Weekend Guide

Your Guide to a Socially Distanced Weekend in Portland: Spring Equinox, Museum Reopenings, and More

March 19-21, 2021 Edition
March 19, 2021
OMSI's newest exhibition, Dinosaurs Revealed, opens this Saturday! While tickets are sold out for this weekend, you can still go see the museum's other attractions, or you can try again another weekend—the dinos aren't going anywhere until September. (OMSI via Facebook)

It's spring, baby! This weekend's roundup of IRL events and activities revolves around the new season (see: the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival Add to a List , spring cocktails from spots like Bullard Add to a List , whale watching) but also includes places to sample food you've seen on TikTok recently (like the Gimbap Supreme on deck at Toki Add to a List ), newly reopened museums and art spaces (like OMSI Add to a List , which welcomes a new dinosaur exhibit Add to a List this Saturday), and more. For even more options, read our guides to the best online events this week Add to a List .

Jump to: Spring | Food & Drink | Arts


Feast your eyes on new plant life. Just in time for the equinox on Saturday, winter's bare branches and garden beds are already filling up with new flora and fauna for spring. To see for yourself, head to the Hoyt Arboretum Add to a List —whose free shuttle service reopens this weekend—to see early-flowering shrubs (cornelian cherry! Almond-scented Indian plum! Red-flowering currant!) and more along the park's 12 miles of trails. The arbo also has some trilliums—those ephemeral white-turned-purple flowers that stay snug on the forest floor (don't step on 'em)—but trillium HQ is invariably at Portland's only state park, Tryon Creek Add to a List , where they're just starting to bloom. If you're starved for verdant ferns and conifers, the network of trails at Forest Park Add to a List always comes through, but for a more curated layout of seasonal bounties, head to the Portland Japanese Garden Add to a List , the Lan Su Chinese Garden Add to a List , the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden Add to a List , Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm Add to a List (they're having their Tulip Festival Add to a List this weekend), or, to accompany your Hoyt Arboretum visit, the Portland Rose Garden Add to a List . 

Keep your spring festivities going with seasonal cocktails. In addition to admiring nature, the first day of spring certainly warrants raising a glass. You can do so in the most vernal way possible with some decidedly spring-worthy cocktails featuring fruity and floral ingredients. Try the "Texas Sun" (whiskey, lemon, Son Of Man rosé vermouth, Amaro Nonino, and grenadine, garnished with flowers and a citrus twist) from Decibel Sound & Drink Add to a List , "Strawberry Soup" (rum, strawberry, Szechuan pepper, lemongrass, mint, lime acid, and carbon dioxide) from the new Bit House Collective Add to a List , "Lost My Marbles" (Hendricks Gin, Ancho Verde liqueur, strawberry, lime, and celery bitters) from Bullard Add to a List , bright pink "Rhubarb-aritas" (Altos blanco tequila, rhubarb syrup and lime juice) from Montelupo Market Add to a List , and the purple, color-changing "Sleep Witch" (DL Franklin Vodka infused with Tea Hunter’s Blue Valentine butterfly pea flower tea blend, lemon, rosemary simple syrup, and soda water) from Wedgehead Add to a List .

Head to the coast to watch some whales. From March through June, northbound gray whales make their way to Alaska along the coast, giving you a generous window in which to admire their beauty. While the whale-watching center at Depoe Bay is currently closed, you still have a good chance of spotting these aquatic placental marine mammals at the Cape Meares Lighthouse Add to a List  and other spots outlined in this interactive map. 


Sample some of TikTok's favorite foods. If you're anything like us, you've gotten a lot of food inspiration from TikTok this year. The suspiciously addictive app has been responsible for sparking trends like whipped Dalgona coffee, the infamous baked pasta with tomatoes and feta, and most recently, "nature's cereal" (a bowl of fruit with coconut water and ice, which has been further popularized by an endorsement from Lizzo). It's even stoked some chefs' imaginations—Han Oak Add to a List chef Peter Cho was inspired by the TikTok tortilla wrap trend (in which you cut four slits in a tortilla, fill each quarter with a different filling, fold it all up, and toast it, quesadilla-style) to create the "Gimbap Supreme" (a riff on Korean seaweed rice rolls with four fillings that get rotated out seasonally, plus a layer of tempura-fried nori for extra crunch) at his restaurant Toki Add to a List . TikTok has also brought a renewed interest to some cultural dishes that you can find here in Portland: A few months ago, the app introduced many users to the West African dish fufu, as TikTok user Joeneen Hull documented her first time trying it in a viral video and others followed suit. Recently, the Washington-based ASMR channel ASMR Phan (which has over 2.6 million YouTube subscribers and 690,000 followers on Instagram) shared a mukbang video of her trying a spread of fufu, jollof rice, spicy okra, and spinach, mafe, and gofu from Akadi Add to a List , which is currently closed but selling its food through Green Zebra Grocery Add to a List . And the craze for birria, a spicy Mexican stewed meat dish often served in tacos that's been enjoying a lot of attention on TikTok, continues apace, with no signs of stopping anytime soon—check out Birrieria Pepe Chile Add to a List , OG Birrieria Add to a List , Birrieria Carlos Add to a List , Birrieria La Plaza, Birrieria PDX Add to a List , Birrieria Pepe Chile Add to a List , and Birrieria Los 7 Hermanos Add to a List .

Celebrate March Madness. March Madness began this Thursday, and the 2021 men's basketball tournament—which is back from hiatus after being canceled last year—is unlike any that have come before it, as it's the first time all of the games have been played in a single location. All games this year will take place in Indiana, with most of them in Indianapolis. If you'd like to celebrate this singular occurrence by watching basketball over socially distanced drinks, local bars like Cascadia Taphouse Add to a List and the Independent Sports Bar Add to a List will be showing the games. Brix Tavern Add to a List will also be screening the tournament on its TVs and featuring prizes for bracket winners as well as food and drink specials. And Po' Shines Add to a List will be offering takeout snacks for your at-home viewing, including pulled pork and jackfruit nacho kits, party wings (buffalo, barbecue, and lemon pepper) with celery and blue cheese, vegan lion's mane mushroom "popcorn chicken," and even a giant cornbread chili bowl. (Reservations must be placed 48 hours in advance for pickup from March 18-April 5.)

Other notable weekend events:

Sangria Saturday Add to a List
Celebrate the reopening of Hip Chicks Do Wine's tasting room and savor a trio of sangrias alongside a trio of wines for $20. Small plates will also be available for purchase.
Hip Chicks Do Wine, Southeast (Saturday)

St. Honoré Day Add to a List
Pay homage to St. Honoré, the French patron saint of bakers and pastry chefs, with his namesake cake, made with puff pastry, caramelized cream puffs, Grand Marnier pastry cream, and vanilla Chantilly crème. Call ahead to reserve yours for pickup on Saturday.
Pix Patisserie, Southeast (Saturday)


Visit newly opened museums and galleries. Portland's current phase of reopening allows for reduced capacity visits to actual brick-and-mortar institutions. One of those is OMSI Add to a List , whose new exhibit, Dinosaurs Revealed Add to a List , opens this Saturday (reserve timed tickets here). Another educational museum, the Oregon Historical Society Add to a List , is also open on Saturdays and Sundays, boasting a new exhibit Add to a List harking back to the women's suffrage movement in Oregon in honor of Women's History Month. Also worth noting: Blue Sky Gallery Add to a List is open by appointment from Wednesday-Saturday (don't miss Jon Henry's Stranger Fruit Add to a List , open through March 27). While you're writing things on your calendar, don't forget that the Portland Art Museum Add to a List returns on April 10 Add to a List ! Members can reserve timed tickets now; advance general-admission tickets are on their way. 

Other notable weekend events:

Carchella PDX Add to a List
Sate your longing for live music at this drive-in series spotlighting local artists like anthem rocker John Shipe.
Oaks Park, Southeast (Saturday)

City of Lies Add to a List
After years of investigating the murders of the Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur, a Los Angeles detective (be warned: it's Johnny Depp with a weird blonde mustache) gives in and teams up with PI Jack Jackson (Forest Whitaker) to solve the mystery once and for all.
Living Room and Century 16 Eastport (Friday-Sunday)

The Courier Add to a List
In this Dominic Cooke thriller based on true events, a British businessman (Benedict Cumberbatch) teams up with an American Soviet officer (Rachel Brosnahan) in hopes of diffusing the Cuban Missile Crisis. 
Living Room Theaters and Century 16 Eastport & Cedar Hills (Friday-Sunday)

Double-Feature: Tom & Jerry and Wonder Woman 1984 Add to a List
Two relatively new family-friendly releases, Tom & Jerry Add to a List and Wonder Woman 1984 Add to a List , will hit the Newberg drive-in back to back. 
99W Drive-In, Newberg (Friday-Saturday)

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