Holiday Events 2014 – Portlandia Style!

Even Portland's famous white stag gets into the holiday spirit every year!

Even Portland’s famous white stag gets into the holiday spirit every year!
Photo by Steve Morgan

Portland is famous for its myriad festivals, concerts, and off-the-beaten-path events (Urban Iditarod, this means you) throughout the year. This season is no exception: there’s plenty going on to keep visitors and Portlanders busy during the holidays! Here’s a list of some fun events ranging from the obscure to the infamous. Either way, there’s plenty to pencil into your PDX holiday calendar!

Don’t just sing along with K103 in the car or the shower. Get out there and experience some music first-hand!

Tuba Christmas: free all-tuba (okay, euphoniums, too) extravaganza at Pioneer Courthouse Square. Free.
Sing Your Own Messiah: yep, the entire thing! RSVP here. Free.
Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition: at Pioneer Courthouse Square (registration required to compete — free to view).

Whether or not you tend to channel your inner Clark Griswold, there are plenty of opportunities around Portland to enjoy some lights while keeping your electric bill a bit lower.

Oregon Zoo Christmas lights

Zoolights at the Oregon Zoo

Menorah Lighting: Director’s Park — nightly from December 16-23.
Winter Wonderland Light Show: on the track at Portland International Raceway! Drive your own car, but no racing allowed!
Festival of Lights: outdoor lights and five indoor concerts each night at the Grotto.
Christmas Ships: on the Willamette and Columbia Rivers, celebrating their 60th anniversary in 2014. Free.
Sleigh Ride on the Water: aboard the Portland Spirit — sail along with the Christmas ships!
Peacock Lane: the granddaddy of them all! Four city blocks’ worth of lights. Free.

Most of Portland’s theater scene gets into the holiday spirit with musicals, comedy, and traditional favorites.  Here are a few:

Portland Center StageSantaland Diaries and Twist Your Dickens for laughs. Downtown.
Broadway Rose TheaterA Christmas Survival Guide for laughs & music in suburban Tigard.
Oregon Ballet Theater: The Nutcracker for tradition. Downtown.

21 & Over
Don’t fear! If you missed the Holiday Ale Festival or the Santa Speedo run, there’s still plenty to choose from!

Ugly Sweater Parties: gotta love ’em (the parties, not the sweaters, that is)!
FestiBus: a field trip with adult beverages. Toast the holiday lights aboard your very own school bus!
SantaCon: Only in Portland could a SantaCon be accused of “selling out” … leading to a spinoff!


Keeping Portland weird! SantaCon 2013

Of course, for many the holiday season wouldn’t be complete without a little shopping, so don’t forget about Portland Saturday Market, downtown (open on Sundays, too!). Check out the PDX Pipeline or the Events12 calendars for even more holiday action!

However you celebrate them, we hope that you enjoy your holiday weeks and weekends! Cheers!

Peacock Lane Christmas lights

Santa at Peacock Lane


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