You don’t have to go to the boring big, box stores for your holiday gifts, Portland has plenty of bazars going on this weekend and they are even fun for the kiddos. But, if shopping isn’t your thing, there are lots of festive happenings to check out. Read on to find out more.

photo: Mike Mahaffie via flickr

SE Portland

Experience Gingerbread Adventures
Run, run as fast as you can! Take a sweet and smart look at the science behind a favorite holiday pastime—gingerbread houses! Expert bakers, architects, designers, and construction firms worked together to build towering sculptures to marvel at—and vote for! Who was the most creative? Which is a feat of tasty engineering? You decide! Fri., Sat. & Sun. Event Details

Stroll Through The Portland Bazaar
The Portland Bazaar is back for its 8th year! Come enjoy wintery cocktails + warm drinks, a prize wheel from Tender Loving Empire, bites from Olympia Provisions, fresh wreaths, hot apple cider donuts and all the holiday shopping your little heart desires (or can handle) from 60+ Portland makers. Sat. & Sun. Event Details.

Experience an Evening With the Nutcracker
Make this a wonderful new tradition to your holiday season for all ages of your family & friends! This year marks the 23rd anniversary production of East County’s timeless and revered classical ballet production.

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You will delight in a world of wonder where mischievous mice are foiled by toy soldiers come to life, and a blizzard of ballerinas reveals the enchanting Land of Snow. Clara will capture your imagination and transport you on her journey to a magical world filled with colorful characters and dancing candy canes in the enchanting Kingdom of Sweets! Fri. & Sat. Event Details.

Don’t Miss the Winter Solstice & Christmas Ships Viewing
An annual celebration in Milwaukie Bay Park to view the Christmas Ships, warm by a fire and enjoy some great food and beverages! The Lewelling Neighborhood District Association will serve hot dogs, chili and pie, as well as hot chocolate and coffee. All proceeds benefit the neighborhood’s annual concerts in the park and other community building activities. Beer Store Milwaukie will also host a beer garden during the event featuring a unique selection of craft beer and hot mulled wine.  The bonfire will burn bright and warm, accompanied by at least six other smaller fires to cozy up around. The Christmas Ships Parade, a tradition since 1954, will include the combined fleet, which will pass by Milwaukie Bay both on its way to Lake Oswego and on the return trip. Sat. Event Details.

Check Out the 8 Holiday Express 2018
Join Santa Claus and his elves for a magical ride behind Portland’s famous steam locomotives. Vintage rail cars transport you through wilderness in the heart of the city. Round-trip rides run from Oaks Park Station through Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge to the Springwater Trail gateway on the Oregon Pacific Railroad. Sat. Event Details.

SW Portland

Take The Cinnamon Bear Kids Cruise
Be the guests of honor on this two-hour cruise. Enjoy holiday treats while a cast of fanciful characters entertain you with storytelling, music and magic. Have your picture taken with the Cinnamon Bear himself atop his magical throne. Enjoy the company of a host of characters including, Cinnamon Bear, Queen Melissa, Crazy Quilt Dragon and Captain Taffy. Make this a holiday your child will remember forever. Fun for children of all ages! Sat. Event Details.

Fly into This Kids Aerial Yoga & Mindfulness Trial Class
Does your family have kiddos who like to wiggle and giggle? Has your child ever wanted to play in an aerial yoga hammock? Perhaps they have one at home and could use some ideas on how to play in it. This is your chance to drop-in for a trial class to learn more about how we strengthen young bodies and minds with a unique blend of aerial yoga, sensory play and mindfulness, using evidence-based strategies. Kids just know classes are packed with fun activities and opportunities to move their bodies in ways they love! Sat. Event Details.

NE Portland

Experience Geek the Halls 2018
The 9th Annual Geek the Halls, holiday craft & arts fair! the original Portland nerdy craft fair, free to the public, 80 amazing crafter artists, the perfect place to find the perfect gift for your geeky nerdy loved ones. Sat. & Sun. Event Details. 

NW Portland

Check Out the Incredible JAG Company
Join JAG Company, the elite performance focused group within the Junior Artist Generator Program, for a winter showcase of dance. These talented young dancers will present works by BodyVox Artistic Directors Jamey Hampton and Ashley Roland as well as pieces by Sarah Fuhrman, Jenelle Gaerlan and Quincy Richeson, Kristalyn Gill, DarVejon Jones, Shaun Keylock, Sara Parker, Eric Skinner, and Rachel Slater. Fri. & Sat. Event Details.

—Annette Benedetti