March means spring—at least technically. But whatever the weather, we have you covered for family-friendly and free things to do with kids all over Portland. Whether you are looking for indoor activities or outdoor explorations, you’ll find some fun ideas here—all for free!

Before heading out, check the event information with the organizer by visiting their site. There have been many cancellations recently due to the rapid changes with COVID-19 in the community.


March for women! The Womxn’s March & Rally for Action is Sunday, March 1 in the South Park Blocks. Expect speakers, crowds, signs and chanting. If you are going, here’s a great article with tips for taking your kids to protests or rallies.

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Explore the Night Market in Vancouver.  One Friday night a month, all year long, they’re holding Night Market at the new Terminal 1 in the city’s revitalized waterfront district. More than 80 vendors turn out, and there’s live music and entertainment. This month it’s on Friday, March 6.


Goal! Join Soccer Shots for a fun, non-competitive soccer skills clinic at Pendleton Park on Saturday, March 7. Geared towards kids ages 2-5.


Get brainy. Discover the amazing things our brains can do at the OHSU Brain Fair held at OMSI. Science fans of all ages will be fascinated by hands-on exhibits, displays and more. There is a fee for parking in the OMSI lot. Saturday, March 7.


Learn all about owls at Owl Fest. Don’t miss owl pellet dissection, crafts, presentations and guided hikes throughout the day. Saturday, March 14. See the website for the full schedule.


That day doesn’t work for you? You can learn about local birds at Audubon Society Nature Sanctuary every day. Meet the nonprofit’s famed educational birds, check out the Wildlife Care Center, and see the interpretive displays. If the weather cooperates, you can walk along nearby trails to explore Forest Park and Balch Creek. Always free.

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<Cancelled> Watch Frozen 2! It’s on the big screen at Rose City Futsal in Tigard on Saturday, March 14. Bring blankets and pillows.


Make salvaged rope art. At the Washington County Museum’s Free Family Morning, you can get free museum admission and participate in a hands-on, all-ages workshop led by a local artist. In March, artist Emily Miller will lead little ones and adults in creating art out of salvaged rope. Saturday, March 14.


Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a parade. These parades have been cancelled for 2020.


Go to a birthday bash for Maggie Mae’s Kids Bookshop. Their 2nd birthday party will include a special birthday storytime and craft, free face painting, and inflatable balloons with Cha Cha the Clown. Saturday, March 14.


Learn the ukulele. Aaron of Micah and Me hosts an all-ages ukulele class at the Scappoose Public Library District on Mondays at 4:30 pm. Aaron provides 25 ukuleles; participants are welcome to bring their own, too.


Support our newest neighbors. At the city-sponsored Portlanders Stand with Refugees and Immigrants event, there will be dancing, live performances, music, and food vendors. Meet and connect with new friends from all over the world at the Southwest Community Center. Thursday, March 19


Tour Bob’s Red Mill. See how the grains get made and enjoy a free sample. The tour is always free, and is offered Monday through Friday mornings.


<Cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns.>Take a music class. Before a new session begins, Music Together® of Portland offers free demonstration classes so families can experience their interactive, fun and nationally-renowned program. Registration is required for these classes held on March 17-19.


See some spouts. Whale Watch Week is March 21-March 29, when gray whales will travel north on their way towards Alaska. Each day 10 am to 1 pm, volunteers will be stationed at 24 points along the coast, ready to help visitors with whale watching tips and provide fun facts about whales. Mainly free, although some state parks may charge a parking fee; check the map for more information.


Reimagine “The Three Little Pigs” with Penny’s Puppets. Join Penny’s Puppets at The Old Church for a twist on this traditional tale. Penny’s live performances use puppets, story, and song to inspire and entertain children of all ages. Tuesday, March 24.


Play a life-sized game of Candyland. If all the raindrops were lemon drops and gumdrops . . . oh what a rain that would be! Friday, March 27 at the Oregon City Public Library Community Room. Check in at the Children’s Desk starting at 1:15 for your ticket.


Get building. Garden Home Community Library hosts a monthly Lego Creativity Club every last Saturday of the month. Master builder Blair Archer is on hand to answer questions and help your kids create whatever they imagine. Saturday, March 28.


Go on a scavenger hunt (with some technology). Get outside to hunt and catch Pokémon. Use a little bit of screen time to encourage exercise and exploration around town with Pokémon Go.


Take in the view. March often brings a few warmish days. Enjoy the fresh air at one of these playgrounds with lovely views.


Michelle Carew
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