Tuesday, May 31, 2011

June Goodness

This is my monthly list of free and low cost events for June around the greater Portland area.  I look for events which have some cultural or educational value.  I compile it for the homeschool group we belong to, which has kids 8ish and under, so if it sounds cool and doesn't specifically exclude that age group, I add it.  Many events have greater appeal.  A hearty thanks to this month's guest proofreader, Thomas the Turkey!  Please doublecheck any event you'd like to attend.  Mistakes, cancellations, and unexplained supernatural phenomena can happen.

Strawberries are one of the earliest crops you will find at the many pick-your-own farms in our area. They are generally ready in early June but the cold weather is delaying most everything by about two weeks (which is why there will be no roses for the Rose Festival!) Check out http://www.tricountyfarm.org/ and http://www.pickyourown.org/OR.htm to find a farm near you! And farmer’s markets begin to pick up steam as well. Find one near you at http://www.oregonfarmersmarkets.org/index.html

IMAX Film Festival”, Continuing through June 26., OMSI. Eight weeks of some of the best IMAX films available. Run times are generally around an hour. Seeing them on the big screen is really wonderful, and can be a great way to introduce little ones to movie theatres. Why? All stadium seating, short run times, super engaging topics, and the big, big, big screen. Learn more here: http://www.omsi.edu/filmfestival

Birding the Willamette Greenway”, Thursday, June 2, 7:30AM-9AM, South Waterfront at SW Curry St., Pdx. Free. “Meet Mike Houck (Director of the Urban Greenspaces Institute) for an early morning bird song walk along the temporary greenway trail at South Waterfront for residents and the public. Mike will point out the Great Blue Heron nesting colony on nearby Ross Island and identify birds by sight and song along the greenway. Meet on the greenway trail on the Willamette River side of the Meriwether at 7:30 am sharp. Bring your binoculars and spotting scopes and dress for the weather. No registration required.” http://audubonportland.org/about/events/gbh

Cinda Tilgner”, Thursday, June 2, 11AM, McMinnville Library; Thursday, June 9, 11AM, Newberg Library; Tuesday, June 21, 11AM, Hoodland Library, Welches, OR; Thursday, June 23, 11AM, Mienig Park, Sandy, OR; “Ukelele Fun for all ages”.  http://www.cinda1.com/index.html

Family Clay Nights”, every Friday until June 10, 6PM-8:30PM, Multnomah Arts Center, 7688 SW Capitol Hwy., Pdx. No preregistration required, and no out of district fees are charged. $10 per hour for a child and parent pair, $4 for each additional child. "Come as a family and play with clay! Includes glazes, firings, and 5 lbs of clay. Use of the potter's wheel by instructor approval only. Pay at MAC office." http://www.multnomahartscenter.org/

Herons of Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge”, Friday, June 3, and Saturday, June 4, 8AM-11AM, free. “This two-mile stroll around the 160-acre Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge is appropriate for the entire family. Mike Houck (Director of the Urban Greenspaces Institute) will point out Great Blue Herons, Bald Eagles, and a host of song birds that call the Bottoms home. Meet Mike at the parking lot at the north end of Sellwood Park at 8 am sharp! (corner of SE 7th Avenue and SE Sellwood Boulevard). Bring binoculars and dress for the weather. Part of the hike will be on dirt, possibly muddy, trail so wear appropriate footwear. No registration required.” http://audubonportland.org/about/events/gbh

Make a Panda Bear Mask!”, Friday, June 3, 2PM, Rockwood Library (registration required; register online); Saturday, June 25, 2PM, Central Library (free tickets will be available at 1:30PM); and Wednesday, June 29, 3PM, Holgate Library (registration required; register online). Suggested for ages 5 and up. “Join artist Kathy Karbo as she takes you on a crafting exploration of China’s cutest ambassador, the panda bear. Learn about their habitat, find out what they like to eat and get a glimpse of the ancient culture of China. Explore tools and construction skills using a variety of materials to create your own adorable panda mask.” 

Portland Youth Spelling Bee”, Saturday, June 4, Sign ups at 12:45 and bee at 1PM, Mississippi Pizza, 3552 N. Mississippi Ave, Pdx. “Are you a W-H-I-Z at spelling? Kids ages 5-18 are welcome to come strut their spelling stuff on the Mississippi Pizza stage. Three difficulty levels give everyone a chance to play. Winners take home fun prizes, and every speller gets a treat.” http://www.mississippipizza.com/

Plant Explorations at Blue Lake”, Friday, June 3, Saturday, June 4, and Sunday, June 5, 1PM-5PM, Blue Lake Regional Park, 20500 NE Marine Dr., Fairview, OR. Parking fee $5 per car, program free. Suggested for ages 3 and up. “Learn how seeds travel, stems sprout, plants grow, or how flowers make fruit in a beautiful children's garden. Enjoy fun activities such as potato printing, bookmark making, flower origami or leaf rubbings”. http://calendar.oregonmetro.gov/events/index.php?com=detail&eID=4285

Sing, Sign and Storytime: Farm Animals”, Saturday, June 4, 10:30AM. Albina Library. “Join local children's author Dawn Babb Prochovnic as she leads a lively, interactive storytime filled with songs, stories and signing activities. Dawn is the author of ‘The Nest Where I Like to Rest,’ and seven other picture books in the Story Time with Signs & Rhymes series. This hands-on workshop incorporates American Sign Language (ASL) into familiar children's songs and rhymes! Participants will learn the ASL signs for various animals including cows, ducks and mice. Best suited for preschool aged children and up.” http://www.smalltalklearning.com/

Guided Nature Walks”, Saturdays, 10AM-11:30AM, Tryon Creek State Park. “Join a park ranger for a free, guided nature hike to explore the forest and stream ecosystems and natural history at Tryon Creek State Natural Area. Topics will vary from week to week but will be appropriate for all ages. Parents must accompany kids on all hikes.” June 4: Wildflower Walk; June 11: Creek Critters; June 18: Tryon Tour of the Bridges, Pt. 1; June 25: Our Feathered Friends. http://www.tryonfriends.org/

Guided Walks at Leach Botanical Garden”, Every Saturday, 11AM-12PM, meeting in front of the manor house at 6704 SE 122nd Ave, Pdx. Check out what's blooming and explore different sections of the Garden with your volunteer guide. Each first Saturday of the month our gardener, Courtney Vengarick, will be leading the tour. These seasonal walks are free and appropriate for all ages. http://www.leachgarden.org/pages/events.php

“Junior Ranger Program”, Saturdays and Sundays in June, 1-2PM, Tryon Creek State Park, free. For ages 6-12. “Join a park ranger and learn how you can help protect our natural resources, plants and animals. Participating in nature games, nature crafts and park explorations will help junior rangers earn their badge. Parents MUST sign a permission slip before children participate. We strongly encourage you to participate with your children.” Each day features a different topic. June 4: Ethnobotany- Plants for Food; June 5: Invasive Weed Invaders; June 11: Water Cycle; June 12: Creek Critters; June 18: Busy Beas; June 19: Ethnobotany- Plants for Fiber; June 25- Butterflies; June 26: Geology. http://www.tryonfriends.org/

Champoeg State Heritage Area Bird Walk”, Saturday, June 4, 8AM-11AM, Free. “We’ll meet at the Lower Boones Ferry Backyard Bird Shop (16949 SW 65th Ave, Lake Oswego) at 8 a.m. Stroll along the Willamette River in stands of oak and Oregon ash on this free expert-guided bird walk. Naturalist Elaine Murphy leads you through the woods and meadows of Champoeg State Heritage Area, home of Oregon’s first provincial government and now, hundreds of species of birds including Western Bluebirds.” Advance registration required, 503-635-2044. http://backyardbirdshop.com/index.php/site/event/champoeg_state_heritage_area_bird_walk_-_june_4/

Oregon State Parks Day at Champoeg”, Saturday, June 4, Champoeg State Park, 8239 Champoeg Rd NE, St Paul, OR. “This annual event features a variety of activities to help visitors discover Champoeg: Tours of the 1860s kitchen garden and Old Champoeg townsite; Junior Ranger program for kids; refreshments. Free park admission, and free camping on Saturday night (regular campsites only). There will be drawing classes for kids 1PM-4PM. youngsters can learn the skills needed to draw a local animal. Skilled art instructor Ellen Grijalva will be teaching the art lesson every hour and parents are encouraged to take a farmstead or garden tour at the same time.” http://www.champoeg.org/events/other-public-events-at-champoeg.html

Knights of Veritas”, Saturday, June 4, 1PM, Fairview Park bandstand, Fairview, OR. The bandstand can be found at the south and of NE Village St. near City Hall. Free. “Knights of Veritas performs interactive shows using medieval arms, armor, combat, knighthood and chivalry. Through thrilling demonstrations of historical combat techniques, they will introduce the code of chivalry and demystify common fanciful misrepresentations of the Middle Ages. The program includes authentically weighted and detailed steel swords and armor to provide an eye-opening experience for the audience. Exciting hands-on sharing allows participants the rare opportunity to handle the weapons and try on the armor!” http://www.knightsofveritas.org/ This is really special. If your child has any interest in the middle ages, they will be riveted. 

The House That Mouse Built”, Saturday, June 4, 2PM, Green Bean Books, 1600 NE Alberta St., Pdx., and Saturday, June 25, 2PM, at Powell’s, Cedar Hills Crossing, 3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd., Beaverton, OR. Book signing with author Maggie Rudy. “Introducing our new picture book, The House That Mouse Built, which tells the story of Mouse and the exciting day when he loses his cheese but gains a wife! A charming and miniaturized riff on The House That Jack Built, told with lovingly handmade characters and detailed scenes, constructed with felt and scraps and scavenged materials. Children and grownups will be drawn into this extraordinary little world where furry caterpillars make friendly pets, a bread loaf makes a cozy home, and mice fall in love.” http://thehousethatmousebuilt.com/index.html You have to see the pictures on her website- ridiculously sweet. Seriously, bring some fluoride with you if you go.

BJ’s Backyard Clown Show”, Saturday, June 4, 10:30AM, Sellwood-Moreland Library; Thursday, June 23, 11AM, Forest Grove Library; and Thursday, June 22, 2PM, Banks Public Library. “Enjoy this fast paced comedy-variety-clown show with an exciting mix of magic, juggling, puppets, music, physical comedy and audience participation! BJ the Clown has performed over 1,500 comedy shows in public libraries for nearly 20 years. Nobody knows more than BJ about what makes children laugh!” http://www.BJtheClown.com/

Know Thy Food Farmer’s Market and Fun(d)raiser”, Sunday, June 5, 2-6PM, The Warehouse, 3434 SE Milwaukie Ave., Pdx. Suggested donation, $5 per person and $20 per family. “Market Day- meet the farmers. Live music by The Alphabeticians, Van Oodles, and Professor Banjo, farm fresh foods and goods, exciting silent auction, balloon twisting fun, giveaways and samples.” http://portlandgreenparenting.com/index.php/communitynews/48-community-news/273-know-thy-food-farmers-market-1-year-anniversary-a-fundraiser

Kid’s Nature Walk at Mt. Talbert Nature Park”, Sunday, June 5, 10AM-12PM, Free, preregistration required, suggested for ages 4-12,meet at the nature park. “Child educator and naturalist Elaine Murphy introduces kids to the plants and animals that live in the Pacific Northwest. Visit Mount Talbert Nature Park and take a close look at the forest life discovered using bug boxes, magnifiers, a field microscope, and a bird spotting scope. See natural artifacts like skulls, and animal evidence like pellets and chews. The park is just east of I-205 and south of Sunnyside Road. From Southeast Sunnybrook Boulevard turn south on 97th Avenue and follow until it becomes Mather Road. The park entrance is on the left off of Mather Road.” Call the Clackamas Backyard Bird Shop (503-496-0908) to pre-register. http://backyardbirdshop.com/index.php/site/event/kids_nature_walk_at_mount_talbert_nature_park_-_june_5_1000_to_noon/

Kid’s Drawing Party with Nancy Tillman”, Sunday, June 5, 1PM, Powell’s at Cedar Crossing, 3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd., Beaverton, OR. “From Nancy Tillman, author of ‘On the Night You Were Born’, comes the picture book ‘Tumford the Terrible’. Tumford isn't really a terrible cat. He just has a way of finding mischief, and he has a hard time saying, ‘I'm sorry.’ Will the fact that his owners love him no matter what help Tummy say the magic words? Join us for this special reading and children's drawing party!” http://www.nancytillman.com/main/

Sea Vegetables, Mussels and Other Seashore Edibles of the Pacific Coast”, Sunday June 5, leaving Tigard at 7:10AM for Lincoln City, and returning around 4PM., and Sunday, June 19, leaving Portland at 7:10AM for Lincoln City and returning around 4PM. $25 for adults, children 7-17 pay their age, children 0-6 are free, $3 discount for adult family members attending together, Native Americans, Scout leaders, and full time college students. Dr. John Kallas will lead an expedition to the Pacific coast where participants will learn about, identify, and gather samples of wild sea vegetables and seashore edibles during low tide. Find sea vegetables including nori, kombu, sea lettuce, fucus, alaria, laminaria, stir fry seaweed and more. We'll also find, discuss and gather mussels, barnacles, and other coastal edibles.” Lots more info and registration at: http://www.wildfoodadventures.com/workshop.html#SeaVeg1 

"Professor Banjo", Tuesday, June 21, 1:30PM and 3PM, Woodstock Library, Friday, June 24 (free tickets for each show will be given out 30 minutes before it starts), 12PM, Rockwood Library, opening for Harmonica Pocket Thursday, June 2, 6PM, at 6PM at the Kennedy School, 5736 NE 33rd Ave, free. Also he has regular gigs, every Monday at 10AM (except June 13) at Flying Cat Coffee, 3041 SE Division St., Pdx; Tuesdays at 10:30AM (except June 14) at the Warehouse Café 3434 SE Milwaukie Ave., Pdx; Wednesdays at 12PM (weather permitting) outside at Lot 13 (at N. Mississippi Ave. and N. Shaver St., behind the Fresh Pot Coffee Shop). "Paul Silveria performs for families as the banjo-slinging, old-time singing "Professor Banjo" entertaining children with sing-a-longs, dancing games, and stories, all accompanied by lively old-time music that parents can enjoy, too! Professor Banjo's shows are fun for a wide range of ages - from toddlers to tweens who still like to get up and dance around!" http://www.squaredancepaul.com/  Professor Banjo is awesome! 

Mo Philips”, Wednesday, June 22, 3PM, Sellwood Community Center, 1436 SE Spokane St., and Thursday, June 23, 11:45AM, Garden Home Community Library (this one is his special program where kids write, perform, and record their own song).  Mo has regular gigs every Tuesday at 10AM at Posie’s Café, 8208 N. Denver Ave., Pdx.; Fridays at 10 AM at Sound Roots, 3954 N Williams Ave., Pdx., $5 suggested donation per person; Thursday at 10:30AM at Milagros Boutique, 5433 NE 30th Ave, Pdx., $3 per walking human; and Thursday, June 9, at 6PM at Mississippi Pizza, 3552 N Mississippi Ave, $5 per family, as well as Sunday, June 12, and Sunday, June 26, 10AM at Flying Cat Coffee, 3041 SE Division St. “Mo performs interactive shows that respect the intelligence of young people with wit and irreverence, without being strictly scatological. This is music built for kids and parents alike! Mo does not dumb down lyrics or melodies for kids to "understand", and therefore sings about things whole families can appreciate. A fine, distilled blend of Americana, Soul and Blues, while not being afraid of a poppy hook or straight rockin' out.” http://www.mophillips.com/

Mr. Ben,” Saturday, June 18, 3PM, Kenton Library. He also has regular gigs around town. (Note that he will be on vacation the 1st week of June.) They are Tuesdays at 10:00AM at Milagros Boutique, 5433 NE 30th Avenue, Pdx, $3 per walking human, Wednesdays at 10AM at Eco Baby Gear, 2122 SE Division Street, Pdx, $5 suggested donation, Thursdays at 10AM at Mississippi Treehouse, 3742 N Mississippi Ave, Pdx, and Fridays at 10AM at Branch and Birdie, 8021 SE Stark St., Pdx. He introduces playing the ukulele to kids as young as 3. “Though most people know me as a performer, I think of myself first and foremost as an educator. Music education is the real motivation for why I do what I do. I believe that music should be and can be more accessible to all people. My primary goal is to eradicate the myth that some people are simply “non-musical.” We are all musical, and anybody can learn to play music. Yes, even you.” http://mrbenmusic.com/

Van Oodles”, Tuesdays at 10AM at Sound Roots, 3954 N Williams Ave., Pdx., $5 suggested donation per person; Wednesdays at 1PM at Milagros Boutique, 5433 NE 30th Ave., Pdx, $3 per walking human; Thursdays at 10:30AM at The Warehouse, 3434 SE Milwaukie Ave., Pdx;, and Fridays at 10AM at Café Au Play, 5633 SE Division St., Pdx. “From beat-boxing and a cappella to funny accents and pitch-shifting, Van Oodles uses a range of vocal techniques and effects to bring his quirky cast of characters to life. More than just having fun, kids learn from Van Oodles songs because they can understand and visualize the lyrics: a bee stuck in the house, washing clothes on a Sunday, a ladybug taking flight.” http://www.vanoodles.com/home.cfm

Preview of the Summer Sky”, Monday, June 6, 7PM and 8:15PM, Mt. Hood Community College Planetarium, $2. "All shows are presented under a realistic representation of the night sky, featuring the latest galactic, stellar and planetary images." http://www.mhcc.edu/planetarium/

Night of a Thousand Stars with Joel Preston Smith”, Tuesday, June 7, 6:30PM, Garden Home Community Library. You will know if this would be of interest to your family, as it may not be appropriate for some kids.  A chance to learn about history unfolding in our lifetimes. “What would a comprehensive portrait of Iraqi society look like before and after the U.S. invasion in 2003, as seen from the perspectives of both Iraqis and U.S. soldiers? This is the focus of ‘Night of a Thousand Stars: A Portrait of Life in Iraq,’ a free conversation with photojournalist Joel Preston Smith. Smith is a freelance writer, photographer, and artist based in Portland. Born in Liberty, West Virginia, Smith has served as a photojournalist in the U.S. Army and as a civilian on humanitarian aid missions to Rwanda, Honduras, Palestine, and Iraq. His work has been published in Gobshite Quarterly, the Irish Times, the Oregonian, and others. Smith traveled in central and northern Iraq for four months in 2003, living with Iraqis and Kurds and patrolling with U.S. soldiers.” http://joelprestonsmith.com/presentations-media/

Rhythm Culture”, Tuesday, June 7, 7PM, Lake Oswego Library. “Rhythm Culture has developed a unique reggae beat, combining influences of the Caribbean and the Americas, infusing blues and jazz. Last year the band succeeded in its guarantee to get even the most reluctant of dancers out of their chairs. Come for this evening of fun!”   http://www.rhythmculture.org/

Pedalpalooza”, Thursday, June 9- Sunday, June 26. 218 events, many family friendly (maybe not the World Naked Bike Ride…), mostly free! http://www.shift2bikes.org/cal/viewpp2011.php#24-2342 Some of the more family friendly ones are part of the Cirque du Cycling http://www.cyclingcircus.com/ including a Family Ride and a Parade. 

Water Wonders at Blue Lake”, Friday, June 10, Saturday, June 11, and Sunday, June 12, 1PM-5PM, Blue Lake Regional Park, 20500 NE Marine Dr., Fairview, OR, next to the water spray area. Parking $5 per vehicle, program free. Suggested for ages 3 and up. “Explore how precious water helps plants and creatures thrive, and how to protect it from pollution. Discover exciting activities such as lake creature explorations, water critter origami, water cycle card making or fishy potato stamp printing. Ages three and up. Adult supervision required.” http://calendar.oregonmetro.gov/events/index.php?com=detail&eID=4307

Sandy River Delta Bird Walk”, Saturday, June 11, 8AM- 11AM, meeting at the Wood Village Backyard Bird Shop, 22741 NE Park Lane, Ste B, Wood Village, OR. Free. Preregistration required; call 503-661-4944. Discover the Sandy River Delta, part of the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area, on a free expert-guided bird walk hosted by Wood Village Backyard Bird Shop. Naturalist Elaine Murphy guides you through this multi-use natural area located at the confluence of the Columbia and Sandy Rivers. The delta features riparian, wetland, and meadow habitats where you’ll search for songbirds in the cottonwood galleries, espy waterfowl in the recently restored wetlands, and consider Maya Lin’s Confluence Project Bird Blind.” http://backyardbirdshop.com/index.php/site/event/sandy_river_delta_bird_walk_-_june_11/

Terra Tempo: Ice Age Cataclysm!”, Saturday, June 11, 2PM, Powell’s at Cedar Crossing, 3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd., Beaverton, OR. “In David Shapiro, Erica Melville, and Christopher Herndon's graphic novel Terra Tempo: Ice Age Cataclysm!, join Ari, Jenna, and Caleb as they unlock the secret of time travel and journey back 15,000 years to witness the great Missoula Floods, the largest floods in Earth's history. Experience a time when giant mammoths and saber-toothed cats roamed the Pacific Northwest, and ride along with the time-travel kids as they tour the changing landscape and work together to survive the dangers of the Ice Age cataclysm!”  http://iceagecataclysm.craigmorecreations.com/   If your child is super excited about this topic, you might want to drive to the Ice Age Flood Festival, June 25 and 26: http://www.iceagefloodfest.com/

The Secret World of Slugs and Snails: Life in the Very Slow Lane”, Author talk with David George Gordon, Saturday, June 11, 12PM-2PM, Leach Botanical Garden, 6704 SE 122nd Ave, Pdx. "Seattle-based author David George Gordon has appeared on Conan O'Brien and been featured in Ripley's Believe It or Not. In his new book, The Secret World of Slugs and Snails: Life in the Very Slow Lane, Gordon invites us to "step into a world that, until now, you've only stepped on." During his one-hour presentation, he'll share his insights about our local slugs and snails, their curious behaviors and the niches they fill in the natural world. Best of all, he'll explain how to forge a meaningful and lasting peace with these slimesters in our gardens and offer tips for watching them in the wild. A book-signing will follow his talk."   http://www.leachgarden.org/pages/events.php  More on the author here, including some nice recipes for cooking with insects:  http://www.davidgeorgegordon.com/

Lone Fir Cemetery Guided Walking Tour”, Saturday, June 11, 10AM-12PM, entrance at SE 26th Street between Stark and Morrison Sts, Pdx. $10 suggested donation. “Come for an informal history lesson while enjoying the beauty and tranquility of Lone Fir Pioneer Cemetery in SE Portland. Friends of Lone Fir Cemetery conducts monthly tours, highlighting Portland’s founders, pioneers, its famous and infamous alike, as well as interesting headstones and monuments. Come visit this hidden jewel! Explore 30 acres of mature trees, a very special rose garden and fascinating architecture in this unique place, the only cemetery in Portland listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Suitable for all ages. No advance registration required. Meet in the center of the cemetery, at the soldiers’ monument.” Lone Fir was the first public cemetery in Portland, and a tour is a must for anyone learning about local history. http://www.friendsoflonefircemetery.org/events.html

Free Fishing Day”, Saturday, June 11, 11AM-3PM, Champoeg State Park, 8239 Champoeg Rd NE, St Paul, OR. Free admission. “Fish without a license in the Willamette River. Free use of rods and reels (subject to availability) with free bait and fishing instruction.”   http://www.champoeg.org/events/other-public-events-at-champoeg.html

Brick Builders”, Saturday, June 11, 10:30AM, Beaverton City Library. Suggested for grades 1-5. “Come and make a monthly connection as we create, build and challenge with all things LEGO. Registration is required. Please phone (503)350-3600 to register or sign-up in person at the Children's Desk on the first floor of the library. Registration begins one month before the session.” 

A Brazillian Getaway with the Ronnie Robins Trio”, Friday, June 10, 7PM, Tigard Public Library. “Bitten by the Brazilian bug, singer/guitarist/songwriter Ronnie Robins has written songs reflecting the earthy rhythms, lush chords and mellow sounds of bossa nova and samba. He will perform original compositions as well as those by prominent Brazilian composers. Accompanying Robins will be Dave Lucas on bass and Carlton Jackson on drums. Please join us for a cool Brazilian getaway.” 

Wild Foods from Dirt to Plate”, Sunday, June 12, 1PM-5PM, Sauvie Island, Pdx. $25 for adults, children 7-17 pay their age, children 0-6 are free, $3 discount for adult family members attending together, Native Americans, Scout leaders, and full time college students. “This workshop covers many of the plants seen in the book: Edible Wild Plants: Wild Foods From Dirt to Plate, by John Kallas. Visit an organic farm and make a delectable wild gourmet salad on the spot with other participants. We'll harvest traditional European edibles (growing as weeds) that the farmers would be pulling. Learn how to identify common, plentiful, nutritious, and flavorful wild vegetables in this adventure. Get real hands-on experience with plants you'll see on a farm and in your own garden. Take advantage of these readily available sources of nutrients, and dietary variety. Traditional wild Eruopean edibles (gourmet greens and vegetables) plant themselves, enjoy the rich moist growing environment of the garden, and provide many seasons of foods that can add meal options you never dreamed of before. Once your learn these wild foods you can change from a "weeding" to a "harvesting" mentality in your own garden, yard, and neighborhood.” http://www.wildfoodadventures.com/workshop.html#WGGV

Milk Carton Boat Races”, Sunday, June 12, 11AM, Westmoreland Park (SE McLoughlin Blvd. and Bybee Blvd), Pdx. Free. “The Dairy Farmers of Oregon Milk Carton Boat Race offers a memorable day for participants and spectators alike. Children and adults race and show off their handmade boats that float only by means of recycled milk cartons and jugs. Creatively crafted watercraft will compete in five categories for the coveted Best in Show milk can trophy. Join us for a Sunday filled with family friendly entertainment and some spirited competition. It’s a chance to test the laws of buoyancy atop a pile of milk cartons, but also an opportunity to launch a piece of personality on the pond. Build a boat that’s creative or imaginative or one that’s sleek and slim for racing. All classes of racing boats compete for the Best in Show award. This award is given to a boat which is both fast and creatively designed. All Showboats will compete for Grand Showboat which will exhibit creative use of milk cartons/jugs as well as most unique and imaginative design. The Showboat class is for fun, creatively designed boats that will parade instead of race. There is no limit to size or length, but keep in mind all boats must be moved to and from the pond by means of man power.” http://www.dairyfarmersor.com/milkcartonboatrace/ We saw this race last year, and it was really neat. Designing and building a boat with your children would make a wonderful family project! 

Kid’s Nature Walk at Cook Park”, Sunday, June 12, 10AM-12PM, 17005 Southwest 92nd Avenue, Tigard. Free, preregistration required, suggested for ages 4-12. “Child educator and naturalist Elaine Murphy introduces kids to the plants and animals that live in the Pacific Northwest. Visit Cook Park in Tigard and take a close look at the wildlife discovered using bug boxes, magnifiers, a field microscope, and a bird spotting scope. See natural artifacts like skulls, and animal evidence like pellets and chews.” Call the Lower Boones Ferry Backyard Bird Shop (503-635-2044) to pre-register. http://backyardbirdshop.com/index.php/site/event/kids_nature_walk_at_cook_park_-_june_12_1000_to_noon/

Portland Origami Paper Shapers (POPS)”, Sunday, June 12, 2PM, Belmont Library. “Enjoy origami-paper folding for fun, relaxation and stretching your brain. Learn a new origami project each month with various local origami instructors. Adults and teens welcome, children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult.”

Second Sunday Series at the Plankhouse”, Sunday, June 12, Cathlapotle Plankhouse, Carty Unit, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Ridgefield, WA. $3 admission per vehicle. “The Plankhouse hosts a series of presentations on Chinookan culture, archaeology, and natural history the second Sunday of every month from April-October.  Details TBA.” http://www.ridgefieldfriends.org/plankhouse-lifeways.php 

The Reptile Man”, Monday, June 13, 9:30AM, Gladstone Library; Tuesday, June 14, 1:30PM and 6PM, Estacada Library; Wednesday, June 22, 11AM, 1PM, and 7PM, Salem Library; Thursday, June 23, 1PM, Woodburn Library; Thursday, June 23, 7PM, Silver Falls Library; Friday, June 24, 11AM, Canby Library; Monday, June 27, 2PM, West Salem Library; Wednesday, June 29, 10:30AM, Molalla Library; Wednesday, June 29, 3PM, Mt. Angel Library. http://www.reptileman.org/index.html There are a few folks who do reptile shows in the area, giving kids an up close look at some amazing creatures, and they are all quite worthwhile. Richard Ritchey is, however, in a class by himself. Get there early for a good seat! 

Feathers: The Evolution of a Natural Miracle”, Monday, June 13, 7PM, Powell’s Books at Cedar Hills Crossing, 3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd, Beaverton, OR., and Tuesday, June 14, 7PM, Heron Hall of the Audubon Society of Portland, 5151 NW Cornell Rd., Pdx. Free. "Northwest author and biologist Thor Hanson comes to Portland Audubon June 14th at 7:00 PM in Heron Hall to talk about his new book 'Feathers: the Evolution of a Natural Miracle'. From feather’s unique engineering qualities that allow for flight, to their use in Vegas showgirl costumes, Hanson creates a highly readable wide-ranging natural history that explores all the facets of the feather with a graceful writing style and deeply delving research.”

South in the North”, Tuesday, June 14, 11AM, Hoodland Library, Welches, OR. “Pre-Columbian music from South America”. 

Slightly Illusional”, Wednesday, June 15, 11:30AM, Atkinson Memorial Church (parking lot entrance), 710 6th Street, Oregon City, OR. This event is sponsored by the Oregon City Public Library. Storytelling and magic tricks. http://www.slightlyillusional.com/

Shakespeare In The Garden”, Wednesday, June 15, 6:30-8:30, Leach Botanical Garden, 6704 SE 122nd Ave., Pdx. $15 non-members, preregistration required. “On this mid-summer eve, when fairies and other spirits are often thought to be among us, join us for an evening walk in the garden to find many of the plants mentioned in Shakespeare's plays. Then return to the East Terrace to be treated by a bit of silliness from A Midsummer Night's Dream along with music and refreshments.” http://www.leachgarden.org/pages/events.php

Night Hike”, Wednesday, June 15, 8:30PM-10:30PM, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Carty Unit, Ridgefield, WA. $3 vehicle entrance fee. Please register with Jill Peoples at jill_peoples@fws.gov or (360) 887-3883.A trail which is familiar by day becomes a whole new experience at night! Our trail guides will lead you on an adventure in which owls hooting, coyotes howling, bats flying and strange rustlings in the brush are wonderful possibilities. Bring a flashlight, binoculars, bug repellant and dress for the weather.” http://www.ridgefieldfriends.org/index.php 

Portland Actor’s Ensemble presents Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings at 7PM June 16, 17, 18, 23, 25, and 30 (through July 16), Lovejoy Fountain Park, downtown between SW 2nd and 4th Aves, and SW Harrison and Lincoln Streets. There will also be a special show Friday June 24th, 6PM, at Marylhurst University, 17600 Pacific Hwy., Marylhurst, OR on the Knight’s Green in front of the BP John Administration Bldg. http://www.portlandactors.com/

Scrap Heap Puppet Laboratory”, Thursday, June 16, 7PM, Silverfalls Library, Silverton, OR, Tuesday, June 28, 1:30PM, at Woodstock Library, registration required, register online; and Wednesday, June 29, 3PM, Kenton Library. “Join the Mudeye Puppet Company in their never-ending mission to make puppets out of salvaged materials. In this workshop, you will bring your own creatures to life from cardboard boxes, toilet paper rolls and bike tubes. Make them walk, talk and fly under the master tutelage of Mudeye Director Bruce Orr. All materials provided.” http://www.mudeyepuppets.org/ Mudeye is moving to Boston in the fall, so don’t miss one of their final local shows! 

Rhythmic Road Trip Around Brazil”, Thursday, June 16, 10AM, Tualatin Public Library. “All Ages. Grab a seat as we travel up the east coast of Brazil, defining each region by its music, rhythms, instruments and culture. In this 45 minute program, the children will have a chance to play some percussion instruments and clap along while I demonstrate the music on my guitar. It will all be woven into a short, cultural and entertaining tale.” 

Animal Activities at Blue Lake”, Friday, June 17, Saturday, June 18, and Sunday, June 19, 1PM-5PM, Blue Lake Regional Park, near the water spray ground, 20500 NE Marine Drive, Fairview, OR. Parking fee $5 per vehicle, program free. Suggested for ages 3 and up. “Come see what creatures visit a garden and how they help it grow. Find animal footprints, see what brings butterflies and how to help birds eat better. Enjoy fun activities such as critter rock painting, animal origami, potato stamp footprinting and wildlife journaling.” http://calendar.oregonmetro.gov/events/index.php?com=detail&eID=4298

Planet of Dinosaurs”, Friday, June 17, Thursday, June 23 (this perfomance in Spanish) and Friday, June 24, 8PM, Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy Blvd., Pdx. $10 general admission, $8 seniors and students. As if 70’s movies with giant fighting dinosaurs weren’t cool enough, how about playing the film with the sound off, and getting an amazing team of voice actors, sound effects designers, and jazz musicians “The Blue Cranes”  to create the soundtrack live on stage? When we see films, the hundreds of people who make the film happen (aside from the actors) are mostly invisible. Filmusik’s live performances are incredible and inspiring. http://filmusik.com/

Didjeridu Concert with Todd Johnson”, Friday, June 17, 8PM, Community Music Center, 3350 SE Francis St., Pdx. Suggested donation $10. "Todd will perform a 'Rockin' Solo Show' featuring melodic danceable didjeridu music from his CD 'Drondance', and some exciting new material from his next CD, 'The Happy Singing Pipe', to be released later this year." http://www.didgeridoo-network.com/profile/ToddDonaldJohnson   If the didgeridu inspires your kids, you may want to try making your own! It’s very simple and inexpensive, and directions abound online: http://www.didjshop.com/shop1/make_your_own_didgeridoo.html

The Alphabeticians Play the ABCs”, Friday, June 17, 3PM, Belmont Library; Tuesday, June 28, 11AM, Hoodland Library, Welches, OR; and Thursday, June 30, 11AM, Mienig Park, 17670 Meinig Ave, Sandy, OR. “The Alphabeticians play "Kindie Rock" music that is fun for the whole family! They combine humor, clever (mostly original) songs, and interactive elements in their shows as they sing about numbers, sizes, dads, metaphors, bags, monsters, extinct fish and the alphabet. Adults will have as much fun as the kids!” http://www.thealphabeticians.com/

Comedy Juggling Show”, Friday, June 17, 3PM, Gregory Heights Library. Juggler Charlie Brown presents a dazzling show of juggling feats you won't see anywhere else.” http://www.amazama.com/charliebrown/

Champoeg Bluebird Day”, Saturday, June 18, 1PM-4PM, Champoeg State Park, 8239 Champoeg Rd NE, St Paul, OR. Free with $5 parking fee. “Park staff and Prescott Bluebird Recovery Project volunteers team up to celebrate the return of the Western Bluebird to the park with fun and educational activities to support their efforts. Build or purchase a nest box. See bluebird-related exhibits, video presentations and a Junior Ranger program for kids. Enjoy some old-fashioned bird watching.” http://www.champoeg.org/events/other-public-events-at-champoeg.html

komedy 4 da kids”, Saturday, June 18, 3PM, Gregory Heights Library. “Angel Ocasio presents a bilingual and interactive performance combining physical comedy, juggling, balancing and magic.” http://ocomedy.com/

Mr. Lizard’s Mobile Zoo”, Saturday, June 18, 2PM, Hollywood Library (free tickets will be given out at 1:30PM); Tuesday, June 21, 10:30AM, Central Library (Free tickets will be given out at 10AM); Tuesday, June 21, 2:30PM, Capitol Hill Library; Wednesday, June 22, 3PM, Holgate Library (free tickets will be given out at 2:30PM); and Friday, June 24, 2PM, Troutdale Library. “Entertaining children and adults alike with his mobile reptile zoo, Mr. Lizard provides an interactive, hands-on experience like no other. He shares fun, fascinating information on these amazing, though often misunderstood, animals. Mr. Lizard and his animals have appeared in various TV shows, movies and in print including The Late Late Show, CMT, Animal Planet and Harper's Bazaar. ‘I never get tired of seeing the look on a young child’s face when they get to touch/hold one of these amazing animals for the first time.'” http://www.misterlizard.com./

Railroads in the Garden Tour”, Saturday, June 18, 10AM-5PM. $10 purchases a booklet that contains maps and directions to each location. These are outdoor model raiload layouts. “The Rose City Garden Railroad Society showcases between 8 and 12 of the club’s member layouts at their homes each year on our annual “Summer Tour”. A booklet is published each year showing each railroad on tour with a pictures and description of the layout. Directions to each garden railroad is included, along with maps and suggestions for a great fun-filled day. The booklets are sold at participating outlets for $10 each and each booklet entitles a carload of people to attend all railroads on the tour for that price.”  http://www.rcgrs.com/annualtour.html We have really enjoyed this event, and met some lovely people. Every layout is quite different and unique, with the coolest creating amazingly realistic living miniature landscapes. Highly recommended. 

Itty Bitty Beach Buddies”, Saturday, June 18, 11AM, North Portland Library. “Local artist Dawn Grunwald will teach you how to reuse wool sweaters to create tiny stuffed sea creatures. Brightly colored fish, smiling sea stars and silk jellyfish will emerge from fabric scraps, buttons and beads. All materials provided, but please bring a pair of sharp sewing scissors if you have them. Hand sewing experience helpful but not required.” Jasper and I went to one of her workshops, and found that it was mostly hand sewing and he couldn’t yet do it. I did make something for him that he loves. You will know if it would be worthwhile for your child. 

Lewisville Park Bird Walk”, Saturday, June 18, meeting at the Vancouver Backyard Bird Shop, 8101 NE Parkway Dr., Vancouver, WA. Free. Preregistration required; call 360-253-5771. “Encounter old-growth Douglas firs and search for kingfishers and American Dippers along the banks of the Lewis River at Clark County’s oldest park. Expert birder and naturalist, Elaine Murphy, leads you through 154-acre Lewisville Park sharing her knowledge of the area’s wildlife and their habits.” http://backyardbirdshop.com/index.php/site/event/lewisville_park_bird_walk_-_june_18/

Presto the Magician”, Saturday, June 18, 10:30, Albina Library; Wednesday, June 22, 3PM, Cornelius Public Library (bilingual performance); and Saturday, June 25, 11AM, Hillsdale Library (free tickets will be given out at 10:30). “Intrigue and wonder await. Presto The Magician brings magic, comedy, and lots of audience participation to your library!” http://www.prestothemagician.com/ We love Presto! 

Summer Solstice Star Party”, Saturday, June 18, 7:30PM-11:30PM, Rooster Rock State Park and Stub Stewart State Park, $5 parking per vehicle or a State Park pass. “From beginners to experts of all ages, here’s your opportunity to view the stars and other celestial objects up close and personal through telescopes. Viewing highlights includes the planets Jupiter, Mercury, and Saturn, first quarter Moon, deep sky objects including the Orion Nebula, Beehive star cluster and more! Sometimes we can even view the International Space Station passing overhead. There is no formal registration for the event itself, just show up and enjoy the evening. You don’t even need a telescope to participate; other members are enthusiastic to share their views. This is a good opportunity for beginners to get acquainted. Come and observe your favorite objects and spend a wonderful evening with friends, and friends you haven’t met yet.” If you are planning to go, be sure to call 503-797-4610 #2 after 3PM on the day of the Star Party to make sure they’ve determined that the skies are clear enough for this event to happen. Lots more info here: http://www.rca-omsi.org/index.htm

"Original Practice Sharkespeare Festival". Sunday, June, 19, 2PM, Mt. Tabor Park, "Twelfe Night"; Tuesday, June 21, 10PM, Council Crest, "A Midsommer Nights Dream"; Saturday, June 25, 2PM, Washington Park, "Twelfe Night"; Sunday, June 26, 11AM, Kenton Park, "Much Adoe About Nothing"; Sunday, June 26, 2PM, Cathedral Park, "Twelfe Night". Free. "We perform the way Shakespeare's own actors did, in the open air, in natural light, with minimal sets, and with great, fast-paced, energetic acting and lots of audience interaction!" Complete schedule of shows and a fascinating explanation of their methods on their website: http://www.opsfest.org/

Berry Jam”, Saturday, June 18, and Sunday, June 19, 11AM-4PM, Kruger’s Farm Market, “Free hayrides to our berry fields (every 15 minutes from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m), Admission is free but there is a charge for food and pony rides.Music from 12 noon - 3 p.m., Berry Picking, Farm Animals, Face Painting, Pony Rides (weather permitting), Strawberry Shortcake only $2, Kid's jam-making workshop at 12 noon and 2 p.m. each day, Voodoo Donuts, Fresh Roasted Corn,Wood Oven Baked Pizza, Phil's Grill Open, Captured by Porches Beer.” http://www.krugersfarm.com/

Father’s Day at Philip Foster Farm”, Sunday, June 19, 11AM-4PM, 29912 SE Hwy. 211 Eagle Creek, OR. Admission $5 per person or $20 per family. “Bring Dad out to the Philip Foster Farm for a fun day of pioneer activities, old tools and equipment and family fun!We'll fire up the BBQ and have live music, along with demonstrations of pioneer crafts, hands-on activities for all ages, and more fun than you can shake a stick at.” http://www.philipfosterfarm.com/index.html

Harry and the Potters”, Monday, June 20, 3:30PM, North Portland Library. “Imagine if Harry Potter quit the Quidditch team and started a punk rock band. Harry and the Potters are an American alternative rock band known for spawning the genre of wizard rock. Join musical brothers Paul and Joe DeGeorge as they perform fun tunes inspired by the popular book series.” http://harryandthepotters.com/

Speaking of Harry and the Potters, on Tuesday, June 21, at 6PM, they will be at Backspace Café, 115 NW 5thh Ave, Pdx., with The Whomping Willows, Lauren Fairweather, and Justin Finch-Fletchley and the Sugarquills, $10. All these artists, to one extent or another, play “Wizard Rock”, inspired by the writings of JK Rowling. http://www.backspace.bz/

Woodpeckers”, Monday, June 20, 3:30PM, Hillsboro Main Library. Suggested for grades 1-3. “They walk up the sides of trees, pound on wood without getting a headache, and have chisel-like bills and amazing tongues. Learn more about woodpeckers on our nature walk. Registration required on line or at the Library.” I was unable to find the registration page on the library’s website, so I suggest a call to the library at 503-615-6500. 

Summer Solstice Celebration”, Tuesday, June 21, 7PM-9PM, Tryon Creek State Park. Free, preregistration required. “Learn about the longest day of the year in a fun and active way! This family oriented evening will include craft activities for families followed by a walk in the woods as the sun sets on this special day. Hikes will focus on the scientific explanation of the solstice as well as lore associated with this great day. Family members of all ages are welcome. Hike times will be assigned as people arrive."  http://www.tryonfriends.org/

Rapunzel Redeems Rumpelstiltskin”, Tuesday, June 21, 2PM and 4PM, West Linn Library, Thursday, June 23, 1:30PM, Estacada Library, Tuesday, June 28, Albany Carnegie Branch Library, Albany, OR, and Wednesday, June 29, 2PM, Albany Main Library. “Both fairy tales collide as if they were happening at the same time! See what happens when Rapunzel meets Rumpelstiltskin. He may be crooked but he is the only person Rapunzel has to talk to while in her lonely tower. Eventually Rapunzel meets Prince Charming, but Rumpelstiltskin is the only one who can save them both from the wicked witch.” http://www.dragontheater.com/default.htm We love Dragon Theatre! Stick around after the show and hear all about how the puppets, sets, and props were made and voices created! 

Mr. Shoehorn”, Tuesday, June 21, 2PM, Sherwood Public Library; Wednesday, June 29, 10:30AM and 11:30AM, Hillsboro Main Library, and Wednesday, June 29, 3PM, Cornelius Public Library. “Mr. Shoehorn creates music with his feet and dances with his horn! Mixing tapdancing with saxophone and other instruments. Mr. Shoehorn combines body rhythms, jazz and world music into an entertaining spectacle!" http://shoehornmusic.com/

Vel-Crow and Hazel’s Wacky World Tour”, Wednesday, June 22, 3PM, Hillsdale Library. “Vel-Crow and Hazel set out on an exciting world tour to sing the praises of creative reuse and learn about other cultures. Their journey is full of imaginative characters, lively sing-a-longs and some interesting facts about how to make things from recycled materials, like toys! Join Hazel and Vel in their homemade flying machine for the ultimate puppet adventure. This puppet show is appropriate for all ages. It runs 25 minutes with an additional 25 minutes of meeting Mudeye's unique puppets up close.” http://www.mudeyepuppets.org/  Mudeye is moving to Boston in the fall, so don’t miss one of their final shows! 

Big Rig Returns: A Heavy Equipment Petting Zoo”, Wednesday, June 22, 9AM- 12PM, St. Helens Public Library. “Bring your kids and teens to interact with a wide variety of big vehicles at BIG RIG RETURNS: A Heavy Equipment Petting Zoo. The first 144 kids to arrive will receive a construction helmet to take home. Vehicles from the following agencies will be on hand for your viewing pleasure: St. Helens Public Works, 
Columbia River Fire & Rescue, 
Hudson's Garbage Service
, Columbia River PUD, 
National Guard Armory, and many more!” 

Tikki Tikki Tembo”, Wednesday, June 22, 10:30AM, Hollywood Library, free tickets will be given out at 10AM. ““Don’t go near the well, you will surely fall in,” warned the mother of two young boys. The two brothers played near the well, they walked on the well and Chang fell into the well. Oh no! Can his big brother get help in time to save him? Whew! Yes, the old man with the ladder got there in time. But what happened when Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo, with his great long name, fell into the well? Don’t miss the fun as Tears of Joy Theatre puppeteer Emily Alexander performs this beloved story by Arlene Mosel.” http://www.tojt.com/

Dragonflies and Flowers: Chinese Painting”, Wednesday, June 22, 2PM and 3PM, Hillsboro Library Shute Park Branch. This is a kid’s program, but no suggested ages are listed. “Learn how to paint dragonflies and flowers on rice paper using a Chinese brush. Each participant may create up to four paintings. Registration is required on line or at the Library. Session size limited to 20.” I was unable to find the registration page on the library’s website. You can call them at 503-615-6500. 

Herbology”, Wednesday, June 22, 12PM, West Slope Community Library. Suggested for ages 5 and up. “The Tualatin Hills Nature Park Interpretive Center brings their Naturemobile and a fun and interactive set of interpretive stations to the library! Drop in to have fun, learn about plants, and discover the nature that is all around you.” 

Mr. Bob Eaton, Magician”, Wednesday, June 22, 12:30PM and 2PM, Beaverton City Library Meeting Rooms A and B. “Join local magician Bob Eaton as he wows us with interactive magic tricks.” Good, old-fashioned magic! 

Wicked Bugs”, Wednesday, June 22, 7PM, Powell’s at Cedar Hills Crossing, 3415 Cedar Hills Blvd., Beaverton, OR. “In ‘Wicked Bugs’, the darkly comic follow up to ‘Wicked Plants”, author Amy Stewart looks at the sinister side of our relationship with the natural world, tracking down over 100 of our worst entomological foes- creatures that infest, infect, and generally wreak havoc on human affairs.” Not for the faint hearted! http://www.amystewart.com/wickedbugs.html

Rhythmic Opera Worldbeat Percussion”, Wednesday, June 22, 2PM, Ledding Library of Milwaukie, and Tuesday, June 28, 3:30PM, Sellwood-Moreland Library.. “Thomas Shroyer entertains his audience by weaving musical performance with stories, myths, humor, and history of rhythm. From world percussion instruments to household found objects, Thomas colorfully demonstrates the unlimited possibilities of rhythm. In his travels through many rhythmically rich cultures such as Cuba, India, Morocco, and Spain, Thomas gained first hand musical experience playing and collecting his instruments. After many years of learning various rhythms & techniques, Thomas discovered that many of the same rhythmic ideas can be applied to playing a water bottle or a mason jar or even a hubcap. Thomas playfully & humorously integrates these various techniques into his performance.” http://rhythmicopera.com/

Build Your Own Terrarium”, Thursday, June 23, 2PM, Belmont Library. “What is a terrarium? It is a miniature garden that you can grow inside of a glass container. Join professional gardener Ruth Hampton in building your own terrarium with the beautiful sedum flower. You will learn all about taking care of your plants and watching them grown inside. Each family will have their own terrarium to take home after class.” http://www.multcolib.org/events/garden.html

Science Circus: The Physics of Fun”, Thursday, June 23, 11AM, 12:30PM, 2PM, Wilsonville Library, Oak Room. “This OMSI program has unique comedy, amazing acrobatics, and improbable juggling.” Features Rhys Thomas, master juggler. http://www.jugglemania.com/Hi.html

Mad Science Presents, “Fire and Ice”, Thursday, June 23, 2PM, North Portland Library. “The land of Fire and Ice is filled with dazzling demonstrations using fire, bubbling potions, and carbon dioxide gas frozen to 109°F below zero. Experience exciting, educational, high energy science magic! Come and see just how HOT & COOL science can be!” http://www.madscience.org/locations/portland/  Mad Science is awesome, and this particular show is the llama’s pajamas! Don’t miss it, for goodness sake! 

Kids in Nature: What’s In All Those Holes?”, Thursday, June 23, 10AM-11:30PM, Tryon Creek State Park. $10, preregistration required, suggested for ages 4-7. “Join the Friends of Tryon Creek as we explore the park to discover what lives in all the holes we see around the park.” http://www.tryonfriends.org/programs/calendar-listings/icalrepeat.detail/2011/06/23/557/-/summer-kids-in-nature-whats-in-all-those-holes.html

Tualatin Hills Nature Park Mobile”, Thursday, June 23, 2PM-3PM, Beaverton City Library on the lawn in front of the library. “Animals Around the World”. 

Mudeye Puppets presents “Bike Trike Spoketacular”, Friday, June 24, 10AM, Garden at Lot 13, 4009 N. Mississippi Ave., Pdx. (Directly north of the Rexall Building at N. Mississippi and Shaver). $5 per person. http://www.shift2bikes.org/cal/viewpp2011.php#24-2342  See Mudeye before they leave for Boston at the end of the summer!

Ronnie Robins”, Friday, June 24, 7PM, Cedar Mill Community Library. “Join us for an hour of Music on the Mezzanine with Ronnie Robins and his soulful Brazilian rhythms.” 

Tigard Festival of Balloons”, Friday, June 24- Sunday, June 26, Cook Park, 17005 Southwest 92nd Ave., Tigard, OR. Parking is $5 and an optional shuttle to the park is $1 per person. What makes this festival truly spectacular and not to be missed are the mass hot air balloon launches that take place every festival day (weather permitting) at 5:45AM. The rest of the festival is closed at that time, so bring your own thermos and donuts! You will be able to see the balloons up close and watch them rise and sail away. I can’t imagine a better reward for getting up so early! http://www.tigardballoon.org/

Teeny Tiny Theatre”, Friday, June 24, 10:30AM, St. Johns Library (registration required; call 503-988-5397). "Join us for Teeny Tiny Storytime Theatre, where words and sounds come to life through favorite stories and performances. Led by Yvonne Anselmi, a celebrated local preschool teacher with 20 years of experience in early childhood development, this program will delight audiences and spark imagination through interactive storytelling, songs and puppetry." 

Corn Husk Figurines”, Friday, June 24, 3PM, Midland Library (registration required; call 503-988-5392), and Wednesday, June 29, 6PM, St. Johns Library (registration required; call 503-988-5397). “This hands-on workshop explores native Mexican arts and crafts and the importance of corn in cultural celebrations. Under the instruction of Nelda Reyes and Gerardo Calderon, participants will craft and decorate their own flowers made out of corn husks. Aztec and Mexican theory of origin sees corn as the element that sustains the essence of all creation.” 

Once and Future Giants”, Friday, June 24, 7:30PM, Powell’s, 1005 W. Burnside, Pdx. A book signing with Sharon Levy, science writer. “When I was a kid growing up in Chicago, I used to fantasize that the mastodons whose bones lay deep under the pavement would rise out of the earth and rampage down Lake Shore Drive. Decades later, I began reporting on a group of quirky scientists who were reconstructing the lost world of the mastodon in remarkable detail-using everything from prehistoric poop to the DNA preserved in ancient fur. Most of them shared my dreams of snuffling, roaring Ice Age giants, and a few believed they could really bring that world back to life. I had to write about this.” http://www.sharonlevy.net/Q&A.html Powell’s can get super crowded at these events, so be sure to get there early! 

Soil Superheroes at Blue Lake”, Friday, June 24, Saturday, June 25, and Sunday, June 26, 1PM-5PM, Blue Lake Regional Park, near the water spray ground, 20500 NE Marine Drive, Fairview, OR. Parking fee $5 per vehicle, program free. Suggested for ages 3 and up. “Discover how worms help plants, beetles beat bad bugs, fungi fertilize soil and how other wild creatures can help your garden grow. Dig in to an active worm bin, find “fossils” in the ground, make clay beads or create other cool soil crafts.” http://calendar.oregonmetro.gov/events/index.php?com=detail&eID=4316

Portland Scandinavian Midsummer Festival”, Saturday, June 25, 11AM-6PM, Oaks Park, 7805 SE Oaks Park Way, Pdx. Maypole raised at 1PM. $6 adults, $3 children 6-12 years old, or $15 for a family of 2 adults and 2 children. Scandinavians have a long tradition of celebrating the Summer Solstice with bonfires or raising of the Maypole (Majstång). Here in Portland that tradition has been celebrated for 82 continuous years at the Scandinavian Midsummer Festival. Midsummer in Scandinavia's northern climate is the biggest coming out celebration of the year and everyone is invited. At Portland's Scandinavian Midsummer Festival, it is a celebration of fertile fields, warmer and longer days with games, dancing, food, Scandinavian crafts and of course the raising of the Maypole. However, Scandinavian roots are not required to celebrate at this summer solstice festival. As all people of Nordic descent know, it’s always a fun, family friendly and important day with century old traditions.” http://www.scanheritage.org/c-17-midsummer.aspx

Salem World Beat Festival”, Saturday, June 25, 10AM-11PM, and Sunday, June 26, 11AM-6PM, Salem Riverfront Park, $4 per person donation requested. “Celebrate and learn about the cultural richness of the world, in Oregon's capital city. Held in Salem's Riverfront Park on the banks of the Willamette River, the World Beat Festival is a two-day, non-stop program of international music, dance, song, traditional theater, ethnic foods, hands-on crafts, traditional customs and rituals, and folklore. World Beat celebrates the people and traditions of every continent. 

The weekend extravaganza includes three processions and more than 120 performances, demonstrations and workshops, plus a hundred cultural vendors and exhibitors. The 23-acre park is covered with nine performance areas and five World Villages, each with a children’s cultural tent with free activities. The Festival includes the World Beat Dragon Boat Racing on the Willamette River on Sunday. In 2010, 26,675 visitors attended.” Directions and lots of details on their website: http://www.worldbeatfestival.org/index.shtml

Kids Knit!”, Saturday, June 25, 11AM, North Portland Library. “Discover a fun new hobby by learning to knit or improving your current skills! Needles and yarn provided or bring your own supplies. For grade school-age children and up.” 

Powell Butte with the Audubon Society of Portland”, Saturday, June 25, 8AM-11AM, Free. “Join leader Ron Escano for a walk exploring the unique habitats of Powell Butte. Our objective is to see the lazuli bunting. Meet at 8am at the top of the butte parking lot at the end of SE 162nd Avenue. We should done by 11am. Directions: Turn south on SE 162nd Avenue off Powell BLVD and drive to the top of the butte. Bring binoculars, dress for the weather and beginners welcome.” http://audubonportland.org/trips-classes-camps/adult/fieldtrips/pb

African Drumming and Dancing Workshop”, Saturday, June 25, 2PM, Northwest Library. “Musician and artist Chata Addy focuses on teaching West African rhythms. He helps students feel the rhythms and sing the drum beat which lead to a better understanding of Ghanaian music, dance and lifestyle. This interactive workshop will feature hands-on music training.” http://www.chataaddy.com/

Wapato Greenway with the Portland Audubon Society”, Sunday, June 26, 8AM-11AM, Free. “Leaders Gabriel Forcier and Robin Carpenter will be your guides around this small lake on Sauvie Island looking and listening for songbirds and early waterfowl. Meet leaders at 8am in the Wapato Greenway parking lot. Directions: To reach Sauvie Island travel west from Portland on Hwy 30 about 15 miles to the bridge onto the island. Continue north on Sauvie Island Rd, past the intersection with Reeder Rd, past the boat ramp turnoff, to the marked parking lot on the left. Beginners welcome!” http://audubonportland.org/trips-classes-camps/adult/fieldtrips/wapato Sauvie Island parking permits can be purchased at stores on the island or online here: http://www.dfw.state.or.us/online_license_sales/what.asp#sauvie

Honey Tasting!”, Sunday, June 26, 2PM, Cedar Mill Community Library. “Drop in and sample local honeys. Learn from beekeepers what it takes to start your own hive.” At 4PM there will be a screening of the film, “The Vanishing of the Bees”. http://www.vanishingbees.com/

The Wanderers”, Sunday, June 26, 1PM, Beaverton City Library. “Seventy years ago, Woody Guthrie wrote 26 songs about the Columbia River while he worked in Portland for one month. The Wanderers, the folk duo of Bill Murlin and Carl Allen, are reviving the Columbia River songs that Woody wrote while living in Portland in 1941. The Wanderers bring those songs alive in a special program at the Beaverton library. This music performance is free and open to the public.” http://home.nas.com/cubic/home.htm

Portland Parks and Recreation will be kicking off their free summer movie and concert series on Sunday, June 26, when their free movies begin. See the complete schedule here: http://www.portlandonline.com/parks/index.cfm?c=50362

Jugglemania”, Monday, June 27, 12:30PM, Beaverton Library at Murray Scholls.; Wednesday, June 29, 12:30PM and 2PM, Beaverton City Library Meeting Rooms A and B; Thursday, June 30, 10:15AM, Forest Grove Library; and Thursday, June 30, 2PM, Banks Public Library Community Room. “Hilarity and dexterity collide as comedic juggler Rhys Thomas shares the books and tricks that have taken him to 17 countries. Warning: JuggleMania is catching!” http://www.jugglemania.com/Hi.html

Russian, Ukrainian, and Cossack Folk Songs”, Tuesday, June 28, 6:30PM, Troutdale Library. “This performance showcases some of the most popular Russian, Ukrainian and Cossack folk songs. Wearing a traditional costume, Russian singer and guitarist Natalia Hougen shares the history and context of each song and explores their role in Slavic tradition.” http://www.elderaudience.com/natalia-hougen-russianukrainian-and-cossack-folk-songs-and-old-romance-music/

Snail People!”, Tuesday, June 28, 11AM, Garden Home Community Library. “As a duo, Snail People play a wide variety of instruments and combine musical sophistication, harmony vocals, and an exuberant sense of fun. They will inspire with their mixture of electric energy, welcoming presence and originality.”   http://snailpeople.com/

Cowboy Buck and Elizabeth”, Tuesday, June 28, 2PM, Sherwood Library, and Tuesday, June 28, 7PM, Tualatin Lake Commons, 8325 SW Nyberg St., Tualatin. “A fun, interactive trio of Buck, Elizabeth and Peter, their 5-year-old 'son'. They will take you around the world through stories and songs sharing their journeys in Mexico, Thailand, Philippines and beyond. Be ready to join in the fun, follow along and sing to catchy tunes.” http://beep.8k.com/

Evening Guided Walks: Batty About Bats”, Wednesday, June 29, 7PM- 8:30PM, Tryon Creek State Park, free, all ages. This is the first in a series of Wednesday evening walks. “Evenings are a great time to explore Tryon Creek State Park. Explore the park with a Friends of Tryon Creek Naturalist as the sun is going down and observe the changes that come with nightfall. Each week we will focus on a different topic.” http://www.tryonfriends.org/

Il Teatro Calamari presents, “Brementown Musicians”, Tuesday, June 28, 2PM and 4PM, West Linn Library, Wednesday, June 29, 11:30AM, Oregon City Library, Wednesday, June 29, 2PM, Ledding Library of Milwaukie “Founded in 1995 as an international touring company by Emmy award winning puppeteer Tim Giugni, Il Teatro Calamari pursues theatrical excellence on the stage with productions that weave puppetry, mask and physical theater into whimsical and innovative theatre experiences for the entire family” http://www.teatrocalamari.com/   They are based in Northern CA, so this is a special treat! 

Steve’s Creature Feature”, Tuesday, June 28, 3PM, Gregory Heights Library. “Explore the amazing world of reptiles with Steve!” This is truly a cool reptile show. 

Who’s In Hare’s House?”, Wednesday, June 29, 4PM, Midland Library. “This enchanting play, performed by Tears of Joy Puppet Theatre, is based on a Bantu folktale from East Africa about Sungura the hare. Upon arriving home, Sungura finds there is an unwelcomed visitor in his house. Find out how he and his animal friends help him drive this 'monster' out!” http://www.tojt.com/

Steve Weeks”, Wednesday, June 29, 10:30AM, Hollywood Library (free tickets will be given out at 10AM), and Thursday, June 30, 3PM, Belmont Library. “Steve Weeks is an award-winning children’s musician and creator of the Alphabet Songs series which includes such hits as “If I Were a Cup,” “Kiki Kangaroo,” and “Someday.” His songs are upbeat acoustic-based tunes for kids and their families and can be heard on radio stations across the US. Dance and sing along as Steve shares an entertaining performance of original music, humor and games!” http://www.steveweeksmusic.com/

Kids In Nature: Wiggly Worms”, Thursday, June 30, 10AM-11:30PM, Tryon Creek State Park, $10, preregistration required. Suggested for ages 4-7. “Join the Friends of Tryon Creek as we explore the world of worms. Well find worm homes in the park on our exploratory walk, learn what worms eat and make a 'Worm Hotel' to take home and continue our wormy observations.” http://www.tryonfriends.org/programs/calendar-listings/icalrepeat.detail/2011/06/30/556/-/summer-kids-in-nature-wiggly-worms.html

Dark Horse Comics”, Thursday, June 30, 2PM, Ledding Library of Milwaukie. “Dark Horse Comics shares how a comic books gets made, from concept to completion.” This program is being recommended for ages 10 and up, but I’m sure there are some younger kids who are really excited about comic books that would love this too. 

Bug Me OMSI Traveling Show”, Thursday, June 30, 6:30PM, Canby Public Library. Preregistration required, 503-266-3394. “What has six legs, three body parts and hundreds of eyes? You guessed it: an insect! Students discover how insects' bodies change as they grow and how they survive in a world where they are one of the smallest living creatures. Participants can also design their own insect to take home.” 

Parlor of Wonders Magic Show”, Thursday, June 30, 2PM, North Portland Library. “This strikingly visual magic show is filled with wonder, laughs, music, 19th century styling, audience participation and real magic tricks! Magician Tim Alexander will make objects appear, disappear, reappear and multiply. This program combines mystery, comedy and sleight-of-hand to create a uniquely entertaining and unforgettable magical experience!” http://www.parlorofwonders.com/Portland_Magic/Portland_Magix.html

Puckett Family Magic”, Thursday, June 30, 11AM, 12:30PM and 2PM, Wilsonville Library, Oak Room. “Puckett Family Magic provides a dynamic family illusion show for multigenerational audiences. Working together as a family, the Puckett’s award-winning talent combines flashy illusion, classy effects, humor, and an inspirational message into an unforgettable event. They have been featured on three continents and across the United States providing fun, family-friendly entertainment.” http://pfm.amazingtruthministries.com/Home/tabid/72/Default.aspx 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Macleay Park

In a field of daisies. 
We found ourselves with a perfect late spring day on our hands, and Macleay Park seemed like a great place to go.  It's one of those amazing places you just can't believe is right in the city of Portland, in this case in the Pearl (at the western end of Upshur St. near NW 29th Ave.).  Some friends joined us, and the kids had a wonderful time climbing everything that could be climbed and finding all sorts of things, from strange bugs to a geocache we weren't even looking for!  Another great day to not be stuck in a classroom!

Robert Geranium.

An aquatic bug.  They were everywhere and we can't figure out what they are!

Red Elderberry.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Whitaker Slough

I heard about a free paddle on the Whitaker Slough, and a couple families from our homeschool group joined us.  The Whitaker Slough connects to the Columbia Slough, and is a controlled and currentless channel.  Paddling was much easier than on our recent paddle on the Tualatin River.  We were never paddling against the current, and we were in bimarans, a pair of canoes attached together.  Capsizing is very difficult, so Jasper was able to lean over and gaze into the water to his heart's content, fishing out strange aquatic plants, tiny snails, a minnow, and some unidentified eggs.  A painted turtle, with legs pulled into its shell, refused to give up its spot in the sun as we paddled by.  It's a hidden world in the middle of industrial Northeast Portland.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Seattle Adventure

Our family took a grand one-day tour of Seattle.  I had taken Jasper there with friends for Amtrak's  Schools on Trains program, and spent one afternoon there.  And my husband had been there on business. But somehow we had never been there for a weekend just to sightsee.  We started out with a visit to the Pike Place Market.  I expected it to be something like Cleveland's West Side Market, or Philadelphia's Reading Terminal Market, but found it very decentralized a bit lot about it before going and to have some destinations in mind.  And to locate the market information booth!  The best meal we had on our trip was at Pirosky Pirosky at the Pike Market.  They make Russian pirosky, sweet or savory filled pies.  They also make their own puff pastry from scratch with lots of butter, and it is all out of this world.  We got there early and found seating and no line whatsoever;  later we noticed many others had come to make the pilgrimage.  We stood for a while and watched them make cheese at Beecher's, which has huge glass windows on their building.  

Next we decided to splurge on a Seattle Duck Tour.  We loved the Duck Tours in Pittsburgh and found it a delightful way to get to see a city with a water connection.  Duck tours take place on WWII era amphibious vehicles that easily move from land to water, and never exceed a gentile 39mph.  Kids can get obnoxious noisemakers shaped like yellow duck bills, and are encouraged to use them.  So I was thrilled that for once, my child making loud obnoxious noises would be fine, since he'd do it anyway!  We got a quick glimpse of Dale Chihuly's glass studio, which isn't much to look at from the outside, the Elephant Car Wash, a Seattle institution since 1951 (where our tour guide boasted his dad had once washed Elvis's Cadillac)  and lots of other Seattle landmarks.  Naturally the view from Lake Washington was the highlight.  We floated past Gas Works Park, an industrial site now repurposed as a public park.

Gas Works Park
Next we rode the Monorail to the Space Needle, both of which I found charmingly old fashioned and cool.  Jasper was thrilled to find, not a squished penny machine, but a squished quarter machine!  Good grief, inflation here too?

We finished our day with a trip to the Hiram N. Chittenden Locks, the busiest locks in the whole USA.  We watched the brief historical movie in the visitor's center, and strolled over to see the locks in action.  There are two locks, a gigantic one and a much smaller one.  We got to see the smaller one help six small sailboats enter Lake Washington, and then one local cruise ship enter Puget Sound.  We had seen locks in action at the Bonneville Dam before, just by chance, but you don't have to depend on luck if you go to the Chittenden Locks.  There is a fish ladder as well, and slides to help the smolt return to the ocean.

Slides for smolt.
I have fond memories of walking beneath great blue heron nesting colonies, and have been doing my best to show this to Jasper this spring, to little avail.  The closest we have come so far is a nice view from Gladstone of a colony of nests which appears to have been abandoned (at least we never saw any herons near them while we were there).  Here at the locks we unexpectedly found one with some very active herons.  It was difficult to see more than just a few nests, since the tree leaves have filled in.  But there was a nice clear view of the ones we could see!