It’s beginning to look a lot like the holidays in Portland! This weekend is filled with family-friendly events that are festive and jut plain old fun. Catch some live theater, check in with Mrs. Clause, explore the zoo lights, or go on a holiday cruise! These are just a few of the incredible things you can do. Read on to find out more.

photo: Zoo Lights via yelp

SW Portland

Check Out Washington Park and Zoo Railway Zoo Lights
While you can take this train ride all year long, it turns into something special during the holiday season! The holidays just wouldn’t be the holidays in Portland with out a spin on the Zoolights run. This ride gives you the best view of the dazzling display of more than 1.5 million lights in the zoo. In addition to visiting elephants, mountain goats and other wildlife, you can ride the popular lighted train and carousel, and enjoy hot drinks and local food carts. Photos with Santa will be available for the little ones. Fri., Sat. & Sun. Event Details.

Don’t Miss A Charlie Brown Christmas
Metropolitan Performing Arts presents: A Charlie Brown Christmas: Adapted from the Emmy and Peabody award-winning story by Charles M. Schulz with unforgettable sounds of the Vince Guaraldi score. Based on the television special by Bill Mendez and Lee Mendelson. Stage adaptations by Eric Schaeffer with special arrangement with Arthur Whitelaw and Ruby Persson. The whole family will love this performance. Fri., Sat. & Sun. Event Details.

Get Ready for Mrs. Claus Storytime
Enjoy holiday stories read aloud by Mrs. Claus, along with festive craft activities at Santa’s Headquarters. Fri. Event Details.

Head to Alice in Wonderland – the Panto
Alice in Wonderland-The Panto is a boisterous, family-friendly holiday event filled with slapstick, witty dialogue, great music, and a few wink-wink jokes for the adults. Every Panto is based on a well known story and is adapted to include popular songs and funny and outrageous characters who will get both kids and adults shouting, laughing, and having a wonderful time. Sat. Event Details.

Enjoy A Nutcracker Tea
An annual holiday tradition for the whole family, Northwest Dance Theatre’s “A Nutcracker Tea” with over 100 dancers, presented over two weeks in December. Sat. Event Details.

Join in on Some Gingerbread House Crafting
Make your very own gingerbread house. No frosting required, though an assortment of candy treats will be provided to decorate The Craft Factory way – with a glue gun! Your candy will be extra secure as you decorate your seasonal house for only $10. While you can’t eat your house, you can enjoy some delicious gingerbread treats. Sun. Event Details.

Experience Winter Village
The area’s only open-air ice skating experience brings the magic of the holidays to life with music, dining, shopping, and family fun. This outdoor ice skating rink transforms Jerry Willey Plaza, making it a seasonal family centerpiece in Hillsboro and the region. Fri., Sat. & Sun. Event Details.


Attend A Wonderful Life
Get in the spirit of the season with this fantastic play. Journey Theater presents a muscial youth production of Frank Capra’s holiday classic: A Wonderful Life. Fri., Sat. & Sun. Event Details.


Don’t Miss Wing It
Join Clackamas Rep for “Wing It,” an interactive series of shows for children. They’re sure to have fun!

Children will have fun helping five silly creatures get out of a jam and learn their lessons when they misbehave. Amid dancing, singing, much laughter and a little yelling, our five friends – Totes the goat, Luna the owl, Buzz Buzz the bee, Rita the fruit fly and Roxy the fox – will eventually solve the problem of the day. Sun. Event Details.

—Annette Benedetti