This Labor Day Weekend is filled with exciting and educational events that will entertain every member of the family. From the Oregon State Fair to festivals with flowers and ethnic flair, plan carefully so that you can fit it all in. Check out our weekend roundup and then head out the door and go! go! go!

Oregon State Fair

photo: Jason Lander via Flickr


Hit the Oregon State Fair
Maybe you’re a regular at the Oregon State Fair. Maybe it’s been a while. And maybe—oh, please say it isn’t so—you’ve never been. Whatever your status, this much is true: There’s no such thing as too much summer fun, and there’s no better place to get your fair share than at the Oregon State Fair. Because with roots going back to 1861, this is one of the nation’s classic state fairs. Best of all, there’s fun at every turn. So pack the kids and head to the Fairground! Fri., Sat., and Sun. Event Details.

SW Portland


A Friday Night Date for the Whole Fam
Spend your Friday evening at the Portland Children’s Museum for free thanks to Target’s Free First Fridays program. Enjoy all the fun the museum has to offer and get home before bedtime (well, they might fall asleep in the car on the way home, but is that bad?) Fri. Event Details.

Grab a Bite at the Back to Shul All Community BBQ
Join congregation Neveh Shalom’s Annual end of summer all community all ages BBQ! Expect lots of hot dogs, shave ice and schmoozing! Sun. Event Details.

SE Portland


Check out the Arab Festival
Join the Oregon Arab American community for a day of fun at South Grove, Oaks Park on September 3rd. Everyone is welcome at this summer festival! The Mahrajan is a fun, family-friendly day filled with games, dancing, music, and food and crafts from around the Arab world. Come enjoy delicious food, live music, fashion, poetry, and games for all ages! Learn how to Dabke! Get a Henna Tattoo! Sat. Event Details.

Science Up Your Sunday
Head to OMSI for a major discount on admission, the first Sunday of every month. There’s no shortage of activities for all ages. Play in a Science Playground, shake it up in the Earthquake House and climb on board a real submarine. ($2 admission; theater, planetarium and submarine tours are $5/person). Sun. Event Details.

NW Portland

Check out the Dahlias!
If your littles love flowers they will burst when they get to check out 400 floral arrangements of dahlias indoors, 40 acres of dahlias outdoors, and dahlia growing and arranging demos at the Dahlia Festival at Swan Island Dahlias in Canby. Be prepared for hours of beautiful fun. Expect live music, balloon artists, face painting and more. It’s a must experience event for the whole family. Sat. and Sun. Event Details.

Enjoy Art in the Pearl
Head over to the Art in the Pearl Fine Arts & Crafts Festival. The festival fills the Northwest Portland Park blocks with art, theater, music, and hands-on activities for people of all ages. Sat., Sun. Event Details.


Find Out Why Nature’s Yucky!
Did you know that salmon rot while they are still alive? That turkey vultures poop on their feet? Or that honey is actually bee barf? Several wild animals of the Tillamook often have icky and gross behaviors, but for good reasons. Get grossed out and learn cool stuff at a program filled with “eeewwws” and “aahhhs” as you discover that nature can be disgusting, but also beautiful. Sat. Event Details.

Learn About Bashful Bears
Did you know that black bears are sometimes vegetarians? People often fear their bashful neighbor the bear, but head to the Tillamook Forest Center you and your little naturalists can learn how the black bears in the Tillamook State Forest are mostly misunderstood. Your little explorer will learn fascinating facts about the bear population, feel the pelt of a bear, and find out what to do if you meet one in the woods (or your backyard!) Sat. Event Details.


Make a Terrarium: Tiny Gardens of Color and Fun
Create a mini garden to invite dinosaurs or fairies to visit. A small dish garden is fun to create and easy to maintain. You and your little gardeners will use houseplants and succulents to create a magical fairy garden or mythical dinosaur highland. Sat. Event Details.

What is your favorite memory from one of your family trips to the Oregon State Fair? Tell us in the comments below.

—Annette Benedetti