Cheap & Easy

The Best Bang for Your Buck Events in Portland This Weekend: Oct 13–15, 2023

Sitka Art Invitational, Portland Arbor Day, and More Cheap & Easy Events Under $15
October 13, 2023
Admire art that explores the natural world while staying dry inside at the Sitka Art Invitational. (Sitka Center for Art and Ecology via Facebook)
Another batch of thrifty and nifty suggestions for things to do this weekend is comin' right at ya, from Black Community Science Night to an Annular Eclipse Viewing at OMSI and from Portland Arbor Day to the Sitka Art Invitational. For more ideas, check out our roundup of where to get a Friday the 13th tattoo and our guide to the top events of the week.

Jump to: Friday | Saturday | Sunday | Multi-Day



Black Community Science Night Past Event List
Centering the Black community, this all-ages science night includes science demos, laser Beyoncé and Lizzo shows, a ping-pong ball geyser (!?), robotics demonstrations, over a dozen vendors, and good eats from Erica's Soul Food and Beats and Eats Food Truck. Plus, attendees can explore the current featured exhibit, Orcas: Our Shared Future, and get a sneak peek of the upcoming Staying Alive: Defenses of the Animal Kingdom. SL
(OMSI, Central Eastside, $8-$10)


Black Sabbath in 35mm with Live Pre-Show Music Past Event List
I once watched this '63 anthology horror alone at home, and I best recall the first tale of a woman terrorized by killer phone calls, which echoes *that* Drew Barrymore scene in Scream with an eerie familiarity. Director Mario Bava is not one to be fucked with, and Black Sabbath proves it—the flick sets the scene for the entire giallo genre in the first segment, followed by tales of bizarre Russian counts and haunted corpses. Boris Karloff shows up, too! This Friday the 13th screening will be preceded by European horror score pieces performed by members of Federale, the Brian Jonestown Massacre, the Dandy Warhols, the Delines, and the Silver Triplets. LC
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, $15)


Music in The Garden Past Event List
Each Friday in October, Louis Lim will soundtrack your stroll through Lan Su's tranquil pathways with traditional Chinese music played on the erhu (a two-stringed vertical instrument) and the ruan quin (a long-necked, 13-fret string instrument). In my opinion, gardens such as Lan Su Chinese Garden are highly underutilized in autumn. Don't miss the opportunity to catch the trees just as the leaves start to turn—beautiful! AV
(Lan Su Chinese Garden, Old Town-Chinatown, Free with garden admission)

Roselit Bone with Sun Blood Stories Past Event List
A local nine-piece ensemble fronted by vocalist and guitarist Charlotte McCaslin, Roselit Bone pulls inspiration from Roy Orbison, the Gun Club, and Mexican ranchera music to produce their unique brand of “psychotic, apocalyptic cowgirl music." Join them for this high-energy show with kindred "desert rock" Sun Blood Stories. AV
(Lollipop Shoppe, Buckman, $15-$18)


Friday the 13th Tactics Party Past Event List
(Flip)kick off the Halloween season with an open skate at The Courts followed by a 21+ party to celebrate the launch of Tactics’ and Dead Guy beer's skate deck collab. Tactics started out in Eugene in 1999, and has since grown into a leading brand of skateboards and snowboards. Rogue, the maker of Dead Guy Ale, has been making waves in the Oregon beer scene since 1988, so it's a match made in heaven (or hell). Come for the super cool skate decks, and stay for the costume contest, music, and giveaways. Bonus: Dead Guy Bar is currently decked out for its “You’re Dead to Me” Halloween pop-up Past Event List SL
(Dead Guy Bar [Rogue Hall], South Park Blocks, free)


Chords to Other Chords (Relative) Past Event List
Marie Watts, a Portland contemporary artist and member of the Seneca Nation of Indians, unveiled the new neon sculpture Chords to Other Chords (Relative) for Converge 45. Pulling from Seneca oral history traditions, Watts's brightly blazing piece "is first and foremost an affirmation of the land and the Indigenous people who are ephemeral monuments to this territory." Its title is pulled from 23rd United States Poet Laureate Joy Harjo's poem Bird, which states "We are chords/to other chords to other chords, if we’re lucky, to melody." If you haven't already, the piece is a great reason to stop by the new-ish Center for Native Arts and Cultures. LC
(Center for Native Arts and Cultures, Central Eastside, free; closing)



Portland Arbor Day 2023 Past Event List
Typically, we think of Arbor Day as happening in April, but due to the changing climate, our hot and dry summers have made it difficult for trees planted in the spring to flourish. The City of Portland has therefore decided to celebrate Arbor Day in the fall, and you're invited to join in and help plant trees! There will also be music, food, and games, plus kids’ crafts like decorating tree necklaces and leaf art. You can even sign up in advance for the Yard Tree Giveaway to receive one of 100 free trees at the event. Bonus points if you come in a tree-themed costume. SL
(McCoy Park, North Portland, free)


Annular Eclipse Viewing Past Event List
Gather in the front plaza of OMSI to watch the annular eclipse on Saturday morning! Oregon will only have a partial view (if the weather even cooperates enough for us to see it), but the eclipse will begin at 8:06 am, with maximum coverage (86%) happening around 9:19 am. You should never look directly at the sun no matter how much of the moon is obscuring it, so OMSI will be selling eclipse glasses for $3. They'll also have eclipse-themed treats, space science activities, an educator talk, and a livestream from cities along the eclipse’s direct path in the Planetarium. SL
(OMSI, Central Eastside, $0-$3)


Tommy Prine Live at Music Millennium Past Event List
Singer-songwriter Tommy Prine—best known as the son of the late folk hero John Prine—will play a free acoustic set in support of his debut album, This Far South. The album touches on the loss of his father, dependence on faith, and reminiscing of his childhood. In regards to the nepo baby-of-it-all, Prine told theTennessean: "If I spend my life feeling like I'm under my father's shadow, then I'm never going to be able to figure out who I am. I had to switch my perspective on that. Now I feel like I'm walking next to it. I see it. It's in proximity to me, but I don't feel like I'm walking under it." AV
(Music Millennium, Kerns, free)


Tropitaal Desi Latine Soundclash with DJ Anjali, The Incredible Kid, and Daniela Karina Past Event List
Latin American tropical sounds blend (or as they say, "clash") with rhythms from India to create a distinctive sound that perfectly soundtracks this recurring dance party. This time around, resident selectors Anjali & The Incredible Kid will spin genre-blending sets that focus on Latin, Caribbean, and South Asian music with special guest DJ Daniela Karina. AV (Goodfoot, Kerns, $12)


Love, Shakespeare Past Event List
If Shakespeare's theatrical works are feeling a little "played" out—hey, he did write them over 400 years ago—don thy feathered cap and head to this fully improvised take on an Elizabethan comedy. The off-the-cuff version will skew the Bard's themes and imagery for a fresh production with a rotating cast.
(Curious Comedy Theater, King, $15)


Cozy Queer Reading Hours Past Event List
At this stage of the autumnal game, it's not quite SAD lamp time, but you might be in need of a little extra coziness. Here's a novel idea: Snuggle up with books and new pals at Honeyed Words, a queer and trans bookstore inside Sonny's House of Tattoos and Treasures. The queer-friendly reading sesh invites attendees to choose from a selection of "spooky, seasonal, and downright scary queer titles," hang with the Book Oracle, watch a classic scary movie, and make new friends for literary chats. Costumes are encouraged, by the way, and the whole event evokes the vibe of a cozy cat purr—if you wax nostalgic about the Scholastic Book Fairs of yore, this one's for you. LC
(Honeyed Words, Kerns, free)

Powell's Presents: Sylvan Mishima Brackett in Conversation with Nori De Vega Past Event List
Sylvan Mishima Brackett is the chef and owner of the acclaimed San Francisco restaurant Rintaro, which was declared one of Bon Appétit's Top 10 New Restaurants just six months after opening in 2015. Now, with the release of his new cookbook, he's showing us mere morals how to recreate his comforting izakaya fare, such as dashimaki tamago, pork gyoza, homemade udon, and curry rice, at home. (Personally, I think this sounds like just what the doctor ordered for getting through the gloomy winter.) He'll chat about the new release with Tikim founder Nori De Vega. JB
(Powell's City of Books, Pearl District, free)



Springwater Cart Park Grand Reopening Past Event List
Behold: Springwater Cart Park (the pod formerly known as Cartlandia) is hosting a grand reopening party. Load up on international cuisine from carts like Mis Abuelos Barbacoa, Toro Loco, Bamboo Cafe, Bobablastic, and Shawarma Express, and flaunt football gear from your favorite team to receive a free beer or cider from Buoy Beer Company, Gigantic Brewing, Reuben’s Brews, or Bauman’s Cider. You can also snag a raffle ticket for a chance to win a gift basket with prizes from brewery sponsors by purchasing a beer or bringing your canine companion along. JB
(Springwater Cart Park, Brentwood-Darlington)


Cindy Lee, Freak Heat Waves, and Nick Normal Past Event List
Patrick Flegel (formerly of the Canadian experimental indie rock band Women), takes inspiration from vocalists like Patsy Cline, the Supremes, Karen Carpenter, and other expressive female vocalists for his drag persona/solo music project Cindy Lee. Lee's sophomore album, What's Tonight To Eternity, evokes the ballads of those aforementioned ingénues—but played on an antique tube-powered radio that caught fire mid-song, disintegrating slowly with each lovelorn lyric. Lee will support the album alongside Canadian electronic trio Freak Heat Waves, and local post-punk band Nick Normal. AV
(Lollipop Shoppe, Buckman, $12 - $15)

Leah Senior Past Event List
Fans of indie-folk jewels like Laura Marling, Aldous Harding, and Bedouine, listen up! Australian-based singer-songwriter Leah Senior will likely be your next obsession with her insightful lyricism, vivid imagery, and baroque pop whimsy. Her newest album, The Music That I Make, contains a bounty of nature-themed lyrics and cozy plucked guitars, making for a perfect early-autumn soundtrack. AV
(Mississippi Studios, Boise, $15)


Defiant Joy: A Queer, Mischievous Drag and Comedy Show Past Event List
It's time for clowning, nonsense, horseplay and general tomfoolery in the form of Defiant Joy, a drag and comedy show that promises to be both queer and mischievous. Okay, I'm listening!! Stand-up star Mx. Dahlia Belle and Ms. Gay Vancouver 2021-22 Alivia H. Charles will headline alongside Clancy Kramer, Brendan Creecy, Cait Chock, and Sloppy Giuseppe (A+ stage name, no notes). LC
(Al's Den, West End, $10-$15)



Bella Organic Pumpkin Patch & Corn Maze Past Event List
Every fall, Bella Organic Farms makes a statement with their corn maze, and this year they're targeting gun violence with "a simple message of love from a simple farmer.” Enjoy a hot cup of apple cider over a game of trivia about the maze, compete with your family and friends inside the maze to win a Clue-inspired puzzle, and hitch a free hayride over to the pumpkin patch to pick out your own gourd for carving, painting, or simply placing on your porch for max autumnal vibes. If you're a thrill seeker, stop by after dark on Fridays and Saturdays to experience their haunted corn maze. SL
(Bella Organic Pumpkin Patch & Winery, Sauvie Island, $0-$12, Friday-Sunday)

The MAiZE at the Pumpkin Patch Past Event List
Shout "It's corn!!!" while exploring almost two miles of pathways through the famous MAiZE on Sauvie Island. This premier destination for fall enthusiasts pays homage to its quarter century of business with this year's "25 years" design. The maze has two parts: warm up with the "easy" section before tackling the more difficult part, and don't forget your boots—it can get muddy out there. SL
(The Pumpkin Patch, Sauvie Island, $0-$10, Friday-Sunday)


Friday the 13th Past Event List
The summer camp? Negligent. The killer? Ski-masked. Unless you've been living under a rock far, far away from Camp Crystal Lake for the past 40 years, you already know what film franchise I'm referencing. The Friday the 13th screening of, you guessed it, Friday the 13th is already sold out, but you can still catch screenings on October 14, 16, and 18. Can't get enough? The Hollywood also has screenings of Friday the 13th Part Two, Friday the 13th Part Three, andFriday the 13th: The Final Chapter planned. Real Voorhees-heads can unleash their secret weapon (of the knowledge variety) at the Oaks Park roller rink trivia night, too. LC
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, $10 - $12, Friday-Saturday)

Nowhere Past Event List
If you're into moody California rave culture and ‘90s mainstays like Heather Graham, Ryan Phillippe, James Duval, and Christina Applegate, Gregg Araki's Nowhere should be right up your street—the stylish '97 psych-out flick gazes upon them all as they do drugs and laze about Los Angeles. Sounds cool, right? The problem is, an alien is stalking them, which tends to kill the vibe. In the words of one Letterboxd reviewer, "i love movies that make absolutely zero sense no thoughts just vibes and lucifer is so cunt i love her." Unless you've already seen Nowhere, chances are good that you have no idea what that means, and there's only one way to find out. LC
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, $10-$12, Friday-Sunday)

Stop Making Sense Past Event List
Calling it now: If you've seen Stop Making Sense, it's probably your favorite concert film. It's jangly and arty and all of the other words one might use to describe Talking Heads's catalog, and David wears the suit. Not feeling the Byrne? Listen, I know watching a concert movie for a band you don't listen to sounds like hell, but this one might be an exception. If you haven't seen it yet, anticipate looking back on the experience with a funny fondness later, like a good birthday party or the first time you smoked weed. Jonathan Demme (yes, the guy who went on to make The Silence of the Lambs) recorded all of the concert footage over the course of three days at Hollywood's Pantages Theatre in 1983, during the height of the Heads' visionary fame. It's screening in a new restoration, so prep for a "once in a lifetime" experience. LC
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, $10-$12, Friday-Sunday)


"You're Dead to Me" Halloween Pop-Up Bar Past Event List
Rogue Ales and Spirits is the mastermind behind this spine-chilling Halloween pop-up at Dead Guy Bar, featuring 13 petrifying potables like "The Cujo" (a riff on the classic New York Sour with Dead Guy Whiskey Cabernet Cask), "The Basic Dude" (a pumpkin spice take on the White Russian with Bayfront Vodka, coffee liqueur, and pumpkin spice cream), and the "Hell Fire" (smoky mezcal, grapefruit, and Rogue Farmhouse Absinthe). To eat, there's a food menu of sinister specials like the Nightmare Before Christmas-inspired "Oogie Boogie Burger," featuring guacamole, bacon, a black bun, and creepy olive eyes. JB
(Dead Guy Bar [Rogue Hall], South Park Blocks, Friday-Sunday)


Sitka Art Invitational Past Event List
Bringing together over 100 artists inspired by Pacific Northwest nature, the Sitka Art Invitational offers a scenic forest of works across mediums, with sales split evenly between the artist and the Sitka Center for Art & Ecology's nonprofit programming. Plan for a crowd—more than 2,000 local art lovers attend the show each year—and peep this fun map of the Kenton area before heading to Oregon Contemporary. Even if you're an old-school Portlander, you might make a new discovery. LC
(Oregon Contemporary, Kenton, free, Friday-Sunday)


Portland Open Studios: 25th Anniversary Art Studio Tour Past Event List
Catch an insider's glimpse of over 100 participating artists' studios at the 25th anniversary of Portland Open Studios, a city-wide event spread across two weekends. Portland's artsiest denizens can scope out works in progress across a variety of mediums, chat with artists, add to their collections, learn more about the business of creativity, and build community in one fell swoop. A quick glance at the number of open studios might be...overwhelming, so I suggest planning your tour with this handy-dandy guide. LC
(Various locations, free, Saturday-Sunday)

Portland TextileX Month Past Event List
Exploring a "mixed identities" theme this year, Portland TextileX Month (PTXM) is back to examine everything from myths and rituals to migration and resistance through diverse textile exhibitions and workshops. We're tied up in knots about Salvadoran American textile artist Orquidia Violeta's Guardian Spirit Series, Well Well Projects' Emotions of Home, Carnation Contemporary's Wild Peninsula: Color & Sound in North Portland, and costume designer Fuschia Lin's mask-making workshop, but you can find a full list of the month's events here. LC
(Various locations, Pricing varies, Friday-Sunday)

Wild Peninsula: Color and Sound in North Portland Past Event List
If you've ever bopped around St. Johns, you may have noticed the neighborhood's plentiful "edge-of-wild spaces." Longtime residents Carolyn Hazel Drake, Michael Brooks, and Eric Jordan have taken note of them, too, finding resonance with the peninsula's landscape and exploring areas like the Baltimore Woods, Chimney Park, Smith & Bybee Wetlands, the Columbia Slough, and the St. Johns Prairie on daily walks. In Wild Peninsula: Color and Sound in North Portland, the trio reflects on the "strange interplay of nature, industry, preservation, disuse, and restoration" in the area through woven tapestries, soundscapes, and hand-appliqued textiles. LC
(Carnation Contemporary, Kenton, free, Saturday-Sunday)

Will Rawls: [siccer] Past Event List
You might've seen Will Rawls's work recently—the New York-based artist has popped up with installations and exhibitions at Adams and Ollman and the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle over the last few years. As a choreographer, performance artist, curator, and writer, Rawls's work is wide-reaching, and [siccer] is no exception. It's part-live performance, part-stop-motion animation, and its title references the Latin adverb sic (you typically see it used in brackets to denote an “error” when quoting someone, underscoring the perceived inaccuracy of their speech). To Rawls, "[sic] is a useful metaphor for how the language and gestures of Black bodies are captured, quoted or misquoted, and circulated to appear strange in various media." As a writer, I'm excited to see how Rawls interrogates the limits of citation. LC
(PICA, Eliot, $0-$10, Friday-Sunday)

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