What do African music, an Italian carnival, Dr. Seuss’ birthday, building winter shelters and owls have in common?  One fun-filled weekend, that’s what.  Read on to find out about activities are happening in and around Portland to keep your little ones dancing, learning and (cue the music) Stayin’ Alive.  Have fun! King_george_marimba


African Marimba Concert
Grab your dancing shoes and put some cultural flair into your weekend with the the 19th Annual Student Marimba Recital.  The concert features seven student bands from MyLinda King’s Marimba School performing this high-energy music originating from Zimbabwe, South Africa and Botswana.  A raffle will also be held to benefit Tariro, a grassroots non-profit, working in Zimbabwe to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS by educating young women and girls. Sat.,12-4:30 p.m., Free, All Ages. Event details.


Dr. Seuss Birthday Party
Celebrate Dr. Seuss’ life and books with your kids this weekend with Seuss-inspired games like pin the green eggs on the plate, Dr. Seuss tic-tac-toe, Fox in Socks Twister and giant Dr. Seuss floor puzzles.  Crafts will include making There’s a Wocket in My Pocket books, foot tracing inspired by The Foot Book and art inspired by Thing 1, Thing 2 and the Star-Bellied Sneech. Sun., 1:30-2:30 p.m., Free, All Ages. Event details.

Owl Fest
Did you know that Portland is teeming with owls this time of year?  Come and learn about these fascinating nocturnal birds with Tryon Creek’s Owl Fest. The event features a meet-and-greet with the Audubon Society’s Education Owls, Hazel and Julio, as well as owl pellet dissection, guided hikes, presentations, owl crafts and snacks from Clif Bar. Sat., 5-7 p.m., Free, All Ages, Event details.

Italian Children’s Carnival
Join Scuola Italiana di Portland for the 9th annual Festa di Carnevale for Kids.  The carnival features energetic games, tasty Italian treats, a clown show with BJ the Clown and a silent auction to benefit the school. Reservations required in advance via email. Sat., 3-6 p.m., $15/child 2-17, free for adults, All Ages. Event details.

Worth the Drive

Stayin’ Alive with Winter Shelters
Staying warm and dry in the winter without a sleeping bag and tent is definitely an acquired skill, but if a squirrel can do it, so can you. Learn how to build a shelter to keep yourself warm and dry in this Stayin’ Alive family class, led by Dan Daly.  After the intro, kids will be able to play by the river, under adult supervision, where they can build their own forts for fun.  Advance registration required. Sat., 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., $5/vehicle and $6/person or $11/family, All Ages. Event details.

Who’s ready for spring?  Let us know your thoughts in the Comments below!

— Suzie Ridgway

Photo courtesy of King George Marimba via Creative Commons