Find a little sparkle this holiday season!

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’s Santa Headquarters starting November 11, and a visit with Santa is always free (photo packages available for purchase). Don’t miss their festive events all season long! It’s time to get merry!

As always, 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.


Photo courtesy Oregon Zoo

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 23-January 5, closed December 25.
Oregon Zoo members receive discounted admission (20% off) throughout ZooLights.
Where: 4001 SW Canyon Road, Portland.
Cost: $21-$29 for walk through, $65 for drive-through. All tickets are timed-entry and must be purchased in advance online.

Sunshine Division Winter Wonderland at the Portland International Raceway

Photo courtesy Winter Wonderland

Sunshine Division Winter Wonderland at the Portland International Raceway
Described as the “largest holiday light show in the Northwest,” 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 25-December 31. Bike the Lights is November 28, and Lights and Leashes Dog Walk Night is November 29.
Where: Portland International Raceway, 1940 N Victory Boulevard, Portland.
Cost: $48/car, price increases for larger passenger vehicles like mini buses and RVs.

Christmas Ships — FREE

Photo courtesy Christmas Ships

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.
: Parade starts between 5 pm and 7 pm nightly, December 2-21. They do have some nights off, so check the Columbia and Willamette River schedules.
Where: Check their website for a detailed schedule and recommended public viewing spots.
Cost: Free!

Clackamas County Winter Fair

The Clackamas County Fairgrounds is excited to bring you the Clackamas County Winter Fair. This lighted festival will feature over 200,000 lights and scenes. Santa will be at the Winter Fair every night, and new this year is a holiday market. Enjoy live music and the sights!
When: Weekends, December 2-December 23.
Where: Clackamas County Fairgrounds,694 NE 4th Avenue, Canby.
Cost: $10/adult, $5/child, 2 and under free.

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. All displays are wheelchair accessible.
When: December 3-January 5.
Where: Beaverton City Park on SW 5th St., and The Round at 12655 SW Millikan Way.
Cost: Free!

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.
Cost: Free!

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.
When: December 9-11, 16-18
Where: Powerland Heritage Park, 3995 Brooklake Rd. NE, Brooks.
Cost: Free, donations appreciated.

Silverton Christmas Market

2020 Lights at the Oregon Garden Resort by Whitney Ulven Photography

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 25-January 1, Closed December 24-25.
Where: 895 W Main Street, Silverton.
Cost: $15-18/adult, $5-8/child, free ages 5 and under. Parking $10, snowless tubing $3/1x, $7/3x.

The Grotto

Photo courtesy The Grotto

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 25-December 30.
Where: NE 85th & Sandy Boulevard, Portland.
Cost: $14/adult, $6/child, infants free.

Peacock Lane – FREE

Peacock Lane, courtesy Meg Asby

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.
Where: SE Peacock Lane between Stark & Belmont.
Cost: Free!

Holidays on Franklin Street – FREE

Each holiday season, ten families on Franklin Street in Vancouver display of 150,000 lights. Drive by for free.
When: Opens November 27. Follow them on Facebook for the latest, including events like carolers, Santa visits and snowfall.
Where: 4616 NW Franklin Street, Vancouver WA.
Cost: Free!

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: Unconfirmed for 2022. Follow them on Facebook or Instagram for the latest.
Where: 13635 SW Walnut Lane, Tigard.
Cost: Free!

Pittock Mansion

Pittock Mansion Christmas celebrates holiday sounds with this year’s Music Makes the Season exhibit.
When: November 21-January 4.
Where: 3229 NW Pittock Drive, Portland.
Cost: $15.50/adult, $11.50/youth, $13.50/senior, under 6 free. Member free.

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, including photos with Santa.
When: December 4, 9-11, 16-18, 23.
Where: 1441 McClellan St., Portland.
Cost: TBD.

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 2, 3, 4.
Where: Various locations.
Cost: Free!

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 “Ugly Sweater Parade.”  Donations of non-perishable food are gratefully accepted for the West Linn Food Pantry. 
When: December 11, 10 a.m.
Where: 10th & Willamette Falls Drive.
Cost: Free!

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 2-4, 9-11, 16-18.
Where: 53 Eagle Crest Dr. in Lake Oswego. Please park along the street and walk down to the display.
Cost: Free!

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 10, 6:30 p.m.
Where: Download the Holiday Lights Route Map here.
Cost: Free!

Lightopia: An Illuminated Journey in Hillsboro — FREE

Drive through this free light show at Gordon Faber Recreation Complex, over a half-mile.
When: Free reservation slots will open December 1. Open December 3-31.
Where: Gordon Faber Recreation Complex, 4450 NE Century Blvd.
Cost: Free!

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 25.
Where: Downtown Seaside.
Cost: Free!

Holidays at the Hangar: Indoor Winter Lights Festival

The Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum hosts an annual indoor winter lights festival. Santa will even arrived on a helicopter on select days!
When: December 8-23. Santa will be there on December 9-11, 16-18, and 23, from 4-7 p.m. He will arrive by helicopter on the 9th, and other select nights based on helicopter availability.
Where: 500 Northeast Captain Michael King Smith Way, McMinnville.
Cost: Free with admission. $22/adults, $10/youth, $16/veterans and seniors, children under 5 free.

Destiny’s Wonderland Christmas Display in Gresham — FREE

New this year is a drive- or walk-through display in Gresham. Enter/exit signs are coming, but in the meantime you should enter where the pink panther and Santa stop sign are located. Only standard vehicles will fit, so no lifted trucks or vans. If you’re walking, park on the side of the road, not the driveway. To avoid slipping on rocks or tripping on cords, keep to the paved area, and avoid the yard and trees. Take a fun photo at the motorcycle station and enjoy this fun display full of cut-out characters! Visits from Santa Dog and his Snowman helper are coming later in the month.
Where: 28930 SE Powell Valley Rd., Gresham.
Cost: Free, donations accepted.

Schilling Lights on Lark Animated Light Display

Courtesy Schilling Lights on Lark

Don’t miss this animated light show in Milwaukie! Something new is added every year.
Where: 15909 SE Lark Ave., Milwaukie, OR 97267
Cost: Free

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.

Hunt for Neighborhood Lights – FREE

Nextdoor offers a Holiday Cheer Map. You can add your house to the map or search to see which neighborhoods are particularly festive this year.

Canceled 2022

The following events have been canceled, are on hold or are unconfirmed this year.

Aspen Meadow Lights – Canceled for 2022
Each year, the Aspen Meadow light show has a different theme. They look forward to seeing guests in the future.
When: Canceled 2022.
Where: 24232 S. Upper Highland Road, Colton.

Christmas Fantasy Trail – Canceled for 2022
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!
When: Canceled 2022.
Where: Wenzel Farm, 19754 South Ridge, Oregon City.

Photo courtesy Portland International Raceway

Looking for more holiday fun? Check out our guide to where to find Santa, and our round-up of holiday happenings.

PDX Parent Staff
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