Whether your family is sporty, crafty or filled with foodies, there’s a local Hanukkah festivity or event that will please every member of your crew. Get ready to dance, try your hand at dreidel and do good deeds because Hanukkah (it starts on Dec. 24 this year) is packed with opportunities to honor and celebrate your family’s traditions while making a difference. Read on to find out more.


photo: Jeff Giles via Flickr

Celebrate Chanukah! A Festival for Kids and Families
Children ages 0 to 12 will love participating in art projects, baking, playing Dreidel, dancing and singing, exploring a glow in the dark room and more at this unique celebration. This is a free event that is open to the public and does not require an RSVP.

Sun. Dec. 18 9:30 a.m.-noon
Congregation Neveh Shalom
2900 SW Peaceful Ln.
Online: nevehshalom.org

Chabad of Oregon’s Grand Menorah Lighting
This is a Menorah Lighting celebration that will thrill the whole family. The Chabad of Oregon will provide music, activities to entertain the children and the Dreidel man all leading up to the grand Menorah lighting! And what better setting for the event then the beautiful Director Park. This event is free and fun for kids of all ages.

Dec., 25, 4:30-5:30 p.m.
Director Park
815 SW Park Ave.
Portland, Or
Online: chabadoregon.com

Chanukah Donuts + Dancing
This family-friendly Chanukah celebration includes Israeli dancing, giving little hands a chance to make traditional decorations for the home, and munching on sufganoit—delicious jelly donuts. It’s just $10 for families and $5 for individuals. The celebration begins at 2:00 p.m., and you and your wiggly littles can expect to enjoy both line and community dancing.

Sun., Dec. 6, 2-4 p.m.
Mittleman Jewish Community Center
6651 SW Capitol Hwy.
Online: oregonjcc.org

Chanukah Wonderland
This four-day event is packed with Chanukah fun. It includes a cooking hour at 1 p.m. each day followed by crafting at 2:30 p.m. The little members of your family haven’t been forgotten. A special preschool program has been designed and will run on Sunday and Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Wonderland will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sun & Tues, and from 12 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Mon. & Wednesday. Admission costs $6 in advance or $8 at the door.

Sun., Dec. 25 – Wed. Dec. 28
Chabad Center for Jewish Live
2858 NE Sandy Blvd.
Online: Jewishnortheast.com


photo: Keshet: LGBT inclusion via flickr

Trail Blazers Chanukah Jewish Heritage Night
The basketball lovers in your clan will be excited to attend this event. The Portland Trail Blazers and Chabad of Oregon will host Jewish Heritage Night when the Blazers face off with Omri Casspi and the Sacramento Kings. The celebrations will include a pre-game social with Kosher food and drinks, a commemorative Chanukah Night t-shirt, and Menorah lighting at halftime.

Wed., Dec. 28, 7-10 p.m.
Moda Center
1 N Center Court St.
Online: rosequarter.com/Chabad/

Cookie Mitzvah Party
Join the Congregation Shaarie Torah for this beautiful community project. Simply gather your young bakers and make (or purchase) a plate of cookies. Everyone will gather at the synagogue on Dec. 25 at 2 p.m. and help plate all of the cookies, wrap them, add sweet thank you cards and then deliver them to hospitals, and fire and police department throughout the city as a thank you for keeping the city safe. Afterward, the Men’s Club will serve a delicious spaghetti dinner!

Sun., Dec. 25, 2 p.m.
Congregation Shaarie Torah
920 NW 25th Ave.
Online: facebook.com


photo: hotzeplotz via flickr

Torah Yoga for Preschoolers
Preschoolers and parents have the opportunity to stretch, get strong and learn about Torah stories the second Saturday of every month, at Torah Yoga for Preschoolers. It’s free, and open to all. Hanukkah is the focus of this month’s theme big and small yogis alike can get their yoga on while learning about this special holiday in Hebrew.

Sat., Dec. 10, 10:30 a.m.-noon
Congregation Shaarie Torah
920 NW 25th Ave.
503-226-6131 x242
Online: facebook.com

What’s your favorite family Hanukkah event? Tell us know in the comments below!

—Annette Benedetti