The new year is here and chances are, your family is filled with excitement about all of the possibilities that 2018 holds for you. Start this January out right by filling your weekend with art and education. Hit the Children’s Museum for a free family night or take a tour the Portland Art Museum with a docent who knows how to talk art kid style. There are an abundance of ways to enjoy all that is creative, so read on to find out where you can dance, draw, and play.

photo: Portland Children’s Museum via facebook

SE Portland

Check Out FROGZ
FROGZ is Imago Theatre’s signature work. It has been described as Cirque Du Soleil-evoking acrobatics mixed with Mummenschanz-like mime, set in a unique –yet accessible- French-influenced avant-garde playground. It is an unforgettable experience for children and adults alike and has been seen on stage and television by over a million people. The ingenious masks, mesmerizing movement, outlandish costumes, and original music score create a carnival of the absurd, presenting universal themes with a light touch, as animals take on human characteristics and inanimate objects, like orbs and slinkys, engage in silly humanistic movements.

FROGZ is penguins playing musical chairs, a cat trapped in a giant paper bag, orbs running wild through the audience, and a madcap revue of illusion, comedy and fun that has inspired audiences worldwide. FROGZ has been performed in China, Europe and at some of North America’s most revered festivals. Fri., Sat. & Sun. Event Details.

Head to the Winter Farmers Mercado

Support Local Growers, Artisans and Latino Entrepreneurs in the Indoor/Outdoor Farmers Market. This wonderful event will include kids activities, live music, food demonstrations, and chef at the market cooking & education program. Sat. Event Details.

Enjoy Music & Movement

Join award winning children’s educator and performer Aaron Nigel Smith as he gets the whole family moving, grooving and learning. Sun. Event Details.


Attend Free First Friday at the Portland Children’s MuseumIf your family loves the Portland Children’s Museum then don’t miss out on the Free First Friday opportunity. Grab your little imagineers and head to the museum for an evening of fun and creative play. This special evening is sponsored by Target. Fri. Event Details

Attend Portland Art Museum for $5 After 5 p.m.
Every Friday evening, you are invited to have a different Museum experience—a little bit more relaxed, more interactive, and more social experience. Admission is just $5 after 5 p.m.

Here’s what What the museum has in store:

  • Beer and pizza in the pop-up pub.
  • Unique tours and games—like slow looking and Game of Thrones tours.
  • Twitter and Instagram happenings like photo booths and Twitter takeovers.
  • Art Guides—friendly folks ready to answer questions and help you make the most of your visit.
  • Occasional special events like 3-hour exhibitions.

Fri. Event Details.

Take the Family Tour at the Portland Art Museum
Explore the Museum with a docent skilled in bringing art to life. Public tours depart from the Park Avenue entrance. Tours are free for members or with Museum admission, and free for children age 17 and younger. Sun. Event Details.

Go See the Kids Concert: Dinosaurs!
Does anything stir the imaginations of young minds like dinosaurs? Tyrannosaurus, Stegosaurus, and plenty of other “sauruses” join the Velociraptor when the music from Jurassic Park perches our audience on the edge of their seats. Sun. Event Details.

West Linn

Participate in the Mary S. Young Park Work Party
Head to the beloved Mary S. Young Park to remove ivy at these first Saturday work days. Volunteers have worked continuously for more than 8 years to remove ivy and other non-native vegetation, plant native plants and trees, build trails, etc. You will get a good workout and feel good about contributing to the health of this beautiful forest. Tools are provided. Work gloves and sturdy footwear recommended. Activities include: Invasive Plant Removal. Sat. Event Details.


Attend the Mini Toy Show & Screening of Bride of Frankenstein
Vancouver Toy Junkies returns to the historic Kiggins Theatre in downtown Vancouver for a fun freebie and a good cause! The theatre lobby will be filled with select vintage toy vendors, doors open at 10 a.m. followed by a noontime screening of the classic Boris Karloff horror film Bride of Frankenstein (1935), considered by many critics as one of the best horror films of all time! Sat. Event Details.

NW Portland

Join the Printmaking + Art-making Event in Support of Reclaim MLK Day
The community is invited to the last print and art preparation event before the Big January 15th #ReclaimMLK March! This years theme is focused on Dr King and other civil and human rights leaders. Don’t Shoot, Portland’s Children’s Arts, and Social Justice Council will be launching the Freedom Unity Bazaar and you are welcome to help make that Dream a Reality!

They will be screen printing, printing large woodblock prints and producing Art for the Reclaim MLK Day March! No printmaking skills necessary. All are welcome! Sat. Event Details.

What is your family’s favorite way to celebrate and participate in local art? Share with us in the comments below.

—Annette Benedetti