The holidays are officially here, Christmas is upon us and as you can imagine, this weekend’s events center around the splendor of the season. As expected, Portland provides plenty of magical entertainment options for you to fill your family’s days and evenings with. From crafting and music to holiday plays and light displays, we’ve put together a list of activities that will make this special weekend everything you hoped it would be.


Photo: Edwin & Kelly Tofslie via Flickr 


Get in Some Outdoor Skating at Orenco
Step on the ice as Hillsboro starts a new special holiday tradition called Winter Village at Orenco Station Plaza featuring the only open-air ice skating experience in the area. The magic of the holidays will come alive with carolers, shopping, dining, kids’ activities and the gathering of family and friends. This outdoor ice skating rink will transform the new Orenco Station Plaza making it a seasonal family centerpiece in Hillsboro and the region. Closed for Christmas. Fri. Event Details.

SW Portland

Head to the Festival of the Last Minute
No time to check everyone off your “nice” list? No problem! ‘Tis the season for the Festival of the Last Minute! The event marks the perfect opportunity to shop the work of talented area artists and support the local economy, with some 40 categories of arts and crafts. In addition to the shopping extravaganza, daily holiday festivities are sure to add to the experience. Stop by Santa’s booth, get cozy at several warming stations, and enjoy the sights of seasonal decorations and the sounds of roving carolers. Holiday treats are provided. Fri. Event Details. 

Don’t Miss Plaid Tidings
This truly “heaven-sent” holiday treat will lift audiences’ spirits and fill them with nostalgia for a bygone era of classic music sung in perfect harmony. Sprinkled among the Christmas offerings are audience favorites like their riotous three minute and eleven-second version of The Ed Sullivan Show – this time featuring the Rockettes, the Chipmunks and The Vienna Boys Choir, and a Plaid Caribbean Christmas which puts the “Day-O” in Excelsis! Sat. Event Details.

NE Portland

Enjoy the Christmas Festival of Lights
You don’t want to miss this event! The Grotto’s Christmas Festival of Lights is the largest Christmas choral festival in the world.  The festival features nearly 160 indoor holiday concerts performed by many of the region’s finest school, church and civic choirs. Offering a family-oriented blend of traditional celebration and serene reflection, the festival theme reflects the special season of hope that Christmas offers to many thousands of families from around the Pacific Northwest. Fri. Event Details.

West Linn

Witness the Lighting of Maddax Woods
Enjoy a magical walk down a lighted, accessible path through the Woods and to the viewing platform on the Willamette River. Your kiddos will enjoy searching for creatures of the Woods. And the whole family will love the live music. Fri. Event Details.

N Portland

Wander Through the Winter Wonderland Light Show
A sensational display of lights and animation spanning the track at Portland International Raceway. Enjoy the largest drive-through light show in the Northwest right from the comfort of your own car. Sat. Event Details.

NW Portland

See Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin
Featuring Irving Berlin’s most popular and enduring songs, Hershey Felder’s masterful creation of character and musical performance makes this evening with Irving Berlin an unforgettable journey that epitomizes the American dream. Hailed as “the greatest songwriter that has ever lived,” by George Gershwin, Irving Berlin is known for innumerable American classics such as “White Christmas,” “God Bless America,” “Anything You Can Do” and “Top Hat, White Tie and Tails.”Sat. Event Details.


Get Crafty at the Holiday Gift Making Workshop
What better gift than a gift from the heart? This holiday season, kids enjoy time at Creative Roots to make their holiday gifts for their friends and family – parents, siblings grandparents, teachers and friends. Gift Making Workshops are for kids who enjoy creating for other people, gifts can be made for Christmas, Hanukkah, Boxing Day, New Years… any holiday which you may celebrate. Sat. Event Details.

SE Portland

Attend the Nutcracker Cracked
Don’t miss this wacky send-up of the beloved Nutcracker Ballet. You’ve never seen a version quite like this. Lasting only 38 minutes, it’s a miniature satire of epic proportions, with Tchaikovsky’s enchanting music, and 84-rod puppets. It came out wild and crazy – and oddly enough appropriate and fun for children as well.  Suitable for the whole family. Sat. Event Details.

Peruse Peacock Lane
Take the family to see the lights on Peacock Lane and you’ll find nothing but good, old-fashioned holiday spirit. Each house in this quaint southeast neighborhood has been decorating for Christmas for decades. Mostly Tudors, the houses are adorned with not only beautiful sparkling lights, but also nativity scenes, rotating Christmas trees and stunningly life-like replicas of Santa and Frosty. Sun. Event Details.

What is your family’s favorite Christmas day activity? Share it with us in the comments below.

—Annette Benedetti