Cheap & Easy

The Best Bang for Your Buck Events in Portland This Weekend

Festival of Balloons, Good in the Hood, and More Cheap & Easy Events Under $15 from June 24-26
June 24, 2022
Take your weekend plans to the next level at the Festival of Balloons. (Festival of Balloons)
Finally, FINALLY, Portlanders can switch off their SAD lamps and scale back on the vitamin D supplements...the sun has emerged and is ready to light up your weekend, along with events from Festival of Balloons to Good in the Hood Multicultural Festival and from Royal Rosarians Milk Carton Boat Race to Sunday Parkways.

Oregon’s statewide mask mandate has been lifted, venues may have their own health guidelines in place. We advise directly checking the specific protocols for an event before heading out.

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Roe v. Wade Rallies
Now that the Supreme Court has officially overturned Roe v. Wade, local abortion access groups are gathering across the city tonight to protest and demonstrate continued support here in Portland. Pro-Choice Oregon Add to a List will gather at the Salmon Street Fountain before joining with the DSA Add to a List at Lownsdale Square.
(Various locations, free)


Nordic Northwest Outdoor Film Screenings Add to a List
Whether you're in Oslo or the Pacific Northwest, no summer is complete without catching an outdoor movie screening (or five). Nordic Northwest agrees, and their new film programming offers a little something for everyone's cinema tastes, from the arty and avant-garde to lighthearted and fun. On Friday night, they'll screen Ingmar Bergman's visionary Wild Strawberries on the lawn, followed by raucous doc A-Ha: The Movie and family-friendly flick The Pinchcliffe Grand Prix later in the summer. Attendees will find a range of Oregon wines, beers, and non-alcoholic options to keep their thirst at bay during each screening.
(Nordic Northwest, Garden Home-Whitford, $15 per vehicle)


Bay Ledges Add to a List
Start your weekend off right with some sun-kissed indie-pop from Maine-based duo Bay Ledges, who will support their new album, Ritual. The album radiates good vibes with dreamy vacation-mode tunes like "sunsunsun" and "Float."  Kindred pop group Double Camp will come along for the ride.
(Polaris Hall, Humboldt, $15)

Lo Moon Add to a List
LA-based quartet Lo Moon will stop by with their weightless indie-pop tunes that NPR hailed as ‘’Shimmering, immersive and otherworldly. As intimate as it is anthemic.’’ They will support their new album, A Modern Life, after a set from singer-songwriter Casey Dubie. 
(Mississippi Studios, Boise, $15)


Tree Planting with Colah B Hawkin of Black in the Garden Add to a List
Colah B. Tawkin, host of the Black in the Garden podcast and founder of the nonprofit Underground Arborist, aims to engage BIPOC communities disproportionately affected by the climate crisis. Tawkin's vital work continues at this American Persimmon tree planting, where she'll be joined by Hoyt Arboretum curator Martin Nicholson and Portland Parks director Adena Long in her ongoing efforts to plant native and female trees in every state. Stop by the public planting to learn more about Tawkin and hear the story behind the tree's special seed.
(Hoyt Arboretum, Washington Park, free)



Tiny Things Exchange 3.0 Add to a List
What's better than swapping stuff? Swapping tiny stuff for free. This kiddo-friendly event at the Alder Commons community center invites attendees to exchange their itty-bitty toys, fidgets, art, craft items, and other miniatures for new-to-them goodies. (We're feeling the '90s nostalgia already.) Event organizers have extended a special welcome to neurodivergent folks, with a small room available as a quiet space in the event of sensory overload. 
(Alder Commons, Beaumont-Wilshire, free)


Outdoor Movies in Oregon State Parks Add to a List
If there's one thing Oregonians love more than watching movies, it's being in nature. Why not both? Hollywood Theater has teamed up with the Oregon State Parks Department to offer a series of screenings in scenic state parks throughout the summer. On Saturday night, they'll screen Jurassic Park at Rooster Rock State Park—don't worry about the leaves rustling behind you, that's just a velociraptor.
(Rooster Rock State Park, Corbett, free)


Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts Add to a List
For nearly 60 years, the Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts has supported the diverse arts of the region. They're returning after a COVID-19 hiatus with better-than-ever programming, including mixed media exhibits at Lakewood Center for the Arts, a groovy performance by Norman "Boogie Cat" Sylvester at George Rogers Park, art demonstrations, a night market, and more.
(George Rogers Park, Lake Oswego, free)

Summer Luau Block Party Festival Add to a List
The local nonprofit Feed the Mass will team up with Hammer & Stitch Brewing Co. and other local vendors to host this summer block party, with food and drinks, live music, hula dancing lessons, hula hooping, magic tricks, storytime, a raffle, a silent auction, and other activities. Hammer & Stitch will serve an exclusive specialty beer, with all funds going towards Feed the Mass's mission of fighting food insecurity in Portland.
(Hammer & Stitch Brewing Co., Northwest Portland, free)


The Republic Cafe’s 100th Anniversary: Masonique, The Chair Project, and THTB Add to a List
This old-school Chinese restaurant is celebrating its centennial birthday with some rowdy live performances from local krautrock-inspired experimental trio Masonique, "one-man soul machine" The Chair Project, and noise pop duo THTB.
(Republic Café & Ming Lounge, Old Town-Chinatown, $7)


As You Like It Add to a List
The Original Practice Shakespeare Festival offers a fresh take on theatrical performance that actually harkens back to Shakespeare's time—their First Folio method of limited rehearsal and fast-paced, improvisational acting offers a "true reaction to the story" as each play progresses. They're kicking off a summer of park performances with As You Like It, a pastoral comedy in which the heroine Rosalind, fleeing persecution, encounters a strange cast of characters in the Forest of Arden (you'll recognize the "All the world's a stage..." monologue in this play).
(Lents Park, Lents, free)


Let's Pride Together Block Party Add to a List
Welcome to the future: an augmented reality mural will make its debut on the side of the Badlands Building (formerly home to the iconic gay bar and club Embers). Portland Arts Laureate Joaquin Lopez will host a block party in celebration bursting with local color, including a Pride-themed flash mob, a drag queen show, vendors, and a performance of the original song "It's Rainin' Love" by the Portland Gay Men's Chorus, Portland Lesbian Choir, and Maybelle Community Singers.
(Couch St between Broadway and 6th Ave, Old Town-Chinatown, free)


Cornell Farm's 35th Anniversary Summer Solstice Celebration Add to a List
This locally owned plant nursery will celebrate its 35th year in the business with a live jazz ensemble, tasty sliders from chef Jakob Skomial, raffles, garden tours, local vendors, and family-friendly activities including a terrarium-making workshop. 
(Cornell Farm, Cedar Mill, free)


Profound Engagement: Artist Talk with Lynn Yarne Add to a List
This discussion with Portland-based artist and educator Lynn Yarne will dive head first into her newest project on Chinese American pilot Leah Hing. Yarne will relate this recent work to her past endeavors in animation and collage and her interest in collective memory, generational narratives, displacement, resilience, and community, particularly within Old Town Portland. The talk was planned as part of the Portland Chinatown Museum's fresh Artist Talk series, which spotlights regional Asian American artists working in the intersections of community, history, and culture. 
(Virtual via Portland Chinatown Museum, free)



Portland Sunday Parkways presented by Kaiser Permanente Add to a List
Loop around Northeast Portland's Cully neighborhood to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Portland Bureau of Transportation's Sunday Parkways program. Roads along the route will be closed to car traffic for the duration of the event, encouraging Portlanders to bike, walk, or even roll (their suggestion, not ours!) through these public spaces. At four neighborhood parks—Fernhill, Khunamokst, Wellington, and Roseway Parkway—you'll find music and entertainment, bike tune-up stations, and more.
(Cully, free)


Velvet Goldmine in 35mm with Special Guest Todd Haynes Add to a List
The Hollywood's spankin'-new monthly series TGIQ (Thank God It's Queer) kicks off with Velvet Goldmine in 35mm for Pride. The film's Academy Award-nominated director, Todd Haynes, will be in attendance (you might know him as the New Queer Cinema auteur behind Carol and Far From Heaven). He'll offer a Q&A session after the flick, which conjures the effortlessly glam style of David Bowie to tell the tale of a rocker who fakes his own death. The soundtrack alone—which features Thom Yorke, T-Rex, Roxy Music, Placebo, and more—is reason enough to give the glittery film a watch.
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, $10-$12)


Sorta Summer: Landmass Wines Release Party Add to a List
Get into a summer state of mind at this parking lot bash, featuring a new sparkling cuvée from Landmass Wines, a new capsule collection of Wellspent merch made in collaboration with designer Brett Stenson, and Hawaiian-inspired snacks (including butter mochi) from 'Ono Mau Goods and the upcoming food truck Manapua Man.
(Wellspent Market, Kerns, free)


Crawlers with Madde Add to a List
Without even a full-length album out yet, Liverpool-based quartet Crawlers have secured a record deal with Polydor and an impressive level of viral fame. Not actually surprising, once you hear their seething alt-rock tunes about identity, trauma, and mental health that harness the growling vocals of Courtney Love while maintaining the Gen-Z relatability of labelmates Billie Eilish and Olivia Rodrigo. Catch the rising band after an opening set from riot grrrl-inspired singer-songwriter Madde.
(Polaris Hall, Humboldt, $15)

The Beaverton Community Band: A Salute to the National Pastime Add to a List
The Beaverton Community Band, with vocalist Lisa Neher and narrator Hale Thornburgh, will "take you out to the ballgame" with a program of baseball-inspired compositions. Step up to the plate to hear tunes like the Field of Dreams theme, “The National Game” March, "Oh you Tigers," and more. Play ball!
(Patricia Reser Center for the Arts, Beaverton, $6.50-$15)

Sundae Jams Add to a List
Within Lake Oswego's hub of beloved Portland restaurants, donut shop Fills will host a weekly music series for you to enjoy while you fill up on sweet treats, and partake in tastings of spirits, beer, and wine. This Sunday, revel in some blues and jazz tunes from vocalist Julie Amici while sipping on some Freeland Spirits.
(Mercato Grove, Lake Oswego, free)


Piano Queen Add to a List
Portland's only live-singing piano-playing drag queen Saint Syndrome will bring you an evening filled with classic covers, comedy, and original songs, all with her signature vintage grace and campy elegance. Fellow drag royalty Nicole Onoscopi, who has been recently crowned Miss Gay Oregon, will get the night started. 
(Star Theater, Old Town-Chinatown, $12)


Royal Rosarians Milk Carton Boat Race Add to a List
Returning to Westmoreland City Park for the first time since the pandemic began, this nearly 50-year-old tradition encourages nautically inclined teams, friends, and families to show off their handmade, human-powered milk carton vessels. The milk carton boat race includes nine categories, so there are plenty of opportunities to participate—or sit back and cheer on the funkylittleboats zooming along Westmoreland's fly-casting pond.
(Westmoreland Park, Sellwood-Moreland, free)



Festival of Balloons Add to a List
Admire a bevy of hot air balloons either as they take to the morning skies or are grounded and lit up for the Night Glow event. In between the buoyant main events, the festival also includes craft and vendor booths, carnival rides and games, food, the Rogue Ales beer garden, live music, a car show, and more.
(Cook Park, Tigard, 3 day-weekend passes available online for $12, Friday-Sunday)

Good in the Hood Multicultural Festival Add to a List
The 29th edition of this multicultural festival boasts performances by soulful serenaders Glen Jones and Andy Stokes, plus plenty of mouthwatering meal options and booths sharing local resources.
(King School Park, King, free, Friday-Sunday)


Portland Mercury's Sandwich Week 2022 Add to a List
The pinnacle of human ingenuity is undoubtedly THE SANDWICH. And at long last, it's time to celebrate humankind's greatest feat with DC Structures presents the Portland Mercury's Sandwich Week! Feast on delectable, original sandwiches built by 30 of the city's most creative sandwich makers for a mere $8 a pop!
(Various locations, $8, Friday-Sunday)


Phoenix Ten Minute Play Festival Add to a List
Local theater lovers Monkey With a Hat On present this fast, fresh festival three times a year, sharing new ten-minute plays written, directed, and performed by Portland artists. For the 28th installment of the beloved fest, cheeky alt-indie outfit Junglecorp will perform a brief set in between each play. Prepare for a rowdy, quick-paced evening of theater and tunes.
(Clinton Street Theater, Hosford-Abernethy, $10, Friday-Saturday)


Dinolandia Add to a List
Whimsical illustrator Mike Bennett presents his latest installation, a two-story immersive museum filled with illustrated life-size dinosaurs. Who needs a trip to Jurassic Park when we've got Dinolandia in the heart of Portland?
(710 SW Yamhill St., Downtown, $5, Friday-Sunday)

Betsy Walton: Habitats Add to a List
Betsy Walton draws from the Pacific Northwest as an inspiration for her imaginative, detailed compositions. The artist's acrylic and gouache paintings are like mystical treasure hunts in which the viewer might find references to natural phenomena, weather, and motherhood. In Habitats, a solo exhibition, Walton's vivid forms are a little moody—they're tinged with purples and teals in a strange blend of symbolism and realism that feels like entering someone else's dream.
(Stephanie Chefas Projects, Central Eastside, free, Friday-Saturday)

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