The last month of summer has officially arrived, but that doesn’t mean all of the fun is behind us. And, because some kids may have hit the mid-summer slumps, that gives us even more reason to spring into action. Sandy toes, saggy paper wrist bands, happy photos and ear-to-ear grins await. Welcome to August in Portland. This is how we do it.

photo credit: Liz Overson

1. Go for a Ride
Perhaps you crave an alpine slide, zip line and/or giant hamster ball adventure like at Mt Hood Skibowl Adventure Park? Or maybe you envision a soaking wet, happiest-20-minutes-ever log ride, followed by an icy Jetson-esque roller coaster thrill at Enchanted Forest? Or, by all means, would you rather rock a close-to-home spin on the 2nd oldest and still running carousel in the US at Oaks Park? Whatever your thrill ride poison, all of these are available within in hour of Portland.

Mt Hood Skibowl Adventure
88335 E Government Camp Loop Rd.
Government Camp, Or


Enchanted Forest
 8462 Enchanted Way SE
Turner, Or

Oaks Park
7805 SE Oaks Park Way
Portland, Or

2. Get Wet
With options from lakes to rivers to our favorite public pool –  there is no time like the present to cool off and float around. And nothing wipes the kiddos out like swimming! However, Blue Lake and Vancouver Lake have both had bacterial issues this summer so be sure to check the web or call ranger stations before heading to our local lakes. Meanwhile, our rivers are bringing it (some with hefty undertow) and Wilson Pool is outdoors and has open swim every afternoon of the week.

Wilson Pool
1151 SW Vermont St.
Portland, Or

photo credit: Liz Overson

3. Root for the Home Team
The Timbers and Thorns soccer teams and the Hops and Volcanoes minor league baseball teams all want you! Open air seating, enthusiastic crowds, unbridled talent and in some cases divinely family-friendly priced tix await. And they serve beer. Once autumn rolls in, they’re done, unless, of course, they’re in the playoffs.

Timbers & Thorns
Providence Park
1844 SW Morrison St.
Portland, Or

Hillsboro Hops
Ron Tonkin Field
4460 NW 229th Ave.
Hillsboro, Or

The Salem-Keizer Volcanoes
6700 Field Of Dreams Way
Keizer, Or

4. Hit a Street Fair
Maybe you made it to Mississippi Street Fair, maybe you didn’t. Fear not. There are heaps more street fests all month long in August, ready to delight and entertain the minis and their grown ups. Alberta Street and Hawthorne Street fairs are two of the bigger ones, and they’re both in August. Lucky us.

photo credit: Liz Overson

5. Sing with the Band
There’s a free, outdoor concert pretty much every evening this month. Pack a picnic and have a blast. If you prefer a more traditional concert venue than your local park, the Oregon Zoo and Edgefield are barely halfway through their summer shows. Pack only low chairs and blankets if you don’t have an assigned seat, bring only unopened bottled water and don’t forget the earphones for the minis.

The Oregon Zoo
4001 SW Canyon Rd.
Portland, Or

McMenamins Edgefield
2126 SW Halsey St.
Troutdale, Or

6. Take in a Flick
Flicks on the Bricks, Movies in the Park and Dive in Movies are surrounding us with fantastic film choices all month long. For the Dive-In variety, the pools are warmed to keep floaters toasty warm. For Flicks on the Bricks, bring your chairs and blankets. Lastly, if you are aching for a throwback, non-floating movie experience for your reel-lovin’ next gen,  head to Newberg’s real deal drive-in. Aw yeah.

99W Drive-In
3110 Portland Rd.
Newberg, Or

photo credit:Liz Overson

7. Hit the Beach
Even if the ocean is tooooo c-c-c-cold to truly bask in, the beaches here do not disappoint. Keep an eye on the weather for our western shore. There’s always an August gem of a day to go and play. We heart us some Pacific City fun, Seaside silliness, Astoria magic,  and of course – Cannon Beach merriment.

8. Count Some Stars
From Cape Lookout to Lost Lake and hundreds of others between and beyond, there are numerous, amazing family camping options all over Oregon. Cabins, yurts, and good ole platforms beckon your family for lifelong memories. Grab your outdoor champions and enjoy some nature. Bonus points if you see the Milky Way.

Cape Lookout
13000 Whiskey Creek Rd.
Tillamook, Or

Lost Lake Resort & Campground
9000 Lost Lake Rd.
Lost Lake, Or

photo credit: Liz Overson

9. Embrace Our Best: Farms and Fish
There is no time like the present to berry pick, cherry pick and lavender snip. Our local farms are dynamite and always worth the undertaking. From Sauvie Island to Oregon City to Hood River, it’s on at these local treasures. Or, if you’re feeling more like a hunter than gatherer,  grab your bait and tackle and hit a stocked pond, river or stream. In late August, salmon are running and waters are high. And even if you prefer not to catch them, you can admire their exhausting journey upstream at Bonneville Dam. Educational trip, anyone?

Bonneville Dam
40 miles East of Portland
near Cascade Locks
Exit 40 off of I-84 East

10. Explore a New Corner of Town
Whether it’s a shady playground on the other side of town, a day trip to Lake Oswego, bike riding in an unknown park, or creating a groovy exploit on the Washington side of the Gorge, summer is for new adventures. Pile in the kids and on the sunscreen and away you go!

How will you and your kiddos round out the dog days of summer? Tell us in the Comments section below! 

– Liz Overson

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