Cheap & Easy

27 Cheap & Easy Portland Events This Weekend: Oct 15-17, 2021

The Great Pumpkin Hunt, Hood River Valley Harvest Festival, Oddities & Curiosities Expo, and More Last-Minute Things To Do Under $15
October 15, 2021
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Take a scenic drive through the gorge in pursuit of all sorts of autumnal delights at the Hood River Valley Harvest Fest. (Hood River Valley Harvest Fest)

A penny saved is a penny earned, and we’re here to help you save your pennies in this weekend’s roundup of cheap and easy things to do. Head downtown and get your steps in during The Great Pumpkin Hunt, find weird and wonderful art and objects to adorn your living space at the Oddities & Curiosities Expo, and don't forget: This weekend is your last chance to catch this year's Portland Open Studios Tour. For more ideas, check out our roundup of the top 32 events happening this week or our guide to Halloween events.


Jump to: Friday | Saturday | Sunday


FRIDAY

HALLOWEEN

SCRAP Spooktacular Celebrations Presents: Costume Making Party!
The sustainably minded craft store will have its resident stitch witch and drag expert on hand to assist you in making the Halloween costume of your dreams, whether you need to get some inspiration, you're in the beginning stages of executing your vision, or you're putting on some finishing touches. This afternoon drop-in session will have sewing machines and supplies of all sorts and is open to folks of all ages and abilities.
Scrap PDX, Goose Hollow ($10)

MUSIC

Stephen Day: The Shapes I'm In Tour
Nashville-based folk pop singer-songwriter Stephen Day is known for crooning smoothly over guitar-driven melodies. Referring to his latest album The Shapes I'm In, he writes: "I put so much of myself into this record in hopes that we could all grow a little closer together after the year and a half we’ve had of being separated. It feels like the easiest way to re-enter and rebuild a more social and communal world is by remembering how to give away a little bit of yourself to someone and trusting them with it.” Day is joined on tour by fellow Nashvillian Carly Bannister.
Doug Fir Lounge, Buckman ($10)

The Apricots, The Daphnes
Check out The Apricots, a newly formed band formerly known as Pacific Trio, who will release their debut EP in 2022. The Portland-based foursome's sound has inflections of indie rock to alternative soul, and more. The evening will also include another local band on the rise, The Daphnes, who will bring the smooth surf rock vibes.
Kelly's Olympian, Downtown ($7-$9)

Panthervision, Veradas, The Troglodytes
Despite the venue's name, there's plenty of fun to be had at this show with retro-sounding rockers Panthervision, garage band Veradas, and power pop/punk outfit The Troglodytes.
No Fun, Buckman ($8 at the door, cash only)

FILM

Horror Month: Santa Sangre
CST presents Santa Sangre (1989) as part of their month-long celebration of horror movies and ongoing Friday Cult Classics series. This surreal horror flick written and directed by avant-garde director Alejandro Jordorowsky stars his son as a former circus artist who escapes from a mental asylum.
Clinton Street Theater, Hosford-Abernethy ($6)

FRIDAY-SUNDAY

FESTIVALS

Hood River Valley Harvest Fest
Head to the gorge town's scenic waterfront for their 39th annual harvest fest, which will celebrate the region's fall bounty. Offering local produce like pears, apples, pumpkins, and goods ranging from pies to smoked salmon and chocolate-covered cherries, this old-fashioned festival is the perfect opportunity to get a head start on your holiday shopping. Adults will delight in wine, cider, and beer tastings while little ones will have plenty of entertainment in the form of bouncy houses, face painting, and more fun activities.
Hood River Waterfront ($5-$10)

HALLOWEEN

The Great Pumpkin Hunt
Beloved Portland artist Mike Bennett will hide 100 of his quirky illustrated pumpkin cutouts among 70+ businesses in the downtown Portland area for scavenger hunters to find and keep. Keep an eye on Bennett's Instagram stories for clues, or if you'd rather cut to the chase, find some pumpkin paraphernalia at the Crypto-Zoo: Museum of Mystery gift shop.
Various locations, Downtown Portland (free)

FALL

The MAiZE at the Pumpkin Patch
Try not to get turned around too many times as you make your way through Portland’s flagship eight-acre corn maze. This year’s theme “Bridgetown,” with immaculately trimmed cornrows taking the shape of Mt. Hood, the St. Johns Bridge, forests, and rivers.
The Pumpkin Patch, Sauvie Island ($6-$8)

Topaz Farm Corn Maze
Navigate a labyrinth designed by Portland creative Aaron Draplin, and check out more art pieces along the way by Portland artists Jason Sturgill, Jason Walton, Stephanie Choi, Jonah Spaay, Jack Kent, and Bread Boi. If you're a particularly competitive spirit, Topaz has a scoreboard that keeps track of the fastest maze solvers. When you finally make your way out, check out Topaz's pumpkin patch and farm store (which has seasonal treats such as pumpkin cheesecake ice cream and pumpkin hand pies), and make friends with some mini animals. Visit on the weekend and you'll also find the farm offering free hay rides.
Topaz Farm, Sauvie Island ($5-$10)

VISUAL ART

Judgment Day
The BIPOC-owned gallery One Grand presents its first solo show since the start of the pandemic. Local artist Samuel Spencer will have eight new large-scale oil paintings on display "depicting the trials and tribulations of our time," with characters appropriated from The Simpsons to represent "the collective millennial psyche" via broadcast culture. Friday’s opening event will include a meet and greet with the artist, complimentary beverages, and a DJ set.
One Grand Gallery, East Burnside (free)

Lavender House
An exploration of housing justice in the cultural landscape of Los Angeles, this exhibition features a video essay from multimedia artist Sarah Rara, who delivers a glimpse into the tenant-landlord relationship, anxiety, motherhood, and resilience. Explaining how the piece came to fruition, Rara writes: “Eight years ago, I began recording accounts of every interaction I had with landlords and developers, compiling a substantial multi-volume binder of photographs, notes, documents. I never intended for these notes to form the basis of an artwork, I was collecting evidence to protect myself and fellow tenants from illegal evictions. But after years of observing and documenting, I began adding poems to the binder as a way of processing, as a kind of power reversal." 
Oregon Center for Contemporary Art, Kenton (free; closing)

Anya Roberts-Toney // If She Floats
Anya Roberts-Toney's exhibition of new paintings at Nationale draws on imagery of female bathers in otherworldly landscapes. The gallery explains the title painting's reference to a dark piece of history: "Float tests were forced on women accused of witchcraft in the late 1600s. If the woman being tested floated in water, she was found guilty of being a witch, and if she sank (often drowning), she was considered innocent. At the time the saying was: 'If she floats, she burns.' Roberts-Toney’s new body of work is both an acknowledgement of this sinister period of history, and also a reclamation of female power."
Nationale, Buckman (free)

Continuing the Conversation
In this juried show, four local artists reflect on the past year in art works that interpret the Black Lives Matter movement. Drawing inspiration from the confrontation of racial injustice, this exhibition reminds us of the strides we've made and that we still have work to do.
Alberta Street Gallery, Concordia (free)

Sewing Trees
Sewing Trees, an exhibition of textile art, features the work of local artists Michelle Purvis and Kim Tepe. Purvis uses acrylic paint and thread to reflect on our symbiotic relationship with the environment, hoping to engage viewers in a conversation about reforestation, preservation, and sustainability. Tepe's fiber works take inspiration from the forest; for this show, she studied the shape of trees before "stitching silhouettes to create vast landscapes or intimate vignettes."
Alberta Street Gallery, Concordia (free)

SATURDAY

MUSIC

Crypto-Zoo Concert Series: Quattlebaum & James Rossi
Artist Mike Bennett's limited engagement exhibit Crypto-Zoo: Museum of Mystery will host a rooftop concert with folk music from Quattlebaum and James Rossi while you keep warm with hot drinks from Trailhead Coffee. Keep your ears peeled for "Blacktail Canyon," the Crypto-Zoo's official theme song.
Crypto-Zoo Museum of Mystery, St. Johns (free)

FILM

The Approach // Portland Premiere
Not only will this outdoor show feature the world premiere of ski and snowboard film The Approach, folks will also get to meet the film's featured athletes, learn more via a Q&A session, and taste the film's complementary limited edition beer Approach Pilsner from Fat Tire. Filmed, directed, and edited by Anne Cleary, The Approach is an "action-driven ski and snowboard film elevating women, adaptive skiers, and people of the global majority."
The North Warehouse, Eliot (free)

Manzanar Diverted: When Water Becomes Dust
An official selection of more than five 2021 film festivals, Manzanar, Diverted weaves together the stories of intergenerational women—Native Americans, Japanese-American WWII incarcerees, and environmentalists—"as they form an unexpected alliance to defend their land and water from Los Angeles." A panel discussion will follow the screening, discussing the widespread issue of drought and water rights, and focusing on those challenges in Oregon specifically.
PSU Native American Student & Community Center, Downtown (free)

FUNDRAISER

Walk to End Alzheimer's 2021
Walkers of all paces will tote "promise garden" flowers during this 5K to raise funds and awareness for a cure to Alzheimer's and other memory loss disorders.
Oregon Zoo, Washington Park (free)

GEEK 

Oddities & Curiosities Expo 2021
Find one-of-a-kind conversation starting pieces for your home at this expo which brings together vendors and dealers from all over the country. You'll discover oddities of all sorts here, including taxidermy and preserved specimens, original artwork, horror pieces, antiques, quack medical devices, clothing and jewelry, skulls and bones, funeral collectibles, and more.
Oregon Convention Center, Lloyd District ($10)

HALLOWEEN

SCRAP Spooktacular Celebrations Presents: Pumpkin Decorating!
After you hit a pumpkin patch or two, BYOPumpkin to SCRAP and get your decorating hat on. The craft store will supply glitter, paint, glue, googly eyes, and other bedazzling bits that will transform your gourd into the most eye-catching jack-o'-lantern on the block. If you're not a proponent of the pumpkin, you can make a lumiere in a glass jar, a decoration that you can reuse year after year.
Scrap PDX, Goose Hollow ($5)

NIGHTLIFE

Bearracuda Portland 12 Year Anniversary
Celebrate 12 years of this "fun, friendly party for bears, cubs, and other wildlife" with hot go-go dancers, guys everywhere you look, music from Seattle's DJ Matt Stands, and striking visuals and lasers.
Bossanova Ballroom, East Burnside ($10 before 10 pm, $15 after)

SATURDAY-SUNDAY

SHOPPING

Maizee Mae’s Vintage Flea Market
Comb through dozens of vendor booths for vintage treasures such as antiques, collectibles, furniture, holiday items, clothes and jewelry, kitchenware, tools, mid-century pieces, military paraphernalia, tchotchkes, and more. Happy hunting. 
Doubletree Hotel, Lloyd District ($3)

VISUAL ART

Portland Open Studios Tour 2021
Get an inside look at the studios of over 100 participating artists across the city who represent a vast variety of mediums. You'll get to take a glimpse at works in progress and chat with artists about their process in this unique and intimate opportunity.
Various locations (free)

Spooky Season
Feast your eyeballs on weird and wonderful pieces at this group show curated by Well Well co-founder Jessie Weitzel Le Grand. The gallery will display Dan Lam's signature resin pieces, sculptures by Paolo Puck, ceramics by Pam Puck and Sarah Hughes, and more. 
Well Well, Kenton (free)

Dean Wong: The Future of Chinatown
This exhibition will feature original photography by Seattle-based photojournalist Dean Wong that depicts gentrification and displacement in four West Coast Chinatowns. It's part of a larger "place-based initiative" called Finding Chinatown, which includes a series of in person and virtual events and public programs.
Portland Chinatown Museum, Old Town-Chinatown ($8; opening)

SUNDAY

MUSIC

Jet Black Pearl with special guest The Amazing Bubble Man
Ward off the Sunday scaries with this kooky matinee show. "Accordion diva" Jet Black Pearl plays witty songs that "sound like a mad hatter's European tea party with a hip hop attitude." The one-woman act layers sounds from flutes and plastic bottles with vocal percussion, all while squeezing away at her accordion. During intermission, marvel at tricks and bubble art by "one of the world’s leading bubble-ologists," The Amazing Bubble Man.
Alberta Street Pub, King ($10)

SHOPPING

Boheme PDX
"Inspired by a love of music, art & the desire to elevate their fellow small-business folk," maker/musician Blythe Ingraham and artist Alexandria Oesch created Boheme PDX, a monthly outdoor market that sets up at the convergence of Slabtown and the Pearl District. The October market will feature live pumpkin carving by Jonathan Barwood and an end-of-day raffle where a winner will be selected to take home the finished masterpiece.
1631 NW Thurman St., Slabtown (free)