It’s somehow already almost the end of summer. August crept up on us, stores are advertising back-to-school sales, and the kids are already dreading the return to the classroom. You may wonder where the summer went—it happens to all of us. But don’t worry, there’s still time to squeeze in more seasonal adventures before kids go back to school.
One of the great benefits of living where we do is the wealth of events and activities. There’s always something going on, and the month of August is no exception. So, if you’re trying to plan one last summer excursion with the kids, or just want a memorable afternoon, here are some of our favorite local activities. These are, of course, just a few possibilities. If you can’t find something to keep you busy in Portland, you’re not really looking.
Get Back to Nature
One of the best parts of living where we do is the ready access to nature in its many forms. We’re never more than a few miles removed from the great outdoors. We’re close to river rafting, rock climbing, and every outdoor activity you care to name. Mount Hood isn’t far off, Ecola State Park is the closest beach hike to Portland, and the Willamette National Forest is easy to get to and home to some eye-popping sights. Hiking, camping, kayaking, and the like are fantastic, healthy, memorable ways to get out and explore part of what makes this area so special. It’s not hard to arrange an adventure with the kids before they head back to school.
Total Solar Eclipse
On Monday, August 21, the entire United States will experience a total solar eclipse. Where you live determines whether or not you’ll see the full eclipse or just part. Fortunately for us, Oregon is ground zero as far as this particular eclipse is concerned. Many locations will only have a partial view, but much of the state will see the whole thing. Down around Salem will get 100% obstruction. Portland, however, will still see it at more than 99%, which isn’t half bad. It begins at roughly 9:00 a.m. and remember, don’t stare directly at it.
Movies are a great way to spend a hot summer afternoon, especially since theaters all have air conditioning. Most of the big summer blockbusters have already come, but you can always catch up with what you missed. And theaters aren’t the only way to explore cinema. One way various groups celebrate the spectacular weather this time of year is with outdoor screenings. There is a variety to choose from, from newer films to classics, and they make for a fun family outing.
Clark County Fair
What would summer vacation be without a fair? Sure, the Clark County Fair isn’t exactly in Portland, or even Oregon for that matter. But it’s close enough to be worth the trip. Packed with rides, exhibits, and deep fried foods of all varieties, it’s sure to have something for everyone. You and the kids can see exotic animals, enter gaming tournaments, and even attend Cowboy Boot Camp. Entertainment ranges from comedians and the Washington State Fiddle Championships to the rodeo, to concerts with the likes of Melissa Etheridge and The B-52s. It’s basically everything you want out of a county fair and a blast before heading back to school.
Portland Timbers and Thorns
The Trail Blazers’ season may still be months away, but that doesn’t mean Portland is devoid of sports. The town’s a wee bit soccer crazy of late, and both the Portland Timbers and Thorns are rolling right along. Both teams have home games throughout August and September. These games are fun family bonding experiences and make for memorable excursions. They also have the added benefit of getting you and the kids outside for a bit before they head back to school. Rose City ’til we die!
There is, of course, also a nearly endless supply of other things to do in and around Portland. What you choose depends on what you and the kids are into. But if you’re after one more adventure before the kids go back to school, all you have to do is look.