School’s back in session, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to end. Portland is full of weekend events that keep both you and your kiddos learning while getting creative, dancing, and exploring your beautiful surroundings. This weekend’s roundup has something that will appeal to every family no matter the mood, energy level, or interest.

view from tram

photo: By Michael Andersen via Flickr CC


Dancing Back to School at the Tram
Celebrate September with a day of family fun at the Portland Tram. This month there is a special treat – members of the Oregon Ballet Theatre will perform at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. and will be available for questions and photos after each performance. Ceramic tiles will also be available for children to paint – your budding artist may see their tile installed on the Tram mosaic! The views from the Tram and the upper observation deck will be stunning and perfect for a back to school family portrait. Sat. Event Details.

SE Portland

Get a Taste of Latinoamerica Food & Culture
Eat, drink, dance and explore your way from Mexico to the tip of South America at Portland’s Taste of Latinoamérica Festival at Portland Mercado. New and established businesses will fill your plate with foods, drinks and cultural activities from various regions of Mexico, Central America, South America & the Caribbean Islands. The whole family will enjoy live music, dancing, art, kids activities, drink garden y mas! Sat. Event Details.

SW Portland

Take Your Little Builders to Build-topia
Build-Topia is a magical land brimming with possibility. Whether your little builders wants to create a giant cardboard city, build a house out of life-sized Lincoln Logs, or design a new fashion wardrobe, Build-Topia is the place to bring their imaginations to life. It doesn’t matter if you’re 2 or 102, Build-Topia is a land just for you! Fri. Event Details.
Join the Back-to-School Crafting Day
Take a break from your new school schedule and remember how fun your summer was, crafting the day away at The Craft Factory. All crafts are just $10, and sweet treats are provided! Sat. Event Details.

Learn Your Bee Basics!
Head to the Children’s Museum and learn about bees as amazing builders! Discover how bees turn honey into beeswax, how wasps chew wood into paper nests, how people make homes for honey, mason and bumble bees so our gardens give much more food. Check out the observation hive with live bees, and touch empty nests of bumbles, masons hornet and yellow jackets, and get a close look at sheets of comb and lumps of propolis. Sun. Event Details.

PJ Library Back to School at the Zoo
Pack up the family and head to the zoo to celebrate the return of the school year! There will be crafts, music and stories, and a zoo scavenger hunt! RSVP required at Sun. Event Details.

NE Portland

Make a Play Date! with Mo Phillips
Get sweet. Get fun. Get moving & Rock Out with Mo and Play Date! Award-winning, kindie music tour de force, Play Date, is back with infectious melodies and empowering lyrics that will get the whole family bopping. Husband and wife duopunk rocker Greg Attonito (The Bouncing Souls) and singer-songwriter Shanti Wintergate Play Date has entertained audiences across the nation. Their original tunes are infused with flecks of garage rock, dancehall, pop, synth, torch, and alt rock. Sun. Event Details.


Head to Pioneer School
Take your kids to Pioneer School! Learn how early pioneer children experienced education. You can test your skills by grinding coffee, stacking wood, kneading dough, and playing games. You and your children will also have the chance to complete a lesson on a slate and write with a quill & ink. Sat. Event Details.


Get Creative at the Columbia Flyway Wildlife Show
This Second Saturday event is part of the annual Columbia Flyway Wildlife Show. There’s a  wood carving show and bird-related activities that will engage and educate the whole family. Your little birder can paint little wooden birds and color and learn about them. End the day by checking out the intricate wildlife carvings on the second floor of the Water Center. Sat. Event Details.

Learn About Native American Art and Culture
Head to the Cathlapotle Plankhouse at the Carty Unit on the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge
and check out contemporary indigenous art, a naturalists lead ethnobotany hike, and family friendly activities. Your family will love the combination of getting close to nature while learning about the Native American culture through this educational and hands-on experience. Sun. Event Details.

Does your family have a favorite educational event? Let us know in the comments below.

—Annette Benedetti