September Events for Portland Families


Ahhh… September. Back-to-school season meets pumpkin spice lattes. You  might have mixed feelings about both, but it’s definitely the season of change. We transition from summer to fall, trading in our flip-flops for rain boots. Here’s some things to look forward to while you wonder what to wear.

Cluster of fall leaves sparkling in the yellow-orange sunshine

All month long — FREE!
Chapman Elementary

A true Portland tradition, Swift Watch is back for 2022! Set up a sunset picnic on the fields of Chapman Elementary in NW Portland, and catch a glimpse of the Vaux’s Swifts (that’s a type of bird, just to clarify!) doing the most amazing migration — into the chimney of the school! Thousands of birds form a spectacular funnel, while an amazed crowd marvels below. It’s free, it’s awesome, it’s worth putting on your list! Also, it’s worth noting: be a good person and stay mindful of the neighborhood. Do not expect to find parking (transit abounds) and please clean up after yourself when you leave.

Ukranian Day at Westmoreland Park

September 3
Westmoreland Park

Enjoy Ukranian music, food, and traditional dancing, as well as workshops, raffles and activities for kids. All proceeds from the event will go toward medical supplies in support of Ukrainians affected by the war.

Rose City Comic Con + Rose City Jr

September 9-11
Oregon Convention Center

Celebrating its tenth year, Rose City Comic Con is the go-to event for all things pop culture. Meet the artists behind your favorite comics or anime art, dress as your favorite character, or just enjoy the crowds. Older kids will enjoy the scene and younger attendees can have a blast at Rose City Junior, with tons of activities packed into the weekend-long event!

Portland Dragon Boat Festival

September 10-11 – FREE!
Tom McCall Waterfront Park

The dragon boat races are back after a two-year hiatus. Enjoy this Portland tradition from the waterfront park. The thrilling dragon boat races happen at timed intervals throughout the weekend. Visit the website for more details about this uniquely Portland experience.

Kennedy School Oktoberfest

September 10
1pm – 7pm
Kennedy School

Yes, it’s Oktoberfest in September. Just roll with it! Get cozy in your lederhosen and dance the polka while enjoying some German ale. Believe it or not, it’s a kid-friendly event, so warn them ahead of time that there may be some wild attire involved. Live music, brats, and warm pretzels await!

Free Museum Day

September 17
Multiple museums!

Hit up the Portland Art Museum, the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education for FREE! Or, go big and make the trek to visit the Tillamook Air Museum at no cost on Free Museum Day!

Free Entrance Day at National Parks

September 24
Times and locations vary

Held each year on the fourth Saturday of September, National Public Lands Day is the nation’s biggest volunteer effort that takes place in a single day.  Celebrate the nature around us and how we can best preserve it at multiple events around the region. Participating parks in our region are Crater Lake National Park and Lewis and Clark National Historical Park.

National Alpaca Farm Days

September 24-35
Country Cottage Alpacas (McMinnville)
Skyline Alpacas (Tualatin)

Alpaca farms open their doors to visitors for FREE on the last weekend of September, falling this year September 24-25. Meet the alpacas, learn about raising them, and enjoy family fun! Specifics available at the participating farms’ websites.

What is your favorite thing to do in September in or around Portland? Let us know in the comments!