The Best Holiday Activities to Enjoy in Portland

The winter season is one of the best times of year to visit Portland. Aside from the epic skiing on Mt. Hood, tax-free gift shopping downtown, or the tasty seasonal beers at every bar, the holidays really have a way of lifting the spirits of the greater Portland area. If you find yourself visiting around December or January, check out a handful of our favorite festive activities to do during the wintertime.  

Breakfast with Santa at Gracie's
Come dine with Santa and Mrs. Claus! You’ll be surrounded by magical holiday decorations and treats at our annual Breakfast with Santa. Choose from a selection of Gracie’s brunch favorites like Thieles Original German Pancake or a Lobster Benedict.

When: December 4, 11, &18, 2021; 10:30am - 12:30pm  
Where: Gracie's Restaurant at Hotel deLuxe; 729 SW 15th Ave. 

Pittock Mansion Christmas
Tour Portland’s famous French Renaissance-style chateau with a very Christmassy twist. Walk room to room admiring 1900’s furniture and mesmerizing architecture while taking in the mansion’s holiday spirit. With a very merry animal theme and lots of seasonal decorations, have a ball with the little ones and wander around spotting festive polar bears, reindeer, mice, and so much more

When: November 22, 2021–January 4, 2022; Times Vary 
Where: Pittock Mansion - 3229 NW Pittock Dr. 
Cost: Adults $13, Youth $9, Senior $11, Free under 6 

A Person Standing In Front Of A Colorful BackgroundZooLights
Ask any Portlander about a holiday tradition in Oregon, and they will almost certainly talk you into visiting ZooLights. With over 1.5 million lights throughout the park, walk through glimmering tunnels of Christmas colors and holiday displays while admiring a handful of your favorite zoo critters. 

When: November 19, 2021 - January 9, 2022; Days Vary
Where: 4001 SW Canyon Rd 
Cost: Pricing Varies 

A Person Wearing A Wedding DressGeorge Balanchine’s The Nutcracker
Follow the Sugar Plum Fairy on an ultimate journey to defeat the evil Mouse King and discover the true magic of Christmas Eve. Presenting George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker since 1989, Oregon Ballet Theater hosts a charming and unforgettable experience with impressive professional dancers that will leave you inspired.  

When: December 11 - 26, 2021; Days & Times Vary  
Where: Keller Auditorium - 222 SW Clay St. 
Cost: Pricing Varies 

Winter Wonderland
Winter Wonderland is one of the largest holiday light shows in the Pacific Northwest and has been running seasonally since 1993. Carpool with the family and drive through over 250 colorful light pieces and fully animated scenes in the comfort of your car. Tune into Portland International Raceway’s holiday-themed radio to get the full wonderland experience.   

When: November 26, 2021 - January 1, 2022; 5pm–11pm 
Where: Portland International Raceway - 1940 N. Victory Blvd. 
Cost: Pricing Varies 

A Group Of People On A Boat In The WaterChristmas Ship Parade  
As if the Willamette and Columbia Rivers weren’t already pretty enough, the Christmas season really adds a magical beauty this time of year. Bring a few blankets and have a nighttime picnic by the bay as you watch fleets of brightly decorated boats cruise on by. The glimmering reflection of holiday lights against Portland’s magnificent waterways sure is a sight to see.  

When: December 3 - 21, 2021; Days vary; 7:00pm 
Where: Willamette & Columbia Rivers 
Cost: Free! 

Christmas Festival of Lights 
Let the Holidays take full hold of you this season and glide around The Grotto’s Christmas Festival of Lights. Presenting everything from sight, to sound, to sensation, this light show features over two million lights and is one of the largest Christmas choral festivals in the world. With nightly holiday concerts from local schools, churches, and civic choirs, you will feel the magic of the season like never before.  

When: November 26, 2021 - January 2, 2022; Days vary 
Where: The Grotto - 8840 N.E. Skidmore St. 
Cost: Adults: $11; Kids: $6 

A Lit Up City At NightHoliday Express
Santa has temporarily upgraded his sleigh for a train this holiday season! Go on a magical hour-long ride with him and his elves and get transported through Portland’s wilderness in the heart of the city. Traveling from Oaks Park Station through Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge to the Springwater trail, this festive train ride is sure to be one for the books.

When: November 26, 2021 - December 19, 2021; 10am - 6pm 
Where: Oaks Amusement Park - 7805 SE Oaks Park Way 
Cost: $20 - $25 per person