Oh the holidays are in full swing and magic is in the air everywhere! Portland sure knows how to celebrate. There’s more happenings than you can possibly fit into your weekend schedule. From classic live theater to parades and tree lightings to opportunities to support your local art-based schools—we’ve got all the best going-ons right here for you. Read on to find out where you can find yourself this weekend.

 photo: courtesy of Da Vinci Middle School and Sparrow & Sundry


Madeline’s Christmas
Based on Ludgwig Bemelmans’ classic book, Metropolitan Performing Arts (MPA) presents the family friendly musical Madeline’s Christmas. After two months of acting, music and dance rehearsals, 19 Vancouver youth performers will take to the stage. “In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines lived 12 little girls in two straight lines.” It’s the night before Christmas and everyone is sick in bed. All except brave Madeline, who is up and about and feeling just fine. Taking care of 11 little girls and Miss Clavel is hard work, but Madeline finds help from a magical merchant peddling flying carpets door-to-door. Now the girls are going on a Christmas journey that will surely make them forget their sniffles and sneezes.

Metropolitan Performing Arts (MPA) is a Vancouver based non-profit academy and community theater that offers professional, technique driven classes in acting, dance, music and tech. Their mission is to enrich the community by providing performance and educational opportunities in the live arts. The cast of Madeline’s Christmas is part of the Musical Theater Program. The program’s focus is to train ‘Triple Threats’- talented individuals who can sing, dance and act with equal accomplishment. Fri., Sat., & Sun. Event Details.

Hood River

Check Out the Hood River Parade & Tree Lighting
Experience the small-town charm of Hood River at the annual holiday parade and tree lighting. Kick off your holiday shopping in the historic downtown, when stores will stay open late, and then watch the holiday parade as it winds through downtown. The evening culminates with the city tree lighting, caroling and perhaps even a Santa sighting. Fri. Event Details.


Navigate the Sea of Lights
Join the Aquarium this December for our annual Sea of Lights. Over half a million colorful lights and holiday decorations will surround visitors with the spirit of the season as they explore the Aquarium after hours. SCUBA Santa will be busy diving the Aquarium exhibits, posing for photos with visitors, and noting family Christmas wishes.This family-friendly event kicks off with a special celebration on December 1 and 2 from 6 to 9 p.m. Admission to the first Friday and Saturday of Sea of Lights is $2 plus two cans of nonperishable food. Entry is $10 per person without donation. Admission is free for Aquarium members, but they are encouraged to bring an item to donate. People may also donate pet food or new, unwrapped children’s toys for the Newport Fire Department’s Holiday Toy Drive in place of a food donation.
Sea of Lights will continue to illuminate the Aquarium every following Friday and Saturday of December from 5- 8 p.m. Admission is $10 or free with same day paid admission. Fri. Event Details.

NE Portland

Don’t Miss the 13th Annual da Vinci Arts Fair
This treasured community event is one of the more popular arts fairs in Portland, promoting and celebrating local and student artists and raising money for a beloved Portland school — da Vinci Arts Middle School. Shop for holiday gifts from fine artists and makers of art, crafts, ceramics, clothing, sculptures, paintings, pottery, photos, soaps and more. Admission is free. There will also be live music, a cafe and student artwork for sale. Sat. Event Details.

SW Portland

Head to FACT Oregon- Morning with Santa
This is a low-sensory event with a special guest, Santa! Hosted in partnership with FACT Oregon, families with children experiencing disabilities are invited to play in the Museum, enjoy snacks courtesy of FACT and Pix Patisserie, and meet Santa in a low-pressure environment. Families who come during the Sensory Santa event are welcome to stay and play in the Museum after it opens to the public at 10 a.m. Sat. Event Details.

SE Portland

Wander the Winter Wonderland Bazaar!!!
Head to Portland Arthur Academy’s 5th Grade Fundraiser in the Montavilla neighborhood.You’ll find handmade gifts from local artists, food, raffles and more. There will be free kids activities too! Sat. Event Details.

Check Out Baerlic Brewing’s WoodWorker Holiday Market
Baerlic Brewing’s WoodWorker Holiday Market is a celebration of all things inspired, made and evolving from nature’s most honest material—wood. From furniture to housewares; syrups to aged cheeses; jewelry to pizza; coffee to beer, wood has inspired scores of artisan makers in and around Portland. This is a celebration of them.

A few times a year, Baerlic designs and brews beers destined to lead double lives—first as a brewery fresh beer and second as a beer that will aged in oak barrels for months or years at a time. This working of the wood, the evolution of liquid and solid, is the foundation for our ongoing WoodWorker Beer Series and the inspiration for The WoodWorker Holiday Market. Sat. Event Details.

N Portland

Try Christmas in a Galaxy Far, Far Away
Get ready for a very special 2 day event and fundraiser celebrating the holiday season in true intergalactic style! Torchsong Entertainment will be partnering with The Pennisula Odd Fellows Lodge and a local charity TBD for this exciting all ages party!

Get your picture taken with Vader Claus and tell him what you’d like for Sithmas. Enjoy holiday treats like Aunt Beru’s Blue Eggnog, Peppermint Hoth Chocolate, and more homemade treats. Meet your favorite Star Wars characters and get your picture taken with them compliments of Star Wars Oregon. Listen to the beautiful songs of the season with Star Wars Christmas Carols written and sung by the Torchsong vocalists. Create your own ornaments and other intergalactic crafts fit for a Jedi. Get your face painted with your favorite Star Wars designs and characters with face painting by Mandi Moon Artistry and friends.Listen to unique twists on your favorite Christmas stories like “The Night Before Sithmas”. Purchase unique gifts from our specialty Christmas and Star Wars vendors. Come dressed in your Christmas morning PJs or as your favorite character and enter our kids and adult costume contests. Sat. & Sun. Event Details.

N Portland

Have A Very Portland Christmas
Enjoy the wonders of the season at Pittock Mansion’s annual holiday display, a Portland tradition for over 50 years. This year, experience the iconic places, people, and events of Portland—like Powell’s Books, Packy the elephant, and Peacock Lane—as they are incorporated into the decorative stylings of volunteers and professional designers who transform the Mansion into a holiday wonderland.

Local musicians will play holiday music regularly in the mansion’s Music Room during the exhibit. Fri., Sat., & Sun. Event Details.


Enjoy Christmas in the Country
Meet with Santa in the parlor, enjoy some pioneer hospitality and games, listen to some traditional music, and get your Christmas tree while you’re at it! Visit the store for an interesting variety of candy, books, toys, games, crafts and decorations. Sat. Event Details.

What is your families favorite way to kick off the holidays? Share with us in the comments below

—Annette Benedetti