from the City of Portland the Oregonian’s archives, the exhibit presents a hard look at the obstacles the Black community of Portland faced, like racist attitudes and policies of exclusion. The exhibit is family friendly and welcomes all ages and backgrounds. Fri. & Sat. Event Details.

Visit the Chinese New Year Cultural Fair
This giant fair has been around for over seventeen years, celebrating the rich Chinese traditions of the Portland community! Fun for the whole family, the festival this year celebrates the Year of the Dog. Your kids will love to see the martial arts demonstrations, lots of children’s games, folk dances, and a special lion dance from the White Lotus Lion Dance Team, who perform on high poles called Jongs. Past all that, the fair is chance to taste the exciting treats from many vendors–everyone will be sure to find something they love! Sat. Event Details.


See the Chinese New Year Performance
This talented group of students have been working hard to perfect their songs, dances and skits in preparation for 2018 Chinese New Year Performance! Come be dazzled and support young performers. Fri. Event Details.

Celebrate Lunar New Year
Ring in the Year of the Dog with traditional cultural performances, children’s entertainment and arts & crafts.

In addition to performances, families will enjoy activities including Lunar New Year Bingo, Coin Necklaces, Calligraphy, Cherry Blossom Art and Hong Bao Art. Event to be held in Summit Court on Level 1, below the Food Court. Sat. Event Details.


Attend the 19th Annual Portland Clowns Without Borders Benefit Show
Live music, aerial dance, physical comedy, juggling, acrobatics, and bubbles! Many of the area’s finest circus performers come together at the Alberta Rose Theater to present an amazing and hilarious circus variety show to benefit Clowns Without Borders-USA. This show is a delight for all ages and includes performances by the likes of Louis Pearl, The Amazing Bubble Man and strong woman Tera Zarra and more.

The Portland Clowns Without Borders Benefit Show is a true variety show: Clean comedy for adults and kids and all kinds of circus and variety arts. Each year, top-notch performers volunteer their time and talent to wow Portland audiences for a great cause. Proceeds of the show support CWB-USA’s work of relieving suffering through laughter in areas of crisis all over the world. This show will support CWB’s 2018 projects in storm-affected Puerto Rico, areas of Mexico affected by last year’s earthquake; and the Balkans where hundreds of thousands of refugees are seeking asylum. Fri. Event Details.


Create Your Own Topiary
Imagination and creativity are a must for this fun class! Children will learn about the art of topiary while getting firsthand experience creating their own topiary design out of soft wire. After making their own unique topiary shape, children will plant a vine at the base to climb up and cover the wire. Sat. Event Details.


Check Out February Second Saturday at the Water Center: Love your Backyard Birds
February is the perfect month to remember and show love to your backyard birds. It is also a good time to get ready for the Great Backyard Bird Count occurring Friday, Feb. 16, through Mon., Feb. 19. The Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual four-day event that encourages bird watchers of all ages to tally the number of birds seen and create a real-time snapshot of their locations. Enjoy fun, interactive activities related to birds from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 10, at the Water Resources Education Center. Sat. Event Details.

NW Portland

Try Little Chefs: Bread Making
Who doesn’t love the smell of freshly baked bread when you walk through the bakery section? Bread is always a good choice, whether it’s with some jelly or a side with your soup. It’s also easier to make than you would think it is. So quit loafing around and learn how to make some bread!

Children ages 5-14 must attend with the supervision of a parent. All children 14 and over must have parent permission. This class is taught by Chef Jacobsen Valentine and is located at the new workshop kitchen. Sat. Event Details.

SE Portland

Get Ready for the Worst Day of the Year Ride
Grab your bikes and costumes and bring the whole family out for the new 1/2 Price Family Ride. Special treats at the Family Ride rest stop and all kids arriving in costume will receive a free Worst Day gift! Sat. Event Details.

SW Portland

Head to the Fastelavn – Nordic Carnival
Fastelavn Party! Celebrate the Carnival season in Nordic fashion with this family-friendly day at Nordia House! Throw on your favorite costumes, bring your whole family, and join in for an afternoon of crafts, games, fastelavnsboller, snacks, beverages, hilarities and a costume contest.

Fastelavn is the name for Carnival in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland and the Faroe Islands. Children dress up in costumes, play games, make fastelavnsris (decorate tree branches) and slå katten af tønden (“hit the cat out of the barrel”), which is somewhat similar to using a piñata. It’s a wooden barrel, which is full of candy. The kid who knocks down the bottom of the barrel (making all the candy spill out) is the kattekonge (“king of cats”), the runner-up becomes kattedronning (“queen of cats”). The holiday is generally considered to be a time for children’s fun and family games. Sun. Event Details.

What is your favorite mid-February event? Share it with us in the comments below.

—Annette Benedetti