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. Guys, Portland is like one big *that* neighbor. There are literally millions upon million 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!
Note for 2020: 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. During the Multnomah County “freeze,” the drive-through experience is open every night. If the zoo is allowed to reopen, they will also offer the walk-through experience. Check the website for the latest information.
When: November 22 to January 10, closed December 25.
Oregon Zoo members receive discounted admission (25% off) throughout ZooLights.
Where: 4001 SW Canyon Road, Portland
PIR Winter Wonderland
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. This year there are no biking or walking nights.
When: November 27-January 2.
Where: Portland International Raceway, 1940 N Victory Boulevard, Portland
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.
When: Parade starts between 5 pm and 7 pm nightly, December 4 through December 22 (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 first 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 on select days where children will be able to wave hello and place their letter in his special mailbox. Purchase tickets in advance online.
When: November 27 through December 31. Closed Christmas and some weekdays.
Where: Clackamas County Fairgrounds,694 NE 4th Avenue, Canby
Beaverton Winter Lights
Experience the wonder of Beaverton Winter Lights! Each night five locations throughout Beaverton will become tapestries of color inspired by the magic of the season and the breathtaking beauty of winter in the Pacific Northwest.
When: December 4-January 3
Where: See Facebook post for the locations and addresses.
Drive-By Christmas on the Campground
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 27-December 31
Where: 5414 SE Duke Street, Portland
Holidays at the Hangar: Indoor Winter Lights Festival – on hold
The Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum is hosting their second annual indoor winter lights festival, with enhanced COVID protocols. This indoor holiday-themed light show is located inside their 110,000 square foot Aviation Museum building. There are 40+ aircraft—including the Spruce Goose—decorated with colorful LED lights, winter and holiday themed vignettes and picture points located throughout the building. Santa will be available for photo opportunities.
When: December 5, 2020 – December 28 5 pm-9 pm
Where: 500 Northeast Captain Michael King Smith Way, McMinnville
Holiday Sparkles at Powerland
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. Proceeds will benefit Santiam Wildfire victims.
When: December 11, 12, 18,19, 22, 23, 5 pm-8 pm
Where: Powerland Heritage Park, 3995 Brooklake Rd. NE, Brooks
Lights at the Oregon Garden Resort
This is a new, intimate display taking place around the Oregon Garden Resort’s main lodge. The display will still incorporate many of the beloved light displays from Christmas in the Garden, but will be drastically different to ensure guest and staff safety due to COVID-19, including limiting the number of people with access to the lights, mask requirements, a one-way path and more. Lights at the Oregon Garden Resort is only accessible for guests of the Oregon Garden Resort – those staying in a hotel room and those with reservations at one of the special Christmas Dinner experiences. Tickets will not be sold to the general public.
When: November 27, 2020 – January 2, 2021 (Closed December 24 & 25)
Where: 879 W Main Street, Silverton
The Grotto’s Christmas celebration will be different this year. They will not host the usual evening lighting event (The Christmas Festival of Lights). The Grotto will be open during usual daytime hours for visitors to explore the lower gardens (no fee), take photos at great photo op spots, visit the Nativity, check out the gift shop, and more.
When: November 27-January 1
Where: NE 85th & Sandy Boulevard, Portland
The following events have been canceled this year.
Christmas Fantasy Trail – canceled for 2020
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: December 2-28 Monday through Saturday, 6 pm-9 pm. Closed December 24 and 25.
Cost: $7 adult, $6 ages 12 and under (cash only)
Where: Wenzel Farm, 19754 South Ridge, Oregon City
Peacock Lane – canceled for 2020
As always, this charming little street will be decked out in its shimmering finest. Avoid the vehicle congestion by parking a few blocks away and walking down the lane, but please be respectful of the neighbors.
When: December 15-31, 6 pm-11 pm. Pedestrian-only nights December 15, 16, and 17th.
Where: SE Peacock Lane between Stark & Belmont
Tigard Holiday Light Walk – canceled for 2020
Yearly walk through a decorated neighborhood with entertainment and hot chocolate and cookies at the end.
When: Saturday, December 14, 6 pm-8 pm
Where: Tigard High School, 9000 SW Durham Rd.
Aspen Meadow Lights – canceled for 2020
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.
When: Nightly December 14-26, 5 pm-10 pm
Where: 24232 S. Upper Highland Road, Colton OR 97017
Victorian Belle Miracle of a Million Lights – canceled for 2020
The historical Victorian Belle mansion and its 2.5 acre plot in North Portland is decked out with a million lights, 35 uniquely-decorated Christmas trees, themed rooms and decorations. You’ll also find a full railroad train display and chocolate and s’mores with Rudolph. Santa will be on site for family photos as well.
When: December 8-28, 6 pm-10 pm nightly.
Cost: $10 adults, $4 seniors and $5 children ages 4-17, free under 3.
Where: 1441 McClellan St., Portland, OR 97217
Pittock Mansion – canceled for 2020
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: Through January 4. Closed Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Check their website for opening time after the Multnomah County “freeze” is lifted.
Where: 3229 NW Pittock Drive, Portland