Christmas Events in the Portland Area

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Published Jan 30, 2017

Christmas is approaching, and like Santa, there is a lot for us to do! But where are all the fun events? Here is our schedule:

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It’s a wonderful time of year to celebrate and enjoy all sorts of community traditions and festivities with your family! Here’s a list of some of the best local Christmas events this year:

Christmas Events in the Portland Area


When: ongoing until January 3
Where: Oregon Zoo

It wouldn't be the holidays in Portland without a visit to the Oregon Zoo's annual winter festival ZooLights. As you walk around the zoo, you'll see a dazzling display of a million and half lights, and experience your zoo in a whole new light. 

Christmas Festival of Lights

When: Ongoing until December 30
Where: The Grotto

The Grotto’s Christmas Festival of Lights is the largest Christmas choral festival in the world. The festival features nearly 160 indoor holiday concerts performed by many of the region’s finest school, church and civic choirs. Offering a family-oriented blend of traditional celebration and serene reflection, the festival theme reflects the special season of hope that Christmas offers to many thousands of families from around the Pacific Northwest.

Miracle of a Million Lights

When: Ongoing until December 23
Where: Victorian Belle

For most of the month of December Victorian Belle is known as “The Miracle of a Million Lights” and is open to the public for tours of the decorated house and grounds. The entire 2.5 acres is filled with a million plus twinkling lights that turn this historic Portland landmark into a Christmas wonderland!

The Magic of Wintertime

When: Ongoing until December January 2 (closed Christmas Day)
Where: Pittock Mansion

This year more than 80 volunteers will transform the museum into a winter wonderland with decorations inspired by skiing and sledding in new-fallen snow, curling up in front of a fireplace with hot cocoa, and celebrating the holidays with family, friends and community. Local musicians will play regularly in the mansion's Music Room during the exhibit.

Christmas Fantasy Trail in Oregon City

When: Ongoing until December 30 (closed Christmas Eve & Christmas Day)
Where: Fantasy Trail

Take a Christmas walk through a lighted, wooded "Fantasy Trail", decorated with thousands of lights for your Christmas enchantment. Be sure to visit our walk through 40 foot castle with Christmas scenes. Also, walk through a tunnel, maze, crooked house, suspension bridge and more. Bonfire nightly!

A Christmas Carol

When: Ongoing until December 24 (several shows)
Where: Portland Playhouse

The enduring tale of Ebenezer Scrooge’s painful past, cruel present, and redemptive future springs to exuberant life for a third holiday run. Hopeful, musical and, above all, fun; this production won 3 awards including: BEST PRODUCTION OF A PLAY, BEST ENSEMBLE, and BEST DIRECTOR.

Portland Spirit Cinnamon Bear Cruise

When: Saturdays and Sundays until December 26
Where: Portland Spirit

You and your child will be guests of honor on this two-hour cruise. Enjoy holiday treats while a cast of fanciful characters entertain you with storytelling, music and magic. Have your picture taken with the Cinnamon Bear himself atop his magical throne. Make this a holiday your child will remember forever.

Kwanzaa 2015

When: December 11
Where: Portland Community College (Cascade Campus), Moriarty Arts Auditorium

Portland Community College (PCC), Please Don't Die Black Men (PDDBM), and the Black Student Union (BSU) proudly present KWANZAA, a celebration of family, community, and culture.

Christmas in Dairyville

When: December 11-12, 18-19
Where: Alpenrose Dairy

Christmas in Dairyville is a winter wonderland filled with over 300 festive trees, live animals bringing to life the various scenes in Storybook Lane, modular train displays, old-fashioned movie screenings in the iconic Opera House, carolers and choirs singing the joyful sounds of the Christmas Season and holiday dance performances.

25th Annual Tuba Christmas Concert

When: December 12
Where: Pioneer Courthouse Square

Downtown will pulse with the melodic sounds of big brass as over 250 tubas play in unison for the 25th Annual Tuba Christmas Concert in the heart of downtown. This seasonal performance is FREE for the public.

George Balanchine's The Nutcracker

When: December 12-26 (several shows)
Where: Keller Auditorium

The drama of watching twinkling lights rise ever higher on a magical tree…The thrill of being swept away by snowflakes to a faraway land… The joy in the familiar, shimmering notes announcing the dance of the Sugarplum Fairy… No holiday season is complete without a trip to the “Land of Sweets”! This year, make Oregon Ballet Theatre’s production of Balanchine’s The Nutcracker a part of your holiday tradition.

Gnome for the Holidays

When: December 12-20
Where: Alberta Street

Gnome for the Holidays is an event that invites participants of all ages to find festively painted gnomes hidden within Alberta Street business window displays. Pick up a game card at any participating business and let the search begin! When you find a gnome, ask the merchant to put a sticker on your card. Completed game cards can be turned in at participating businesses and entered into a raffle to win great prizes from your favorite Alberta Street retailers.

Gingerbread House Crafting

When: December 12, 19
Where: The Craft Factory

No frosting required this year, though we'll provide an assortment of candy treats to decorate The Craft Factory way – with a glue gun! Your candy will be extra secure as you decorate your seasonal house for only $12. While you can't eat your house, you can enjoy some delicious gingerbread treats.

Peacock Lane Holiday Lights Display

When: December 15-31
Where: Peacock Lane

The holiday season is approaching, and residents of Southeast Portland's Peacock Lane are once again planning their legendary light displays. One of Portland's most beloved holiday traditions, Peacock Lane residents have been decking out their homes for decades.

Magical Strings

When: December 16
Where: Alberta Rose Theatre

Magical Strings Celebrates 37 Years of Celtic Yuletide Concerts! This festive gala of music, dance, storytelling, juggling, and songs of the season brings warmth and joy into the heart of winter. Don’t miss it!

Plant Magic Beans & Kids' Club Christmas Party

When: December 19
Where: Al's Garden Center of Gresham

Celebrate the season by planting "Magic Beans" that will sprout with a special message, just in time for the holidays. Give your planter as a gift or keep it and enjoy watching it grow. After our project, we will celebrate with cookies and punch.

For even more ideas, visit our complete listing of Christmas Events on ChatterBlock.

Written by Lois Van Pelt

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