Category Archives: Places to Go

Date night ideas—all accessible by transit!

heart rosette whitebgValentine’s Day is just around the corner, so why not surprise your sweetheart with a date you can get to by bus or train? Here are some fun (and frugal!) date nights — and you don’t have to drive!

The good ol’ go-to

Who doesn’t love dinner and a movie? MAX Blue and Red lines will take you right to the Regal Lloyd Center Cinema, or hop on the Green Line to check out Clackamas Town Center’s XD Theater. Want to have dinner delivered to your seat during the film? Check out the Living Room Theater in Downtown Portland. The Portland Streetcar and Line 20-Burnside/Stark will take you there.

Brunch lovers

Forget the fancy dinner and take your Valentine out to brunch. Portland — known for its brunch scene — is chock full of great spots. Here are a few you can get to by public transportation: Old Salt Marketplace (Line 75-Cesar Chavez/Lombard), Kerns Kitchen (Line 19-Woodstock/Glisan), An Xuyen (Line 14-Hawthorne), and Roman Candle (Line 4-Division/Fessenden).

Plan a private pub crawl

Perfect for the beer lover in your life! Stay safe and off the streets by planning your crawl along a bus, train or Portland Streetcar route. Need a little inspiration? Here’s a Belmont pub crawl by bus, a pub crawl through the Pearl District and a crawl all along the streetcar’s North/South Line.

Play in the park

Washington Park, that is! Take MAX Blue or Red lines to the Washington Park MAX Station and explore! There’s not much in bloom at the International Rose Garden, and the Portland Japanese Garden is closed through March, but you can still enjoy a stroll with your sweetie through the Oregon Zoo, Hoyt Arboretum or the World Forestry Center.

Nature lovers

Spend some alone time with your Valentine in the wild outdoors. There are so many hiking trails accessible by transit, rain or shine! Frolic through Forest Park — Lines 15, 20 and MAX can get you there .

Jessica Ridgway

Jessica Ridgway

I'm TriMet's Web and Social Media Coordinator. I develop content for our website and social media channels. I'm a daily MAX rider and an adopted Oregonian.

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2015 Holiday Events Guide

Who doesn’t love November? Sure, the brisk weather and short days can catch us off guard. But once we get past that, our holiday spirit begins to surface as we come together for food, family and festivals.

Here are 10 upcoming celebrations to get you started:

Macy’s Holiday Parade

Friday, Nov. 27 at 9 a.m.
Downtown Portland

Shake off your post-stuffing stupor with a morning of grand floats, costumed characters (nearly 500 of them!) and local marching bands parading through Downtown.

Tree Lighting Ceremony

Friday, Nov. 27 at 5:30 p.m.
Pioneer Courthouse Square

There’s a 75-foot tree in the middle of Pioneer Courthouse Square — you may have seen it — waiting to be lit for the holidays. As part of the ceremony, Thomas Lauderdale will lead members of Pink Martini, the Pacific Youth Choir, The von Trapps, and thousands of onlookers in a holiday sing-a-long. Come prepared: Download a copy of the songbook here.

ZooLights

ZooLights

Friday, Nov. 27 through Sunday, Jan. 3
5–9 p.m.
5–8 p.m. on Value Nights
Oregon Zoo

There are 1.5 million lights on display at the Oregon Zoo’s annual winter festival, but that’s only one reason it’s so popular. This year, think “train” when you go to ZooLights — there’s a special Zoo Railway loop you won’t want to miss, plus big savings for anyone who takes MAX to the event.

Tip: The Sunset Transit Center Park & Ride often fills up on Blazers game nights — consider using a different lot if you’re planning to visit those evenings.

Holiday Ale Festival

Wednesday, Dec. 2–Sunday, Dec. 6
11 a.m.–10 p.m. most nights
Pioneer Courthouse Square

What would an events guide be without a beer festival? Keep warm by sampling more than 50 exclusive and rare brews, from Belgians to barleywines to porters and stouts. Keep your phone handy when you’re there, because the mobile version of the festival’s site will have up-to-the-second updates on beer tappings and locations.

Christmas Ships

Christmas Ships

Friday, Dec. 4–Sunday, Dec. 20
Parade on the Willamette and Columbia rivers, starting most nights at RiverPlace Marina

The first Christmas Ship sailed solo from the Portland Yacht Club back in 1954; now, nearly 60 boats light up the Willamette and Columbia rivers in what’s become a grand Portland tradition. If you’re taking in the spectacle this year, be sure to track the fleet on Twitter. And if you’re looking for a new vantage point, may we suggest Tilikum Crossing?

First Night at Director Park

Sunday, Dec. 6 at 4 p.m.
Director Park

This year’s celebration of the first night of Chanukah features a special ice menorah (ice menorah!), music, latkes and activities for kids. It’s a community collaboration between Chabad of Oregon, the American Red Cross and Portland Fire & Rescue — pitch in by bringing travel-size toiletries to be given to VA Hospitals and Stand Downs, events providing supplies and services to homeless veterans.

Super Colossal Holiday Sale

Saturday, Dec. 12–Sunday, Dec. 13
11 a.m.–6 p.m.
Oregon Convention Center

Need to get gifts for your sister, grandfather, boss, best friend, neighbor, et cetera?

Try Crafty Wonderland’s Super Colossal Holiday Sale — you won’t be disappointed. With 60,000 square feet of handmade gifts, goodies, art and crafts from Northwest artisans (and beyond!), this is your one-stop holiday shop.

Portland Posada & Holiday Bazaar

Posada: Saturday, Dec. 12 at 10 a.m.
Holiday Bazaar: Saturday Dec. 12–Sunday, Dec. 20
Portland Mercado

Looking for something a little smaller than the Super Colossal sale, and with great food? Head to the Portland Mercado for the inaugural Portland Posada, an all-day craft fair with specialty food and drinks, a gift drive and musical performances.

What makes Posada even more special is that it’s tied to Latin American holiday traditions, and that it celebrates philanthropy and creative entrepreneurship. Plus, it marks the kickoff of the Holiday Bazaar, a nine-day pop-up gift shop in the heart of the Mercado.

Winter Village

Friday, Dec. 18–Sunday, Jan. 3
10 a.m.–10 p.m.
Orenco Station Plaza

Be the first to take the ice at the Winter Village, an open-air ice skating experience making its debut at the Orenco Station Plaza. Hop on MAX and you’ll be at the rink in no time — this one’s right across from the Orenco/NW 231st Ave Station!

Portland Winter Light Festival

Portland Winter Light Festival

Wednesday, Feb. 3–Sunday, Feb. 7
5–11 p.m.
OMSI

In the bleak midwinter, a light! Or, actually, large-scale light sculptures, projections, performances, installations, from a dozen world-class artists. Taking cues from light festivals around the globe, the inaugural Portland Winter Light Festival aims to bring people together during a time of year typically reserved for the indoors.

Who couldn’t use an inspiring spectacle to celebrate light, life and warmth in February? Bundle up!

Brian Lum

Brian Lum

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Specialist. I'm here to help tell our story, and to share the interesting things I find along the way. When I'm not here, you'll find me out riding my bike and taking pictures.

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Five things to know about the MAX Orange Line Grand Opening celebrations

One. Day. Left. Can you believe it?

The Orange Line has been years in the making and we’re going all out for its introduction, with celebrations all day from Park to PSU!

If you’re joining the party tomorrow, here are five things to know before you go:

  1. It all starts at 11 a.m. — that’s when the Orange Line, Tilikum Crossing and all the special events are scheduled to begin. Rides will be free all day on all TriMet buses, MAX, Portland Streetcar and Aerial Tram.
  2. Lots of people will be celebrating. Excitement has been building in the community for a while now, so don’t be surprised if there’s a wait.
  3. There are events at every platform along the Orange Line, including a block party at Milwaukie/Main St and opera performances at OMSI/SE Water Ave.
  4. Orange Marks the Spot! Our updated TriMet Tickets app includes a community-wide scavenger hunt all along the Orange Line. Check in at local businesses and stations while you’re out celebrating — you could win some awesome prizes (seriously) and unlock coupons.
  5. Plan for a hot, fun day. Stay hydrated and keep cool — we’re gonna have a blast!

Get all the Grand Opening details at catchtheorange.com »

Join the Facebook event and invite a friend »

Brian Lum

Brian Lum

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Specialist. I'm here to help tell our story, and to share the interesting things I find along the way. When I'm not here, you'll find me out riding my bike and taking pictures.

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2015 Summer Events Guide: Street Fairs

Summer might be the Northwest’s best-kept secret. In this series, we’ll share our top recommendations for events and activities that you won’t need a car to enjoy.

Alberta Street Fair

August 8 on NE Alberta Street

Photo: Alberta Main Street Facebook
Photo: Alberta Main Street Facebook

Three hundred vendors will line this iconic Northeast Portland street at the heart of the Alberta Arts District, welcoming you to an afternoon of food, art, entertainment and activities. And not just any activities: 3 v 3 Street Soccer goes down at 11 a.m., and Portland Bike Polo plays at 4 p.m.

And, since this is a fair in Portland, there are two beer gardens on the street: one open until late at 11th Avenue and one with wine, too, at 29th Avenue.

Head out »

Celebrate Hillsboro

August 8 in Downtown Hillsboro

Photo: City of Hillsboro Flickr
Photo: City of Hillsboro Flickr

More than a street fair, this is an event that showcases an entire city. Still, it’s got a block-party vibe, as it’s put on for Hillsboroans by Hillsboroans. (While Hillsboroans doesn’t sound quite right, is the official demonym for the city’s residents—although the people seem to prefer Hillsboroite.)

The city’s official Top 11 Reasons to Celebrate Hillsboro list includes live music, a sustainability village and magic shows. The number one reason? You could win an Apple Watch when you cast your vote in the first-ever Best of Hillsboro Awards.

Go celebrate »

Jade Night Market

August 15 & 22 at PCC Southeast Campus

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Photo: APANO

The goal of the Jade Night Market, now in its second year, is to surface and celebrate the community centered around SE 82nd Avenue & Division Street. The district, so called for its blend of Asian influences, has a vision to become a center of art, entertainment and cuisine by 2018. If the success of last year’s Night Market is any indication, it’s well on its way.

This year’s Night Market is focused on two Saturdays in August, each featuring 80 vendors, plenty of performances, a Portland Brewing beer garden and an expected crowd of over 20,000. Market-goers young and old will have their pick of several ethnic cuisines, and the chance to see everything from Chinese yoyo-ing to Bollywood dancing to a set from The Slants, a self-described “Chinatown rock” band.

About that beer garden: Portland Brewing has made a limited edition Night Market Special Lager spiced with lemongrass, kaffir lime and ginger.

Hop on the bus »

Southeast Portland Sunday Parkways

August 23 in Inner Southeast Portland

Photo: Michael Andersen on Flickr
Photo: Michael Andersen/Portland Afoot on Flickr

Think of this as a fair that celebrates many streets. Walk, ride, scoot or stroll from park to park in Inner Southeast Portland, without vehicle traffic.

Some highlights along the way:

  • Disc golf, a bike skills track, slack lines and all-day Zumba classes at Colonel Summers Park
  • Live music, Circus Cascadia, Shakespeare and a slip-n-slide at Laurelhurst Park
  • A bouncy house, music and dancing at Sewallcrest Park

Plus, keep an eye out for the roving Umpqua Bank ice cream truck.

Start at Laurelhurst Park »

Brian Lum

Brian Lum

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Specialist. I'm here to help tell our story, and to share the interesting things I find along the way. When I'm not here, you'll find me out riding my bike and taking pictures.

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2015 Summer Events Guide: Keeping cool along (and in) the Willamette

Summer might be the Northwest’s best-kept secret. In this series, we’ll share our top recommendations for events and activities that you won’t need a car to enjoy.

Oregon Brewers Festival

July 22–26 at Tom McCall Waterfront Park

obf
Photo: Oregon Brewer’s Festival

For five days in July, revelers on the waterfront will soak up the sun — and some of the world’s best craft beer. This festival is the biggest and oldest celebration of our “Brewvana” heritage, with 90 brewers pouring their award-winning wares. And with live music, on-site restaurants and a root beer soda garden, there’s more to do than sample suds.

With an expected crowd of 85,000 over the long weekend, parking will be scarce. Add to that an afternoon of drinking, and leaving the keys at home is the way to go. We’ve got plenty of bus service and MAX stations just a token’s toss away from the festival grounds.

Fun fact: When the festival started in 1988, only four microbreweries existed in Portland (BridgePort, McMenamins, Portland and Widmer); now you might find that many in your neighborhood.

Head out (and don’t forget sunscreen) »

The Big Float

July 26 between Poet’s Beach and Tom McCall Waterfront Park

Do you really need encouragement to hop in the river on a Sunday in July?

Start at the Tom McCall Bowl (the waterfront just south of the Hawthorne Bridge) and join the parade marching a half mile down to Poet’s Beach, floatation device in hand. Hop in and float back to the park, where the beach party will be in full swing, including a band barge, two giant slip-n-slides, food carts, a beer garden and kids’ activity area.

But there’s more to this one than a giant party on the river. It’s about awareness: the Willamette River, once the site of dozens of sewage overflows each year, has been deemed safe for summer recreation — including swimming — since 2011, when the Big Pipe project was completed. Now, even sensitive groups like children and pregnant women can enjoy the river without risking their health.

Grab your floaties and hop aboard »

Red Bull Flugtag

August 1 at Tom McCall Waterfront Park

flugtag
Photo: Red Bull Flugtag

It’s a bit of a stretch to call this event on the river flugtag, which means “flying day” in German. Maybe it’s that “plummeting day” doesn’t have the same ring to it.

This celebration of human-powered flight will see 20 local teams launch themselves off a flight deck 28 feet above the Willamette. Will they plunge or will they soar? With team names like Soarin’ Sasquatch, PDX Flying Carpets and Flutter Punks, the answer is probably something in between.

In case you missed it, this is what happened last time Flugtag came to town:

Grab a good seat early »

Our 2015 Summer Events Guide continues soon with Street Fairs and more!
Brian Lum

Brian Lum

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Specialist. I'm here to help tell our story, and to share the interesting things I find along the way. When I'm not here, you'll find me out riding my bike and taking pictures.

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2015 Summer Events Guide: Outside Portland

Summer might be the Northwest’s best-kept secret. In this series, we’ll share our top recommendations for events and activities that you won’t need a car to enjoy.

Oregon International Air Show

July 17–19 at Hillsboro Airport

For the first time in eight years, the Blue Angels will grace the West Coast’s biggest air show. Which means you’ll see something like this:

Video from the Slot position during the Diamond Half Squirrel Cage maneuver on take-off. Like the video??? Please share and like the page!

Posted by U.S. Navy Blue Angels on Saturday, June 6, 2015

(but from a more comfortable distance)

One Blue Angels member that isn’t an F/A-18 Hornet will get its own show, as “Fat Albert,” the team’s support C-130T Hercules, demonstrates surprising agility in a solo performance. Plenty of other aircraft will be on static display, in addition to 20 aerial exhibitions scheduled across the weekend. Be sure to check the schedule before you go!

Get there on transit »

(Bringing your bike? Free parking is available on-site!)

First City Celebration

July 25 in Downtown Oregon City

beer-garden
Photo: Downtown Oregon City

As its name implies, Oregon City was the first city in the Oregon Territory, established in the mid-1800s. This year’s First City Celebration is centered around Marketplace Oregon City, which features more than 80 local artists and merchants, but there’s a lot more to it:

  • Seven live music acts throughout the day
  • Craft beer and wine garden featuring local brews, wine and spirits
  • Kids’ Activity Zone
  • History actors and period music in the Heritage Village
  • Food carts
  • And, most awesomely: an Oregon Trail Game-themed 5K fun run — yes, it’s based on the classic 1980s computer game — in which participants make decisions like whether to ford a river or go hunting, all to avoid a terrible fate like death by dysentery.

Take the bus »

Washington County Fair

July 30–Aug. 2 at the Washington County Fair Complex

Photo: Washington County Fair
Photo: Washington County Fair

County fairs exemplify summer, and this one’s been around over 150 years. And while you can still buy livestock at auction or get tips from a master gardener, these days you can also try 30 different midway rides and catch a Flo-Rida concert. So it’s safe to say there’s something for everyone.

It’s already convenient to get to the fair grounds on transit, but a free shuttle from the Fairplex MAX Station to the gates makes hopping on the Blue Line an easy choice — unlike whether to ride The Zillerator or The Freak Out first, or which food you’d like deep-fried from the concession stand.

Take the MAX Blue Line »

Flicks by the Fountain

Every Friday in August at Beaverton City Park

flicks (1 of 1)

This year’s movie lineup is flawless — and that includes the foreign film you may not have heard about, Song of the Sea, which received a 99% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

  • Aug. 7 – Big Hero 6
  • Aug. 14 – Song of the Sea
  • Aug. 21 – Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Aug. 28 – Jurassic Park

Each movie begins at dusk, so check this handy page and get there early, just in case.

Get there on transit »

Our 2015 Summer Events Guide continues soon with Waterfront Activities, Street Fairs and more!
Brian Lum

Brian Lum

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Specialist. I'm here to help tell our story, and to share the interesting things I find along the way. When I'm not here, you'll find me out riding my bike and taking pictures.

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2015 Summer Events Guide: 4th of July

Summer might be the Northwest’s best-kept secret. In this series, we’ll share our top recommendations for events and activities that you won’t need a car to enjoy.

Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival

blues2 (1 of 1)

It’s fitting to spend the 4th of July listening to blues by the river, and even more so to end the day witnessing the biggest fireworks display in the state.

The Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival, now in its 28th year, is a marquee event for the Portland region, featuring 100 artists over four days. Looking at this year’s lineup, you’ll see that the festival also spans generations: among the acts are flat-out legends like Buddy Guy and Gregg Allman, along with rising stars like YouTube sensation Christone “Kingfish” Ingram and Oregon native Ty Curtis.

To get your fill of blues (and Zydeco, and R&B, and jazz…) and to secure the best seats around for the fireworks show, the Oregon Food Bank suggests a minimum donation of $10 for entry. Or, get a pass to cover the entire festival, including re-entry, for $40.

Get there easily on bus or MAX »

Portland Craft Beer Festival

PCB

At last count, there were 58 breweries in Portland. If you think that’s something to celebrate, you’re not alone. Nearly every one of those brewers will be on hand at PCBF to showcase a beer, with styles ranging from lagers to sours to stouts and, of course, IPAs.

More of a cider fan? Or maybe you’re the wine & cheese type? There will be something for you, too, along with food carts, coffee and ice cream vendors.

This three-day festival (open only to the over-21 crowd) goes down in The Fields Neighborhood Park; get there by bus or streetcar.

Plan your trip »

Beaverton Freedomthon

Watercolorheader

Starting your day with a little exercise isn’t a bad idea (especially if you’re thinking of drinking all the beers at PCBF). It’s worth getting up early to beat the heat at Freedomthon, a 5K run/walk starting outside Beaverton City Library — every participant gets a medal, a flag to wave as they cross the finish line and a spot at the Pancake Bar. It’s a fast and flat course, and it runs along closed streets. Is a personal record within reach?

Take the bus or MAX to the starting line (or to the Pancake Bar) »

Hillsboro 4th of July Parade

The Oregonian Photo: Benjamin Brink
The Oregonian Photo: Benjamin Brink

The Grand Marshal at this year’s event is retired Hillsboro Police officer Steve Vuylsteke, who’s been attending since long before he earned his stripes. It’s clear that the parade is a product of a close-knit community, but this is much more than a small-town affair.

According to the presenters at the Hillsboro Rotary Club, the parade is one of the largest this side of the Mississippi. It’s accompanied by a pancake breakfast and a fun run. If that sounds like a great way to start your Independence Day, just hop on MAX »

Oaks Park 4th of July Spectacular

The Oregonian Photo
The Oregonian Photo

Rides are open until midnight at Oaks Amusement Park’s annual 4th of July event; time it right, and you might catch the fireworks from the ferris wheel. (Or the Scream’n Eagle — but that’s a very different experience). Picnic spaces are first come, first served, so be sure to snag a spot to relax in after a round of mini golf and a spin through the roller rink. Entry to the “Coney Island of the Northwest” ranges from $2–$5 per person at the gates.

A note on getting there by transit: Oaks Amusement Park is on the Willamette, nestled within acres of parkland. If you’re going car-free, it’s best to get there on the Springwater Trail, a major pedestrian and bike path that happens to offer some incredible views. Service to this section of the Springwater will improve drastically when the MAX Orange Line opens later this year. Then, stations at OMSI/SE Water Ave and SE Tacoma St/Johnson Creek will put riders right on the path to the park!

Our 2015 Summer Events Guide continues soon with Waterfront Activities, Street Fairs and more!
Brian Lum

Brian Lum

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Specialist. I'm here to help tell our story, and to share the interesting things I find along the way. When I'm not here, you'll find me out riding my bike and taking pictures.

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