Summer 2023: Activities, events, free meals and more

Community  /  Parents  /  Students Collage of kids participating in summer activities including reading, drawing at picnic table and standing in a field; photo of fruit and veggies

Summer 2023 is upon us! Check out these ideas around town to entertain your kids and families. The list mainly focuses on free or inexpensive activities in our area. Before you visit one of these venues, please double check their website or call ahead for up-to-date details to see if their hours, rates, or programming have changed.

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Community Events

Reclaiming Black Joy

Friday, July 28 | Dawson Park
Saturday, August 26 | Ventura Park
Sunday, September 24 | Downtown Rockwood
Saturday, September 30 | Peninsula Park

Live music, art stations, giveaways, food carts, photo booth, line dancing, haircuts/braiding, group aerial photo, face painting/henna, honoring of elders and black youth. Visit Multnomah County’s website for more details.

Portland Mercado’s Taste of Latin America

Portland Mercado Logo with produce icons

August 12-13
7238 SE Foster Rd, Portland

Portland’s hub for Latino culture and local entrepreneurship is an excellent destination for a summer meal. The Mercado hosts community events throughout the year. Check out the Portland Mercado website for a complete list of events.

The Really Really Free Market

Last Saturday of each month
Gateway Discovery Park: 10520 NE Halsey St.

Give what you can, take what you need. No money, no trade, everything 100% free. The market is held the last Saturday of each month at Gateway Discovery Park.

Check the Really Really Free Market Instagram or Facebook accounts for each month’s specific details. Extreme heat may cause event hours to be shifted or cancelled.

DDSD Athletic Camps

Photo of soccer player and ball weaving through cones on a field

Scots Summer Volleyball Camp

The DDHS Scots volleyball coaches and athletes are hosting a summer camp that runs from July 31 to August 2. The camp focuses on improving the fundamental skills of volleyball in a fun and positive atmosphere. These skills are taught in a manner that is appropriate for individuals of all skill levels. Camp includes a t-shirt. Summer Volleyball Camp Registration

Youth Camp
• Grades K-5
• 9-11 a.m. / $35 per child

Jr Scots Camp
• Grades 6-8
• 9-11 a.m. / $35

Scots Camp
• Grades 9-12
• 12-3 p.m. / $60

Middle & High School Girls Soccer Conditioning Camp

A conditioning soccer camp for incoming 6-12 grade students is taking place July 31 through August 3 at David Douglas High School. The camp is from 6 to 8 p.m. at the DDHS Palermini Stadium field. Cost is $20 per athlete and includes t-shirt. Conditioning Soccer Camp Registration

Youth Soccer Summer Camp

Students entering grades K-5 this fall are invited to participate in a youth soccer camp being held August 7-10 at David Douglas High School. The camp runs 6 to 8 p.m. at the DDHS Palermini Stadium field. Cost is $35 per athlete. A camp t-shirt is included. Come improve your soccer skills in a camp coached by the DDHS Soccer Programs. Youth Soccer Camp Registration.

Wrestling Summer Camp

Mondays: July 12, 17, 31 and August 7, 14

Beginner camp: 4-5 p.m.

This camp is for wrestlers with less than one year of experience. There will be a heavy focus on the basic fundamentals of wrestling during this time.

Experienced camp: 6-7:45 p.m.

This camp is intended for wrestlers with more than one year of wrestling experience. Advance wrestling moves and strategies will be shown to increase the capabilities of all attendees.

Wrestling camp details and online registration

Educational Activities

Letter blocks spelling "Read" on a library table

Multnomah County Library Summer Reading Game

June 16 – August 31, 2023

Kids of all ages can play the Summer Reading game by starting a daily reading habit. In addition, the library will have lots of fun interactive virtual performances, storytelling, and arts and crafts for kids and families. Kids can participate online or pick up a gameboard at the library.

Summer Reading Game and activities webpage

Oregon Rail Heritage Center

2250 SE Water Ave. Portland OR 97214
Free Admission

Learn all about locomotives at Portland’s railway museum. Visitors can tour exhibits, the machine shop and locomotives. Portland is the only U.S. city to own two operating steam engines. Explore and get up close to these giant marvels of the past.

The museum is open a few days a week. Visit the Oregon Rail Heritage Center website for the current hours.

Sora – Free Summer Reading for DDSD

David Douglas School District students and staff have access to a free collection of ebooks and audiobooks in through an online platform called Sora. Learn more about Sora on the DDSD Windows and Mirrors site. It provides some basic information about Sora as well as elementary, middle, and HS displays.

How to sign into Sora

Students can log into their DDSD email account and access Sora via the Google Apps.

Alternative route: Follow this link to the DDSD Sora login page. Click on David Douglas School District. If it’s not visible, use the school finder at the bottom of the page to search for David Douglas School District. When prompted, use staff or student DDSD email address. Enter your 6 digit student ID as username and 8-digit date of birth for the password. Open the explore tab on the bottom toolbar to search. View/print Sora instructions PDF

Free Meals for Kids

Food Pantries

More than a half dozen weekly food pantries operate at school locations in our District. The free pantries are run by community partner agencies. Visit our Food Resources webpage for the most up-to-date information. Pantry closures and updates are posted on this page. Please note hours are subject to change periodically and pantries may close during periods of inclement weather.

Portland Parks & Recreation’s Lunch + Play

Lunch + Play is a daily drop-in program with on-site staff providing free lunch, games, play, and activities to youth and the community. Below are a few sites in the David Douglas community. For a complete list of the Lunch + Play locations around Portland, Lunch + Play website. Print friendly schedules are available there in PDF format.

Gateway Discovery Park

10520 NE Halsey St.
June 26 – August 25
11 – 11:45 a.m.

Lincoln Park

SE 135th & Mill St.
June 26 – August 25
12:30 – 1 p.m.

East Gate Station Apartments
(Mobile + Play)

100 NE 120th Ave.
June 26 – August 25:
Mon & Wed
11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Mill Park School
(Mobile + Play)

1900 SE 117th Ave.
June 26 – August 25:
Wed & Fri
11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Raymond Park

SE 118th Avenue & SE Liebe St.
June 26 – August 25
12 – 12:30 p.m.

Ventura Park

460 SE 113th Ave.
June 26 – August 25
12 – 12:30 p.m.

Nature/Outdoor Activities

Leach Botanical Garden

View walking the garden's aerial walkway

6704 SE 122nd Ave

Adults & Youth: $5
Children 5 and under:
Memberships and a free admission program (Garden for All) are available

The garden is a gem right in our DDSD backyard! Take a self guided hike through the 16 acre wooded garden.

Photo of pollinator garden with an assortment of flowers in bloom

The main entrance is just south of 122nd and Foster intersection, at 122nd Ave. & Claybourne.

Reservations are not required but recommended to guarantee entry. Walkup tickets are available but limited during busy hours. All guests must check in at our admissions booth upon arrival. Dress for the weather, wear sturdy shoes, and feel free to bring a water bottle.

Learn more about the garden and reserve tickets on the Leach Botanical Garden website. View the garden’s upcoming community events.

Zenger Farm – Farm Days

11741 SE Foster Rd

Another treasure within DDSD boundaries is Zenger Farm, a nonprofit urban and organic farm that models, promotes and educates about sustainable food systems, environmental stewardship, community development.

Keep an eye on the Zenger Farm events webpage for activities open to the public.

Zenger is also hosting a summer camp for kids in grades 1-6. For camp details visit the Zenger Summer Camp webpage.

Recreational Activities

Kids Bowl Free at KingPins

3550 SE 92nd Ave

Sign-up kids, ages 2-15 years old, for free bowling all summer long. Parents can participate with a $54.95 family pass. Visit the KingPins website for details and registration.

Portland Parks and Recreation Summer Free For All Program

Movie clapper logo with the words Movies Summer Free for All
Microphone logo with the words Movies Summer Free for All
Logo of the words Events Summer Free for All

The Portland Parks and Recreation Summer Free for All program will be offering a variety of events activities through the summer. The program includes free concerts, movies, performances and meals for kids! Visit their website for details and schedules. Information about their free meals part of the program are detailed under the Meals for Kids section of this list.

Additional Parks and Rec Resources