You’ve got Thanksgiving leftovers in the fridge and a weekend full of holiday entertainment waiting to bring your family members cheer. From a festival of lights to plays and performances that enchant, this weekend’s activities and events are designed to dazzle and delight, and we’ve got them all right here for you. Read on to find out what our top picks are for your post feeding-frenzy fun.
photo: courtesy of the Portland Ballet
Visit The Enchanted Toyshop
After last year’s sold-out shows, The Portland Ballet is reviving its holiday hit, The Enchanted Toyshop, Thanksgiving magic begins when two children are accidentally locked in a toyshop, and Pinocchio reigns over a parade of toys that come to life to entertain the guests.
The good cheer starts in the lobby with photo opportunities and activities for Event Details.people will receive special gift bags. Audience members are invited to stay after every performance to meet the cast, take photos with them, and have their programs Portland State University Orchestra will perform at every show. Fri., Sat., & Sun.
Catch Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Faithful to the spirit of Roald Dahl’s original book, Stuart’s adaptation chronicles the enigmatic and reclusive candy baron Willy Wonka (Gene Wilder), who surprisingly decides to stage a promotional contest that hides golden tickets in five of his scrumptious candy bars. Whoever finds these tickets will win a free tour of the Wonka factory, as well as a lifetime supply of candy. Four of the five winning children are insufferable brats, but the fifth is the likeable Charlie, who takes the tour in the company of his equally amiable grandfather and finds that he has won an even greater prize. Sat. Event Details.
Wes Anderson’s first animated film, adapted from a story by legendary children’s author Roald Dahl, is a stop-motion thrill ride through the secret world of animals by way of the terror that is factory farming. Mr. Fox (voiced by George Clooney) and his wife (Meryl Streep), after being trapped following a disastrous farm raid, move to the base of a tree with their gloomy son Ash (Jason Schwartzman) in search of a more peaceful life. However, their tree lies next to a large farming facility run by three suspect farmers, who quickly initiate a scheme to flush the foxes out and hunt them. Naturally, Mr. Fox and crew are not so easily duped, teaming up with their fellow animal friends to launch a counterattack. Sun. Event Details.
The Amazing Bubble Man
Louis Pearl has been thrilling audiences around the world for nearly 30 years with the art, magic, science and fun of bubbles. He is a favorite at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where he has enjoyed eight years of sell-out success.
Louis explores the breath-taking dynamics of bubbles, combining comedy and artistry with audience participation and enough spellbinding bubble tricks to keep everyone mesmerized. From square bubbles, bubbles inside bubbles, fog-filled bubbles, giant bubbles, bubble volcanoes, tornados and trampolines to people inside bubbles, the Amazing Bubble Man conjures shrieks of laughter and gasps of amazement from all ages. Fri., Sat., & Sun. Event Details.
Attend The Grotto’s 30th Annual Christmas Festival of Lights
Presenting the sights, sounds, and sensations of the season, The Grotto’s Christmas Festival of Lights is the largest Christmas choral festival in the world. The festival features nearly 160 indoor holiday concerts performed by many of the region’s finest school, church, and civic choirs. Offering a family-oriented blend of traditional celebration and serene reflection, the festival theme reflects the special season of hope that Christmas offers to many thousands of families from around the Pacific Northwest.
Five indoor concerts are scheduled each evening in The Grotto’s 600-seat chapel, known for its cathedral quality acoustics. Continuous family entertainment in The Grotto’s plaza area includes outdoor caroling, puppet shows, and a live petting zoo. Holiday foods and beverages are also available, as is seasonal shopping in The Grotto Gift Shop. Fri. Sat., & Sun. Event Details.
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.
Attend the LeRoy Haagen 4th Saturday November Event
This event is a restoration project for the forested area at LeRoy Haagen park. A multitude of animals call this forest home: red tail hawks, native ground bees, rabbits, and is visited by deer and the occasional kestrel and bald eagle. Typical projects vary depending on the time of year, but include English ivy, Holly, and Himalayan blackberry removal, and mulching for Shiny Geranium and Herb Robert control. When this event began two years ago, there was a near carpet of eight different invasive plants. Because of that, there are very few young native trees. From September to February we will be planting a small number of native seedlings gathered from neighbors. Sat. Event Details.
Enjoy Christmas in the Garden
Enter a charming winter wonderland and find yourself surrounded by 600,000 twinkling lights, live music, artisan vendors, ice skating, snowless tubing and plenty of holiday cheer at Christmas in the Garden, at The Oregon Garden.
Walk through the 100-foot long Candy Cane tunnel, enjoy light displays inspired by your favorite holiday movies, and listen to carolers spread Christmas cheer. Ice skate with your friends and family, tube down the snowless tubing hill, and warm up by a fire pit. Continue the night by taking pictures with Santa and shopping in the traditional artisan German Christmas Market. Vendors will be selling items such as candles, garden art, leather goods, and more. Enjoy traditional German food and drink, including pretzels, hot cocoa, and gluhwein (a hot mulled wine). New this year, the event will offer the Christmas Barn, a live music venue, and beer garden for those 21 and over. Fri., Sat., & Sun. Event Details.
Head to the Winter Village
Be one of the first to step on the ice in 2017 as Hillsboro brings back Winter Village at Jerry Willey Plaza at Orenco Station, featuring the only open-air ice skating experience in the area. The magic of the holidays will come alive with carolers, shopping, dining, kids’ activities and the gathering of family and friends. This outdoor ice skating rink transforms the Plaza, making it a seasonal family centerpiece in Hillsboro and the region. Please check website for special free and reduced admission days and times. Fri., Sat., & Sun. Event Details.
Greater Portland Area
Discover Little Boxes
Support local businesses! Little Boxes is a holiday shopping event that takes place the Friday, Saturday and Sunday after Thanksgiving. It encourages shoppers to explore Portland’s neighborhoods to discover Portland’s Little Boxes—small, specialty retailers—that make our city unique. It’s a free event and the rules of the game are simple: shoppers download the app, visit and make purchases from participating Little Boxes stores, earning raffle tickets and unlocking prizes over the course of the event’s three days. Sat. Event Details.
How does your family like to kick of the holiday season together? Share your tradition with us in the comments below.