Our beautiful city is bursting with color as leaves turn and the last petals of the fall flowers drop. Make the most of this stunning season by filling your weekend with events that celebrate our area. Watch the magic of the swifts dancing in the air, attend the color run and raise money for a great cause, or join in some harvest fun at OMSI. Read on to find out where you family can find their weekend adventures.

photo: el-hund via flickr

NW Portland

Try the Italian Language Mommy and Me Playgroup
Join a free weekly Italian language playgroup for ages one through four years old. It’s never too early to share a second language and culture with a child! Enjoy stories, activities, and free play. Fri. Event Details.

Join the Vaux’s Swift Watch
Vaux’s Swifts are using the Chapman Elementary School chimney as an evening roost during their fall migration. Grab a seat on the school lawn and in neighboring Wallace Park to watch and listen as the birds gather overhead. On most evenings, Portland Audubon volunteers will be on hand to share information about Vaux’s Swifts.Swiftwatching has become a popular activity at Chapman, and on many evenings, more than 2,000 people gather to watch these aerial acrobats. Fri. Event Details.


Attend GLOW Night
Gather your little jumping beans and get ready for some high-flying fun. the Sky Zone is different after dark. Lasers, music and blacklight transform the whole park into a crazy jumping dance club. Flips are limited to Foam Zone during Glow. Waivers are required for all persons entering the park during Glow. Fri. Event Details.

NE Portland

Join the Color Dash 5K
Chances are, you’ve seen the crazy color runs. Now it’s your chance to try one with the kids. Get the family ready to run for fun and a good cause. Sign up together to make a difference.This run benefits the Serendipity Center, a local nonprofit therapeutic school serving 37 counties in Oregon and SW Washington. Serendipity Center’s mission to provide the best environment for their students to heal and become educated, productive community members. Sat. Event Details.

Head to the Columbia Slough Symposium
Creek Colleges are experimental schools that bridge art and environmental conservation. They offer a range of free art classes in exchange for aid in the restoration of watersheds suffering from environmental degradation. Creek College is hosting a symposium in collaboration with NAYA (Native American Youth and Family Center) and the Columbia Slough Watershed Council. The symposium will take place Saturday, September 30th, featuring new classes along with and a panel discussion at the end of the day. All events are free and open to the public. Classes will take place at Whitaker Pond at the Native American Youth and Family Center. Sat. Event Details.


Head to the 35th Soroptimist International of Gresham Annual Teddy Bear ParadeGrab the kids and get ready for some big fanfare and fun. Soroptimist’s Teddy Bear Parade is a beloved community event. This is the 35th year for the parade. Join for a fun morning and bring a teddy bear for the Trauma Intervention Program (TIP). Sat. Event Details.

SE Portland

Attend the All American Magic and Ventriloquists Show
Get ready for two hours filled with head-scratching illusions, music and the hilarious comedy magic of Mark Benthimer and ventriloquist, Scott Davis. The theater also has a snack bar with cotton candy and popcorn for a buck, plenty of free parking and an onsite retail Magic Shop. Buy your tickets in advance online because the show sells out every time! Sat. Event Details.

Attend a Cloth Diapering on a Budget Workshop
This is a free workshop for income eligible families interested in cloth diapering their child(ren). Attendees receive great information, resources, and free gently-used cloth diapering supplies. Families receiving WIC, SNAP or other government subsidies are automatically eligible. Babies are welcome. Sun. Event Details.

Check Out OMSI Harvest Festival in SE PDX
Enjoy the bounty of Oregon while indulging in snacks, sweets, beer and produce from the Pacific Northwest region! Learn about Oregon specialty crops with over 40 vendors from local farms, CSA’s, cooking demonstrations and artisan vendors. There’s fun for the whole family, including kids activities, a beer tent and live entertainment on the stage. Come celebrate the harvest season at OMSI! Sun. Event Details.

Oregon City

Check out Wing It!
“Wing It” is an interactive theatre series for children aged 2-10. It invites audience members to join a cast of characters known as the forest friends as they solve another one of life’s conundrums, and have some fun along the way. As summer wraps up, the forest friends are eager to get back to school and tell their friends about all of the exciting adventures they had while on break. Kids get to actively participate in the performance to help create the forest friends’ tale.Young audience members are sure to enjoy the songs and dances, and have lots of fun! Sat. Event Details.

How do you celebrate the beginning of October? Share your best suggestions in the comments below.

—Annette Benedetti