The weather outside is frightful, but Portland is absolutely delightful this weekend. Grab a train to Christmas town, head to a toy factory, or watch a magical ballet performance. Those are just a few of our favorite family events. Read on for more.

photo courtesy: Strasburg Railroad

SE Portland

Ride the Oregon Rail Heritage Center Holiday Express
Join Santa Claus and his elves for a magical ride behind Portland’s famous steam locomotives. Vintage rail cars transport you along the Willamette River in the heart of the city. Trains travel on the Oregon Pacific Railroad along the Willamette River in SE Portland and he interiors of the passenger cars are decorated with garland, ornaments, and lights that will dazzle both little and big holiday lovers. Of course, the big treat is getting to share a ride with Santa on board! What a great opportunity to get lots of pics! Fri., Sat. & Sun. Event Details.

Visit Santas 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. Fri., Sat. & Sun. Event Details.

SW Portland

Check Out Portland Ballets Petrushka
Tom Gold’s world premiere Petrushka celebrates the city of Portland. Set at an iconic historic hotel in the glamorous 1950s, immigrant busboy Petrushka is in love with a dazzling lounge singer, who in turn is in love with a dashing doorman. This timeless story will be paired with John Clifford’s stirring Firebird for a thrilling all-Stravinsky program.Swag bags and lobby activities for kids included! Fri., Sat. & Sun. Event Details.

Experience the 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 every evening through Dec. 24. Fri., Sat. & Sun. Event Details.

Don’t Miss Christmas in Dairyville
This celebration 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. Fri. Event Details.

Try Cinnamon Bear Holiday Cruises
Be the guests of honor on this two-hour cruise. Enjoy holiday treats while a cast of fanciful characters entertains you with storytelling, music, and magic. Have your picture taken with the Cinnamon Bear himself atop his magical throne. Enjoy the company of a host of characters including, Cinnamon Bear, Queen Melissa, Crazy Quilt Dragon, and Captain Taffy. Make this a holiday your child will remember forever. Fun for children of all ages! Sat. Event Details.

Attend Paws & Claus Pet Photos
Why should your four-legged family members miss out on the holiday cheer? Kids, dogs, cats – we love them all!  On Sunday from 5 to 7p.m., Washington Square invites your furry friends to “sit” for a photo with Santa. Sun. Event Details.

Silverton Oregon

Experience Christmas in the Garden
Christmas in the Garden Features Concerts and Dinner Theater Throughout the Holiday Season Michael Alan Harrison, Aaron Meyer and Blue Skies will bring a festive flair to the annual event, adding to one million lights, ice skating, snowless tubing and vendor market. Christmas In The Garden in Silverton, OR ( Christmas in the Garden, presented by Power Kia) offers a brand new experience in 2019 including Christmas concerts and live dinner theater for the family and a special New Year’s Eve party complete with Big Band swing music! Fri., Sat. & Sun. Event Details.


Try Holiday Wreath Making
Bring the beauty of the forest home this winter by creating a winter wreath. Participants will be introduced to a variety of natural materials that can be used for home decoration during the holiday season. Younger children will also be able to make a cone craft and other small items. All materials and supplies are included in the cost of the class. Fri., Sat. & Sun. Event Details.

-Annette Benedetti