Thursday, June 30, 2011

July: More fun things to do than you can shake a stick at!

This is my monthly list of free and low cost events around the greater Portland area for the month of July 2011.  I compile this list for my homeschool group, which includes kids 9ish and under, so if the event has some cultural or educational value, sounds good, and does not specifically exclude this age group, I include it.  July's list is the longest by far that I've ever put together, and at a time when the time I have to compile this list is at a minimum.  That means it's especially important to double check any event you'd like to attend to guard against mistakes and typos, as well as the occasional cancellation.  A big thank you to my guest proofreader, Boudreaux the crawdad!

July 4 is almost here! If you are looking for a great place to see fireworks with your family on July 4, but want to try something different this year, you can get an extensive list of local fireworks displays on by clicking on “Living”, then searching for “fireworks” in their event listings. Two other notable local 4th of July celebrations are the Molalla Buckaroo and the St. Paul Rodeo

Our chilly spring has delayed things a bit, but July is the month when blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, cherries, and more are ripening on the pick your own farms. Check or to find a farm near you. The Tri County Farm website has a feature where you can sign up for updates from the farms to tip you off when new crops become available. 

Portland Parks and Recreation is putting on their annual party in the parks, “Summer Free For All”, including free open swim times, and tons of movies and concerts in parks. As usual, they have a really outstanding lineup. For all the details, check out

Portland Actor’s Ensemble presents Shakespeare’s, “The Tempest”, July 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, and 16, 7PM, at the Lovejoy Fountain, between SW 2nd and 4th Aves. and SW Harrison and Lincoldn Sts., Pdx, with a special show on July 3, 6PM at Meinig Memorial Park, 39250 Pioneer Blvd, behind City Hall in Sandy, OR.

Plant Explorations at Blue Lake”, Friday, July 1, Saturday, July 2, Sunday, July 3, Friday, July 29, and Saturday, July 30, 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.”

Around the Campfire at Oxbow’, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:30PM, Oxbow Regional Park. Every summer, Oxbow has a series of wonderful nature-themed talks and performances at the campground. They say unequivocally on their website that the gates are shut and that non campers are not welcome to join. However, last year I doublechecked with Metro staff, who checked with the park rangers, and was told that this was a mistake. They said that in fact non campers are welcome as long as they make absolutely sure to inform the ranger at the gate, upon arrival, and the rangers at the performance that they will be leaving afterward, so that the gate can be opened when it’s time to drive home. So that was not accurate, nor did they actually have a campfire. Check out their list of presentations here: I recommend bringing a flashlight to help you find your way back to your car after the performance. 

Huayra Lucas”, Friday, July 1, 7PM, Borders, 2605 SW Cedar Hills Blvd, Beaverton, OR. “Huayra Lucas performs traditional Latin American music including songs from the Andes, Argentinian folklore and tango. He also sings well-known international boleros and popular tunes from Spain, Cuba and the US.” 

Il Teatro Calamari presents, “Brementown Musicians”, Friday, July 1, 11AM, Canby Public Library. “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” They are based in Northern CA, so this is a special treat! 

Junie B. Jones Stupid Smelly Bus Tour”, Friday, July 1, 10AM, Barnes and Noble, Clackamas Town Center Mall, 12000 SE 82nd Ave., Pdx.; and Friday, July 1, 3PM, Powell’s at Cedar Hills Crossing, 3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd., Beaverton, OR. “If, like us, you’re crazy about the Junie B. Jones series, then you won't want to miss a chance to meet Junie B. when she visits Portland on her Stupid Smelly Bus Tour. Enjoy Junie B.'s hilarious antics through a live performance based on the bestselling series.” 

Jugglemania”, Friday, July 1, 3PM, Goldendale Library, Goldendale, WA; Tuesday, July 12, 2PM, Sherwood Library; Wednesday, July 12, 10AM, St. Pius X Community Center, 1280 NW Saltzman Rd., Pdx; Thursday, July 14, 11AM, Three Creeks Library, Vancouver, WA; Tuesday, July 19, 7PM, Tualatin Lake Commons, 8325 SW Nyberg St. Tualatin, OR; Wednesday, July 20, 10:30AM and 11:30AM, Hillsboro Main Library; Wednesday, July 20, 3PM, Cornelius Public Library; Thursday, July 21, 1:30PM, Estacada Library, Flora Community room; Tuesday, July 26, 11AM, Garden Home Community Library; Tuesday, July 26, 2:30PM, Valley Community Presbyterian Church gym, 8060 SW Brentwood, Pdx. “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!”

The Truth About Bats”, Friday, July 1, 8PM, Milo McIver State Park. “The truth about bats. Sort myth from reality and learn the value of these gentle allies. Walk down to the water to look for bats.”

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.” July 2: Wildflower Walk; July 9: Creek Critters; July 16: Tryon Tour of the Bridges, Part 2; July 23: Our Feathered Friends; July 30: Watershed Walk.

Junior Ranger Program”, Saturdays and Sundays in July, 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. July 2: Salmon Life Cycle; July 3: Scavenger Hunt; July 9: Owls; July 10: Tracking; July 16: Ethnobotany- Plants for Food; July 17: Ethnobotany: Plants for Fiber; July 23: Amphibians; July 24: Conifers; July 30: Nature Journaling; July 31: H2O Quality Control.

Painted Turtle Walk”, Saturday, July 2, 1PM, Smith and Bybee Weltands, 5300 N. Marine Dr., Pdx. Free, preregistration required. “Oregon’s turtles are rare, shy and hard to find. Smith and Bybee Wetlands Natural Area is home to one of the largest populations of Western painted turtles in the Northwest. See these beautiful reptiles with the help of Metro naturalist James Davis, who will have small telescopes for a close look. Learn about the natural history of painted turtles and why they are so rare. Meet in the parking area on North Marine Drive. Free. Advance registration required; call 503-797-1650 option 2.” recommended! If you can’t make it, be sure to stop by sometime to see the many painted turtles basking in the sun. 

Textile Day”, Saturday, July 2, 1:30PM-3:30PM, Champoeg State Park. Free with $5 day use fee per vehicle. “Come explore the sights and sounds, smells and flavors of 19th-century French Prairie life, and experience the history and spirit of Champoeg with the help of our volunteer costumed interpreters.” Also at Champoeg, at 2PM is the “Birth of Oregon Tour”, and at 8PM is the “Hummingbird Happening”.

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.

Scrap Heap Puppet Laboratory”, Saturday, July 2, 2PM, Albina Library; Wednesday, July 20, 10:30AM, Hollywood Library (free tickets will be given out at 10AM); and Thursday, July 21, 2PM, Ledding Library of Milwaukie. “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.” Mudeye is pretty amazing, and moving to Boston at the end of the summer. Don’t miss them! 

Natsu Matsuri”, Saturday, July 2, 10:30AM-5PM, Uwajimaya Plaza parking lot, 10500 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy, Beaverton, OR. Free admission. Proceeds and donation will go to Japan earthquake relief. “The exciting Natsu Matsuri 2011 (Summer Festival 2011) is a non-commercial, family-friendly traditional Japanese summer festival centered on culture and Japanese games, foods, music and dance – just like the countless neighborhood and community festivals held throughout Japan each summer. So gather up the family and come enjoy delicious Japanese shaved ice, grilled corn, yakisoba, and lots of other delicious festival foods, fun activities, and great entertainment at Oregon’s very own traditional Japanese Summer Festival. Takohachi, Japanese Taiko and Dance Troupe, Portland’s most creative and exciting Japanese Taiko performers will headline the entertainment at this year’s Natsu Matsuri. Another headliner this year will be Seijiro Shimomura of Blizzard, a popular Japanese rock band in the late 1980s who opened for Journey during their Japan and Asia tour. This multitalented singer continues to perform, write, and produce music in Japan and remains popular in his home country. Games will be a lot of fun for children of all ages, and will include traditional favorites like the yo-yo tsuri (yo-yo fishing game), shageki (rubber band shooting game), Kingyo Sukui (gold fish game), and Super ball sukui (bouncing rubber ball game) games. There will also be katanuki, a very old and rare game that uses small slabs of sugar candy that have simple shapes cut into them. Use a pushpin and skill to separate the shape without breaking it and you win a prize – and if you don’t win, you get to eat your game piece!”

Wide World of Birds Hike”, Saturday, July 2, 4:30PM, Milo McIver State Park. “Improve your awareness of the fascinating world of birds and bird behavior.”

Salmonids of the Clackamas River”, Saturday, July 2, 8PM, Milo McIver State Park. “Learn about three anadromous fish in the Clackamas River.”  Just in case you weren’t sure what language this event listing was written in, a “salmonid” is a fish belonging to the family including salmon and trout, and “anadromous” fish migrate up rivers from the sea to spawn. 

Oregon Garden 10th Anniversary Celebration”, Sunday, July 3, Oregon Garden, 879 W. Main St., Silverton, OR, $10 admission, Silverton residents and kids 7 and under are free. “We're kicking off our 10th birthday celebration on July 3rd! Join us for family-friendly activities, food, live music and more!”
• All Day Plein Air Painters 
• All Day Birdhouse Scavenger Hunt 
• 2:00pm - 8:00pm: Container Contest 
• 2:00pm - 8:00pm: Photography Contest Exhibit 
• 2:00pm - 8:00pm: Railroad Exhibit 
• 2:00pm - 9:00pm: Bi-Mart Toddler Zone 
• 2:00pm: Cupcake Decorating (while supplies last) 
• 2:00pm: Birthday Cake (while supplies last) 
• 4:00pm, 5:00pm, 6:00pm: Dragon Theatre Puppets 
• 4:00pm - 7pm: Face Painting 
• 5:30pm - 8:30pm: Balloon Man 
• 5:00pm - 6:30pm: Radio Disney (Sponsored by Bi-Mart) 
• 5:00pm - 7:00pm: Stilt Walker 
• 5:00pm - 8:00pm: Mad Science 
• 7:00pm - 10:00pm: Concert
• 10:00pm: Fireworks 

The Alphabeticians Play the ABCs”, Sunday, July 3 and Sunday, July 17, 10AM, Flying Cat Coffee, 3041 SE Division St. Pdx ($5 suggested donation per family); Tuesday, July 12. 2PM and 4PM, West Linn Library; Tuesday, July 19, 11AM, Three Creeks Library, Vancouver, WA; Wednesday, July 20, 11:30AM Atkinson Church, 710 6th St., Oregon City (please use parking lot entrance); Wednesday, July 20, 3PM, Lake Oswego Library; Thursday, July 21, 2PM, Stevenson Library, Stevenson, WA; and Friday, July 22, 11AM, Canby Public Library. Mr. Hoo, half the duo, will also play regular gigs every Thursday at 10AM at Flying Cat. “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!”

Ethnobotany Hike”, Sunday, July 3, 4:30PM, Milo McIver State Park. “Learn about the past and present uses of native plants.”

Living with Wildlife”, Sunday, July 3, 8PM, Milo McIver State Park. “Share stories around the campfire and learn how to coexist with common neighborhood wildlife.”

Mr. Ben,” He has regular gigs around town. They are Tuesdays at 10:00AM at Milagros Boutique, 5433 NE 30th Avenue, Pdx, $3 per walking human, Wednesdays (except July 20) 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.”

Van Oodles”, Tuesdays at 10AM at Sound Roots, 3954 N Williams Ave., Pdx., $5 suggested donation per person; Tuesdays at 12PM at Mississippi Treehouse, 3742 N Mississippi Ave., Pdx; Wednesdays at 11AM and 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.”

BJ’s Big Backyard Clown Show”, Tuesday, July 5, 11AM, Three Creeks Library, Vancouver, WA; Tuesday, July 5, 2PM, Jessie Mays Community Center, 30975 NW Hillcrest St., North Plains, OR; Tuesday, July 5, 7PM, Tualatin Lake Commons. 8325 SW Nyberg St. Tualatin, OR; Wednesday, July 13, 10:30AM and 11:45AM, Hillsboro Main Library; Wednesday, July 13, 3PM, Cornelius Public Library; Monday, July 25, 10AM, Bethany Fountain on the corner of Bethany Blvd. and NW Central Dr., Pdx; Monday, July 25, 12:30PM, Beaverton Library at Murray Scholls; Wednesday, July 27, 12:30PM and 2PM, Beaverton Library Meeting Rooms A and B; Wednesday, July 27, 10AM, St. Pius X Community Center, 1280 NW Saltzman Rd., Pdx.; and Friday, July 29, 3PM, Goldendale Library, Goldendale, WA.“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!”

Snail People!”, Tuesday, July 5, 2PM, West Linn Public Library; Wednesday, July 6, 10:30AM, at The Warehouse, 3434 SE Milwaukie Ave., Pdx.; and Wednesday, July 13, 11:30AM, Pioneer Community Center, 615 5th St, Oregon City, OR (in the basement-please use Washington St. entrance). “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.”

Ronnie Robbins”, Tuesday, July 5, 7PM, Lake Oswego Library. “Come and enjoy Brazilian sound of bossa nova and samba as well as jazz. Robbins' warm and rhythmic vocal style soars above his percussive, danceable guitar accompaniment.” 

Presto the Magician”, Tuesday, July 5, 2PM, Sherwood Public Library, Wednesday, July 6, 3PM, at Kenton Library, Wednesday, July 6, 7PM, Vancouver Mall Community Library; Monday, July 11, 10AM, Bethany Fountain, on the corner of Bethany Blvd and NW Central Dr., Pdx; and Wednesday, July 13, 3PM, Lake Oswego Library. “Join Presto the Magician on an adventure as he travels the seven continents in 60 minutes, performing magic from around the world!”

Puckett Family Magic”, Tuesday, July 5, 2PM, Ridgefield Library, Ridgefield, WA; Wednesday, July 6, 10:30AM, Molalla Public Library Gym; Monday, July 18, 10:30AM, La Center Community Library, La Center, WA; Tuesday, July 26, 11AM, Three Creeks Library, Vancouver, WA. “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.”

Evening Guided Walks”, Wednesdays in July, 7PM-8:30PM, Tryon Creek State Park. Free. “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. These walks are free and appropriate for all ages.” July 6: Owls of Tryon Creek; July 16: Insects of the Night; July 20: Night Creatures; July 27: Frogs and Salamanders.

Dragon Theater Puppets presents, “Rapunzel Redeems Rumpelstiltskin”, Wednesday, July 6, 11AM, and 1PM, Salem Public Library; Tuesday, July 12, 2PM, Ridgefield Library, Ridgefield, WA; Wednesday, July 13, 1:30PM and 3:30PM, Clackamas Corner Library, Happy Valley, OR; Thursday, July 14, 1:30PM, Oak Lodge Library, Milwaukie, OR; Tuesday, July 26, 11AM, Hoodland Public Library, Hoodland, OR; Thursday, July 28, 11AM, Meinig Park, 17670 Meinig Ave., Sandy, OR. “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.” We love Dragon Theatre! Stick around after the show and hear all about how the puppets, sets, and props were made and voices created!

Bridgetown Morris Men”, Wednesday, July 6, 12PM, Portland Center for the Performing Arts, Antionette Hatfield Hall Rotunda Lobby, 1111 SW Broadway, Pdx. Free. “Morris dancers have celebrated the seasons for hundreds of years in England with music dance, songs and plays. Decked out in ribbons and bells they performed athletic dances with handkerchiefs and sticks to encourage good fortune and fertility for the coming season. The Bridgetown Morris Men keep this age-old tradition alive in Portland. Our shows are an energetic mix of traditional dances, music, songs and plays.”

Music on Main Street”, Wednesdays through August 31, 5-7PM, outside at Portland Center for the Performing Arts, 1111 SW Broadway, Pdx. “Music on Main Street is your FREE outdoor concert series in the heart of downtown Portland- located between Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall and Antoinette Hatfield Hall, on Main Street (at Broadway). The outdoor concert venue will be decked out for summer enjoyment, including a full bar and food menu. Restaurant and bar open at 4:30PM. All shows are free and open to the public- tickets are not needed.” See their website for complete details on each performer:

Tikki Tikki Tembo”, Wednesday, July 6, 2PM, Woodland Library, Woodland, WA. ““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.”

Interactive Music with Stephen Cohen”, Wednesday, July 6, 3PM, Lake Oswego Library. “An award-winning songwriter, performing and recording artist, Stephen Cohen performs original songs and music using guitar and voice. He uses sculptured percussion instruments he created from various metals, woods, recycled materials, and found objects. Kids enjoy participating in his show by singing and dancing along, playing instruments, and even adding words and stories to one of the songs. Cohen performs for children at libraries, museums, and festivals throughout the Pacific Northwest and around the U.S.”

Curtis Carlyle: Seriously Funnly Juggling”, Wednesday, July 6, 6:30PM, Battle Ground Library, Battle Ground, WA; Wednesday, July 20, 7PM, Vancouver Mall Community Library; Tuesday, July 26, 2PM, Ridgefield Library, Ridgefield, WA. “With a style all his own, Curtis fuses world class juggling skills and fresh, innovative comedy. Curtis offers 10 to 60 minutes of side-splitting comedy, juggling, and audience participation.” 

Mr. Lizard”, Wednesday, July 6, 1:30PM and 3PM, Woodstock Library (free tickets will be given out a half hour before each show begins); Wednesday, July 13, 3PM, Kenton Library; Wednesday, July 20, 11AM and 1PM, Gresham Library, and Saturday, July 30, 3PM, Northwest 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.”

Rhythmic Opera Worldbeat Percussion”, Wednesday, July 6, 3PM, Holgate Library; Friday, July 15, 3PM, Goldendale Library, Goldendale, WA; Monday, July 25. 11:15AM, Troutdale 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 and 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 and humorously integrates these various techniques into his performance.”

Storytime on the Farm”, Wednesdays through August 31, 10AM-11AM, Luscher Farm, 125 Rosemont Rd., Lake Oswego, OR, free, no preregistration required, suggested for ages 3-8. “Join Luscher Farm staff for a weekly story time on the farm, followed by a short tour of the Children’s Garden. Parents must accompany children. Bring a picnic and enjoy some time with your children at the farm after story time.”

Will Hornyak”, Wednesday, July 6, 11:30AM, Pioneer Community Center, 615 5th St., Oregon City, OR. (Show will be in the basement. Please use Washington St. entrance.) and Tuesday, July 12, 2PM, Ledding Library of Milwaukie. “From Irish folktales and American tall tales to Native American legends, Russian fairytales and beyond, Will Hornyak weaves a wide web of well-crafted stories into energetic and highly engaging performances. A former newspaper reporter in Latin America, he combines an understanding of world cultures with a love for the rhythm and music of language.” 

Story Stew”, Wednesday, July 6, 3PM, Hillsdale Library (free tickets will be given out at 2:30PM). “Master storyteller Courtney Campbell performs stories and songs from around the world. This program shares the story of a beloved queen who has become ill. No one has been able to heal her until two children come along and offer her some story stew. The ingredients? Funny and inspiring stories from around the world!”

Amazing Insects”, Wednesday, July 6, 12PM-3PM, 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 bugs, and discover the nature that is all around you.” 

Bug Me OMSI Traveling Show”, Wednesday, July 6, 2PM, Ledding Library of Milwaukie; Thursday, July 14, 1:30PM, Estacada Library Flora Community Room; and Wednesday, July 27, 3PM, Vancouver Mall Community Library. Suggested for ages 5-9. “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.” 

Greta Peterson”, Wednesday, July 6, 12:30PM, Beaverton City Library Meeting Rooms A and B. Greta is an award winning early childhood music educator, and she plays guitar, piano, lap dulcimer, autoharp and harmonica, although it’s not clear what she will be playing at this concert.

Rhythmic Road Trip Around Brazil”, Wednesday, July 6, 3PM, Cornelius Public Library, and Wednesday, July 20, 3:30PM, Sellwood-Moreland 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. Children will have a chance to play percussion instruments and clap along while Ronnie Robins takes them on a musical journey with his voice and his guitar. Sounds and rhythms will be woven into a short, cultural and entertaining tale.” 

Kids in Nature”, always the 3rd Sunday of every month (July 17) and now offered every Thursday in July, 10AM to 11:30PM, Tryon Creek State Park, $10 per child, suggested for ages 4-7. Preregistration required: July 7: Crayfish; July 14: Bird Nests; July 17: Berry Bonanza; July 21: Hawks; and July 28: Plant Defenses. Tryon Creek has some of the best nature education programs around, and their Kids in Nature program is excellent!

Mo Philips”, Thursday, July 7, 11AM and 12:30PM, Wilsonville Library Oak Room, and Saturday, July 9, 2:30PM, Hillsboro Main Library (these performances are his special “Rock 'n' Roll Kindy” show where kids write, perform, and record their own song). Mo has regular gigs every Thursday at 10:30AM at Milagros Boutique, 5433 NE 30th Ave, Pdx., $3 per walking human; Friday at 10 AM at Sound Roots, 3954 N Williams Ave., Pdx., $5 suggested donation per person; and Thursday, July 14, at 6PM at Mississippi Pizza, 3552 N Mississippi Ave, $5 per family, as well as Sunday, July 10, and Sunday, July 24, 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.”

Hart’s Reptile World”, Thursday, July 7, 11AM, Cascade Park Library, Vancouver, WA. Hart’s has been rescuing abandoned and neglected reptiles since the 70’s, and their show is fabulous! 

Dragon Theater Presents, “Little Bugs Big World”, Thursday, July 7. 12PM, Cascade Locks Library, Cascade Locks, OR; and Thursday, July 14, 2PM, Stevenson Library, Stevenson WA. “Mr. S, the sneaky spider, wants to catch that little reading bug! A little Lady bug meets a caterpillar and finds out about the big world out there. They travel the world and learn new languages. They visit bugs from all sorts of countries and finds out that it's not such a big world after all. But will they get caught in the webs of deceit by that spider Mr. S? Or will the adventure lead them back home safely? Find out in this thrilling show!”

Marion County Fair”, Thursday, July 7, 10AM- 10PM, Friday, July 8 and Saturday, July 9, 10AM- 11PM, and Sunday, July 10, 10AM- 6PM, Oregon State Fairgrounds, 2330 17th St. NE, Salem, OR. Adults are $7.50, kids 6-11 $3.75, and kids 5 and under are always free. Thursday seniors are $2, Friday kids 6-19 are $2, and Sunday admission is free after 4PM. Details of concerts and events on their website: 

Mad Science”, Thursday, July 7, 4PM, Washougal Library; Thursday, July 14, 11AM, Cascade Park Library, Vancouver, WA; Tuesday, July 19, 11AM, Hoodland Library, Welches, OR, Wednesday, July 20, 2PM, Vancouver Community Library, new location at 901 C Street; Thursday, July 21, 11AM, Meinig Park, 17670 Meinig Ave., Sandy, OR; and Friday, July 22, 11AM, White Salmon Valley Library, White Salmon, WA. For some reason, the exact show they are performing doesn’t seem to be listed anywhere, but Mad Science are always fabulous!

Paradise of Samoa”, Thursday, July 7, 11AM, Three Creeks Library, Vancouver, WA. “Let's dance! Enjoy traditional dances from the Pacific Islands.”

Who’s In Hare’s House?”, Thursday, July 7, 1PM, St. Johns Library; Tuesday, July 19, 10:30AM, Central Library (free tickets will be given out at 10AM); Saturday, July 23, 3PM, Northwest Library; and Wednesday, July 27, 3PM, Kenton 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!”

Bob Eaton”, Thursday, July 7, 9:30AM, Gladstone Public Library, and Thursday, July 21, 1PM, Yacolt School, 406 W. Yacolt Rd., Yacolt, WA. “Entertaining and funny, magician Bob Eaton is amusing for children and their parents.” 

En Taiko Workshop”, Thursday, July 7, 2PM, North Portland Library. Suggested for grades K-5. “Taiko is an art and form of drumming that has its roots in ancient Japanese culture. This workshop is an introduction to traditional form of music. Instructor Kazuyo Ito was trained by Taiko masters Takemasa Ishikura in Florida and Jyotaro Yoshimura in Japan. She has performed with Matsuriza at Walt Disney World, Somei Yoshino Taiko Ensemble in California and Uzume Taiko in Canada. Kazuyo would like to share with you the many benefits TAIKO offered her.” So far, they are not requiring preregistration, or ticketing this event. North Portland Library has a large room for events, but they will have a limited number of drums. My suggestion is to get there early and plan that drums may have to be shared. Multnomah County Libraries are offering a number of Taiko workshops this month, but this is the only one suggested for younger kids instead of teens. 

Ventriloquist Steve Taylor and Rudy”, Thursday, July 7, 11AM, Forest Grove Library; Wednesday, July 13, 2PM, Woodland Library, Woodland, WA, Wednesday, July 27, 10:30AM, Molalla Public Library Gym; Thursday, July 28, 2PM, Stevenson Library, Stevenson, WA; and Friday, July 29, 11AM, White Salmon Valley Library, White Salmon, WA. “Come in and see this wonderful ventriloquist, comedy show. For all ages.”

Mapping the West”, Thursday, July 7, 6:30PM-8PM, Wilsonville Library. A program for adults that will be of special interest to any child who finds maps utterly fascinating. “Using maps from his own personal collection, historian Robert Hamm will show how cartographic processes changed from the 1500's to the late 1800's, and how people saw their world. As Europeans and Americans began to understand the land masses, they drew boundaries based on presumption and on the political climate of the times. View authentic maps of the world and the U.S., particularly the West and specifically Oregon. Discover how Oregon county lines changed for various reasons.” 

Rhythm Culture”, Friday, July 8, 7PM, Tigard Library Community Room. “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!”

Theatre in the Grove presents, “Seussical, Jr,”, Fridays and Saturdays, July 8, 9, 15, and 16, at 7PM; and Sunday afternoons, July 10 and 17, at 2:30PM. Tickets are $3.  These productions are directed by adults but everything else runs on kid power! “Theatre in the Grove is proud to present SEUSSICAL, JR. on Friday and Saturday evenings July 8,9,15,16 at 7:00, and Sunday afternoons, July 10,17 at 2:30. Co-conceived by Eric Idle (of Monty Python fame), featuring music and lyrics by Tony winners Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (“Ragtime,” “Once On This Island”), and directed by veteran TITG director Jeanna Van Dyke, this family-friendly musical brings to life all of our favorite Dr. Seuss characters, including Horton the Elephant, The Cat in the Hat, Gertrude McFuzz, lazy Mayzie and a little boy with a big imagination, Jojo Narrated by The Cat in the Hat, the story centers around Horton the Elephant, who discovers an alternate universe of Whos embedded in a clover. As he strives to save it, he befriends JoJo, the smallest of the small and his parents; he runs into the glamorous but irresponsible Mayzie La Bird, and is followed by a stalwart Gertrude who never gives up on him. Horton is pestered by the Sour Kangaroo and a myriad of characters to augment his adventures. The show features catchy tunes, beautiful ballads, adorable dancing, and, of course, a happy ending – making it the perfect night-out for children of all ages.”

Bat Class”, Friday, July 8, 7:30-9:30PM, Beaverton Backyard Bird Shop, 11429 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy., Beaverton, OR. This class is for adults but may be of interest to kids who love bats! “Join wildlife expert Elaine Murphy for an educational evening featuring BATS! What bats live in Oregon? Where do bats go in the winter? How do you attract bats to a roosting box? Learn the answer to these and many more questions at this two-hour bat class. Space is limited, and pre-registration required, so reserve your space by calling the Beaverton Backyard Bird Shop (503-626-0949). Class fee is $5 registration fee which includes class and a $5 coupon given to all attendees.”

Water Wonders at Blue Lake”, Friday, July 8, Saturday, July 9, Sunday, July 10, 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.” 

Steve’s Creature Feature”, Friday, July 8, 11AM and 1PM, White Salmon Valley Library, White Salmon, WA; Saturday, July 9, 2PM, Fairview Park Bandstand, S end of NE Village St. near City Hall, Fairview, OR (rain or shine); Thursday, July 14, 2PM, North Portland Library; Tuesday, July 19, 2PM, Ridgefield Library, Ridgefield, WA; Wednesday, July 20, 6:30PM, Battle Ground Library, Battle Ground, WA; and Saturday, July 23, 4PM, Washougal Library, Washougal, WA. “Explore the amazing world of reptiles with Steve!” This is definitely well worth your time. Steve is wonderful! 

The Reptile Man”, Saturday, July 9, 11AM, Three Creeks Library, Vancouver, WA; Wednesday, July 13, 11AM, Newberg Library; Wednesday, July 13th, 3:30PM, McMinnville Library; Thursday, July 14, 11AM, Forest Grove Library; Thursday, July 14th, 7PM, Sheridan Library; Friday, July 15th, 7PM, Robin Hood Festival in Sherwood, OR; Friday, July 22, 2PM, Hood River Library; Tuesday, July 26, 2PM, Sherwood Public Library; Thursday, July 28, 11AM, Wilsonville Library; and Saturday, July 30, 1PM and 4PM, Glendi Greek Festival, 14485 SW Walker Rd., Beaverton, OR (advance tickets for $3 available at: “The Reptile Man has an extraordinary and outstanding array of snakes, lizards, turtles and tortoises that have won the rapt attention of enthralled audiences throughout the Pacific Northwest for 20 years. Featuring 15-20 reptiles from diverse habitats at each presentation, these dynamic predators capture hearts of both young and old.”  We think he’s got a really fantastic show. Get there early! 

Lone Fir Cemetery Guided Walking Tour”, Saturday, July 9, 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.

1860s Games Day”, Saturday, July 9, 1:30-3:30PM, Champoeg State Park. Free with $5 per vehicle day use fee. “Come explore the sights and sounds, smells and flavors of 19th-century French Prairie life, and experience the history and spirit of Champoeg with the help of our volunteer costumed interpreters.”

Lunar Viewing Star Party”, Saturday, July 9, 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 Mercury and Saturn, waxing gibbous Moon, star clusters 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:

Family Adventure Day”, Saturday, July 9, 10AM-1PM, Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, Sherwood, OR. Free, no registration required. “Discover the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge where you can look for birds, sneak up on grasshoppers, and bound like an otter. Volunteer Naturalists will be leading short drop-in activities along the year-round trail. Nature enthusiasts of all ages are encouraged come join the fun.”

Atomic Arts presents, “Trek In The Park: Mirror, Mirror”, Saturdays and Sundays, July 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 30, and 31, 5PM, Woodlawn Park, Corner of NE Claremont and NE Oneonta, Pdx. Free, all ages welcome. “Live adaptations of classic Star Trek episodes.” These are family friendly and very popular, so my advice is to get there early.

Morning Bird Walks at Wapato Access Greenway”, Saturday, July 9, 8AM-10AM, 19101 NW Sauvie Island Rd., Pdx, free. “Join a Park Naturalist for Morning Bird Walks at Wapato Access Greenway on Sauvie Island. These informal walks will focus on bird identification, behavior, and exploring resident bird populations. They will occur the second Saturday of each month. This event is free to the public and pre-registration is not necessary. Bring your binoculars, a water bottle, and expect to have a great time!”

Historic Silver Falls Days”, Saturday, July 9, 10AM-4PM, and Sunday, July 10, 11AM-4PM, Silver Falls State Park, South Falls Lodge and surrounding day use area. $5 per vehicle day use fee, event itself is free. “The land we know today as Silver Falls State Park has a colorful and interesting history. Join us as we offer demonstrations, displays and activities to help bring this history to life including the use of the site by area tribes, and recalling its logging history. There will be exhibits of antique logging tools, displays from surrounding historical societies, and an expanded antique car display. Children can join in old-fashioned team games commemorating the 1880s life in historic Silver Falls City. Visitors can also purchase tickets to race miniature canoes over South Falls in observance of Al Faussett's exploit years ago.” 

Mudeye Puppets presents, “Lotsandlots Puppet Festival”, Saturday, July 9, 10AM-1PM, N. Lombard and N. Philadelphia Streets, Pdx, at the St. Johns Farmer’s Market. Live music, puppet building workshops, wear-a-puppet station from 10 to 1pm. Free show at 11am! Mudeye is moving to Boston; don’t miss their last shows! 

Tour of Hoyt Arboretum”, Saturdays, July 9, 16, 23, and 30, 10AM, at Hoyt Arboretum, 4000 SW Fairview Blvd., Pdx. $3 per person. Meet at the visitor’s center, no registration required. “Come learn about the rich history of Hoyt Arboretum and collection specimens, and get up close and personal with the trees. Proceeds from the tours go to support collections activities and tree maintenance. The purchase price of a tour can be applied to the purchase of a Hoyt Arboretum membership.”

"Professor Banjo", Saturday, July 9, 3PM, Vancouver Mall Community Library; Tuesday, July 12, 10:30AM, Central Library (free tickets will be given out at 10AM); Wednesday, July 13, 1PM, Gresham Library; Thursday, July 14, 10:30AM, Bella Via, 22418 SE Pine St., Sherwood, OR ($5 per walking person or $15 per family); Saturday, July 16, 10:30AM, Albina Library; and Sunday, July 17, 1PM, Troutdale Library. Also he has regular gigs, every Monday (except July 4) at 10AM at Flying Cat Coffee, 3041 SE Division St., Pdx; Tuesdays at 10:30AM (except July 12) 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!" Professor Banjo is awesome! 

Brick Builders”, Saturday, July 9, 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.” 

Magic Around the World”, Saturday, July 9, 12PM, Rockwood Library, and Saturday, July 9, 2:30PM, Capitol Hill Library (free tickets will be given out at 2PM). “Join magician Jeff Evans on an imaginary journey to unique places with the power of magic. Kids will learn amazing facts about the people, landmarks and history of countries around the world. Whether baking a pizza in Italy, making water disappear in Egypt, or crafting magical origami in Japan, kids and parents will be able to go on a one-of-a-kind adventure!”

"Original Practice Shakespeare Festival". Sunday, July 10, 2PM, Irving Park, "Twelfe Night"; Saturday, July 16, 2PM, Laurelhurst Park, "Twelfe Night"; Sunday, July 17, 2PM, Laurehurst Park, "Much Adoe About Nothing"; Friday, July 22nd, 7PM, Director Park, “Twelfe Night”, Sunday, July 24, 6PM, Carolwood Park, Beaverton, OR, "Twelfe Night"; Friday, July 29th, 6:30PM, Marylhurst university, Marylhurst, OR, “A Midsommer Nights Dream”; Saturday, July 30th, 2PM, Gabriel Park, “Twelfe Night”; Sunday, July 31, 2PM, Lents 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:

Pioneer Candles at Graham Oaks”, Sunday, July 10, 1PM-3PM, Graham Oaks Nature Park, 11825 SW Wilsonville Rd., Wilsonville, OR. $3 per child, preregistration required. “Learn to make candles from scratch using an old-fashioned method at Graham Oaks Nature Park. Learn the technique to make yours unique. No pets allowed. Suitable for ages 5 and up. Meet under the picnic shelter at the Gateway Plaza Trailhead. Children under 16 must be registered and accompanied by an adult. Free for adults. Registration and payment of $3 per child required in advance; call 503-797-1650 option 2.”

"Cathlapolte Second Sunday Series:  David Douglas Among the Peoples of the Lower Columbia, 1825-1833", Sunday, July 10, 12:30PM, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Cathlapotle Plankhouse, Carty Unit,  28098 NW Main Ave., Ridgefield, WA.  Free with $3 day use fee per vehicle.  "The Cathlapotle Second Sunday Series continues with “David Douglas Among the Peoples of the Lower Columbia, 1825-1833 presented by Jack Nisbet at 12:30pm. Throughout the Pacific Northwest, Scottish naturalist David Douglas depended on the hospitality of local people for his most successful collections. Chinookan families on the lower Columbia and north Willapa Bay not only guided and fed him, but also shared their knowledge of the landscape and created artifacts that he purchased and sent back to England. During the presentation Jack Nisbet will examine Douglas’s human relationships in the region by looking at the plants, animals and food that appear in the writings. Teacher and naturalist Jack Nisbet is the author of several works that explore the human and natural history of the Intermountain West. The Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association named Nisbet’s most recent project, The Collector: David Douglas and the Natural History of the Pacific Northwest, as one of their 2010 Books of the Year. Starting at 1:30pm we will have tastings available from a traditional sturgeon bake coordinated by Greg Archuleta, member of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and Greg Robinson, member of the Chinook Indian Nation. Tastings available as long as supplies last. There will also be children’s activities from 12-3:30pm."  

"Fun With Arachnids", Sunday, July 10, 6:30PM- 8PM, Lewis and Clark College, Templeton Campus Center, off Palatine Hill Rd. in SW Pdx. Free, kids especially welcome. "A Fun with Arachnids event will occur in conjunction with the annual conference of the American Arachnological Society. The conference is being held in Templeton Campus Center on the campus of Lewis & Clark College. The public event will feature displays of living arachnids, videos of arachnids doing interesting things, and give you the opportunity to "Ask an Expert" about spiders and their kin. This will be followed by lively videos and talks about arachnids, and the interesting things they do. The Casual Evening with Arachnids displays and mini-talks will take place on Sunday evening from 6:30-9 pm. This event is open to the general public, so please attend!"

Musical Storytelling With Brother Askari”, Sunday, July 10, 2PM, Capitol Hill Library. “A native of New Awlins, Brother Askari’s performances are a spicy mix of hand drumming, songs, harmonica and storytelling, with a delicious helping of audience participation! Each performance is packed with cultural folktales and songs that are designed to educate, inspire and entertain families and adults ages 8 to 80! Brother Askari is a griot, a historian of West African culture, music, tradition and customs.” 

Lacamas Lake Regional Park Bird Walk”, Sunday, July 10, 8AM. Meeting at Fisher’s Landing Backyard Bird Shop, 915 SE 164th Ave., Vancouver, WA. Free. Advance reservations required- call 360-944-6548 to reserve your spot. “Join expert naturalist, Elaine Murphy, for a free guided walk in Clark County’s Lacamas Lake Regional Park. This 312-acre natural area is home to over 85 species of birds including songbirds, waterfowl, and raptors. The six-mile trail network inside the park passes through dense forests, near waterfalls, and open water so bird watching hot spots abound.”

Leapin’ Louie Lichtenstein”, Monday, July 11, 12:30PM, Beaverton Library at Murray Scholls; Wednesday, July 13, 12:30PM, on the lawn in front of the Beaverton City Library; and Wednesday, July 13, 3PM, Vancouver Mall Community Library. “David Lichtenstein specializes in western comedy shows featuring his comedy cowboy character, Leapin’ Louie. He is a master of physical comedy, trick roping, fancy whip cracking, juggling, unicycling; a virtuoso of new vaudeviille and alternative circus.”

Pink Pig Puppet Theatre”, Monday, July 11, 6:30PM, Wilsonville Library Oak Room; Tuesday, July 12, 10:15AM, Forest Grove Library; Thursday, July 14, 2PM, Banks Library; and Thursday, July 28, 6:30PM, Canby Public Library. “"Trickster Tales from Around the World" Three tales of trickery you won't want to miss!” Steven Engelfried, the performer, is a local children’s librarian of note who is currently heading the 2012 Newberry Award committee for the best children’s book award. More about him here.   So we can clearly tell he knows a good story when he hears one- I have high hopes for the show! 

Mudeye Puppet Company”, Monday, July 11, 10:30AM, La Center Community Library, La Center, WA. This event listing didn’t say which show they are performing, but they are all winners. This is Mudeye’s last summer in the Portland area- don’t miss their final shows!

Knights of Veritas”, Monday, July 11, 3PM, Goldendale Library, Goldendale, WA; Thursday, July 28, 2PM, North Portland Library; and Thursday, July 28th, 6PM, Hawkins Park, 901 Park Drive, Vernonia, OR. “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!” These are seriously cool shows. A must for learning about medieval history, with an emphasis on strict historical accuracy. 

Matt Clark”, Tuesday, July 12, 7PM, Tigard Library Community Room. Matt writes and performs kids’ music in Portland, Oregon where he has become a favorite in the blossoming kindie music scene. Children and parents alike love his funny, off-beat songs, inspired by his own experience as a father to two young boys.”

Oxbow Adventures: Forest Games”, Tuesday, July 12, 10:30AM-12PM, Oxbow Regional Park, 3010 SE Oxbow Way, Gresham, OR. $2 per participating child, advance registration required. “Begin the summer with a laugh in an exciting day of nature games. Search for hidden objects on an “un-nature trail,” build a mini nature park and play blindfold games in the shaded woods. Suitable for ages 5 to 10. Meet at the Alder Shelter (group picnic area A); arrive at the park entrance by 10:15 a.m. to get to the area on time. $2 per participating child payable at event. (Bring small bills.) No charge for adults and infant siblings. $5 park entry fee per car. Advance registration required; call 503-797-1650 option 2.” 

Build Your Own Terrarium”, Tuesday, July 12, 2:30PM, Capitol Hill Library (free tickets will be given out at 2PM); Wednesday, July 13, 2PM, Woodstock Library (registration required, register online here); and Thursday, July 21, 1PM, St. Johns Library (registration required, call 503-988-5397). Suggested for grades K-5. “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.” 

Mr. Shoehorn”, Tuesday, July 12, 2PM, Jessie Mays Community Center, 30975 NW Hillcrest St., North Plains, OR; Tuesday, July 12, 7PM, Tualatin Lake Commons, 8325 SW Nyberg St. Tualatin, OR; Wednesday, July 13, 11AM, Garden Home Community Library; Wednesday, July 13, 2:30PM, West Slope Community Library; Monbday, July 18, 12:30PM, Beaverton Library at Murray Scholls; Monday, July 18, 10AM, at the Bethany Fountain, at the corner of Bethany Blvd. and NW Central Dr., Pdx; Tuesday, July 19, 7PM, at Tigard Public Library Community Room; Wednesday, July 20, 10AM at Cedar Mill Community Library; Wednesday, July 20, 12:30PM, Beaverton City Library Meeting Rooms A and B; Thursday, July 21, 11AM, Forest Grove 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!"

Henrik Bothe- Funny Man”, Tuesday, July 12, 11AM, Three Creeks Library, Vancouver, WA; Wednesday, July 13, 10:30AM, Molalla Public Library Gym. “A native of Denmark, Henrik began entertaining at the early age of three when he drove the family VW bug into the sea. With fortune on his side, he made a quick escape and was soon mesmerized by plate-spinning acts on The Ed Sullivan Show. This lead to breaking Mom’s plates and throwing Dad’s knives in the wood-shop, until he ultimately attended Aahus Theater Academy to focus on the performing arts.”  According to his website, he’s such an amazing juggler, he can even do it on the radio! 

Magikal Miniatures”, Tuesday, July 12, 11AM, Yale Elementary School, 11842 Lewis River Road, Ariel, WA; and Wednesday, July 27, 11AM, Battle Ground Library, Battle Ground, WA. “Join us and get up close and personal with adorable miniature ponies.” 

Recycled Art”, Wednesday, July 13, 3PM, Holgate Library (free tickets will be given out at 2:30PM). “Transform trash into art! Find new and inventive ways for recycling those items you normally throw away. Under the instruction of artist Lisa Kagan, participants will learn how to create sculptures and unique works of art out of recycled materials such as cans, newspapers, containers and other uncommon treasures. Supplies will be obtained from SCRAP, the School and Community Reuse Action Project.” 

Columbia County Fair and Rodeo”, Wednesday, July 13- Sunday, July 17, Columbia County Fairgrounds, 58892 Saulser Rd., St. Helens, OR. This is a county fair with a lot of charm.

Anne-Louise Sterry”, Wednesday, July 13, 2PM, Lake Oswego Public Library. “An extraordinary performer whose joy in storytelling and singing is contagious, Sterry will be performing as her alter ego Aunt Lena who is an irrepressible and unpredictable distributor of 'Cutting Edge Mediterranean Wisdom'. Aunt Lena is a crazy Italian Aunt whose view of life, love, husbands and food does not just bring a smile to people’s faces but actually goes a little deeper into their lives to make a real and positive difference. Be sure not to miss out on this hilarious and enriching storytelling for all ages!”

Bike Trike Spoketacular”, Wednesday, July 13, 2:30PM, Sellwood Community Center, 1436 SE Spokane St., Pdx. “Air-Rick, the inflatable car salesman, dreams of a Spoketacular bicycle that can take him far away from his dreary drudgery. Unfortunately, bikes these days do not quite fit his plastic body! Therefore, he embarks on a perilous quest to seek Bikey Spikey, the bike-building, half-unicorn, half-Pegasus Unisus! Join Air-Rick on his mission as he meets a cast of colorful characters in this interactive, all-ages musical puppet performance. The story includes important lessons about creative reuse and bicycling. Stick around after the show to meet Air-Rick, Bikey Spikey and many other Mudeye Puppet Company characters, all of which are made entirely out of recycled materials.” Mudeye has been a local treasure, but will be relocating to Boston at the end of the summer. You won’t want to miss their final shows! 

Alien Invasion!”, Wednesday, July 13, 10:30PM, Hollywood Library (free tickets will be given out at 10AM); Wednesday, July 13, 3PM, Hillsdale Library (free tickets will be given out at 2:30PM); Tuesday, July 19, 2:30PM, Capitol Hill Library (free tickets will be given out at 2PM); and Saturday, July 23, 10:30AM, Albina Library. “Riqk is on a mission from planet Blozark to see if Earth is worth invading, destroying, or turning into a vacation home for his fellow Blozarkians. His spaceship is traveling to libraries to learn and share stories, songs and games from all over the planet. By getting to know our culture, he realizes we have something to offer after all! Combining improvisation, storytelling, and music, Rick Huddle will take you on a storytelling adventure that goes beyond plain entertainment!”

Mid-City Breakers’”, Wednesday, July 13, 6PM, Forest Grove City Library; Thursday, July 14, 4PM, Tigard Public Library; Tuesday, July 19, 6:30PM, Hillsboro Main Library; Wedmesday. July 20, 7PM, Banks Public Library; Thursday, July 21, 5:30PM, outside in front of Cedar Mill Library at Bethany; Tuesday, July 26, 7PM, Beaverton Library at Murray Schools; Wednesday, July 27, 6PM, Garden Home Community Library. “Washington County's premier break dance crew specializes in blowing up the dance floor.” Suggested for teens, but I know for sure there are younger kids that would love this. 

The Magic of Reading”, Wednesday, July 13, 11AM, Battle Ground Library, Battle Ground, WA; Friday, July 22, 3PM, Gregory Heights Library; Thursday, July 28, 4PM, Washougal Library, Washougal, WA. “Magician Jay Frasier combines magic, comedy, puppetry and audience participation in this exciting show for all ages.” 

Animals Around The World”, Thursday, July 14, 2PM, Beaverton City Library front lawn. “This summer the Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District Mobile Nature Park supports our Summer Reading program with "Animals Around the World". Look for their tables on the lawn in front of the library.” 

Sean’s Shadow Puppets in ‘The Cat Drum’”, Thursday, July 14, 11AM and 12:30PM, Wilsonville Library Oak Room; Wednesday, July 20. 10:30AM, The Warehouse, 3434 SE Milwaukie Ave., Pdx ($7 per adult and $5 per child); Thursday, July 21, 11AM, Cascade Park Library, Vancouver, WA; and Friday, July 22, 3PM, Goldendale Library, Goldendale, WA. “Shadow puppets, storytelling, and musical instruments from around the world. In this performance, he will tell a story from the Caribbean about how the cat got its purr.” “After the Warehouse performance (July 20), Sean will also teach a 45 minute long shadow puppet making class using easily found materials that he will provide. This will be done after the performance as a separate event, and will cost $7 per person, all ages. He'd like to take pre-registrations so that he knows how much materials to prepare. Please email 'rebecca at portlandgreenparenting dot com' to reserve your spot for the workshop!” 

A Year In the Life: The Oregon Jewish Immigrant Experience”, Thursday, July 14, 2PM-4:30PM, Troutdale Library (registration required; register online here). Suggested for grades K-5. “Join the Oregon Jewish Museum  in learning about the history of Jewish immigrants in Oregon. This story will be told through the journey of 19-year-old Chaim as he faces challenges and adventures during his first year in the United States. His fictional story is enhanced through a traveling trunk, which contains objects, images and historical documents to provide a hands-on connection with an immigrant’s life.” 

Papermaking at Graham Oaks”, Thursday, July 14, 10AM and 1PM, Graham Oaks Nature Park, 11825 SW Wilsonville Rd., Wilsonville, OR. $3 per child, preregistration required. “Bees do it, so can you! Find out who invented the art of papermaking and participate in a skit on how paper is made. Learn how to make decorative paper from recycled materials, then dip in and get creative! Suitable for ages 5 and up. No pets allowed. Meet under the picnic shelter at the Gateway Plaza Trailhead at Graham Oaks Nature Park. Children under 16 must be registered and accompanied by an adult. Free for adults. Registration and payment of $3 per child required in advance; call 503-797-1650 option 2.”

Music In a Multi-Cultural World”, Friday, July 15, 11AM, Central Library (free tickets will be given out at 10:30AM); and Saturday, July 16, 11AM, Fairview-Columbia Library. “Join award-winning singer/songwriter Pam Donkin in a delightful and interactive musical trip around the world. With her guitar, and a fascinating variety of global percussion instruments, Pam will share songs in various languages and teach participants new words as they sing! Drawn by Pam's irresistibly warm voice and charismatic style, children will not be able to resist participating in this singing, dancing, music-making performance!” 

Animal Activities at Blue Lake”, Friday, July 15, Saturday, July 16, and Sunday, July 17, 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.”

"Night Hike", Friday, July 15, 8:30PM-10:30PM, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Carty unit- Oaks to Wetlands Trail, Ridgefield, WA.  Preregistration required, please email Jill Peoples at 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."

Mudeye Puppets presents, “Deepsy Diver”, Saturday, July 15, 10AM, Lot 13, the garden at N. Mississippi and N. Shaver, $5 per person. “Join Deepsy and a colorful cast of aquatic characters as she journeys from the darkest depths of the oceans to the wondrous Willamette river. Interactive games and music abound in this educational tale of how we can protect and preserve our local watershed. Stick around after the show to meet Deepsy, Wesley Water Strider and many other marine puppets. All puppets are handmade entirely from reused materials. Stick around after the show to meet the puppets up close and ask questions about how they were made. Plus, we’ll have raffle tickets for cool Mudeye Prizes!” Mudeye is moving to Boston; don’t miss their last shows! 

Super Science”, Friday, July 15, 11AM-2PM, White Salmon Valley Library, White Salmon, WA. “Hands-on experiments. Drop in any time between 11AM and 2PM.” 

Battle Ground Harvest Days”, Friday, July 15- Sunday, July 17, Battle Ground Village, 1207 SE Rasmussen Blvd., Battle Ground, WA.

da Vinci Days”, Friday, July 15- Sunday, July 17, Corvallis, OR. “da Vinci Days is Oregon's premier arts and science festival. For the artist in all of us, the Festival offers a colorful mélange of art activities for all ages and levels of interest. Explore an outdoor exhibit on Festival weekend along the Avenue of Imagination, take your kids to the Children's Village for a creative variety of art projects, and explore the work of local artists and guilds. Cheer on our contestants in events and contests that feature invention, engineering, and creative inspiration. Slather on the sun screen and be prepared for a weekend of races, parades, and high flying canines!” There’s also a film festival, live music, and of course food. See website for admission, schedule and all other details.

Sherwood Robin Hood Festival”, Friday, July 15, and Saturday, July 16, Sherwood, OR, free. Their website indicates that the festival will be centered around NW 1st ST. and NW Washignton St. “For over half a century, a small American town named Sherwood, Oregon has been celebrating The Sherwood Oregon USA Robin Hood Festival. There is no gate fee. Everyone is welcome. Some of the highlights include: Renaissance reenactments, a knighting ceremony, and an archery contest between Sherwood Oregon USA and their good friends in Nottinghamshire UK. There will be a castle building contest, along with a teen dance, and lots of music, food and crafts vendors. A kids and family area. Much more.” The reptile man will appear Friday evening at 7PM.

Canterbury Reniassance Faire”, Saturday, July 16th, Sunday, July 17th, Saturday, July 23rd, and Sunday, July 24th, 10AM-6PM, 6118 Mt. Angel Hwy., Silverton, OR. Admission: adults $13, children 6-12 $10, seniors over 60 $10, Kids 5 and under free. $1 off admission coupon on their website. Free parking. “Come enjoy a fyne day of dance, shopping, and fun in the Trees. Set in the Elizabethan era, see history move right before your eyes. We set the stage for you to come and play at the faire.” 

Kelley Point Park Bird Walk”, Saturday, July 16, meeting at 8AM at the NE Portland Backyard Bird Shop, 1419 NE Fremont Ave. Free. Preregistration required- call 503-445-2699. “Two major rivers, the Columbia and Willamette, meet at Kelley Point Park and that makes it an ideal place for you to meet the some of Portland’s wildlife. Within this 104-acre riparian area, tall cottonwood groves invite neo-tropical migrants, the open water of the rivers host cormorants and waterfowl, grassy meadows and snowberry briars provide foraging spots for sparrows and goldfinches. Expert naturalist Elaine Murphy guides you as you explore this historic area once explored by Lewis and Clark.”

Stub Stewart Cowboy Day”, Saturday, July 16, 10AM, Stub Stewart State Park, Hilltop Day Use Area. $5 day use fee per vehicle for park entry, plus $5 for participants in the treasure hunt. “Cowboy skills challenge, dancing horses, Oregon mustangs, cowboy memorabilia. Treasure hunt for hikers, bikers, and equestrians.”

OMSI presents, “Amazing Whales”, Saturday, July 16, 1:30PM and 3PM, Tigard Library Community Room. Suggested for ages 5 and up. Preregistration required- stop by the Children’s Desk or call 503-718-2656. “Crawl inside a 40-foot, life-size, inflatable whale! Budding young marine biologists can get a close-up look at whales and dolphins, examine baleen and learn how these amazing animals communicate, eat and live.” 

Blacksmith and Woodcraft Day”, Saturday, July 16, 1:30PM-3:30PM, Champoeg State Park. “Come explore the sights and sounds, smells and flavors of 19th-century French Prairie life, and experience the history and spirit of Champoeg with the help of our volunteer costumed interpreters.”

Rust-O-Rama”, Saturday, July 16, 8AM- 10PM, Oregon State Fairgrounds, 2330 17th St. NE, Salem, OR. $5 admission, kids under 12 are free. “American pre 1963 traditional customs, hot rods, and rat rods, British and American motorcycles, and custom bicycles.” I don’t usually list car shows, but this one looks pretty neat. The only thing that would make it more awesome is if they had someone running around in a Rat Fink costume, as the evil opposite of Chuck E. Cheese!

Dutch Oven Cooking”, Saturday, July 16, 3PM, Tryon Creek State Park. Free, no preregistration required. “Join us for an Outdoor Demonstration led by a park ranger to learn more about cooking in the outdoors. Pioneers use these cast iron pots on a regular basis and today outdoor enthusiasts are making them a part of their outdoor camping experience. Our staff will give you insight into charcoal in the park and then cook with it as we share a treat.”

Hola Mis Amigos”, Saturday, July 16, 3PM, Midland Library. “This wacky bilingual program incorporates simple Spanish words into popular children’s songs. Parents and caregivers can enjoy echoing and singing to their little ones under Cinda Tilgner’s magical spell of music. Participants can play along on rhythm instruments to accompany Cinda on the guitar, ukulele and harmonica. Fun for the whole family to enjoy!”

Itty Bitty Beach Buddies”, Saturday, July 16, 10AM, Sellwood-Moreland Library. (Registration required, register online here ) “Local artist Dawn Grunwald will teach you how to reuse wool sweaters to create tiny stuffed sea creatures. Brightly colored fish, smiling seas 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.” This is suggested for all age groups, but bear in mind that completing a project mostly requires hand sewing. 

Sarracenia Northwest Open House”, Saturday, July 16, and Sunday, July 17, 10AM -5PM, Eagle Creek, OR. Sarracenia Northwest is a nursery for amazing carnivorous plants! “The nursery is normally closed to the public, so these is a rare opportunity to visit the nursery and see our operations up close. We're located about 35 miles from Downtown Portland. It's a nice drive through the country. Due to limited parking at the nursery, we have to limit the number of vehicles to each event, so we need to sell tickets for each vehicle. The admission fee is good for one vehicle (and all the guests you can cram in there) and one FREE Colorado Giant Fytrap (small, 3-inch pot). Drop by anytime during the day you've chosen, spend the day at the nursery, walk amongst the Sarracenia pools, take a peak in the tropical greenhouses and talk shop with us. After signing up online, your name will be added to our guest list. You only need to purchase one ticket per vehicle, regardless of how many guests you bring with you. We will send you directions to the nursery via e-mail during the week of the event. This is often peak season for lots of Sarracenia hybrids and flytraps. Tropical plants will be in full growth. Be prepared for very warm weather, lots of sun and lots of people! We will have some shaded areas where you can feast on hamburgers, hotdogs, Voodoo Donuts, chips, Hawaiian coffee and Italian sodas. As usual, these snacks are on us!” We love Sarracenia NW, and carnivorous plants are way cool! 

Hood River Cherry Celebration”, Saturday, July 16, and Sunday, July 17. “Our cherry celebration is an adventure with activities for the entire family. Farms offer many varieties of fresh-picked and u-pick cherries, wines, lavender, jams and other cherry treats. Many farms feature picnic areas.” 

Mary Charlotte’s Garden Party”, Saturday, July 17, 1PM-4PM (farm opens at 11AM for your picnicking convenience), Philip Foster Farm, 29912 SE Hwy. 211 Eagle Creek, OR , $5 per person or $20 per family. “Vintage fashions, textile crafters, garden tours, live music and folk dancing.”

Walk A Scale Model of the Solar System”, Sunday, July 17, 10:30AM, Daimler Trucks North America, 4747 N. Channel Ave., Portland, OR. Free, preregistration required. Sponsored by the Center for Inquiry. “The Solar system is REALLY BIG. No picture has been made that accurately represents our solar system, therefore most people can't conceive how huge our solar system is or how huge our sun is. This July, you will get your chance. Using everyday objects for the planets, we will be spending an hour or two at Swan island setting up a 1: 6,336,000,000 scale model of our solar system... walking from the Sun all the way to Neptune. To read more about the model we will be setting up: Remember, since this is a scale model telescopes/binoculars work the same. So, feel free to bring them.” If you’ve seen Bill Nye’s demonstration, they will be using the same method, but scaling it down slightly more. 

komedy 4 da kids”, Sunday, July 17, 12:30PM, Fairview-Columbia Library; Thursday, July 21, 11AM, Three Creeks Library, Vancouver, WA; and Tuesday, July 26, 1PM, Shute Park Stage next to the Hillsboro Library Shute Park branch (In case of rain, call the library at 503-615-6500 for alternate location.) and Wednesday, July 27, 3PM, Cornelius Public Library. “Angel Ocasio presents a bilingual and interactive performance combining physical comedy, juggling, balancing and magic.”

Oxbow Adventures: Animal Detectives”, Tuesday, July 19, 10:30AM- 12PM, Oxbow Regional Park, 3010 SE Oxbow Pkwy., Gresham, OR. $2 per participating child, preregistration required. “Explore the forest like an animal detective in search of clues left behind by mysterious wild animals. Handle plaster casts of real footprints and examine bones, bird nests and other items up close. Suitable for ages 5 to 10. Meet at the Alder Shelter (group picnic area A); arrive at the park entrance by 10:15 a.m. to get to the area on time. $2 per participating child payable at event. (Bring small bills.) No charge for adults and infant siblings. $5 park entry fee per car. Advance registration required; call 503-797-1650 option 2.” 

Family Campfire Adventure”, Tuesday, July 19, 6:30PM-8:30PM, Tryon Creek State Park. $10/family, preregistration required. “Join park naturalists for an adventure in night tracking. We’ll certainly look for tracks and scat, but we’ll also learn how we can track insects and other intriguing animals. Back at our campfire we’ll have a sing-along as we create a Dutch oven dessert.” Register online: 

Christopher Leebrick”, Tuesday, July 19, 2PM and 4PM, West Linn Library. “Christopher Leebrick, Storyteller. TRAVELIN' TALES - Imagination is the cheapest way to travel to other lands, even other worlds! Oregon Storyteller, Christopher Leebrick, has dazzled audiences with his remarkable storytelling ability since he was just thirteen years old. Children and adults throughout the United States enjoy his extensive repertoire of world folk tales, legends, whoppers, and original stories. From the hills of Appalachia to the cowboy country of the Oregon high desert, from Edgar Allan Poe to Dr. Seuss, from native America to Africa, Christopher offers a cornucopia of the world's most entertaining tales.”

Easy Snacks Kids and Grownups Can Make”, Wednesday, July 20, 3PM, Kenton Library. “Cookbook author and food historian Jean Johnson will teach you how to make Quinoa Poppers. Kids of all ages will love making these easy, healthy snacks. Jean will also share snippets on healthy, ultrafast cooking. So come one, come all, and bring your appetite!”

Chata Addy”, Wednesday, July 20, 10:30AM, Molalla Public Library Gym. Chata Addy is a drummer from Ghana.

Star Wars: Choices of One”, Wednesday, July 20, 7PM, Powell’s Books at Cedar Hills Crossing, 3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd., Beaverton, OR. “This year will mark the 20th anniversary of the publication of ‘Star Wars: Heir to the Empire”, by Timothy Zahn, the bestseller that relaunched the entire Star Wars publishing program. To celebrate this historic event, Zahn returns with ‘Star Wars: Choices of One”, a new novel of adventure, action, and intrigue starring Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia Organa, and the beloved Mara Jade.”

Corn Husk Figurines”, Saturday, July 20, 1:30PM, Gregory Heights Library. Registration required, register online here. “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.” I’m probably just repeating an error here- are they making flowers or figurines? Or both? One thing you can be sure of is that they will do a good job of teaching something new and making it fun. 

“Green and Growing Family Tree”, Thursday, July 21, 9:30AM, Gladstone Center for Chidlren and Families, 18905 Portland Ave., Gladstone, OR. “The World is Connected through Stories and Songs. Don't miss this funny and heart-warming performance by the amazing Anne-Louise Sterry. All ages welcome.” 

Beaverton Civic Theatre Production: "Is He Dead?" By Mark Twain, 6PM on Thursday, July 21 and Thursday, July 28, and 2PM on Saturday, July 23, Sunday, July 24, Saturday, July 30, and Sunday, July 31, Beaverton City Library Auditorium. “Set in the late 1800s France and combining elements of burlesque, farce, and social satire, the comedy relies on mistaken identities and romantic deceptions to tell its story, which raises questions about fame, greed, and the value of art. The production is free and open to the public.” 

Water Cycles and Watersheds”, Thursday, July 21, 12PM, West Slope Community Library. “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 water, and discover the nature that is all around you.” 

Hens 101”, Thursday, July 21, 7PM -9PM, Tualatin Library. A free program for adults of interest to anyone wanting to raise hens. (Sounds like a great homeschool project.) “Learn about these fascinating feathered friends who provide fresh eggs while strutting about, clucking, scratching and creating fertilizer for your garden. We will cover the basics of raising chicks, providing safe housing, meeting the hen’s nutritional needs, and keeping your backyard flock as healthy as possible. Come forage information to take back to the roost, including tips for general care and troubleshooting so bring your questions!” 

Soil Superheroes at Blue Lake”, Friday, July 22, Saturday, July 23, and Sunday, July 24, 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.” 

Christopher Pemberton, Stage Hypnotist”, Friday, July 22, 7PM, Three Creeks Library, Vancouver, WA. “Christopher Pemberton has a BFA in Acting, a CHT in Hypnotism, and 10 years of experience performing hypnosis shows. His show contains three major elements of entertainment. One, the members of the audience (who agree to be hypnotized), become the stars of the show. Two, the mystery of hypnotism. Three, lots of fun and interesting skits for the hypnotics to do.”

Annual Watershed Tour- Oak Grove Watersheds”, Saturday, July 23, 9:30AM-1:30PM. Meet at Meldrum Bar Park Boat Ramp parking lot, Gladstone, OR. “The Oak Grove area is home to three unique stream systems, flowing off the Oatfield Ridge and feeding the Willamette. The North Clackamas Urban Watersheds Council invites the community to explore these watersheds during their annual watershed tour on Saturday, July 23. We will begin with coffee and snacks at 9:30am in the boat ramp parking lot at Meldrum Bar Park (Gladstone). From there, we’ll travel north through Rinearson, Boardman, and River Forest watersheds and visit four important sites along the way. Neighborhood and agency experts will discuss the habitat, hydrology, and water quality as well as share their plans to improve watershed conditions for people, fish, and wildlife. After the site visits we will return to Meldrum Bar Park for a potluck lunch and live music. Please dress to be outside, enjoying the weather. Hope to see you there!”

Truck Town Party!”, Saturday, July 23, 10:30AM-12:30PM, Troutdale Library. “Get up close with big trucks! Learn what these large vehicles do, see how they work and meet the people who operate them. Bring your favorite truck toy and enjoy some truck stories and activities.”

Wapato Island Wild Food Expedition”, Saturday, July 23. 8AM-12PM, Sauvie Island. $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. Preregistration required. “Explore with us edible plants of the place Native Americans called Wapato Island, today known as Sauvie Island. We'll investigate wild foods from marshes, fields, and woods -- including wapato or Indian potato, wild cherry, and more.” 

Barn Dance”, Saturday, July 23, 6PM-9PM, Champoeg State Park, free with $5 day use parking fee per vehicle. “The 19th century Donald Manson threshing barn is the perfect backdrop for these old fashioned barn dances. Learn some dance steps from the old days. Accompany the band on a pitchfork, washboard, or rattle.”

Chalk It Up!”, Sunday, July 24, 10AM-3PM, Tualatin Commons, 8325 SW Nyberg St., Tualatin, OR. “Join the Tualatin Public Library and artist Daniel Wood for a fun day of chalk art on the Commons. All supplies are provided.” 

Forage Feast Sundays- Cattails”, Sunday, July 24, Sauvie Island. Free. Advance registration required. “Join fellow foragers in a monthly gathering of foraging and feasting together. Forage for wild edibles in the mornings at a local natural area, then head to the kitchen in the afternoon to take on the Iron Chef challenge of concocting amazing culinary delights with the day’s findings. Cattails are also called "nature's supermarket" because they can provide starchy roots, tender shoots, and high-protein pollen. Since summer is now here, leafy greens are getting old and tough, but we may be able to find some ripe thimbleberries, blackberries, and other berries. Dinner plan: Roasted cattail rhizomes, cattail pollen biscuits with wild berry sauce.” Lots of details here:

Ojos de Dios”, Sunday, July 24, 2:30PM, Troutdale Library. “In the tradition of the Huichol Indians of Western Mexico, learn how to create colorful woven decorations, known as an “Ojos de Dios” or “God’s Eyes", using yarn and sticks. This simple craft is fun for the whole family and designed for ages 8 and up (younger children accompanied by an adult). We will provide the supplies; you bring the creativity.” If your child is old enough to wrap yarn around sticks, they are able to do this craft, and the results are actually pretty neat. 

Let’s Go Legos!”, Monday, July 25, 1PM and 2PM, Cedar Mill Community Library. “A drop-in program for kids ages 5 to 8 who enjoy building with Legos, playing games and having fun!” 

The Kaiser Shipyards- A Ship Grows in Portland”, Monday, July 25, 7PM, Tigard Library Community Room. A program for adults, but a kid who is crazy about ships may really enjoy this. “From 1941 to 1945, Kaiser Shipyards in Portland built over 700 vessels during World War II, from Liberty ships to T-2 tankers. Industrialist Henry Kaiser implemented innovative construction strategies that helped build these ships in record time. Join Caitlin Shrigley from the Oregon Maritime Museum to learn more about the history of the Kaiser Shipyards and how its impact on Portland is still felt today.”

Charlie Brown Juggling Show”, Monday, July 25, 10:30AM, La Center Community Library, La Center, WA; Wednesday, July 27, 2PM, Scott Park next to the Ledding Library of Milwaukie (outdoors if weather permits). “Juggler Charlie Brown presents a dazzling show of juggling feats you won't see anywhere else.”

Mad Science presents, “Spin, Pop, Boom!”, Tuesday, July 26, 7PM, Tualatin Lake Commons, 8325 SW Nyberg St. Tualatin, OR. “How do you know that a chemical reaction has occurred? Start with a change of color in our chemically challenging “magic” trick. Move on to an assortment of experiments featuring both chemical and physical changes. Watch in awe as the Mad Scientist creates numerous versions of erupting science! Everything is guaranteed to be amazing!” We love Mad Science! 

Oxbow Adventures: River Birds and River Bugs”, Tuesday, July 26, 10:30AM- 12PM, Oxbow Regional Park, 3010 SE Oxbow Pkwy., Gresham, OR. $2 per participating child, preregistration required. “Enjoy the day watching creatures in the Sandy River and those that soar above. Look for big birds like osprey and turkey vultures. Discover firsthand the many creatures that live in and near the river by catching and releasing water bugs, crayfish and more. Suitable for ages 5 to 10. Meet at the Alder Shelter (group picnic area A); arrive at the park entrance by 10:15 a.m. to get to the area on time. $2 per participating child payable at event. (Bring small bills.) No charge for adults and infant siblings. $5 park entry fee per car. Advance registration required; call 503-797-1650 option 2.”

All Ages Juggling Workshop”, Tuesday, July 26, 1:30PM, Clackamas River Elementary School Gym, 301 NE 2nd Ave., Estacada. “Hands-on juggling in the Clackamas River Elementary gymnasium. Try out a variety of juggling equipment from juggling balls, scarves, Chinese yo-yos, flower sticks, hula hoops, spinning ribbons and more!” 

Mancala Game Day”, Tuesday, July 26, 2PM, Ledding Library of Milwaukie. Suggested for ages 5 and up. “Make a mancala game from Africa.” 

Copper Wire Mobiles”, Wednesday, July 27, 3PM, Holgate Library. Free tickets will be given out at 2:30PM. “Create fabulous creations out of copper wire with artist Kathy Karbo.” 

The Noise Guy”, Wednesday, July 27, 11:30AM, Pioneer Community Center, 615 5th St., Oregon City, OR. (in basement- use Washington St. entrance); Thursday, July 28, 11AM, Three Creeks Library, Vancouver, WA; Friday, July 29, 11AM, Canby Public Library. “Charlie Williams is the Noiseguy! Author, voice-over artist, onomatopoet, cartoonist, sound effectionist, and kid’s comedian!” And he’s got a pretty entertaining website:

Sherwood’s Story Lady Writes a Book!”, Thursday, July 28, 6:30PM, Sherwood Public Library. “Please join Sherwood's Storylady, Teresa Klepinger, for a launch party celebrating the release of her book, 'Cliffhanger Writing Prompts,' a teacher resource book published by Scholastic Resources. She will be hosting a fun and interactive presentation of the stories from this book on Thursday, July 28 at 6:30pm in the Community Meeting Room at the library. While the book is marketed mainly to teachers, all families and homeschoolers can enjoy the thirty cliffhanger stories that challenge the imagination with 'And then...' at the end of each one. Bring the family and come prepared to use your creativity!”

Summer Reading Celebration with the Reptile Man and Mad Science Rocket Shoot Off”, Thursday, July, 28, 11AM, Murase Plaza at Wilsonville’s Memorial Park, 8100 SW Wilsonville Rd. “Bring your friends and a picnic lunch and join us for summer fun in the park with The Reptile Man at 11:00 a.m. and then the Mad Science Rocket Shoot Off afterwards.” Seriously, what could be better? 

Washington County Fair”, Thursday, July 28 through Sunday, July 31, 10AM-11PM daily, 873 NE 34th Ave., Hillsboro, OR. Free admission, but expect fees for individual arena events, rides, etc. Highlights of the arena shows include knights in full armor doing battle, tractor pulls, monster trucks, and a draft horse show. Intel will have over 30 “Fun with Physics” activities for kids, there will be a live production of “Alice in Wonderland”, Brad’s World Reptiles  will be there, and the K9 Kings will have a show of “daredevil dog agility”, to name just a few.

Hawaiian Festival”, Saturday, July 30th, 11AM-7PM, Esther Short Park, W. Columbia St. and 8th St., Vancouver, WA. Free admission. “Over 8,000 visitors have swayed to the rhythm as hula dancers, Portland, Taiko, Native Tribal dancers, and Polynesian singers filled the park with the heartbeat of their cultures. Arts, Crafts, and food vendors will round out this two day long outdoor festival which is now considered the third largest annual event at Esther Short Park. Keiki events, traditional Hawaiian games, and nose flute making are just some of the additional activities to be offered.” and

Sea Vegetables, Mussels and Other Seashore Edibles of the Pacific Coast”, Sunday July 31, leafing Portland at 5AM for Lincoln City, returning around 2PM, $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:

Blueberry Pancake Day”, Saturday, July 30, 1PM-4PM, Cedar Creek Grist Mill, Woodland, WA. Donations accepted. “Awesome Blueberry pancakes with blueberry syrup and fresh blueberries! Visitors will be greeted and given a "Working Tour" of how this mill still works today. Huge pulleys and belts spinning above and below are turning and churning to produce flour, corn meal and even apple cider (the last Saturday in October). These samples are given to the visitors for take home and a first hand experience of the products. No gas or electricity are used, simply mother nature's water power. All that work here are volunteers and are more than happy to explain how this process works to any and all.”

Sock Summit 2011”, Friday, July 29 and Saturday, July 30, 9AM-6PM, and Sunday, July 31, 9AM-4PM, Oregon Convention Center, 777 NE MLK Blvd., Pdx. $5 daily admission for everyone over 5 years of age, or $12 for all three days. Someone with a great sense of humor has set up a very serious expo for sock knitters! Does your kid love to knit? While workshops are strictly for grownups and teens, there will be a big marketplace, a wonderful Sock Hop in the Ballroom to 80’s music for all ages, a flash mob for those who love to dance, and the Sock Museum, staffed by a “sock history expert”! “The Sock Museum at the Sock Summit is a real-live exhibit of historically important and accurate sock replicas from the oldest pattern we can find, right up to the current time, all knit by people like you – contributing to keeping a record of this work. Socks, being humble and ordinary footwear to most unenlightened folk, haven’t been recorded in history’s timeline the way that many other human inventions have. For example, we know who invented the lightbulb, the airplane and the zipper, but almost nothing is known about the humble but vital first sock, the first knitter of socks, or the technique used to create it. The Sock Museum aims to put what we have in one place, and keep an accurate record from here on.”

Be Creative With Origami”, Friday, July 29, 2PM, Hillsboro Library Shute Park Branch. Suggested fro ages 5-12. “It's the year of the rabbit! Learn to make paper creatures using origami paper folding techniques.” 

PDX Bridge Festival”, July 29-August 7. Details for the 2011 festival TBA.

Glendi Greek Festival”, Friday, July 29th, 4PM-10PM, Saturday, July 30, 11AM- 10PM, Sunday, July 31, 12PM-8PM, St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church, 14485 SW Walker Rd., Beaverton, OR. Free admission. “Glendi Greek Festival is a celebration of ethnic cultures from around the world, right here in Beaverton, Oregon. We want to share our heritages (Greek, Middle Eastern and Ethiopian), music, traditions, customs and culinary skills with you, our neighbors, families and friends.” The Reptile Man will be appearing at 1PM and 4PM on Saturday, and tickets will be sold in advance for $3 each.

1860s Children’s Jobs Day”, Saturday, July 30, 1:30PM-3:30PM, Champoeg State Park, free with $5 per vehicle day use fee. “Come explore the sights and sounds, smells and flavors of 19th-century French Prairie life, and experience the history and spirit of Champoeg with the help of our volunteer costumed interpreters.”

Floreo de Soga”, Saturday, July 30, 2PM, St. Johns Library. “With grace and finesse, the Mendoza family presents traditional rope maneuvers and bailables of charros (Mexican cowboys) that have been passed on for generations. The performers wear traditional gear and clothing while demonstrating rope skills and tricks. Between demonstrations, they perform ballet folklórico including El Gavilán and La Bruja in traditional dress.” 

Stairs and Trails of Northwest Portland with Author Laura Foster”, Saturday, July 30, 9AM- 12PM. Preregistration required. $10 per person, or free for Forest Park Conservancy members ($50 for families). “In this steep, half day hike, discover hidden stairways of Northwest Portland that lead up into beautiful terraced neighborhoods and beyond, following the route the Pittocks themselves would take to get to their beautiful mansion. Bring a lunch to enjoy on the lawn of the PIttock Mansion, then hike back down via the Wildwood, Cumberland and Tunnel trails.”

Party in the Park”, Saturday, July 30, 12PM -6PM, HMT Recreation Campus, 158th Ave. and Walker Road, Beaverton, OR. Free admission. “For the first time, the Park District is joining forces with the City of Beaverton to showcase the diversity of our community with the Beaverton International Celebration. An entire section of the complex will be dedicated to music, dance, art, crafts, food, traditional dress, social information, history and much more from the many cultures that call our area home. Other activities include giant, inflatable play structures, climbing walls, arts and crafts, face painting and the popular K-9 Unit demonstration by the Beaverton Police Department. There will also be free drop-in swimming and sports activities; appearances by the district’s Rec Mobile and Nature Mobile; food and beverages for sale; and plenty of music and information. Check back with us before July 30 for a full schedule.”

Sustainablilty Day”, Saturday, July 30, 10AM-2PM, Tryon Creek State Park. Free. “Join Portland State University students and Friends of Tryon Creek to learn simple ways you and your family can all reduce your carbon footprint. Walk through the park and visit stations along the trails designed to give you ideas on how to eat seasonally and locally and find creative ways to reuse and recycle more efficiently. You will be making items you can take home with you to help you reduce your own carbon footprint. Fun, free hands-on activities for the entire family.”

The Great Oregon Steam-Up”, Saturday, July 30, Sunday, July 31, and Saturday, August 6, and Sunday, August 7, 7AM-6PM, 3995 Brookdale Rd. NE, Salem, OR. Admission $10, seniors $8, children under 12 free. “The Great Oregon Steam-Up is the largest event at Antique Powerland during the year and involves all of the museums and many other participants. One of the unique aspects of the event is that most of the equipment is operating. A parade takes place each day at 1:30PM and includes vintage tractors, trucks, and automobiles. The steam powered sawmill operates twice a day and the trolley tours the site perimeter all four days of the show. Learn about the early machinery that made Oregon work. Hear about innovators and manufacturers of the past. Machines include farm tractors and implements, early engines, crawlers, fire apparatus, vintage trucks and cars, logging gear, an early Oregon flour mill, and an authentic steam sawmill. Rides include an historic trolley and a miniature railroad. Scheduled activities: Machinery demos, sawmilling, flour milling, fire apparatus demos, harvesting, kids pedal tractor pulling, traditional tractor pulling, and a Big Parade! Blacksmithing, a country store, models, early electricity exhibit, miniature farm display, children's passport program, swap meet and flea market sales, country music, and great food!” The sheer magnificence of this event is hard to overstate. It’s very easy to get there, as it’s practically next to I-5. It does get quite hot, so bring water bottles for everyone, sunhats, and sunscreen, and plan to arrive early before the hottest part of the day. 

Magical Roosters and Sneaky Bats”, Sunday, July 31, 1PM, Central Library. (Free tickets will be given out at 12:30PM). “Hear world traveler and author Dr. Margaret Read MacDonald share her favorite folktales from the lively spots she has visited. Margaret breathes life into traditional folktales, sharing them in exciting performances, using them to enable beginning storytellers, and publishing them in picture books and folktale collections.”