by: ©2006 OWEN CAREY, Home is a train in ‘The Boxcar Children,” an Oregon Children’s Theatre production set during the Depression.


Portland Farmers Market

Pick up a free pouch of ladybugs to take home and release in the yard in honor of Earth Day. Midmorning, costumed characters Ms. Berry and Mr. Carrot Top will hand out free slices of carrot cake.

8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. SATURDAY, April 21, South Park Blocks at Portland State University between Southwest Montgomery and Harrison streets, 503-241-0032,, free, $3 parking in PSU lots

Party for the Planet

The Association of Zoos and Aquariums is holding 141 parties in 42 states in honor of Earth Day.

The Oregon Zoo will take part in the Party for the Planet with fun and educational activities on how actions in our own neighborhoods can affect animals.

Kids can make butterflies made of coffee filters, animal masks and origami frogs, as well as learn about recycling and composting.

Noon to 4 p.m. SUNDAY, April 22, Oregon Zoo, 4001 S.W. Canyon Road, 503-226-1561,, $6.75-$9.75, free for children under 2, $1 parking per car

Friends of Tryon Creek

For those little Earth lovers short on time (or attention spans), the two-hour, action-packed Friends of Tryon Creek Earth Day Celebration may be just the thing.

Children can show up dressed as their favorite forest creature and make an instrument to use in the afternoon parade.

In addition to games, stories, and arts and crafts, the Daryle Seil Tall Tale Contest winners will share their stinky stories with the crowd stemming from this year's theme, 'How the Skunk Got Its Smell.'

2 p.m. to 4 p.m. (3:30 p.m. parade) SUNDAY, April 22, Tryon Creek State Natural Area, 11321 S.W. Terwilliger Blvd., 503-636-4398,, free


Northwest Pet and Companion Fair

Stuff Fluffy in a tote and head out to this four-legged-friendly event that includes more than 200 product vendors and pet organizations.

Don't miss the pet fashion show and pet adoptions if you're in the market for a new buddy.

9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. SATURDAY, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. SUNDAY, April 21-22, Portland Metropolitan Exposition Center, 2060 N. Marine Drive, E Hall, 503-287-7541,, $4-$7, free for children 5 and under, $20 family pass (includes children's ride), well-behaved pet admission is $1 or a can of pet food, admission discount coupons available on Web site


'The Boxcar Children'

In this play based on the book by Gertrude C. Warner, four orphans set up their home in an abandoned boxcar in the woods during the Great Depression.

The heartwarming tale, recommended for children 6 and older, features bluegrass music and the concept that 'home is where the heart is.'

2 p.m. SUNDAY, April 22, and Saturday and Sunday, April 28-29, Keller Auditorium, 222 S.W. Clay St., 503-228-9571,, $12-$27.50; also available through Ticketmaster (503-224-4400,, subject to service charges


African Marimba Concert

Sixty marimba students of MyLinda King will showcase their talents, performing the music of Zimbabwe, South Africa and Botswana, at this casual, kid-friendly affair. Dancing and clapping are highly encouraged, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes.

Audience members with a drum will be invited to take part in the All-Band Jam at the end of the show.

12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. SATURDAY, April 21, Evangel Baptist Church, 2830 N.E. Flanders St., 503-233-4372, free, donations accepted

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