There are holiday classics synonymous with the holidays—like The Nutcracker or the tale of The Velveteen Rabbit—both of which you can see this weekend in Portland. Then there are uniquely Portland traditions, like filling Pioneer Square with over 225 tuba players. Or a crafty and low-key holiday shopping event that is both kid-friendly and filled with local wonders. Here’s another bit of local magic: You don’t have to stand in a long line at the mall waiting to talk to Santa. Thanks to McMenamins, Portlanders can relax at a sumptuous breakfast feast with the big guy himself.

In Town

22nd Annual Tuba Christmas (photo courtesy of Pioneer Courthouse Square)
Downtown will hop with the melodic sounds of big brass as over 225 tubas play in unison at Pioneer Courthouse Square. Sat. 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm. Free. All ages. Event details.

The Velveteen Rabbit
Tears of Joy Puppet Theater tells a timeless tale of the power of acceptance and how love can make all things possible. Sat. Portland Center for the Performing Arts Dolores Winningstad Theatre. Matinee and evening shows. $16-$21. All ages. Event details.

Crafty Underdog at The Mission
Join us for some local holiday shopping done right, thanks to Portland’s finest artisans and crafters! Enjoy live music, a raffle, goody bags, kids’ table, movies, and more. Sun.  11:00 am – 5:00 pm. Free. All ages. Event details.

Out of Town

Breakfast with Santa
McMenamins Breakfast with Santa is an annual event for many families—come join the fun! Tickets sell out quickly—check website for all dates and locations. Don’t forget your camera! Sun. Grand Lodge, McMinnville. 9:00 am and 11:00 am. $17 adults, $12 kids (1-10). All ages. Event details.

Polar Express Reading and Movie
The Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum is welcoming Santa Claus to share his favorite holiday-themed story, followed by a screening of the movie. Fri., Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum, McMinnville. 9:00 am – 12:00 pm. $10 per person. Cost includes movie. Photos with Santa Claus are an additional $5. All ages. Event details.

Country Christmas at Foster Farm
Enjoy a quiet Victorian Christmas, Oregon style! Santa’s in the parlor, free hot cider in the dining room, live music and hosts in period clothing give you the authentic Pioneer Christmas experience. Sat-Sun. 11:00 am – 4:00 pm. Free. All ages. Event details.

Portlanders definitely know how to enjoy the holidays in deliciously laid-back Oregon way. What family traditions will you be starting or continuing this year?

— Cheyenne Terbrueggen