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.
Know Before You Go
As of June 30, 2021, COVID restrictions have been lifted in Portland and the state of Oregon. While events are now allowed, some events may still be canceled, postponed or held virtually. Please check the event website for the most up-to-date information.
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
As the days grow darker, Portland glows with eye-popping 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.
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Portland offers plenty of opportunities to do your Holiday Shopping and find locally made presents for friends and family. Crafty Wonderland is the city’s biggest arts and crafts market. My People’s Market aims to advance opportunities for business owners of color. The Portland Indigenous Marketplace supports indigenous artists and entrepreneurs.
Revel in the city’s holiday spirit with these Holiday Events and Activities. Portland gets into the spirit of the season with festive decorations at Pittock Mansion 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.
Started in 1986, First Thursday in the Pearl is a district-wide celebration that occurs on the first Thursday of each month. Originally a gathering of art collectors and dealers, the celebration has grown to a monthly event of over ten thousand people that includes art enthusiasts, wine aficionados, and scenesters looking to see and be…
The Curious Cabaret – A Riotous Vaudeville Revue is a monthly variety show hosted by Portland’s 20-time award winning physical comedy duo, A Little Bit Off. The show brings you the absolute best in top-notch local talent, with acts ranging from acrobatics and dance, to magic and juggling, with a whole lot of comedy in…
Portland Indigenous Marketplace supports indigenous artists and entrepreneurs by providing barrier-free, culturally respectful spaces that encourage cultural resilience and economic sustainability by promoting public education through cultural arts.
Pittock Mansion Christmas celebrates the wonderful world of animals with this year’s Critters Make Merry exhibit. From reindeer and polar bears to lions and mice and a few in between, volunteer decorators transform the Mansion’s rooms into enchanting animal havens. Tickets for this year’s event are limited due to capacity restrictions. All tickets must be…
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…
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.
The Christmas Ship Parade began in 1954 with one lone sailboat from Portland Yacht Club. Today, the Christmas Ship Fleet averages about 55 to 60 boats between the Columbia and Willamette River fleets, with displays that are brightly lit and can be seen from bank to bank on each river. The boats, 14 to 65…
Join the Oregon Symphony for an evening of good cheer with seasonal classics, a very merry sing-along and a jubilant celebration sure to put you and yours in the finest of Yuletide spirits.
Portland’s biannual art and craft fair boasts unique handmade wares from 225+ local vendors.
Celebrate the joy of the season at the Gospel Christmas. Presented by the Oregon Symphony. This tradition just gets bigger and better, year after year. Clap your hands and stomp your feet along with the region’s premier gospel singers and the Oregon Symphony at this beloved annual concert.
Since 1990, Champagne Ball has helped nearly 40,000 people ring in the New Year in a fun and safe environment. Every New Year’s Eve, Champagne Ball brings in top entertainers. The event features 18 bars because the Champagne Ball wants people out dancing, not standing in long lines. The party also includes a massive countdown…
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