Portland Public Schools are out Friday, giving most families in the area a 3-day weekend. Keep the kids busy by giving back to the community with Youth Volunteer Day at Schoolhouse Supplies, jumping aboard The Polar Express train, going to the Plants vs. Zombies: Lawnmageddon Comic Book Signing or being there to see the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree as it travels from Washington state to Washington D.C. polar.express


Plants vs. Zombies: Lawnmageddon Comic Book Signing
Based on the award-winning PopCap game, Plants vs. Zombies, Dark Horse Comics releases the comic book, “Plants vs. Zombies: Lawnmageddon.”  The story, by Paul Tobin, Ron Chan and Matthew Rainwater, follows inventor, Crazy Dave, as he helps his niece, Patrice, fend off the “fun-dead.”  In addition to getting a hardcover of the comic signed by the authors, kids can have their pictures taken with a PvZ zombie, play the PvZ game and enter to win PopGames prizes.  Free snacks and beverages will be provided. Sat., 12-3 p.m., Free. All Ages. Event details.

Youth Volunteer Day at Schoolhouse Supplies
Get your kids involved in giving back to teachers and fellow students in need with Youth Volunteer Day at Schoolhouse Supplies.  Even kids as young as 5 can help by tallying and sorting donations, with projects like grouping sets of pencils, filling bins and stocking shelves in the free store. Reservations required. Fri., 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Free. Ages 5 and up. Event details.

Improv Comedy Show for Kids
The Curious Garden takes to the stage the second Sunday of each month, with its wacky cast, Razzie the Fairy, Ribbit the Frog, Flappy the Chicken, Meowzers the Cat, Renard the Raccoon, and Dottie the Ladybug.  The show carries on with a basic plot line, then twists with hilarious suggestions from the kids in the audience, making the story even more intriguing. At the end, kids line up and take a turn at the mic with their best joke, short story or song. Snacky food, like popcorn and hummus plates, as well as beverages are available for purchase. Sun., 10:30 a.m., $5 suggested donation. Ages 8 and under. Event details.


School’s Out Nature Day Camp
Schools are out today, but that doesn’t mean kids can’t learn a thing or two.  Gear them up for the weather and drop them off  for a rainforest adventure into Tillamook State Forest. Once there, kids will discover what animals live there and how humans survived under those conditions for years.  Their day camp program, Rain, Rain Rainforest will also offer up hiking, crafts and games.  Pack a water bottle, lunch and two snacks, too.  Advanced registration required. Fri., 7:45 a.m.-5:15 p.m., $69. Ages 7-11. Event details.

Worth the Drive

U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Tour
The 2013 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree is making its way from Colville National Forest in northeast Washington state to Washington D.C. for its slated Thanksgiving arrival. Today, the tree will stop briefly for all to behold its 80-foot glory in downtown Vancouver.  Hot beverages, entertainment and special guests, Santa, Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl, will be there to send off tree in style as it travels east to the capitol lawn. Sat., 9-11 a.m., Free. All Ages. Event details.

Polar Express Train Ride
Beginning this weekend, passengers will climb aboard the holiday train in their cozy pjs, have their golden tickets punched by the conductor, then take a short train ride from Mt. Hood to the North Pole, listening to the story of “The Polar Express,” as they sip hot cocoa and munch on cookies. Once at the North Pole, children watch as Santa and his elves jump on board. Elves will be in each car, leading Christmas carols while Santa makes his way through the train to hand out silver bells to each child on the return trip. Reservations are required.Sat. times vary, $18-$46. All Ages. Event details.

Which of these events will you put on your calendar for this weekend?

— Suzie Ridgway

Photo credit: Matthew A. via Yelp