Cheap & Easy

The Best Bang for Your Buck Events in Portland This Weekend: Jan 6-8, 2023

Bowie Birthday Bash, Dark Lagoon Goth Tiki Night, and More Cheap & Easy Events Under $15
January 6, 2023
Start the new year with some hands-on learning; the World Forestry Center's Discovery Museum is offering free admission on Sundays through the end of January. (World Forestry Center via Facebook)
Did you resolve to go on a post-holiday budget? Tightening the purse strings doesn't mean you have to forgo some fun weekend plans. We've got you covered with cheap and easy events, from Bowie Birthday Bash! to Dark Lagoon Goth Tiki Night and from Free Sundays at World Forestry Center's Discovery Museum to your last chance to see ZooLights.

Venues may have health guidelines in place—we advise directly checking the specific protocols for an event before heading out.

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Bridge City Improv: NINE Add to a List
Bridge City Improv returns with ad-libbed performances by nine uber-funny local comics split into teams of two, three, and four. The evening of laughs will include impromptu scenes and off-the-cuff comedy from recognizable faves like Katie Nguyen, Beau Brousseau, and Whitney Johnson.
(Chapel Theatre, Milwaukie, $15)


Batman: Mask of the Phantasm Add to a List
Airbrush artist Matt Stanger will host this screening of Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, which will honor the life of actor Kevin Conroy, who voiced Batman for over three decades and passed in 2022. The full-length animated feature also includes the voice of Mark Hamill as Joker; rarely seen since its Christmas 1993 release, it's an unusual treat for fans of the caped crusader.
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, $8-$10)


Meet the Winemaker: Cristina Gonzales of Gonzales Wine Co. Add to a List
Chat with winemaker Cristina Gonzales of the local minimal-intervention winery Gonzales Wine Co. You'll also get a chance to sip a flight of her signature aromatic whites and bold reds.
(Helioterra Winery, Hosford-Abernethy)


Fox Medicine, Counterfeit Kubrick, and Audry Pryce Add to a List
The lively "bubblegum doom" duo Fox Medicine will bring their raw, fuzzed-out jams to the stage alongside dreamy pop-punk soloist Counterfeit Kubrick and "punk-poet" Audry Pryce. 
(Kelly's Olympian, Downtown, $7)

Gerle Haggard Band with Luther's Boots Add to a List
Get your fix of cosmic outlaw country tunes courtesy of this seven-piece, all-female tribute to the "Okie from Muskogee," Merle Haggard. Anticipate a mix of his well-known hits, obscure singles, and early work as well as some of his carefully chosen blues and jazz covers. Johnny Cash cover band Luther's Boots will get things started.
(Mississippi Studios, Boise, $15)



Cat Daddies Add to a List
Let's face it, a dude with a cat is a winning combination. As society veers away from its tiresome assumption that feline-inclined fellows are antisocial weirdos, it makes room for heart-tugging documentaries like Cat Daddies. Deemed "gentle, sweet, and unassuming" by Screen Anarchy, director Mye Hoang's flick follows a group of men whose lives were changed by kitties during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
(Clinton Street Theater, Hosford-Abernethy, $8)

THE DEVIL's DAY: A Satanic Panic VHS Tape Roast Add to a List
'80s kids, clear your calendars! The 4th Wall's roast of all things Satanic Panic is bound to get weird with screenings of remixed vintage tapes, commercials, and old-school cable access shows that'll garner a devilish laugh or two. Local jokesters will kick off the evening with a mash-up of wacky videos, plus comedy sets on their favorite (and most reviled) childhood toys. 
(The 4th Wall PDX, Buckman, $5)


Yoga + Beer Portland | Baerlic Brewing Add to a List
Bend and stretch with a feel-good yoga practice, then refuel afterwards with a crisp pint from Baerlic Brewing while socializing with fellow yogis.
(Baerlic Brewing Company, Hosford-Abernethy, $15-$20)


Shay Lee, Clam Bait, and Pegasister Add to a List
PDX Pop Now! presents an afternoon of infectious pop and rock tunes from Portland-based artists including power-pop trio Shaylee, indie rock band Clam Bait, and equestrian rock 'n' roll outfit Pegasister. This show is free, so you can spend your extra bucks on Speck's impressive inventory of used records, tapes, and gear. (Speck's Records and Tapes, North Portland, free)


Asilo Ocuro - Goth en Español Night! Add to a List
Dance into the dark side with DJs Sonido Dead Steady and Espina Letal as they serve up a spread of Spanish-language goth, darkwave, and industrial jams.
(The Midnight PDX + The Sïx, Sunnyside, $10-$12)

Dance Craze! with DJ Action Slacks Add to a List
Beloved all-vinyl DJ Action Slacks will serve up a rockin' mix of strictly mid-century rockabilly, R&B, and early rock 'n' roll from the likes of Gene Vincent, Little Richard, Wanda Jackson, Ruth Brown, Carl Perkins, and more. Don't show up underdressed, on-theme vintage garb is encouraged!
(The World Famous Kenton Club, Kenton, $10-20 sliding scale)

Global Based with Daniela Karina, Geezus, El Cucuy, and Gravemind Add to a List
Portland’s periodic perreo rave returns in the new year with a night of worldwide reggaeton, Latin trap, hip-hop, and moombahton, brought to you by DJs Daniela Karina, Geezuz, El Cucuy, and Gravemind.
(Holocene, Buckman, $15)

Tropitaal Desi-Latino Soundclash with DJ Anjali, The Incredible Kid, and DJ Freaky Outty Add to a List
Tropitaal blends Latin American tropical sounds with rhythms from India to create a unique sound that perfectly soundtracks this recurring dance party. This time around, resident DJs Anjali and The Incredible Kid will be joined by local selector Freaky Outty for a set of groovy soul, disco, dancehall, and Afrobeat bangers.(Goodfoot, Kerns, $12)


NIGHTLIFE: Two White Stripes Add to a List
For this edition of CoHo NIGHTLIFE, a free, late-night Twitch-streamed program, playwright, television writer, director, and producer Kwik Jones will bring a fierce new tale to the digital stage. Two White Stripes follows a metalhead hippie and a recovering addict as they navigate experiences of grief.
(Virtual via CoHo Theater)


First Saturday Open House Add to a List
Head to modern mainstay Oregon Contemporary's open house to peep home school's exhibition i gently place my brain on cold rice Add to a List  before it closes on January 8. Visitors can also catch a performance lecture by Intisar Abioto, and in the same building, they'll find Flowstone Add to a List  at Carnation Contemporary. Make it a day of art viewing before grabbing drinks in the quaint Kenton neighborhood.
(Oregon Contemporary, Kenton, free)



POPS: Portland Oregon Paper Shapers Add to a List
Returning from a three-year pandemic hiatus, the Portland Oregon Paper Shapers (AKA POPS) will head to the IPRC for recurring meet-ups. Bend and crease with the best at the community event, which invites paper-folding experts and the origami-curious to join in for free.
(IPRC, Buckman, free)


Free Sundays at World Forestry Center's Discovery Museum Add to a List
Thanks to a generous grant, the Discovery Museum is throwing open the doors to its wood-filled space for free through the end of January. Learn about the Northwest's forests and their role "as a habitat, a place for recreation and reflection, a critical resource, and more" through an engaging variety of exhibits and documentaries. 
(World Forestry Center & Discovery Museum, South Park Blocks, free)


Dark Lagoon Goth Tiki Night Add to a List
Most people probably don't consider tiki and goths a natural pairing, but this event aims to change that by mashing up the two subcultures, resulting in a darkly kitschy combo. Pile on the eyeliner and dark lipstick and sip a tropical cocktail while bopping around to a blend of exotica, surf, rockabilly, goth, and more.
(Mad Hanna, Cully, free)


Bowie Birthday Bash! Add to a List
Put on your red shoes and dance the blues to the otherworldly hits of dearly departed pop king David Bowie on what would have been his 76th birthday. DJ Gregarious will spin an eclectic mix of the late singer's iconic discography (yes, even his late '90s techno-industrial era!) alongside music videos and rare live footage from VJ Disorder.
(Holocene, Buckman, $10-$12)



I Am An American: Stories of Exclusion and Belonging Add to a List
Hate crimes targeting Asian Americans are on the rise—if you don't know about it, you haven't been paying attention. In collaboration with Portland photographer Jim Lommasson and artist Roberta Wong, The Immigrant Story presents this exhibition of photographs, objects, and artwork to bring awareness to the current experiences of Asian Americans. The show's title, I Am An American, became a rallying cry after Japanese Americans were imprisoned in internment camps in WWII. While trends of xenophobia and discrimination continue, this exhibition speaks to the endurance of strength of Asian Americans in the face of generations of adversity.
(Oregon Historical Society, South Park Blocks, Friday-Sunday; closing)

Navajo Skies Add to a List
Navajo folklore comes to the domed Kendall Planetarium this month, with awe-inspiring celestial stories told in Navajo and English, plus brilliant imagery set to traditional songs and Native American flute music.
(OMSI, Central Eastside, $7.50, Friday-Sunday)

ZooLights Add to a List
What do wild animals, elephant ears, hot cocoa, and over half a million lights have in common? You can find 'em all at ZooLights, a Portland winter requisite that includes a drive-through option. If you were too busy to visit during the bustling holiday season, catch ZooLights on its closing weekend—admission has been discounted to $12.
(Oregon Zoo, Southwest Portland, $12-$65, Friday-Sunday)


Blade Runner: The Final Cut Add to a List
In this final cut edition of Ridley Scott's android-ridden fever dream Blade Runner, viewers will catch additional restored footage not seen in any other version of the film. Whether you're new to the cyberpunk masterpiece or a longtime fan of Deckard's race through a high-tech, decaying future, this restoration is a great way to revisit the cult classic's world of replicants and shoulder pads.
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, $8-$10, Saturday-Sunday)

Leonor Will Never Die Add to a List
In this chaotic, inventive feature film debut by Manila-based director Martika Ramirez Escobar, a retired filmmaker falls into a coma and experiences the action-packed landscapes of her films via her dreams. With the spirited nature of a choose-your-own-adventure book, Leonor Will Never Die was described as "an affectionate ode to trashy action films" by The New York Times.
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, $7-$10, Saturday-Sunday)

UHF Add to a List
If you dug Daniel Radcliffe's zany vibes in 2022's Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, don't miss this '89 Weird Al romp. He's at the top of his game in UHF, starring as an outrageous misfit who creates satirical TV shows and lands in hot water with a bitter media CEO. Roger Ebert hated the flick, and deemed Yankovic a "dispirited vacuum." Respectfully, we disagree.
(Clinton Street Theater, Hosford-Abernethy, $8, Saturday-Sunday)

Women Talking Add to a List
Miriam Toews's bestselling 2018 novel Women Talking unraveled the tense tale of a group of women clawing to escape from an isolated Mennonite colony. This film adaptation boasts an all-star cast including Claire Foy, Frances McDormand, Jessie Buckley, and Rooney Mara; The Los Angeles Times described director Sarah Polley's approach as "an artful, incisive distillation of Toews’ arguments."
(Cinema 21, Nob Hill, $8-$11, Friday-Sunday)


Nutcracker Cracked Family Puppet Show Add to a List
Set to the music of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, the Portland Puppet Museum will present its idiosyncratic rendition of the magical Christmas tale again this year using over 84 "transforming rod puppets." The 38-minute show is short enough to keep even the wiggliest kid enchanted.
(Portland Puppet Museum, Sellwood-Moreland, $15, Saturday-Sunday)


The Architecture of L’Ancien Village: A Memorial Exhibition Add to a List
Just one segment of late photographer David Pace's practice of documenting life in Bereba, Burkina Faso, The Architecture of L’Ancien Village captures the rural village's hardships, beauty, and unique sense of community. Hoping to "challenge the negativity about African life and culture dominant in the Western imagination," Pace aimed to create colorful, vivid compositions that told an honest, optimistic story of the region.
(Blue Sky Gallery, Pearl District, free, Friday-Saturday)

Corey S. Pressman: The Light at the Center Add to a List
Artist and University of Oregon professor Corey S. Pressman presents this solo exhibition inspired by his personal philosophy, which he describes as "the essential irreality of regular consciousness and by occasional encounters with the fundamental, unitary timelessness that underlies all of experience." Okay, then! The Light at the Center features Pressman's experiments in asemic writing and works on paper, incorporating powdered pigments, beeswax, and tree resin.
(Blackfish Gallery, Pearl District, free, Friday-Saturday)

Eli Durst: The Community Add to a List
Photographer Eli Durst's initial practice of capturing church basements on camera expanded to look closely at "the fundamental search for community in America," from Boy Scout meetings to corporate team-building sessions and New Age spaces. In Durst's documentary-style exhibition of black-and-white photos, aptly titled The Community, Durst seems to ask: What might we do to feel more in connection with others? How are these seemingly ubiquitous practices still imbued with ambiguity and strangeness? 
(Blue Sky Gallery, Pearl District, free, Friday-Saturday)

Flowstone Add to a List
WAVE Contemporary co-founder Hannah Newman and widely exhibited artist Susan Murrell "explore the end of day as it relates to the end of days" in Flowstone, a collaborative project. Through familiar lenses of landscape painting and figurative sculpture, Newman and Murrell delve into complicated territories of body and land, untold futures, and ecological dread.
(Carnation Contemporary, Kenton, free, Saturday-Sunday; opening)

i gently place my brain in cold rice Add to a List
Presented by curatorial residents Victoria Anne Reis and manuel arturo abreu of home schooli gently place my brain in cold rice compiles sculptures, video pieces, photography, and writing, grappling with tactility and ritual in virtual and "transmedia" realms. The inquisitive exhibition's eight artists include local creator and doula Ansar El Muhammad, Pittsburgh-based artist Khadijat Yussuff, Kigali-based collective Ibisazi Designers Nyabyo, and others. 
(Oregon Contemporary, Kenton, free, Friday-Sunday; closing)

Looking Back, Looking Forward Add to a List
Inspired by the COVID-19 lockdown and a 2019 residency in the Arctic Circle region of Finland, Kristen Miller's Looking Back, Looking Forward explores repetition, ritual, and memory through small textile works that function as records of time. During the pandemic, Miller stitched beads onto scraps of worn linen to "record" her day-to-day experiences; the pieces shown in this solo exhibition feel both pensive and hopeful, capturing small notes of color and texture that once comprised the artist's days.
(PDX CONTEMPORARY ART, Slabtown, free, Friday-Saturday; closing)

Sara Siestreem (Hanis Coos): looking for the land///found the weather Add to a List
Hanis Coos artist Sara Siestreem, who was recently awarded the 2022 Forge Project Fellowship, presents a new body of work focused on her ongoing themes of ceremonial tradition, ecological justice, and Indigenous feminism in looking for the land///found the weather. The solo exhibition includes bundles of suspended sweetgrass braids, video artworks, painted diptychs, and other experiments in immersion, confrontation, and metaphor to create "act[s] of refusal and resistance."
(Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Pearl District, free, Friday-Saturday; opening)

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