During the final month of the year, Portland overflows with seasonal events and activities. Celebrate the holiday season with special shopping events, light displays and festivities; then ring in the New Year at one of the city’s many Jan. 31 events. Read on for some of our top picks for December events in Portland, or search our full events calendar to see everything on offer.
Holiday Ale Festival
Packed with revelry and cheer, the five-day Holiday Ale Festival (always held the first week of December) features dozens of the Pacific Northwest’s best-tasting seasonal suds, many not available anywhere else. Held underneath a cozy, heated tent at Pioneer Courthouse Square, the Ale Festival invites local brewers to collaborate on special editions beers. Ranging from decadent stouts to light, hoppy IPAs, the one-of-a-kind brews range from classic to funky.
Holiday Light Displays
Some of Portland’s bright spots include ZooLights, a display of more than a million lights at the Oregon Zoo and the Christmas Festival of Lights at The Grotto. The Christmas Ships Parade, going strong since 1954, features brilliantly decorated boats on the Willamette and Columbia rivers.
Portland gets into the spirit of the season with festive decorations at Pittock Mansion, a gingerbread display at the Benson Hotel and the Festival of Trees at the Oregon Convention Center. Annual performance traditions include Handel’s Messiah from Portland Baroque Orchestra and The Most Wonderful Season from Portland Gay Men’s Chorus.
Portland Holiday Events
Like an Advent calendar loaded with sugary treats, the days leading up to Christmas in Portland hold an abundance of sweet memories.
Portland’s Holiday Ale Festival
The Holiday Ale Festival, set beneath the region’s largest decorated holiday tree, returns every year with more than 50 big, bold beers designed to keep revelers warm on cold winter nights.
Holiday Shopping Events
Do your holiday shopping for locally made gifts at hip parties, makers' fairs, sprawling sales and garden grounds filled with handcrafted items.
Holiday Light Displays in Portland
Portland is full of bright ways to embrace the shorter days of winter; here are some of the stars in the city’s constellation of holiday light displays.
Downtown Holiday Events
Downtown Portland becomes a winter wonderland with unique shopping, events, food and fun.
Up to 20,000 gray whales migrate along Oregon’s coast every winter and spring. Spot them from these four locations.
The Portland Night Market showcases many unique businesses that call Portland home. Blending food, culture, music, drinks and retail together for an adventurous evening in the Central Eastside. Come meet some of Portland’s best makers and creators! The Portland Night Market is a bimonthly, free event and open to all ages.
Join Renegade Craft for a festive holiday weekend celebration in Portland featuring the country’s foremost voices in craft and design. Get your holiday shopping done while supporting emerging and established makers, all while enjoying rarities and remixes from local DJs, workshops, exceptional food trucks and cocktails.