Deck the Walls, Halls & Hulls: 9 Dazzling Holiday Light Displays
This just in: it’s the happiest season of all. And nowhere is it easier to see than outside, at night. From Portland to points north, south, west and east, our area displays some fab holiday light productions that will put smiles on even the chilliest of faces. Dress warmly, grab loved ones and be of good cheer.
Tudors have never looked so festive outside of England, riieeeght? This super-charming block between SE Stark and SE Belmont is a must-visit every holiday season. Your little elves will love debating which house is their favorite and the sweet kidlet-run hot chocolate stand is giving all their proceeds to NW Mothers Milk Bank this Christmas season. If you’ve got a little or two who loves to run into the street, fear not. You can enjoy Peacock Lane on one of the pedestrian only nights Dec. 15 – 16. Lights stay on ’til midnight on Christmas Eve and NYE.
Sunday, December 15 – Tuesday, December 31 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm. Free. Bring cash for cocoa.
Peacock Lane – between SE Stark Street and Belmont Street & one block East of Cesar Chavez/SE 39th
Oh the zoo, how we love you. The elves here start setting up this extravaganza pretty much in September. With over one million LED lights ranging from rotating animals on a carousel to penguins seemingly sliding down a glacier, there is something for every sugar plum here. No train rides this year, but try not to fret. You can see the train lit up at the station and still strike a photopose next to it. Plus, they promise more lights than ever by going deeper into all of their exhibits and introducing a Rainbow Tunnel.
Friday, November 29 – Sunday, January 5 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm with guests allowed on the grounds ’til 9:00. Weekend admission (Friday & Saturday nights) runs until 8:30 with roaming allowed until 9:30. Admission runs $7-$10 and is free for 2s and under and members of the zoo. Parking now costs everybody $$ so keep that in mind and if you can, take MAX. Zoo Lights is closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and the zoo itself is closed Christmas day.
4001 Southwest Canyon Road
Jubitz Winter Wonderland
What is better than having somewhere to go at 5:00, that does not require leaving the car? Get the lil’ lightheads into the truckster and away you go. This light show claims to be the largest west of the Mississippi, and with over 250 ways to say ho ho holiday awesome, the Jubitz Winter Wonderland at PIR is famtastic. We love the giant poinsettia wreath and reindeers that jump over the car.
Thursday, November 28 – Christmas Day.
Hours: Sunday – Thursday, 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Friday & Saturday, 5:00 pm – 11:00 pm.
$16 per carload. CASH ONLY.
Portland International Raceway
1940 North Victory Boulevard
Christmas Fantasy Trail
This luminescent display is for all of the little princesses and junior knights out there. Each Christmas Wenzel Farms turns their charming fantasy trail into a Christmas wonderland. Walk through the 40 foot castle decorated with Christmas scenes or take a turn on the suspension bridge. Each of Wenzel’s fairy tale areas will be lit for the holidays, accompanied by Christmas music to delight even your youngest crumpets. Add in a maze, nightly bonfire and a crooked house and it’s way worth the trip.
Monday, December 2 – Monday, December 30, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Closed Sundays. $5 for adults, $4 for 12s and under.
19754 South Ridge Road
Oregon City, OR
The Grotto Festival of Lights
This bucolic green space transports one and all come Christmas time. They’re ready for your junior nutcrackers with puppet shows, carolers, hot cocoa, a petting zoo, lights galore (of course) and a choral line up not seen or heard anywhere else in town including school choirs, church groups and civic clubs.
Friday, November 29 – Monday, December 30, 5:00 pm – 9:30 pm. Closed Christmas Day.
$9 for adults, $4 for kids 3-12, free for 2s and under.
NE Sandy Blvd and NE 85th
Lighting of Maddax Woods
West Linn’s tripping the lights fantastic with their well-lit and accessible walkway through the woods. Stroll the path down to the river and enjoy the sights and smells of nature, then end at a viewing platform on the Willammette. Open already.
Now – Wednesday, December 31st. 4:00 – 9:00 pm. Free.
5785 River Street
West Linn, OR
Christmas Ship Parade
59 years strong, this event is a beloved family tradition for many Portlandians. Line up along the river banks or take cover somewhere warm. Whatever you decide, don’t miss the flotilla of gorgeous.
Aspen Meadow Celebration of Light
It’s an hour away but jam-packed with festivity. Kiddo toy land, mini train display, and a walkthrough light celebration. Movies, concerts and special shows also on hand plus religious-themed plays inside a giant (!) snow globe.
Saturday, December 14 – Sunday, December 29 5-10 pm Monday – Thursday and 5-11 pm Friday & Saturday nights.
24232 S. Upper Highland Rd
Christmas in the Garden
We’ve got crazy love for The Oregon Garden. They wow us all year long and Christmas is no exception. With a well lit Rediscovery Forest of 150,000 twinklers, a German-style market complete with gluhwein and other adult beverages and joy for the world a-plenty; there is simply no reason not to check it out. Saurbraten, soft pretzels with fondue, bratwursts, hot dogs and mac and cheese for the kids plus fire pits dispersed throughout to help keep everybody warm. See ya there.
Friday – Sunday evenings 4-9 pm November 29 – December 22. $5 for anyone over 4.
The Oregon Garden
879 W. Main St.
Silverton, OR 97381
Did we miss your favorite light displays? Tell us in the comment section below!
– Liz Overson and Laurie Halter
Thanks for the photos The Grotto, Peacock Lane, Aspen Meadow and Jubitz Winter Wonderland Facebook pages.