Portland parks offer plenty of free fun any time of year, but Portland Parks & Recreation’s Summer Free for All program ups the ante, offering over 400 free events from June to August. The entertainment at parks across the city includes free movie screenings, concerts and Zumba classes.
Take a look at this year’s schedule and start planning your summer of free fun today. Here are some of the highlights:
Movies in the Park
Launched in 2007, Movies in the Park consists of over 40 free screenings hosted at green spaces across Portland. The evenings begin with pre-movie performances by local musicians and free popcorn for attendees. Closed captioning, sign language interpreters and FM loop amplifiers are available for all events (request 10 business days in advance). Make sure to bring a jacket or extra blanket in case it gets chilly. The 2017 roster of films ranges from classics like A League of Their Own to animated treats like Kubo and the Two Strings and Moana.
Concerts in the Park
For over a century, local musicians of all genres and traditions have been entertaining crowds in Portland parks every summer. Listen to diverse beats — like improvisational African jazz or Celtic folk rock — and enjoy a bite from local food vendors like Po’Shines Café De La Soul and Pip’s Original Doughnuts as you jam out with other community members. In 2016, a total of 61 concerts attracted over 40,000 concertgoers, so be sure to arrive early and bring a comfy seat of your choice. Check out the full list of concerts, their locations and available food vendors online. (Note: The usual ban on alcoholic beverages in parks is waived only during Concerts in the Park events, so feel free to stock your picnic basket with a bottle of Oregon Pinot.)
Washington Park Summer Festival
For those looking to enjoy a musical experience on a bigger scale, time your visit to catch the performances at the Washington Park Summer Festival. In August, the Washington Park Rose Garden Amphitheater hosts an array of acts, including multicultural music, opera, flamenco and Japanese drumming. Parking is usually limited, so consider taking MAX light rail.
Free Open Play Swimming and Rock Climbing
If you’re looking to beat the heat or get fit in the fresh air, the Summer Free For All includes free open swimming at a number of community pools as well as free outdoor fitness classes, like Zumba and Tai Chi.
Whether you’re looking to take in the local arts and culture or get active in the sunshine with the whole family, the Portland Summer Free For All has something for everyone. To plan your summertime fun in the Rose City, check out Portland Parks & Recreation’s website for more information and a full calendar of events. Who says the best things in life aren’t free?