Friday March 5
- Oregon First (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Memorial Coliseum. The inventor of the Segway and some other neat stuff founded this annual robot showdown 20 years ago to get kids interested in engineering. On March 5 and 6, local champs put their inventions to the test for a chance to move on in the competition. Child spectators are encouraged; it’s a chance to recruit the next generation. Free.
- Wee Cycle Spring Sale, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Milwaukie Community Club, 10666 S.E. 42nd Ave. If you’ve attended one of those massive resales, it will all look pretty familiar – the big Ikea bags, the islands of high chairs and exersaucers, the rack after rack of kids clothes and gear. Volunteers, consigners and new parents get first pick; half-price sale late in the game. No personal checks, but cards and cash yes (and also new or like-new stuffed animals to be collected for The Dougy Center). Strollers discouraged. Info at 971-645-3534.
- Ladybug Nature Walk, 10 a.m., Mt. Tabor Park. $3 per preschooler. Meet at the shelter near the playground; to get there, take Belmont to Southeast 69th Avenue and follow Southeast Taylor uphill to the parking lot.
- Musical Sing-a-Long and Storytime, 12:30 p.m., Mississippi Treehouse, 3742 N. Mississippi Ave. in the courtyard of Tupelo Alley. The new/used kids store targets this ongoing event to families with kids ages 0-8. Free. 503-928-5987.
- Family Read Aloud, 4 p.m., Sellwood Moreland Library, 7860 S.E. 13th Ave. A chapter book group for kids ages 7 to 10 and their families. Everybody gets together to read the first chapter aloud, then takes a copy to finish at home. 503.988.5398
- Movie Night: The Rescuers, 5 p.m., Cafe Sip-n-Play 3000 SE 164th Ave. suite 107, Vancouver. Free. 360-896-4446. www.cafesipnplay.com
- Family Fun Night, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Peninsula Park Community Center, 700 N. Rosa Parks Way. Tonight’s movie: Bolt. 503-823-3620. $3/family.
- Target Free First Friday night, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Portland Children’s Museum, 4015 SW Canyon Road. Drum making craft. 503-223-6500 www.portlandcm.org
- Wizard of Oz, 7 p.m. Friday AND Saturday (and check the schedule for other performances, including a matinee March 13) Roosevelt High School auditorium, 6941 N. Central. Lots of drama clubs are putting on their spring shows, but these guys have gone out of their way for families. Friday is actually Family Day, where everyone is encouraged to dress up as a favorite character. Saturday is sing-along night. How can you resist? $5 for students/seniors; $10 adults. Info at (503) 916-5260. (Note: They got a special license to perform this as a fundraiser to go to an international drama festival in June. The license limits them to 200 in the audience, so you might want to get tickets in advance.)
- 1st Friday Ceili, 7:30 to 11 p.m., Historic Winona Grange #271, 8340 SW Seneca Street, Tualatin. Celebrate St. Patrick at this all-family monthly dance, which starts with a lesson. $10 for adults; $5 for 17 and younger and 66 and older. 503.691.2078.
Saturday March 6
- Portland Saturday Market opening weekend, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Southwest Ankeny and Naito Parkway. Traditional Irish music all weekend and a kids’ corner where they can build little instruments to use in the 2 p.m. kids parade (both days). Also, if you buy $25 worth of stuff, they either give you a Tri-Met ticket or validate two hours of Smart Park parking. There's so much great stuff: Did you know the Portland mom who designed the official Olympic 2010 sweaters and toques used to have a market booth? Info at 503.241.4188.
- Vancouver Children’s Festival 2010, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Westfield Vancouver Mall, 8700 N.E. Vancouver Mall Dr. A free day of performances and activities. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 360-882-7762.
- Alphabet Books, 10:30 a.m., Capitol Hill Library, 10723 S.W. Capitol Hwy. Kids read alphabet stories and make their own alphabet books in an activity that’s part arts and crafts, part pre-reading. For ages 4-8 and their families. 503.988.5385
- Native American Education Program Powwow, noon to 10 p.m., Covington Middle School, 11200 NE Rosewood Rd., Vancouver. Annual event with drumming, singing, dancing, food and arts & crafts. Grand entries at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. Free, all ages. 360-604-4013 or email@example.com
- Symphony Storytime, 2 p.m., Tigard Public Library, 13500 SW Hall Blvd. A youth librarian and an Oregon Symphony musician collaborate on stories for preschoolers, followed by instrument “petting” time. Kids are riveted by the stories and by their own chance to produce sound from real instruments. They make their own version of the instrument at crafts time. 503-684-6537
- Koto concert, 2 p.m., Milwaukie Ledding Library. Mitsuki Dasai plays. 10660 S.E. 21st Ave.
- Horton, 2 p.m., Central Library, 801 S.W. 10th Ave. Emily Alexander of Tears of Joy Theater reads Dr. Seuss. 503.988.5123
- Owl Fest, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Tryon Creek State Natural Area, 11321 SW Terwilliger Blvd.. The hosts say that Portland is “teeming” with owl activity in the spring. They also say that owl pellet dissection is a family friendly activity. Other fun: snacks, stories, guided hikes and encounters with the Audubon education owls, Hazel and Julio. Free, registration not required, sign up for the hikes when you get there because they are first come, first served. For information contact Rhett Wilkins at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-636-4398. http://tryonfriends.org
- Movie Night: The Rescuers, 5 p.m., Cafe Sip-n-Play 3000 SE 164th Ave., suite 107 Vancouver. Free. 360-896-4446. www.cafesipnplay.com
- Hope for Haiti, 6:30 p.m., Sandy Community Center, 38348 Pioneer Blvd. Suggested $5 or $10 donation. Fundraiser includes a number of performances, from live music to belly dancing. Proceeds to Mercy Corps for Haiti relief. 503-348-8125
- Teen Science Night, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., OMSI. Learn about space and the new T. rex, ride the Segway, rock out to a D.J. at this quarterly event. Free, but you’ll have to buy/bring your dinner.
Sunday March 7
- Hillsdale Winter Market, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., behind the Hillsdale Shopping Center off SW Capitol Hwy. at Sunset Boulevard., adjacent to the Wilson High School track. (503) 475-6555.
- OMSI $2 Day, 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, 1945 SE Water Avenue. Only $2 (instead of $9-$11) for general admission. Perhaps a great time to visit the new SPACE exhibit, where you can handle moon meteorites and Mars rocks and ride a bike-powered centrifuge to experience the physical challenge of space flight.
- Portland International Women’s Day, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Portland State University Smith Center (1825 SW Broadway). A global holiday that emerged from the labor movement, this event exists as something between Mother’s Day and a call to revolution. They've scheduled entertainment and workshops that range from making your own documentary to making your own beauty products (you’ll be going home with some Mexican vanilla lip gloss). Somewhere in there is a free yoga class. Expect to see lots of people from countries where this holiday is widely celebrated. Free, but donations welcome.
- Spring Bazaar, 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Oregon Buddhist Temple. 3720 S.E. 34th Ave. The public is welcome at this annual food, plant and crafts sale. If you are especially keen on the udon or sushi or bento, you can reserve your choice (eat in or take out) if you do it by Thursday March 4. 503-234-9456.
- Young Artists Concert, 1 p.m., Royal Durst Theater/Vancouver School of Arts and Academics, Shumway Campus 3103 Main Street.. Nine dedicated musicians, ages 14 through 17, play for cash prizes and a chance to perform with the full Vancouver Symphony Orchestra at their April concert. Free. Info at (360) 735-7278.
- An Afternoon in Africa, 2 p.m., Hillsboro Main Library, 2850 N.E. Brookwood Parkway. Nicole Apelian, lead adventurer of Trackers International (www.trackersinternational.com), tells stories from her years as a lion researcher, game warden and guide. Free. Info at 503-380-1583.
Disclaimer: Sometimes I make mistakes or things change. Please use the web links or phone numbers to doublecheck times, dates and other information before heading out.