Getting out and about for Labor Day weekend is almost a rite of passage, what with cooling temperatures and that exciting feeling of change in the air. The kids might be headed back to school but you still have that long weekend to celebrate the end of summer. So if you’re wondering what there is to do over Labor Day weekend in Portland, we’ve got just what you need. From festivals and fairs to outdoor movies and not-to-miss museum exhibits that won’t stick around, here are 13 ways to spend Labor Day weekend as a family.

1. Head to the Dahlia Festival. The Annual Dahlia Festival is a rainbow of color and blooms for every flower lover. Come see these fields bursting with botanical fireworks that range through 370 varieties! Learn how to grow your own, or bring some cut flowers home with you from this free event that spreads more than 40 acres. Event details

2. Celebrate Ukrainian Day. Celebrate Ukraine and its culture while helping to raise funds for a good cause at the same time. Bring the kids to experience Ukrainian music, dance, food, and more at this one-day fest taking place over Labor Day weekend. Event details

3. Explore The Gorge. Get out and play in Portland’s backyard, the Columbia River Gorge. It’s a popular weekend to go there, so use Ready, Set, GOrge to plan and travel safe. You can also book popular attractions like Multnomah Falls, which now requires reservations. In addition, the site has maps, trailhead information, shuttle options, and more to make this a fabulous weekend trip. If you’re coming from Portland, head north to the Washington side or further east to The Dalles to beat the crowds and find spectacular scenery.

Related: Spectacular Waterfall Trails to Hit Now

4. See a great thinker at OMSI. The World of Leonardo da Vinci exhibit closes its doors at OMSI after Labor Day. This weekend is your last chance to catch it. Even the kiddos will enjoy learning about one of history's greatest minds and talents. Don't miss viewing two original 500-year-old Leonardo da Vinci folios—being shown for the first time in the Pacific Northwest—along with more than 30 reconstructions of machines made by this influential artist, architect, and engineer. Event details

5. Find fantastic eats. Asian street food is what you'll find at this outdoor food fest hosted by Cully Central. Bring your appetites and some cash, and enjoy the live music along with the food. Event details

6. Take a dip in a swimming hole. Cool off over Labor Day weekend and have a blast with a dunk in the water at one of these natural spots around town.

Related: 10 Places to Get Your Feet Wet in PDX

It's evening and the swings are lit up and circling at the Oregon State Fair on Labor Day Weekend
Oregon State Fair

7. Visit the Oregon State Fair. Labor Day Weekend is the grand finale to the summer’s big event, the Oregon State Fair. The Fair's final eleven days finish off with a bang with livestock competitions, cook-offs, six stages of live music, dog shows, and plenty of baby animals. Future farmers, animal lovers, and fried food aficionados are welcome. Event details

8. View wildlife at Portland Audubon. Join a special Labor Day Weekend event to search for shorebirds at Audubon Birding Day: Experiencing Migration at the North Coast. If the event is full (or you don't want to pay the extra cash to attend), you can still explore Portland Audubon's 172-acre Wildlife Sanctuary with hiking trails, a wildlife care center, and a nature store. Event details

9. Enjoy an outdoor movie. You don't need to bring popcorn to this community event, but you can bring blankets, low-back chairs, and a pair of pj's for the kids. As the final outdoor movie of the season, families can enjoy Soul (rated PG) at the park over Labor Day weekend. Event details

10. Find Art in the Pearl. This free three-day festival has been named one of the best art fairs in the country, and it's what Labor Day weekend is all about. It combines more than 100 artists showcasing their work alongside original songs, great food, and hands-on activities for kids. Event details

11. Spend the Day at McMenamins. With a variety of locations and events across the Northwest, McMenamins boasts unique family fun in refurbished historical locales steeped in history. They offer a myriad concerts and dinners along with miniature golfing, frisbee golf, soaking pools, beer and wine tastings, and more. Edgefield, Kennedy School, and Grand Lodge are just a few of the great locations to check out over Labor Day weekend.

12. Head to Oaks Park. An amusement park might just be the best way to send summer off with a bang on Labor Day weekend. Head to our favorite Oaks Park for all-ages rides, a carnival, a train ride, and the all-important snacks.

13. Celebrate National Cinema Day. Go to the movies on National Cinema Day (September 3) for just $3 per ticket. Major chains like AMC and Regal Cinemas, along with college campus theaters and some smaller independent theaters, are set to participate. Check the website to find a participating theater near you. Event details.

Related: Best Portland Swimming Pools For Babies

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