Saturday, April 5, 2014

E is for endless free or cheap entertainment (Portlandia from A to Z)

Some of my fondest memories from childhood are going to see free concerts, operas, and plays at the beloved Washington Park Ampitheater, which looks out over downtown Portland. We would pack up a picnic and go early to get a great spot that offered a fine view of the performances. When I was young, we relied on my dad's income as a teacher and later as a school social worker, so free was always attractive! It seemed that Washington Park hosted these free events all summer long. Now they host free events for 10 days in the summer. Our drama kids enjoy the plays the most.

Seeing Charlie & the Chocolate Factory at Washington Park in 2008

Our kids and their friends at the play

With Charlie himself after the play
 (sadly, this local actor passed away)
Here are some of the plentiful free or inexpensive events in Portland, especially in the spring and summer:

    Multnomah Days, 2010
My favorite memory of a free event in recent years was last year, when Portland-based band Pink Martini offered a free singalong and concert in Pioneer Square on a sunny April day (rare in Portland!). The square was packed to overflowing, and it was exhilarating to be singing with such a fantastic band and thousands of my fellow Portlanders. It was a quintessential Portland experience. I absolutely loved it! 

The phenomenal China Forbes, Storm Large, and former governor Barbara Roberts
Such a great time!

Singalong in Portland's living room
Read my other A to Z posts here, and stay tuned for Monday (Sunday's a day off): forests and foodies!


  1. Great post and pictures! I can relate to the allure of 'free'. Some of the best things we have done as a family or found for our kids to do have been the free events offered through our town and our local library.
    I hope I get to visit Portland someday! It looks beautiful!

    Nancy at Hungry Enough To Eat Six
    2014 A to Z Challenge Participant

    1. Thanks Nancy! Local library events are another great way to get free entertainment...we have lots of those too.

  2. Spending just a little bit of cash, Saturday Market, if it is still going on, can take all day to visit and has great entertainment and food.

    1. Yes, that's an excellent addition! Also, the farmers' markets have free music.