The lists are made (did your kids start making theirs in September?) and it’s time to bring their wishes to Santa. Make the magic of Christmas come alive for your little believers by visiting the jolly old elf, and get some great holiday photos while you’re at it! Here are the top ten places to see Santa around Portland this year. Read on for more!

photo: Kelly Sue DeConnick via flickr

Pioneer Place Mall

Want to visit Hipster Santa? This is the place. With Naughty and Nice tattoos and a great sweater, you can visit him every Thursday at Pioneer Place! Traditional Santa will be visiting too, for all your non-hipster needs. Head online to reserve your spot, choose packages, and look at photos. Don’t miss the special events when you can bring little Fido in for a very special Pet Night with Santa!  Get a jump on to get photos early (Mon-Wed before Dec 5), and receive $5 off!

Pioneer Place
700 SW 5th Ave.
Portland, OR

Lloyd Center

Santa’s Factory is gearing up for another fun season at Lloyd Center mall! Skate your worries away on the ice rink, then swing by for a visit to Santa’s Lap! A very special Sensory Santa even is available, as well, or children with autism or other sensory-processing disorders. Low lights, soft music, and a less distracting environment without other shoppers is offered, as well as all the fun of a balloon artist and Mrs. Claus.

Sensory Santa
Nov 18, 9-10:30 a.m.
Please RSVP online:
2201 Lloyd Center
Portland, OR

Cedar Hills Crossing

Santa is arriving with his sleigh and festive cheer on November 23rd! You’ll have a daily chance to visit him at Cedar Hills Crossing and tell him everything on your list (I mean, your kids’ lists). Visits are free, and you can choose from photo packages onsite if desired.

Nov 24-Dec 24
3205 SW Cedar Hills Blvd
Beaverton, OR

photo: marcusrg via flickr

Festival of Trees

The Festival of Trees is a long-standing holiday event that benefits Providence Foundations of Oregon. Filled with fun, you can enjoy a magical holiday wonderland with more than 100 beautifully decorated themed trees, dance and music performances, face painting, cookie decorating, and the Main Event: a visit to Santa!

$8/adults, $6, kids 6-12, free for kids 2 and under
Friday, Nov. 30, 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 1, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Oregon Convention Center, Hall A
777 N.E. Martin Luther King Jr., Blvd.
Portland, OR

Breakfast with Santa at McMenamins

From Kennedy School to Gearhart Hotel, Crystal Ballroom to Edgefield, Santa is visiting all the McMenamins around Portland to share breakfast with his very favorite crowd–you! Skip the mall stress and get a relaxing hot breakfast instead. After munching on french toast sticks, kids will get a chance to sit and chat with Santa while you snap as many pics as you want.


$18/adults, $13/kids under 10, free for babies under 6 mo
Check online for times and locations. (Search for ‘Santa’ to bring up all events)

Santaland at Oregon Historical Society

Macy’s Santaland closed it’s storied doors in downtown Portland a few years ago, but many of the magical items have found their way to the Oregon HIstorical Society. And Santa is still planning a visit! Head there to see Santa sit in his beautiful chair, see Rudolph, all the beautiful Christmas trees, and even animatronic elves!

Sunday, December 2 (also a free day!)
Saturday, December 15 (also Family Day, and a free day!)
Saturday, December 22 (Santaland admission free)
12-4 p.m.
Oregon Historical Society
1200 SW Park Ave
Portland, OR

photo: robleto via yelp

The Train to Christmas Town

Book a very special Santa visit with this magical train ride on the Hood River Railroad! Join the cheery elves in singing festive songs, enjoy hot chocolate, and be whisked out to Christmas Town with a woo-woo whistle. Santa will give every child their very own special gift. Wear something fun like pjs or a fancy outfit to join in the fun!

Rates start at $35.35/adults, $27.75/child
Hood River Rail Station
110 Railroad Street
Hood River, OR

Santa’s Toy Factory at Clackamas Town Center

Santa’s Workshop is geared up for fun at Clackamas Town Center! The Toy Factory is an experience to behold– kids can test new toys and even help digitally design their own while they wait to see Santa! Special Events include PJ Day, Ugly Sweater Day, and lots of chances for Pet Nights! Reserve online to save some time, and go home with very special memories.

12000 SE 82nd Ave.
Happy Valley, OR

Christmas in Dairyville

A standing tradition at Alpenrose Dairy farm since 1961, this carefully-curated event includes 300 trees, carolers and choirs, dance performances, live animals, movie screenings, train displays and more. Oh, and photos with Santa. Weekends beginning Dec. 1, enjoy hot cider and treats as you stroll the grounds. Admission is free, but you can bring an unwrapped toy to donate to local children in need. Proceeds from various sales throughout the event benefit local 4-H programs and Oregon-based charities.

Nov 24- Dec 23, Fri-Sun, 10 a.m.- 6 p.m.
Alpenrose Dairy
6149 SW Shattuck Rd.
Portland, OR

Santa HQ at Washington Square

Santa’s traditional visit to Washington Square includes all sorts of fun. This year, the new Elf Academy will allow your sweet children to be transformed into elves in the Magic Mirror (with some magic Santa Dust/Augmented Reality). Oh, and there’s Elf-Ray Vision, and a Naughty or Nice Meter, Storytime with Mrs. Claus, and more! Spend less time in line by making a reservation before your visit, or just swing by for holiday cheer anytime!

9585 SW Washington Square Rd.
Portland, OR

—Katrina Emery


featured image: Europe District via flickr


Amazing Christmas Light Displays in Portland

Family-Friendly Holiday Stage Shows in Portland

Christmas Tree Lightings in Portland OR