By PDX People
PORTLAND, Ore. – spring 2017 is officially here! With the snow FINALLY melting there is a wide variety of fun things to do in Portland and the surrounding area including the following:
Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival
Get a jump start to spring with a walk through acres of multicolored tulips just waiting to be picked. A perfect place to take some pictures or just take in some spectacular seasonal views.
9 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday, March 24-Sunday, April 30; 33814 S. Meridian Rd., Woodburn; $5 or $20 for a car of five people; woodenshoe.com/events/tulip-fest/
Spring Whale Watching Week
Migrating gray whales are on their way north to Alaska from their birthing waters off the coast of Mexico, and they’ll pass Oregon’s coast in droves along the way. They can be seen from almost any good viewpoint along the coast, but Depoe Bay, Cape Kiwanda and a few others are our favorites.
Anytime Saturday, March 25-Friday, March 31; Just about anywhere on the coast; Free, or small state park admission fee; oregonstateparks.org
Gold & Treasure Show
Learn to pan and mine for gold from the prospectors and treasure hunters who gather over the latest in the modern-day search for nature’s currency. Go easy though, or you just might catch the fever.
10 a.m.-5 p.m Saturday, March 25, and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, March 26; Portland Expo Center, 2060 N. Marine Dr.; $5-$10 admission, $8 parking; goldprospectors.org/goldshows
Frankenstein’s Comicbook Swap
Clear out your old comic book collection and trade it in for a new library. This kooky comic book swap celebrates the non-sleeve-worthy comics of the world with all manner of Frankenstein’s Monster paraphernalia.
Noon-6 p.m. Saturday, March 25; East Portland Eagle Lodge, 4904 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd.; $1, or $5 for 11 a.m. earlybird entry; frankensteinscomicbookswap.com
Cider Rite of Spring
As blossoms slowly poke their way out of the area’s trees, toast to spring with what some of those blossoms will become: hard cider. Take your pick from nearly 100 ciders brought by 30 cidermakers including 2 Towns Cider House, Cider Riot! and Bull Run Cider.
Noon-6 p.m. Saturday, March 25; The Evergreen, 618 S.E. Alder St.; $25; nwcider.com
Pokemon Championship Tournament
Anyone can compete for the title of “Pokemon Master” when Portland hosts the card and video game’s West Coast regional tournament. The tournament is a qualifier for the world championships being held this summer in Anaheim. No green fingerless gloves necessary.
Registration begins 8 a.m. Saturday, March 25, event continues Sunday, March 26; Oregon Convention Center, 777 N.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.; $35-$40 to register; pokemon.com
Whether you just like gathering around the table for a simple board game or logging hours in role-playing game sessions, GameStorm has something for the gamer in everyone. A highlight: Game Lab, where you can test new game prototypes.
Various times Thursday, March 30-Sunday, April 2; Red Lion Jantzen Beach, 909 N. Hayden Island Dr.; $20-$45 for a single day, $75 for the weekend; gamestorm.org
Come learn about the latest in virtual reality, artificial intelligence and robotics, lifestyle and digital storytelling technology from some of the leaders in their fields. Guaranteed to make your birthday wishlist a little longer next year.
Spend the Day at the Portland Zoo
Besides the fun things to do in Portland Oregon another fun thing that you can do during the spring is to visit the Portland Zoo.
At 64 acres, the Portland Oregon Zoo offers hours of time that can be spent outside, enjoying spring weather while taking in the exhibits and learning more about the animals that the zoo is famous for.
What’s great about this attraction is that tickets only cost about $15 for adults and $10 for children so when compared to other zoos in California or elsewhere in the United States, the Portland Oregon Zoo is one of the most affordable zoos anywhere and it’s a family friendly attraction that everyone will love.
We also love the Portland Oregon Zoo because it’s a great place to see live music during the summer months. This summer the zoo has 6 concerts planned that you may want to consider attending:
Wednesday, June 21: Seu Jorge – The Life Aquatic: A Tribute to David Bowie
From an upbringing in the crowded favelas outside Rio de Janeiro, the singer and multi-instrumentalist Seu Jorge has risen to international renown, carrying on the smooth, sophisticated musical legacy of such Brazilian forebears as Milton Nascimento, Gilberto Gil and Jorge Ben. He has collaborated with such disparate artists as the pop experimentalist Beck and the hip-hop activist Talib Kweli, but he has made his greatest mark appearing in the 2004 Wes Anderson film The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, performing beautifully silky acoustic versions of early David Bowie songs translated into Portuguese. He played a show of his Bowie renditions in Portland last November at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.
Friday, June 23: John Prine
Nearly a half-century ago, John Prine burst onto the American music scene with a debut album that led critics to hail him as yet another “next Bob Dylan,” on the basis of such trenchant songs as “Sam Stone” and “Angel From Montgomery.” But while Dylan comparisons sank many a career, Prine proved both enough of a talent and enough of a distinctive artist in his own right that he became an inspiration even to Dylan himself. Prine’s emotional incisiveness and wry wit quietly made him one of the most influential songwriters of his generation (and the next), and the gravelly quality that his singing took on after throat-cancer surgery two decades ago seemed only to deepen the impact of his plain-spoken eloquence. In 2005 he won a Grammy for the album Fair & Square and also was named Artist of the Year at the Americana Music Awards. Now, at age 70, he’s still going strong and steady.
Saturday, July 22: 2Cellos
Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser met as teenagers, in a master class for young cellists. After some years of friendly rivalry, they teamed up to apply their chops not just to the classical and chamber music for which they’d trained but to all manner of popular tunes — anything from “Welcome to the Jungle” to “Moon River.” Their breakthrough came several years ago with a YouTube video of them performing Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” (which by now has been watched more than 24 million times) and they’ve gone on to record several albums for the prestigious Sony Masterworks label and to tour with Elton John. Their new album, Score, was recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra and features their favorite movie music, no doubt performed with the evident energy and emotion that’s helped make 2Cellos a crossover sensation.
Sunday, July 23: Natalie Merchant
Quality over quantity seems to be a guiding principle for Natalie Merchant. In a solo career that’s lasted nearly a quarter-century — since she left the pioneering folk-meets-indie-rock band 10,000 Maniacs — Merchant has released merely seven albums, and the last of those is a re-recording of the first of them, her 1995 breakthrough, Tigerlily. Yet each new batch of her finely crafted songs has delivered the kind of poetic depth and emotional poignancy to feed the ardor of her passionate fan base.
Wednesday, Aug. 16: Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo / Rick Springfield
Gifted with one of the most powerful voices ’80s rock had to offer, Pat Benatar became a hard-rocking pop star with such hits as “Heartbreaker,” “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” and “Love Is a Battlefield.” That success owed nearly as much, though, to the tough yet crafty guitar work of her husband, Neil Giraldo, who now gets prime billing. Those with fond memories of Benatar’s time on the charts won’t have forgotten Springfield, an Australian soap-opera star turned teen idol who became a massive star with the 1981 pop smash “Jessie’s Girl.”
Saturday, Sept. 9: Mac DeMarco
This young Canadian singer-songwriter has attracted attention with a style as approachable as it is idiosyncratic. So laid back it can almost seem drowsy, DeMarco’s sound is a quietly soulful folk-rock sometimes tinged with psychedelia. His previous releases have garnered repeated “Best New Music” designations from the influential music website Pitchfork (as well as being used for Target commercials), and marked him as an intriguing new talent to watch. Now based in Brooklyn, he’ll be touring behind a new album, This Old Dog, due out in May.