20 Free Things to Do with Kids in November

With the holidays upon us, we could all use a little more “free” in our lives. Here are some ideas for how to have fun in Portland with your kiddos—no cash needed.

  1. Celebrate Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) with a festival, craft project or another one of these fun and cultural events.
  2. Even better than free, how about making a little cash? Trade in some of that extra Halloween candy for dough at a candy buy-back.
  3. Brave the drizzle and enjoy how beautiful Portland is, whatever the season, by trying out one of these fall hikes.
  4. Break out the board games! International Games Week runs through November 4th! Head to your local library to learn, play and have fun together through games.
  5. Chase away those bad dreams by making a dream catcher. You can also learn about the history and mystery behind this Native American tradition.
  6. Head to your favorite local book store or local library for a story time. Cozy, cuddly and the perfect way to spend a cold November hour!
  7. Get your LEGO on without having to clean up the mess at home. Several libraries have regular LEGO times, or head to a local LEGO shop to build.
  8. Head to Nectar Frozen Yogurt Lounge on November 8 to take part in a free seasonal arts & crafts activity. (Yogurt not included.)
  9. You have two opportunities for Free Metro Parks Day this month! On November 11 and November 24, you can enjoy free parking at Oxbow and Blue Lake regional parks, Brought Beach, M. James Gleason Memorial Boat Ramp and Chinook Landing Marine Park.
  10. Scrounge up some old arts and crafts supplies and get your Thanksgiving decorations These ideas are festive, adorable and perfect for little fingers.
  11. Here’s a nice idea for an early holiday present, or something lovely to keep. Make Native American jewelry using traditional items such as bone beads and leather.
  12. Fans of Mo Willem rejoice! Elephant and Piggie will be coming to the Lake Oswego library on November 18 for a grand unveiling ceremony. Other cool things at this event include seeing a 3D printer at work and music.
  13. Ever wonder where your grains come from? Take a tour of the Bob’s Red Mill factory or view how chocolate is made at Moonstruck (they’re free!) or check out one of these other tours (most do require a small fee).
  14. Get an inside look at the world of a salmon with a salmon release! Take a trip to the Tillamook Forest Center on November 18 or 19 to learn about the life cycle of these determined fish and have a chance to release wild fry that were raised in the visitor center fish tank.
  15. Head to your local library or browse a comic shop to read one of these girl power comic books, recommended by our friends at Books with Pictures.
  16. The holidays will be here before we know it! Stop by the Hillsdale Library to get a jumpstart by making some adorable finger print holiday cards.
  17. Come volunteer with us! We are heading to the Oregon Food Bank on Saturday, November 25 from 1 to 3:30 pm. This is a great event for kids ages 6 and up. Reserve your spot by emailing alison.wilkinson@pdxparent.com. (Wait list only! Stay tuned for more volunteer opportunities!) Can’t make it? Try one of these other kid-friendly volunteering opportunities.
  18. Enjoy the music of Stephen Cohen at this month’s Little Ears concert on November 21. Cohen brings an interactive performance with homemade instruments made of wood, nails, bamboo, brass and bronze.
  19. Celebrate the official start of the holiday season with the lighting of the city’s 75-foot Douglas fir in Pioneer Courthouse Square. Over 14,000 lights will adorn the tree this year. Come watch it light up and be surrounded by song and joy on November 24.
  20. Take a break from the rain and attend a free museum day. Find out when to score free admission to the Children’s Museum, Art Museum, Historical Society and more here. We’re especially psyched about the new LAIKA exhibit at the Art Museum!

Ali Wilkinson
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Ali Wilkinson

Online Editor at PDX Parent
Ali Wilkinson is the Online Editor for PDX Parent, and is one of the founders of PDX Kids Calendar. She loves exploring Portland with her three small children, especially when the explorations lead outdoors, to music or to ice cream. You can read more from Ali at www.runknitlove.com.
Ali Wilkinson
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