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Keep Portland weird: planning a quirky vacation to Portland-ia

August 15th, 2013
Put birds on things in Portland.

Put birds on things in Portland.

By Aimee Heckel

It’s no wonder they made a funny TV series about Portland, Ore. The city is full of quirky entertainment options that would be sure to make your next west coast vacation unique.

Here are some of our favorite funky Portland activities — and a few ways to express your love for Portland, while saving money doing it.

Looking to save money on your flight to Portland? Check out great travel coupons here.

Profile Theatre has a totally unique take on theater. In fact, it is one of only three theaters in the nation that practice this concept: The theater features one single playwright per year, so the audience can dig deep into understanding this writer. You get to experience the plays as part of a dialogue, instead of as one show, taken out of the fuller context of that playwright’s works. As the theatre puts it, “We believe theater begins with the playwright’s words.”

The annual Mondo Croquet World Championships and Mad Hatter Picnic is a classic weird Portland event. People dress up as characters from “Alice in Wonderland” and play croquet with sledgehammers and bowling balls — all for free.

Bodyvox brings Portland a combination of dance, theater and film, led by Emmy Award-winning choreographers. This company has put out many award-winning films, shows, operas, dances and has earned world acclaim. The inspiration: The “endless possibilities of the human body in motion,” the website explains. In Portland, this concept has endless possibilities to make for a really unique but high-quality show.

Petlandia‘s Satrical Romp benefit event, featuring a beard contest, llama kissing booth, bag pipers and food carts (including PBJ Grilled). Everything is satire around here, even the animal fundraisers.

The Mystery Box Show is definitely a nontraditional angle for theater. First, it features live storytelling — no scripts here. Second, the topics are about human sexuality — the things people often don’t talk about in public. Storytellers span bestselling authors, national comedians and professionals, not just actors. That gives the show an element of gritty honesty that is a theater rarity. Only in Portland, right?

WEAR YOUR LOVE

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About 

Aimee's passion for storytelling has brought her around the world as a journalist, writing award-winning news articles about Haiti and Uganda. Aimee studied international journalism at the University of Heidelberg in Germany, and she majored in journalism and German at Colorado State University. When she's not writing stories for a Colorado newspaper, she travels and volunteers for Think Humanity, her family's nonprofit that helps refugees and disadvantaged people in Africa. She's also a mom, a wife and a furious bargain-hunter. Reach out to her at AimeeHeckel.com, find her travel board on Pinterest, follow her on Twitter, or ping her on Google+.

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