More Events & Classes


Colorful Kites of China

Exhibit - April 6-30
Family Weekend - April 18 & 19

A rare and authentic collection of over 40 Chinese kites will be on display throughout the Portland Chinese Garden, as part of the Colorful Kites of China exhibit and activities celebrating the rebirth of spring time in the Garden.

The kite collection is the result of 17 years travel and kite learning by Bob and Charmayne Umbowers of Gig Harbor, WA. The kites represent the work of great Chinese kite builders, some who are no longer living, and also the work of contemporary kite designers and builders.  The collection features kites of all sizes/colors and in shapes that communicate auspicious meanings—butterflies, dragonflies and flowers signifying harmony; cranes, peaches and tortoises representing long life.

On the weekend of April 17 & 18, Garden visitors will enjoy workshops on kite making and decoration, taught by members of the World Kite Museum & Hall of Fame of Longview, WA.

Kites making and flying are an integral part of Chinese history and culture.  The earliest written account of kite flying occurred in 200 B.C., when a Chinese general flew a kite over the walls of a city to estimate how far his army would have to tunnel to reach opposing soldiers.  It is customary during the spring festival of Qingming for people to visit family graves to pay their respect and then celebrate rebirth by sailing their kites skyward.

Colorful Kites of China Family Activities

Saturday, April 18
11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.  Kite Making by World Kite Museum
12:00 p.m.  Lecture on Kite Decoration by World Kite Museum
2:00 p.m.  Lecture on Kite Decoration by World Kite Museum
3:00 p.m.  Portland Chinese School Yo-Yo Team and Folk Dance Group
4:00 p.m.  Lecture on Kite Decoration by World Kite Museum

Sunday, April 19

11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.  Kite Making by World Kite Museum
12:00 p.m.  Lecture on Kite Decoration by World Kite Museum
2:00 p.m.  Lecture on Kite Decoration by World Kite Museum

Passion for Peonies

May 9-31

During the month of May, the Portland Classical Chinese Garden will celebrate the peony, China’s unofficial national flower with Passion for Peonies.

From May 9-31, the Chinese Garden will offer visitors a closer look at this visually stunning and culturally rich plant.  With its large, sumptuous blooms and elegant foliage, it is easy to see why this plant has been revered by the Chinese throughout the ages. Passion for Peonies also will offer the chance to purchase both tree and herbaceous peonies from two of Oregon’s finest growers--Brothers Herb & Peonies and Adelmans Peony Gardens. 

Mother’s Weekend, May 9 & 10 - Indulgence for Mom & Activities for the Whole Family
Make Mom a gift of a hand-made Chinese book or a stenciled peony book mark.  Treat her to peony tea in the Teahouse.  Attend a lecture & demonstration on Chinese tree peonies.  Buy her a cut peony to remind her of your stroll through a glorious garden on her special day.

May 9
All day - Cut peonies available for sale
11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. - Bookmaking

May 10
All day - Cut peonies available for sale
11:00 a.m. & 2:00 p.m. - Peony Lecture with Rick Rogers from Brothers Herbs & Peonies
12:00 - 3:00 p.m. - Bookmaking
12:00 - 3:00 p.m. - Stenciling
12:00 p.m. - Children’s Dance Performance

May 9-14—Chinese Tree Peony Showcase Courtesy of Brothers Herbs & Peonies
Learn about the history and the Chinese cultural significance of tree peonies plus how to grow and tend to them. Soak in the fragrance and the drama of this lesser know peony variety. Tree peonies--not often found at local nurseries-- will be available for sale with a proceed of each sale going to support the Garden.

May 11
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. - Papermaking workshop with Hi iH Gallery

May 16-21—Herbaceous Peony Showcase Courtesy of Adelman Peony Garden
Learn more about the much-loved herbaceous peonies and add a new color and variety to your garden from the grower recognized by the American Peony Society as ‘Best of Show’ for five of the last seven years. A percentage of your peony purchase will support the Garden’s horticultural program.

May 17
11:00 a.m. & 1:00 p.m. - Garden Peony Tour led by Garden Horticulture staff

May 18
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. - Papermaking workshop with Hi iH Gallery

May 23-31 - Northwest Peony Society’s Finest Peony Flowers on Display
Just come and saturate your senses!

Papermaking with HiiH Gallery

Monday, May 11 & 18
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

The Portland Classical Chinese Garden welcomes HiiH Gallery as they demonstrate a simple technique of paper making.  China is credited with the invention of paper circa 105 B.C. HiiH Gallery will share a papermaking process that is a combination of traditional and self-taught techniques. HiiH Gallery specializes in bringing together the function of light, the craft of paper, and the art of sculpture in their beautiful handmade lanterns that are available in their Portland gallery and online.

Feng Shui Lecture Series

Wednesday, May 13, 20, & 27
1:00-2:00 p.m.

Join the Garden for a series of Feng Shui lectures on three successive Wednesdays in May. The first lecture on May 13 will focus on Feng Shui and Love, May 20 will discuss Feng Shui and Money, and the final lecture will talk about the stress and Feng Shui. Check back for more event details as they become available.

Summer Activities in the Garden

From May through October, the Garden is offering members and visitors alike the opportunity to experience a variety of activities, lectures, and classes. These programs will serve to enhance visitors’ understanding of Chinese culture and also provide an opportunity for visitors and members to learn and play. All activities unless otherwise noted are free with admission or membership.

Tai Chi Class

Every Thursday beginning May 7
10:00 a.m

At 10:00 a.m. every Thursday in the Garden, enjoy a free drop-in Tai Chi class sponsored by Li Ning Sportswear.  Led by instructor Mark Parzynski, the class will showcase a different movement each week and provide the basic understanding of Tai Chi and how practicing Tai Chi will achieve a healthy body combined with a peaceful mind. 

Free with admission, no registration required.

Mahjong in the Garden

Every Thursday
1:00-5:00 p.m.

Join the Portland Mahjong Society in the Garden every Thursday from 1:00-5:00 p.m. to learn the game of mahjong or to simply play with other fans of the game.

Free with admission, no registration required.

Wei Chi (Chinese Go)

May 3
12:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Whether you know how to play or simply are fascinated by the artfulness of this ancient Chinese game, you are encouraged to watch, to participate, and to ask questions as the Portland Go Club plays Wei Chi in the Garden.  Wei chi is a game of strategy and skill and been enjoyed in Chinese gardens for centuries.  The Garden Gift Store has wei chi (go) boards and books so you can contnue the fun at home. 

Wei Chi with the Portland Go Club will continue the first Sunday of every month.

Free with admission, no registration required.

Tai Chi Chih

May 9
10:30 a.m.

Local teachers and students doing a group practice of tai chi chih, a moving meditation, incorporating 19 movements and a final pose involving the generating, circulating, and balancing of chi energy.

The Tai Chi Chih practice will occur on the second Saturday of every month.

Bloom Guide Walk

April 24
4:00 p.m.

Discover the Garden in bloom as the Garden’s horticulture staff leads a tour of the Garden focused on the monthly What’s Blooming? guide.

The Bloom Guide Walk will occur on the last Friday of every month.

Events in the Teahouse

Melody of the Purple Bamboo: Traditional Chinese Music in the Teahouse

Every Monday
11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Every Thursday
11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Every Sunday
2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m

Portland Orchids and Bamboo Chinese Ensemble
Free, with order of tea service and Garden admission

The Scholar’s Art

Wednesday, April 22
11:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

Dr. Jiyu Yang discusses and demonstrates the classical Chinese art forms of poetry and calligraphy. Bring home your favorite poem in beautiful calligraphic script.
Free, with order of tea service and Garden admission in the Garden’s Teahouse


Art Showcase

The Garden will feature a show and sale of original art from Suzhou and from Jiangsu Province.

A percentage of all sales are returned to the Garden to support future programs.

Classes & Workshops

Teacher Workshop: Discovering the Culture of China inside the Portland Chinese Garden

Tuesday, August 18, 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. and Tuesday, August 25, 12:00-4:00 p.m.

Learn how to use this Gateway to China in your diverse K-12 classrooms.  Teachers will learn how to use the art, history, culture, poetry and botanicals of China found within this living landscape painting.  Call 503.228.8131 or email to register or for more information.

10 hours of educational hours earned; one PSU optional credit available (additional $55)

Cost: $85 includes curriculum materials, book, DVD, and lunch on August 18

Download the workshop registration form with more details. (PDF, 100KB)

Portland Classical Chinese Garden

NW 3rd & Everett Portland, OR 97209 503.228.8131