To Do: December 2017

This December the focus of Portland is entirely on Christmas Lights! See them by foot, by train, by boat or by car, but make sure you enjoy the holiday season!!

Christmas Festival of Lights

Through December 30 at the Grotto. The Grotto is a gorgeous Catholic center set on 62 acres in NE Portland. Even for the non-religious, the gardens are absolutely breathtaking and are turned into an amazing light display every winter. Enjoy songs from the choir as you stroll the grounds and take in the beauty around you. 

The Holiday Express Train

Weekends through December 17, departing from the Oaks Station. There is something so special about taking a train, probably because it is such a rare experience. The Holiday Express Train is all the more magical because the train is all decked out for the holidays, complete with Santa on board!

Christmas Ships

Through December 21. In a unique Portland tradition where a fleet of ships, all decked out for the holidays, shows off along the Columbia and Willamette Rivers. Find a spot along the river (I suggest inside a cozy bar or restaurant!) to watch the ships go by!


Through January 7, 2018 at the Oregon Zoo. ZooLights is one of my family's favorite holiday traditions- we try to go most years to see the zoo all lit up and all of the fun, interactive displays that they have there!!


EastBurn Cider Fest

Saturday, December 9 at EastBurn. As a huge fan of cider I always look forward to any beer tasting events that include lighter, fruitier ciders in addition to the regular beer. This Cider Fest takes the beer out completely and celebrates cider by featuring over 15 different cider varieties. The event is also on $10 to get in, which includes a glass and 5 taster tickets, so there is no reason not to join in the fun!

Holiday Half Marathon & 5k

Sunday, December 10 at the Adidas Campus. If you want to work off some of the calories from all of the delicious food and drinks over the holidays, this is the place to do it! Join either the half marathon or the 5k and enjoy the holiday spirit while you run the flat course filled with holiday cheer! There are tons of yummy holiday treats waiting at the finish line as well!

Peacock Lane Christmas Lights

 December 15-31 on Peacock Lane. Only in Portland would an entire street shut down every holiday season so pedestrians can enjoy looking at the gorgeous decorated homes. Homes on Peacock Lane are required to decorate for Christmas, so you can make sure you get the best show in town!