What to Do in Oregon in April

Oregon Shakespeare fest opens, tulips bloom, van-dwellers gather in Bend, and more.

By Portland Monthly Staff April 3, 2023

Ah, sun-soaked April, our first full month of spring and daylight saving time. You'd be forgiven for simply spending the month moving your picnic blanket around a city park or contenting yourself with a wildflower stroll, but road trips near and far can fill your flower and cheese quota, too.

Wooden Shoe Tulip Fest

through April 30 | Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm, Woodburn

It’s tulip time in Oregon, so grab a good pair of walking shoes and get your cameras ready for the 39th annual Wooden Shoe Tulip Fest. Forty acres of colorful tulip fields bloom with more than 100 varieties, not to mention cutout boards for silly photo-ops. Not in the mood for walking? Take a ride on the Tulip Tour Train ($10 per person, noon–5 p.m. daily), which has several photo stops. Other activities include wooden shoe-making demonstrations, the infamous duck races, and hot air balloons (if weather allows). Visit the Tulip Market and Field Greenhouse Tent for flower purchases. Those over 21 can take a guided tour of Wooden Shoe Vineyards and enjoy wine pairings along the way. Tickets for the wine tour start at $60, while individual entry tickets for the festival vary by age and day. All tickets must be bought online in advance 

9 a.m.6 p.m. Mon–Fri, 8 a.m.–7 p.m. Sat–Sun

Harney County Migratory Bird Festival

April 13–16 | Various locations in Burns and Harney County

Started in 1981, this event celebrates the migration of birds passing through Harney Basin on the Pacific Flyway. More than 300 species come through each spring. This year’s festival is bringing fluorescent back with a 1980s throwback theme. Join fellow birders and meet biologists and other bird experts while driving through up to 10 select birding locations in Harney County during the bird crawl—think a pub crawl but with feathered friends instead. You can also register for one of the timed experiences, which includes guided birding tours, a movie in the park (Steve Martin, Owen Wilson, and Jack Black play competitive bird watchers in 2011’s The Big Year), and a working ranch tour. Can’t make it to Eastern Oregon? You can still take part in the festivities virtually with interactive presentations throughout the week. For an added bonus, purchase a Bird Crawl Passport. If you get it stamped at a minimum of eight locations, you’ll earn yourself a commemorative pint glass and discounts at local shops. Some scheduled activities run $15–100, but the bird crawl and movie screening are free.

Oregon Shakespeare Festival

April 18October 15 | Angus Bowerman Theater, Ashland

What better show for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival to kick off its 2023 season on April 18 than the classic Shakespearean tragedy Romeo and Juliet, directed by Nataki Garrett, who has served as OSF's interim executive artistic director since 2019. The following day, April 19, marks the OSF premiere of the Pulitzer Prizewinning musical Rent, directed by Tiffany Nichole Greene. Both productions run regularly throughout the end of April and the rest of the festival season. 


April 1923 | 13000 SW Century Dr, Bend

RendezVan—an annual gathering of RVers, van lifers, and campers—returns to Mount Bachelor for a weekend full of outdoors-inspired activities, vendors, food, music, competitions, and more. On-site camping for the weekend is sold out, but the festival's activities are free and open to the public. 

8 a.m.7 p.m.

RendezVan takes place at the West Village Lodge base area of Mount Bachelor.

Astoria Warrenton Crab, Seafood, and Wine Festival

April 28–30 | Clatsop County Fairgrounds, Astoria

Summer might be beach season, but seafood lovers know months with an "r" in their names are prime time for eating. So this shoulder-season coastal food festival is timed just right. Arts and crafts and beer and wine vendors join food stalls offering the likes of seafood ramen and crab and shrimp melts. Day tickets are $10–20 in advance, $15–25 at the door.

4–9 p.m. Fri, 10 a.m.–8 p.m. SAT, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. SUN

Mt. Hood Meadows Pond Skim

April 29 | 4040 OR-35, Mount Hood

Gather at the base area for an annual spring tradition: Watching costumed skiers and snowboarders fly (or wipe out) in spectacular fashion across 100 feet of water. Judges rate pond skimmers on their costumes, splash, and overall flair. If you'd rather participate, registration is required in advance.