You can’t beat Portland, Oregon for family holiday fun. We’ve got it all here including the natural beauty of the area which is only made better with the festive spirit of the holidays. If you call Portland home, or you’re visiting family and friends, there are plenty of great activities to partake in. So, enjoy the sights, sounds, smells, and friendly faces of the season. Read our list of family-friendly events taking place in Portland, Oregon this month then let us know how many you attended.
1. Zoo Lights at the Oregon Zoo
Drive or walk through a dazzling display of over 1.5 million lights at the Oregon Zoo. Bring your family to explore the wondrous lit-up decor for yourself. There’ll also be plenty of drinks and dessert options for you to enjoy. The event will offer mini hot donuts, hot cocoa, cotton candy, Humdinger kettle corn, and local food carts. ZooLights starts on November 19th, 2021, and runs through January 9th, 2022.
2. Winter Wonderland Portland
Celebrate this holiday at the Winter Wonderland in Portland. Guests will be able to view over 250 colors of light sets along with animated scenes that are in sync with your favorite Christmas tunes. This is the largest light show in the Pacific Northwest, and it spans the track of the entire Portland International Raceway.
The event begins on November 26th and ends on January 11th. Some of the attractions will be the Peter Pan on Ice, the Magical Ice Kingdom, Teletubbies Christmas Show, and even Ice Sculpting workshops. This is a unique and exhilarating experience that you won’t want to miss! Not to mention, all of the proceeds for the event will benefit the Sunshine Division’s hunger relief campaign, which helps to provide nutritious meals to families in need.
3. Christmas Ships Parade in Portland
The Christmas Ships Parade has been a long-standing tradition since 1954. Each year around 55 to 60 boats go through the rivers of Willamette and Columbia. Each boat owner builds their own Christmas display and designs their vessel to showcase for this annual event.
These boats are viewable in many outdoor viewing spots. Many guests will make a reservation along the Columbia or Willamette Rivers to hotels and restaurants to get a better view. This year, the event is offering Meet and Greet nights. This means that guests will see the boats up close and meet some of the Christmas Ships skippers. Typically, these Christmas boats run their ships for about two to three hours and are available for viewing from December 3rd to December 21st, 2021.
4. Portland’s Singing Christmas Tree
Take your kids to see Portland’s annual Singing Christmas Tree. This choir group puts together a musical extravaganza featuring dozens of timeless Christmas classics along with a blend of contemporary music that is sure to keep you engaged and thrilled.
The performance is best known for their choirs standing on beautifully decorated Christmas tree risers. Being on such an elevated platform allows the singers to project their voices better and give you a better performance. The show will run from November 27th to the 28ths and also from December 4th to 5th.
5. Unique Markets Portland Holiday Pop Up
Tis’ the season of shopping, gifts, and festive decorations! From December 4th to December 5th, there’ll be a Holiday Pop-Up event at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in the Rose Quarter area in Portland. Guests can shop from 140 of Portland’s local designers and brands. There will be tons of festive activities for guests of all ages, such as a photo booth, DIY gift wrapping, free samples, and more.
Enjoy the free samples in Cooper’s Hall and taste the delicious local food carts that will be on display at the event. With a VIP ticket, guests will have access to the VIP lounge with plush cushioned seas, free cocktails from Straightaway, and chocolate bars from Greater Good.
6. Cracked Pots Holiday Pop Up Show
Are you someone who struggles with last-minute gift shopping? Mosey on down to the Cracked Pots holiday pop up to find plenty of unique gift buying opportunities. For the first three weekends of this December, guests can browse and purchase many Christmas gifts, including home decor, garden art, clothing, and jewelry designed and made by local artists from reclaimed materials.
7. Sugar Town Illuminated: Holiday Light Display Event
Start the holiday season with a nice holiday party for your friends and family to enjoy. From December 4th through December 10th at the World Famous Kenton Club, there will be tons of musical performances by DJs, holiday treats, and other surprises. The club will feature a large outdoor patio lounge filled with illuminated and dazzling candy-themed holiday decor and a light display.
This party will offer plenty of special seasonal and holiday drinks for purchase. Dance the night away with their highly anticipated and popular annual vintage music performed by their hosts of DJs.
8. Holiday Express Train
Invite your family aboard on Portland’s famous steam locomotives and join the ride with Santa Claus and his elves. This magical ride on the vintage rail cars will transport you along the beautiful Willamette River and into the heart of Portland. These special trains will run from November 26th through December 19th, and each train takes between 40 to 45 minutes round trip. Also, the train will have gift shops and concessions where there will be toys, videos, and t-shirts for sale. The interiors of the express train are decorated with ornaments, lights, and beautiful garland.
9. Holiday Crafternoon
Do your kids enjoy arts and crafts? Take your child to the Holiday Crafternoon workshop, where the instruction Elizabeth will help you create wonderful artistic gifts for the holidays. The workshop is made for all ages and for family members to enjoy.
Expect a variety of creative options available such as gift-wrap and card making, along with building handmade gifts for your loved ones. Let your children tap into their inner creativity and display their art. The workshop will be on Saturday, December 4th, 2021, from 11 am to 1:30 pm.