October is the best time of year strange and fascinating weekend activities. You don’t have to take our word for it. Check out the local Great Onion Festival and enter the stinkiest breath contest or make your very on light saber at iSpark Toys 2nd Birthday Bash. Whatever you do, make sure to stop and take some time to enjoy the changing colors of the season before they pass. Read on to find out more.

photo: Great Onion Festival via facebook


Check Out the Portland Regional Gem and Mineral Show
Grab your little rock hounds and check out this cool show. You’ll meet 45 dealers with rocks, fossils, gems, minerals, beads, tools, and jewelry. Peruse 100 Exhibits of fossils, lapidary arts, and minerals and watch demonstrators showing faceting of precious stones, wire wrapping, cabochons, and more.Kid’s  will enjoy the activity corner with games and prizes and adults will love the door and raffle prizes. Fri. Event Details.

iSpark Toys 2nd Birthday Bash
Invited, you are, to iSpark Toys Star Wars Party! iSpark Toys will be celebrating its 2nd birthday on October 14 and 15th. Join iSpark Toys for activities and crafts all day long:

Take photos with your favorite characters. Make mini light-up light sabers. Build 3-D mini-figures. Have your face painted.Play games and win prizes. Sat & Sun. Event Details.

SW Portland

Attend Family Forest Friday at Hoyt Arboretum
School is out for Portland Public Schools on October 13! Take the family to Hoyt Arboretum for a self-guided scavenger hunt and find the answers with your kids as your stroll along the wooded trails and enjoy fall foliage — together, you’ll identify trees, explore wildlife, and engage with nature through touch, smell, sound, and feel. Stop by the Visitor Center to pick up your free game card and map, then return at the end of your hike to pick up a small prize (one per child). Two versions of the scavenger hunt will be available – one for children ages 8 and under, another version for ages 8 -13. Fri. Event Details.

Hood River

Head to Hood River Harvest Festival
This old-fashioned fall festival brings together more than 120 vendors offering local produce and food products, plus arts and crafts, wine, cider and beer tastings. Held along the scenic Hood River waterfront, this is the Columbia River Gorge’s biggest celebration of the region’s incredible fall bounty.Festival-goers can load up on boxes of Hood River favorites, including fresh pears, apples, pumpkins, berries and flowers, and a wide variety of local foods, from pies and jams to smoked salmon and chocolate-covered cherries.Youngsters will love the kids’ activity area, complete with bouncy houses, face painting and other activities. All festival-goers ages 15 and up are invited to take part in the popular pie eating contests on Saturday and Sunday at 2pm. Fri., Sat. & Sun. Event Details.


Catch Al’s 22nd Annual Kids’ Bulb Day
Don’t miss this fun free event! Join children from all over Oregon and Washington to plant a pot of bulbs and flowers to take home and grow. This day is full of smiles and fun, so don’t forget your camera! There are 3 sessions at each of Al’s 4 locations: 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 1:30 p.m. Sat. Event Details.


Do Art In The Burbs
Art in the Burbs will return to Tigard High School on October 14 & 15. The two day annual festival, now in its 18th year, will transform the main gym and commons of Tigard High School into an art show with original works from more than 85 juried local artists – all items will be available for sale. Discover handmade jewelry, ceramics, watercolors, exterior art, metal sculptures, cards, home goods, soaps, clothing, handbags, glass, wood and so much more. It’s the perfect excuse to get your holiday shopping started early! 20% of proceeds go back into student art programs. Enjoy food carts, live music and student art galleries! Sat. Event Details.


Spanish Story & Play Time
Join other local parents and kids for bubbles, maracas, stories and oodles of fun as they move, sing and learn some Spanish along the way. Sat. Event Details.


Check Out The Second Saturday at the Water Center
Do you have some animal lovers in the family. Kids and families are invited to help celebrate animals who serve our community at the Water Center. The afternoon will feature furry and feathered guests, as well as hands-on science activities. Sat. Event Details.


Head to the Great Onion Festival
Don’t miss this fabulous day full of family fun!  Enjoy  Fireman’s recipe chicken dinners, over 35 vendors, and onion contests including: onion rolling, onion eating, stinkiest breath and Best Dang Onion Dish.  There are plenty of activities for the kids and lots of performances on the entertainment stage! Sat. Event Details.

N Portland

Eat, Drink and Raise Money for CDH Awareness!
Ladybug CDH Foundation is the Charity of the Day for Oregon Public House on Oct. 17. Dine, drink and raise funds to help NW families with a baby in the NICU with CDH. Live music will be from 5 p.m.-close in the Vintage Ballroom by donation. All ages welcome. Sun. Event Details.

What is one of the most unique fall events you family has attended? Share it with us in the comments below.

—Annette Benedetti