Growing up, many of us had *that* neighbor—the one with the Santa hanging from the gutter, reindeer on the roof, and a light display so brilliant you had to shield your eyes as you walked by. Y’all, Portland is like one big *that* neighbor. There are literally millions upon millions of lights collectively decorating these venues. They are spectacular, at times oddly peaceful, and filled with kid-friendly activities, too. So put on an extra sweater, grab a mug of hot chocolate, and let’s see some lights!
Thank you to our sponsor, Washington Square — Where the Stores Are. Their Santa will be at the mall starting November 12, and a visit with Santa is always free (photo packages available for purchase).
Note for 2021: We are updating this list as we receive the latest information. Be sure to confirm all information with the organizers as there may be updates at any time, as well as changes to events for social distancing and safety.
It wouldn’t be the holidays in Portland without a visit to the Oregon Zoo’s annual winter festival, ZooLights. In addition to the classic walk through a dazzling display of 1.5 million lights, you can bring your family and friends to explore the lights by car with a drive-through experience on select nights. Check the website for the latest information.
When: November 19 to January 9, closed December 25. All tickets are timed-entry and must be purchased in advance online.
Oregon Zoo members receive discounted admission (25% off) throughout ZooLights.
Where: 4001 SW Canyon Road, Portland
Sunshine Division Winter Wonderland at the Portland International Raceway
Described as the “largest holiday light show west of the Mississippi,” this is a great one for chilly days because you drive through it in your car! View over 250 colorful light set pieces and fully animated scenes from the toasty inside of your vehicle. All proceeds from the event will benefit Sunshine Division’s year-round hunger relief efforts in Portland.
When: November 26-January 1.
Where: Portland International Raceway, 1940 N Victory Boulevard, Portland
Christmas Ships – FREE
The Christmas Ship Parade started in 1954 with one lone sailboat. Today, The Christmas Ship Fleet averages about 55 to 60 boats between the Columbia and Willamette River fleets, with brightly lit displays that can be seen from bank to bank on each river. They are anticipating some changes for social distancing and crowd management, so check their website or Facebook page for updated information before you head out. Free.
When: Parade starts between 5 pm and 7 pm nightly, beginning December 3. They do have some nights off, so check the Columbia and Willamette River schedules. Check their website for a detailed schedule and recommended public viewing spots.
Clackamas County Winter Fair
The Clackamas County Fairgrounds is excited to bring you the Clackamas County Winter Fair. This lighted festival will feature a ¼ mile drive thru experience of the sights and sounds of Christmas including thousands of lights and a beautiful 100-foot light tunnel. Santa will be at the Winter Fair every night, where children will be able to wave hello and place their letter in his special mailbox. Purchase tickets in advance online. Kids 10 and under are free.
When: Opens November 26. Closed Christmas and some weekdays. As of this writing, tickets were not available yet, but they should be closer to opening day. Follow them on Facebook for the latest.
Where: Clackamas County Fairgrounds,694 NE 4th Avenue, Canby
Beaverton Winter Lights – FREE
Experience the wonder of Beaverton Winter Lights! Enjoy the lights around the city, including displays at Candy Cane Lane and The Grove at City Park, and the Round near City Hall.
When: December 4-January 6,
Where: 4950 SW Watson Ave., and 12655 SW Millikan Way, Beaverton.
Drive-By Christmas on the Campground – FREE
Drive by or take a stroll past the campground on Duke Street to enjoy thousands of lights, a life-size nativity, and the tallest decorated Christmas tree in Southeast Portland.
When: November 25-December 31
Where: 5414 SE Duke Street, Portland
Holiday Sparkles at Powerland – FREE
Head to this holiday drive through, and watch Powerland sparkle from the warmth and comfort of your own vehicle. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the holidays as you take a ride through Powerland. Free, but donations appreciated.
When: December 10-12, 5 pm-8 pm
Where: Powerland Heritage Park, 3995 Brooklake Rd. NE, Brooks
Silverton Christmas Market (formerly Christmas in the Garden)
If you are up for a drive, head to Silverton for the Oregon Garden Resort’s Silverton Christmas Market, an outdoor event featuring a million lights, snowless tubing, artisan market, photos with Santa, fire pits, live music and more.
When: November 26-January 9
Where: 895 W Main Street, Silverton
The Grotto’s Christmas celebration will be slightly different this year. Presenting the sights, sounds, and sensations of the season, The Grotto’s Christmas Festival of Lights features over two million lights and is the largest Christmas choral festival in the world. Featuring nightly indoor holiday concerts, outdoor caroling, puppet shows, and an assortment of musical guests. Holiday shopping available in the gift shop.
When: November 26-December 30
Where: NE 85th & Sandy Boulevard, Portland
Peacock Lane – FREE
Peacock Lane is back on this year! As always, this charming little street will be decked out in its shimmering finest. Don’t miss this Portland tradition, going strong since 1932.
When: December 15-31 from 6:00 pm-11:00 pm nightly. There will be no pedestrian only nights this year, and driving through is recommended for social distancing. There also won’t be a cocoa booth this year, as a pandemic precaution. But there will be plenty of lights!
Where: SE Peacock Lane between Stark & Belmont
Holidays on Franklin Street – FREE
Each holiday season, seven families on Franklin Street in Vancouver display of 100,000 lights. Drive by for free.
When: Follow them on Facebook for the latest, including events like carolers, Santa visits and snowfall.
Where: 4616 NW Franklin Street, Vancouver WA
Walnut Lane Lights – FREE
Check out this animated Christmas light show in Tigard. They’ve got ten different holiday songs, with 14,000 lights dancing along.
When: Follow them on Facebook for the latest.
Where: 13635 SW Walnut Lane, Tigard, OR
Pittock Mansion Christmas celebrates the wonderful world of animals with this year’s Critters Make Merry exhibit. From reindeer and polar bears to lions and mice and a few in between, volunteer decorators transform the Mansion’s rooms into enchanting animal havens. Purchase tickets online in advance for timed entry.
When: November 22-January 4, 10a-4p
Where: 3229 NW Pittock Drive, Portland
Victorian Belle Holidays at the Belle
The historical Victorian Belle mansion and its 2.5 acre plot in North Portland is decked out for the holidays. See their website for their calendar of holiday events.
When: Daily, December 1-26, closed December 25
Where: 1441 McClellan St., Portland, OR 97217
City of Tualatin Holiday Lights Parade- FREE
Parades will take place in different parts of the city. Follow them on Instagram for the latest updates, or register now to decorate your car and participate!
When: December 4, 11, 18
Where: Various locations
West Linn’s Annual Holiday Parade – FREE
Stop by historic downtown Willamette to watch the joy-filled holiday parade. This year’s parade theme is “Magic on Main Street”. Visit with Santa at the Willamette Fire Station following the parade. Donations of new, unwrapped toys and non-perishable food are gratefully accepted for the West Linn Food Pantry.
When: December 11, 10a
Where: 10th & Willamette Falls Drive
The North Pole at Eagle Crest – FREE
A truly magical Christmas display in the Mountain Park neighborhood of Lake Oswego. They specialize in vintage animated figures and scenes.
When: December 10-12 & 17-19, 6-10p
Where: 53 Eagle Crest Dr. in Lake Oswego. Please park along the street and walk down to the display.
City of Tigard Holiday Lights Walk – FREE
The city of Tigard invites you to enjoy festively lighted homes along the Avon Street’s Christmas Card Lane and memorable displays on homes along 87th Avenue, Millen Drive, Hamlet Street, Martha Street and Copper Creek Drive. Free cookie and cocoa when you register online.
When: December 3-30
Where: Download the Holiday Lights Route Map here
Lightopia — An Illuminated Journey in Hillsboro – FREE
Drive through this light show at Gordon Faber Recreation Complex, over a half-mile.
When: Free reservation slots will open December 1, and will be released each week on Wednesday. Open December 9-31.
Where: Gordon Faber Recreation Complex, 4450 NE Century Blvd.
Seaside Parade of Lights
Grab a spot downtown and watch as the parade strolls by with festive lights, costumes and displays. After the parade is finished stick around for the Community Tree Lighting in downtown Seaside.
When: November 26, 7-8p
Where: Downtown Seaside
Holidays at the Hangar: Indoor Winter Lights Festival
The Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum is hosting their annual indoor winter lights festival, with enhanced COVID protocols. Santa will even arrive on a helicopter!
When: Weekends, starting December 10.
Where: 500 Northeast Captain Michael King Smith Way, McMinnville
City of Leavenworth
If you’re up for a drive, the lights in Leavenworth are well worth it, where the Bavarian-style village transforms into a magical wonderland.
Where: Leavenworth, WA
The following events have been canceled, are on hold, or are unconfirmed this year.
Aspen Meadow Lights – Canceled for 2021
Each year, the Aspen Meadow light show has a different theme. This year, it’s “Miracle of Miracles,” with the grounds designed to reflect the theme. Check out over 150,000 lights, carolers, an interactive children’s area, a miniature train village, videos, refreshments and more. The lights display is free of charge — if you would like to bring a canned food donation to give to the Oregon Food Bank, there are donation barrels on site.
Where: 24232 S. Upper Highland Road, Colton OR 97017
Christmas Fantasy Trail – Canceled for 2021
Take a Christmas walk through a lighted, wooded “Fantasy Trail,” decorated with thousands of lights for your Christmas enchantment. You can also walk through a 40-foot castle with Christmas scenes, a tunnel, maze, crooked house, suspension bridge and more. Plus, there’s a bonfire nightly!
Where: Wenzel Farm, 19754 South Ridge, Oregon City