Labor Day in Portland 2011

We all love camping, barbecue and drinking beer on boats, but why not shake things up for Labor Day (Sept. 5, 2011) this year? Portland is the perfect place to try some new, unconventional Labor Day activities. Who knows? You might start a new Labor Day tradition in Portland. (Photo: Portland Pirate Festival by Flickr user Bandita)

Updated: September 09, 2011

Things to Do on Labor Day Weekend in Portland

Northwest Park Blocks

W Burnside, Portland, OR 97209

Skip the traffic leaving town, and ride the MAX to the annual Art In The Pearl Festival, which takes up 12 square blocks (the park blocks between Burnside and Glisan) every Labor Day weekend. This year the art walk on steroids will include more than 100 local makers, plenty of world music, and activities for "the whole family"--in other words, beer AND face-painting mimes.

Fit Right NW Running & Walking Store

2258 NW Raleigh St, Portland, OR 97210

Sign up for the first annual StumpTown Triathlon and Duathlon online and then pick up your packet on Friday, Sept. 2 from 10am to 4pm at Fit Right. Various races happen on Saturday and Sunday (Sept. 3-4). Whether you volunteer to help out at the Blue Lake site (and scope some serious athletes) or you're trained and ready to take on the full competition, you'll have a way cooler story than your co-workers on Tuesday.

Tom McCall Waterfront Park

1020 SW Naito Pkwy, Portland, OR 97204

The weather is only safe for an outdoor orchestra a few days out of the year, so make sure you catch the Oregon Symphony Waterfront Concert (followed by a fireworks display) on Thursday, Sept. 1, starting at 5pm. The concert is free of charge, but you will want to bring your own lawn chairs and blankets.

Regal Fox Tower 10

846 SW Park Avenue, Portland, OR 97205

On a breezy summer night, it's all about the outdoor movie screenings. As part of Portland's Movies in the Park series, "Roman Holiday" will be screened at Director Park (across from Fox Towers) on Friday, Sept. 2. The movie starts at dark, but there will be pre-show entertainment starting at 6:30pm.

Captain Henry Pirate Store

951 Lloyd Ctr, Portland, OR 97232

A pirate store is a strange Labor Day stop, unless you're wisely headed to the Portland Pirate Festival, which will take place in St. Helens on Sept. 3rd and 4th. At the festival, you'll find musical acts, cannon and sword fight shows, historical re-enactments, plenty of "grub and grog," and, of course, celebrity pirates. So before you head out, swing by Captain Henry to stock up on peg legs and parrots.


1945 SE Water Ave, Portland, OR 97214

If you've got an elementary school student (or a "kid at heart") to impress, slither down to the Reptile and Amphibian Show, which runs over Labor Day weekend this year. For the event, OMSI will have more than 100 exotic snakes, turtles, alligators, and "others" on display. For the brave, there is a supervised hands-on exhibitions with the non-venomous varieties. There is a $3 charge to attend the show, above regular museum admission.