PP&R's Summer Free For All Returns for 2022 with FREE Movies, Concerts, Free Lunch + Play, and More

News Article
Free, family-friendly, and fun activities and events return for summer of 2022, including the first-ever East Portland Summer Arts Festival at Ventura Park.

(Portland, OR) –

The long-anticipated Summer Free For All (SFFA) events will be back this year, revitalized, revamped, and with an amazing series of events by Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R), the founder of SFFA. The 2022 program will begin with Free Lunch + Play on Tuesday, June 21 at 15 parks in the Portland Public School district area and for other school district sites on Monday, June 27. PP&R’s Free Lunch + Play events will kickstart dozens of amazing outdoor citywide events all summer long.

Kids smile and wave during Portland Parks & Recreation's SFFA Mobile Lunch + Play program.
Kids smile and wave during Portland Parks & Recreation's SFFA Mobile Lunch + Play program.

Summer Free For All (SFFA) is a community-building, annual program consisting of free cultural events and free meals and activities for kids in Portland parks. This year’s program includes 42 events, including Festivals, Movies in the Park, Concerts in the Park, and other special events across the city. The Free Lunch + Play program will again provide free lunches to youth while schools are not in session. PP&R’s Free Lunch + Play is delivered in partnership withPortland Public Schools, Centennial, David Douglas, and Parkrose school districts at 23 parks citywide and seven mobile program sites in East Portland.


The 2020 Parks Local Option Levy (Parks Levy) is making Summer Free For All possible, and the program would not be occurring without this critical community investment. As promised to Portland voters, the Parks Levy will, in part, deliver recreational programs, including family-friendly movies and concerts, fitness and art classes, teen- and senior-focused programs, life-saving swim lessons, and Free Lunch + Play.

Special thanks to our nonprofit partners: Community Music Center, Inc. for their support of esperanza spalding’s engagement and Multnomah Arts Center Association for their support of the East Portland Summer Arts Festival.

New for 2022

PP&R is proud to introduce the First Annual East Portland Summer Arts Festival July 9-10 at Ventura Park, headlined by Grammy award-winning Portland native and artist esperanza spalding. You’ll also want to put the return of the Washington Park Summer Festival on the calendar - August 5-7, 2022.

Portland Parks Commissioner Carmen Rubio welcomes the return of Summer Free For All. “Portlanders know their parks are safe, welcoming spaces to pass the time, exercise, meet friends and neighbors, and forge community,” she says. “Summer Free For All programming is community-driven and community-focused, and it meets real community needs. I’m thrilled we’re able to offer this key public service again, thanks in part to the investment Portlanders made in the Parks Levy.”

SFFA event guides and schedules are or will be soon posted online at portland.gov/parks/sffa, and will be available in multiple languages in early summer.

Adena Long, Director of Portland Parks & Recreation, says she is excited about the return of SFFA. “Simply put, Summer Free For All IS summer in Portland,” says Director Long. “When friends and family come together for shared experiences, fun, and recreation, it leads to a lifetime of memories and a more connected Portland community. Summer Free For All is a wonderful way to get introduced to all that Portland Parks & Recreation has to offer.”


The Kickoff

Portland Parks & Recreation welcomes everyone to join the Summer Free For All Free Lunch + Play Kickoff Celebration at lunchtime on Tuesday, June 28, 2022, at Kʰunamokwst Park. Get summer started with Free Lunch + Play meals, free arts and music activities, games, and an exciting musical performance by Grammy-nominated reggae artist Aaron Nigel Smith. It’s free and fun for all!

What:                  PP&R’s Summer Free For All Free Lunch + Play Kickoff event

When:              Tuesday, June 28, 2022         

Where:             Kʰunamokwst Park, NE 52nd Avenue and NE Alberta Street

Time:                12:00pm-1:30pm

New! East Portland Summer Arts Festival - July 9-10 at Ventura Park

Five-time Grammy award-winning bassist, singer, songwriter, and composer esperanza spalding will headline the first-annual East Portland Summer Arts Festival!  A new addition to PP&R’s Summer Free For All, the theme of this year’s arts festival is “music and expression.”

This event will run 2pm-8:30pm each day, and attractions include multicultural music and dance performances, including Spalding, Aaron Nigel Smith, and 1 World Chorus, live painting from Sora Shodo, Tongan dance, African dance, and more. Free drop-in mini music lessons, arts activities, and more will be provided by Portland Parks & Recreation's very own Community Music Center and Multnomah Arts Center. Big Up Music Show, and Family Fun Drumming will be a part of our daily activities, something for the entire family.

Washington Park Summer Festival

This beloved Portland summer tradition returns, featuring world-class performances at the gorgeous Rose Garden Amphitheater in Washington Park.

  • Friday, August 5 – Espacio Flamenco
  • Saturday, August 6 – Albina Music Trust presents "Time Sound: Albina's Jazz Reimagined" + screening of Oscar- and Grammy-award winning film Summer of Soul
  • Sunday, August 7 – Opera in the Park: Angela Brown in Verdi’s Aida

Movies, Concerts, and Cultural Events in the Park

Movies in the Park and Concerts in the Park return this summer, plus the addition of new special cultural events including live comedy, spoken word, and “date night.”

Just some of the Movies in the Park highlights include acclaimed animated movies Encanto (July 16, Cully Park, Spanish w/English subtitles) and Soul (September 3, Woodstock Park); high-energy musicals In The Heights (August 20, April Hill Park) and West Side Story (September 1, Overlook Park). We will also show some classic films like The Goonies and much more.

A few Concerts in the Park highlights include the return of music to Mt. Tabor Park with the Afro-Latin dance music of Grupo Masato (July 14), the searing funk of Tyrone Hendrix & Friends (August 12, Dawson Park), and the family-friendly kids’ music supergroup Smith & Yarn (Red Yarn with Aaron Nigel Smith) at Peninsula Park on July 30. Among other amazing performances, catch the DJ-led dance party with DJ Prashant and Jai Ho! Dance Troupe (August 13, Laurelhurst Park), and soulful line dancing with Sistahs4Life (July 15, Gateway Discovery Park).

Free Lunch + Play

Thanks to our school district partners Portland Public Schools, Parkrose School District, Centennial School District and David Douglas School District, PP&R’s Free Lunch + Play program expects to once again serve around100,000 free, healthy lunches to children this summer in parks and at three east Portland apartment complexes. Around 57% of young Portlanders typically qualify for free or reduced-price lunch during the school year. Portland Parks & Recreation supports families by offering nutritious meals and recreational activities during the summer break from school. Free lunches are accompanied by play activities including sports, games, arts, crafts, music and other activities provided by trained staff, PP&R’s arts and music centers and community program partners. Lunches will be served at 30 sites across the city, including Mobile Lunch + Play program sites. 

Mobile Lunch + Play Program, part of Free Lunch + Play

Our Mobile Lunch + Play is back and will make 10 visits per week to seven locations in East Portland in park-deficient areas. Portland Parks & Recreation brings the Lunch + Play experience to children at apartment complexes and sites for kids to enjoy meals, arts, crafts, games, and sports.

Free Open Play Swim sessions at PP&R pools, part of Summer Free For All

No registration is needed to stay cool at your nearby pool. Just check the website for dates and times for FREE open play swimming at Creston, Grant, Montavilla, Peninsula, Pier, Sellwood, and Wilson Pools.

Free Arts and Music Activities - part of Free Lunch + Play

PP&R's Multnomah Arts Center and Community Music Center provide free, enriching community arts experiences to kids and families as part of Free Lunch + Play. Arts activities include nature art, storytelling, rhythm and movement, drawing, painting, clay, and textile. In addition, PP&R’s Community Music Center will be providing music activities at Lincoln Park twice a week this summer.

MORE free PP&R summer programs/cultural events at Gateway Discovery Park

Come visit Gateway Discovery Park in East Portland this summer for free drop-in activities and cultural events:

Pa’lante Dance Party - Saturday, July 16, 5:30-7:30 pm: Concert in the Plaza including Salsa Instructors onsite to teach you the basic moves and lead a 2-hour community dance. All ages and levels are welcome.

Taiko, People of the Drum - Saturday, July 23, 4:30-6:30 pm:  Join us for a performance of The People of the Drum with performances by Portland Taiko, Mexica Tiahui, Hula Hālau 'Ohana Holo'oko'a, and the Alex Addy Drummers.

Original Practice Shakespeare Featuring Twelfth Night - Saturday, July 30, 6:00-8:30 pm: Join us for a fast-paced, energetic play with lots of audience interaction!

Tonga Day 2022 – Saturday, August 20, 2022,Noon-5:00 pm: This is the fourth year of this special event, featuring a range of Tongan and Pacific Islander music and dance performances, vendors, and food. 

Son Latino Dance Company - Saturday, August 27, 5:00-7:00 pm: Bring your dancing shoes and enjoy Salsa performances and lessons followed by an instructor-led community dance! All ages and levels are welcome.

Prismagic - Saturday, August 6, 5:00-6:30 pm: Join us for a Circus and Aerialist performance by Prismagic, International Circus Arts Company.