With the holiday season in full swing, entertainment abounds all around Portland. If exposing your young theatergoers to some incredible live performances sounds enticing, check out an updated approach to the story of Beauty and the Beast at Imago Theater or go to the opera and catch Hansel and Gretel. If you are looking for something a little more festive, consider a cinnamon bear cruise. Find out more about these and other awesome local events below!


Photo: Imago Theatre via flickr 

SE Portland

Catch the Holiday Family Spectacle La Belle Lost in the World of the Automation
You don’t want to miss this giant art work of a play with 100 moving parts that will engage you like no other show. Animated effects every 30 seconds; steampunk finesse; whimsical, dramatic and heartfelt, this is the new Imago and they are at their best! A grimy engine room of a steamship becomes an enchanted theatrical playground where Beauty and the Beast come to life with puppetry, shadow theater, a multitude of effects, song, drama and comedy. Fri. Event Details.

Let Your Kidz be the Life of the Party
The #1 kids’ music brand is taking its 15th birthday celebration on the road with the ALL-NEW “Life Of The Party” tour, and you’re invited! The brand new live show presented by kids clothing brand Crazy 8 stops in Portland on December 9 and features the biggest pop songs of the year and awesome new dance moves. The “Life Of The Party” tour is the ultimate pop star experience that’s perfect for the entire family! Fri. Event Details.


Go on an Adventure with Hansel and Gretel
Portland Opera To Go presents a family-friendly 50-minute English-language adaptation of Humperdinck’s classic fairy-tale opera, Hansel and Gretel. The show includes all of the familiar elements: two lost children, desperate parents, a child-gobbling witch, paired with a whimsical set, adorable costumes and some of the best young voices the Northwest has to offer! Sat. Event Details.

Attend Trackers Portland Holiday Party
Join the Trackers family for a Holiday Variety Show Spectacular featuring the best of skills, scrumptious food, the trade blanket, face painting, a craft fair, and holiday music. Special guests stars include Rashelle Hamms as “The Blacksmith”, Kelsey Reed as the “Waffle Wizard”, Josh Hood-Marvin as the “Range Master” and David Jacobson as himself. Families and friends join for caroling and music, loose arrows at the free open archery range, help trim the Trackers Tree. Then enjoy a Wilders feast of waffles both savory and sweet. Bring a simple potluck dish or waffle topping to add to the bounty of a mountain of awesome whole-grain waffles. To avoid using disposable plates and flatware please bring your mess kit. Sat. Event Details.

SW Portland

Join in on the Winter Holiday Fun at the Portland Tram
Before the holiday crush take some time to relax with the family at the Portland Aerial Tram. There will be arts and crafts from noon to 4 pm. Kids can paint a tile that may be included in the next Tram mosaic. Be sure to stop by the photo booth for a family portrait with the Tram. There will be ornaments and frames so you can take home a holiday memory to celebrate for years to come. And you won’t need a reindeer to fly above the rooftops – take a ride on the Tram and enjoy the views! Sat. Event Details. 

Witness Classical Indian Dance
Natya Leela Academy brings Classical Indian dance and cultural story-telling to Portland Children’s Museum. Natya Leela Academy is a South Indian Classical Dance school in Portland, Oregon. Specializing in the ancient dance form of Bharathanatyam, they strive to help students (kids, youth and adults) discover their inner passion for dance, while they learn the basics of this beautiful style that originated in Tamil Nadu. Sun. Event Details.

Go on a Cinnamon Bear Cruise to Maybeland
You and your child will be 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. Make this a holiday your child will remember forever. Sun. Event Details.

N Portland

Attend Holiday Glass Ornament Making for Kids
Tis’ the season to be crafty! Deck the halls this year with some beautiful glass! Children ages 6 and up will love creating their own holiday ornament or making special handmade gifts for family and friends at the Uroboros Glass Factory! Fun for the whole family! Sat. Event Details.


Head to the Free Soccer Shots Clinic for Kids
Kids ages 5-8 are invited to join Soccer Shots for a fun, non-competitive soccer skills clinic in Hillsboro. Soccer Shots is a nationally recognized program that offers a high energy, fun and age-appropriate introduction to the wonderful game of soccer. Soccer Shots instructors are enthusiastic and passionate about working with kids. The goal is simple: to leave a lasting, positive impact on every child we serve! Register online at pdx.ssreg.org so we know to expect you. Sat. Event Details.


Experience Christmas at Fort Vancouver
Experience the sights and sounds of the 1840s Victorian-era winter holiday season at the annual “Christmas at Fort Vancouver” special event at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site. At the fort, visitors will hear caroling by the Madrigal Singers as they enjoy warm holiday wassail, games, craft making, and music with historical dancing. In addition, the festive ambiance at Christmas at Fort Vancouver will provide a memorable historic holiday scene where visitors with cameras can capture photos of friends and family with costumed reenactors. Popular blacksmithing and black powder demonstrations will also be held throughout the holiday event. The park will provide craft materials needed for attendees to make wooden toy tops, wreaths, tassels, and potpourri ornaments which families can use to make their own Victorian-era holiday treasures to decorate their homes or to give as gifts. Sat. Event Details.

What is your family’s favorite local theater? Share it with us in the comment section below.

—Annette Benedetti