by Natalie Marssdorf
This holiday season, Portland offers a wide variety of activities for people to partake in. To save you some time and money, here’s a list of the top 10.
Winter wonderland at PIR
Grab your friends and jump in the car for a fantastic experience at the Portland International Raceway. Adorned with thousands of lights, enjoy a winter wonderland from the comfort of your heated seats! If you’d rather walk, there are special days and times dedicated to pedestrians – they even have a dog walk. http://winterwonderlandportland.com/
Check out this Portland classic from December 15th through the 31st. Walk down a street of victorian style houses decked out in lights and holiday decor. The first three days of the event are pedestrian only nights – a great opportunity to bundle up and take a stroll! https://www.peacocklane.org/
Crafty Wonderland Convention
Looking for holiday gift ideas? Look no further than the Crafty Wonderland Convention! Explore the products of over 250 artists to select gifts or just get inspired. Admission is free to the public and the convention lasts two days, December 8th and 9th. For more information, visit https://craftywonderland.com/pages/about-markets
Christmasville at Alpenrose
Looking for some local fun? Christmasville at Alpenrose dairy is the perfect place to go! Stroll through the vintage storefronts of Dairyville, admire hundreds of decorated christmas trees, eat some goodies at the bakery, and stop by the gift shop. Christmas in Dairyville will be open Fridays 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays & Sundays 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. from November 30th-December 16th. Admission is free! http://alpenrose.com/events/christmas-in-dairyville/
Christmas in The Garden
Although it’s located in Silverton, Oregon, Christmas in The Garden is well worth the drive. In The Garden you’ll enjoy activities such as ice skating, snowless tubing, a market, restaurants, live music, carolers, and more. The events run from November 23rd through December 31st, so there’s plenty of time to enjoy this holiday gem. For more information and to buy your tickets in advance (recommended), visit http://christmasinthegarden.com/
Alumbrados, Winter Lights at the Mercado
To bring in the holiday season, the Mercado will host a “Noche de velitas” (Candles Nightlight), activities, and live music. The “Alumbrados” is a traditional feature in Colombia and other parts of Latinoamérica, where the streets are covered in lights and sculptures. This free event is
Sat, December 8, 2018 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/alumbrados-winter-lights-at-the-mercado-tickets-52926049238
The Craft Factory, located in Multnomah Village, offers some fun hands on activities for this holiday season. This crafty store offers a variety of activities in which participants can build their own houses, robots, cars, and other assorted toys and displays. Join them for their holiday gingerbread house special! Come in and build your own (inedible) gingerbread house to keep forever! The Gingerbread Saturdays in December are December 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. For more information, visit http://craftfactorypdx.com/events-2/december-events/
Menorah Lighting and Festival of Lights Celebration at Director Park – Lower Terrace
This Festival of Lights Celebration marks the beginning of Chanukah with dancing, singing, traditional food, and the lighting of a grand Menorah. The event will run every day of Chanukah, from December second through the ninth. The first Menorah lighting is on Sunday, December 2 2018, 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM. Times will vary on other days, so go to https://www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/article/701735 for more information.
Black Nativity: A Gospel Song Play
“Nativity” retells the classic holiday Biblical story through a cultural lens, calling upon scripture, dancing, and gospel song. This play has been performed annually in cities like Boston and Seattle, and has become a holiday staple for many families to attend.
To view tickets prices and show dates, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/black-nativity-a-gospel-songplay-by-langston-hughes-tickets-50105406620?fbclid=IwAR2uF21Uream8-lWxIfm8GrUgOFC60O3cEOk8QUdv9gCXja_HicEa0ehqwc
Chanukah Donuts + Dancing
On December 2nd at the MJCC, learn and take part in traditional Israeli dancing, make decorations for your home, and eat some delicious sufganiot (jelly donuts) at this family-friendly Chanukah celebration. Can’t make it? MJCC also has a variety of other Chanukah events. Find more information and register at https://www.oregonjcc.org/arts-culture/arts-culture-events/chanukah-donuts-and-dancing
The Christmas tree at Pioneer Courthouse Square. Photo Courtesy of Portland Radio Project.