Yes, it does rain in the winter in Portland. (Not all the time, but plenty.) However, the rain and cooler temperatures provide the perfect excuse to do as locals do and indulge in Portland’s legendary culinary scene, sample craft beers from our 75+ breweries, drink a few extra cups of locally roasted coffee, check out live music performances and get lost wandering aisles of Powell’s City of Books. (Plus, if you’re willing to dodge a few raindrops during your visit, you may see some serious savings on hotels.) Several locally beloved events return every winter, including the vibrant Portland Winter Light Festival (which fills the city with dozens of huge light installations and special events); the epic PDX Jazz Festival ; and multiple arts, film music and theater festivals (like Fertile Ground, Cascade Festival of African Films and Reel Film Music Festival).
Winter in Portland Quick Facts
What is the coldest month in Portland?
Does it snow in Portland?
Does it rain every day in the winter in Portland?
Winter in Portland (Dec. 21–March 19) is the coolest season of the year, with frequent rain showers and mostly cloudy skies (significant snowfall is rare within Portland city limits). The drop in temperature makes for great conditions at Mount Hood, where locals love to ski, snowboard, snowshoe or just cozy up to a fireplace with a warm drink in hand.
What to Pack
For a wintertime visit to Portland, we recommend packing a coat, fleece jacket and rain-friendly shoes (and if you’re a skier or snowboarder, don’t forget your gear, since rain in Portland means plenty of snow on Mount Hood).
Fertile Ground Festival
See Portland's newest theater and dance works every January at Portland's Fertile Ground Festival.
Lunar New Year Celebrations
Portland hosts its own Japanese Mochitsuki Festival, Vietnamese Tet Festival and multiple Chinese New Year events.
Black History Month in Portland
Every February, Americans of all races and backgrounds celebrate Black History Month. Celebrate with these Portland events.
Portland Jazz Festival
The Portland Jazz Festival returns every February with a stellar series of concerts and events celebrating Black History Month.
Portland Winter Light Festival
Brighten your February with glowing sculptures and thousands of twinkling lights at the annual Winter Lights Festival.
The One Moto Show
Every February, the One Moto Show draws thousands of bikers and enthusiasts to Portland to celebrate all things motorcycle.
Portland Dining Month
Every March, more than 100 Portland restaurants serve up three courses for just $33 nightly. There's no better time to visit this top culinary destination.
Whale Watching on the Oregon Coast
Up to 20,000 gray whales migrate along Oregon's coast every winter and spring. Spot them from these five locations.
Favorite December events in Portland include light displays, holiday shopping, seasonal traditions and a beer festival.
From theater to roller derby, Portland kicks off the year with an eclectic assortment of events.
February is the perfect month to take in fine Portland food, film, music and more.
Portland’s Coziest Fireplaces and Fire Pits
Portland winters are usually mild, but the city offers all sorts of welcoming places to warm up. Relax next to one of our favorite fireplaces in Portland.
Quiet Places Made for Reading
Pick up a winning read at one of Portland’s many independent bookstores and curl up in a cozy corner of one of these eight local coffee shops.
Live Music Venues in Portland
From gritty rock to velvety jazz, Portland’s live music scene offers tunes for all types.
Niche Live Music Venues in Portland
These hidden gems are havens for jazz, punk, bluegrass, funk and more.
Portland is known for its rich creative community, and DIY makers. From these established museums that showcase the greatest fine artists, to the mailbox-sized galleries of passions, Portland displays all kinds of art and curiosities.
Indoor Activities for Children
When Portland's weather prevents kids from running around outside, families can choose from dozens of indoor activities.
Like an Advent calendar loaded with sugary treats, the days leading up to Christmas in Portland hold an abundance of sweet memories.
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.
Do your holiday shopping for locally made gifts at hip parties, makers' fairs, sprawling sales and garden grounds filled with handcrafted items.
Open every Saturday from March–December, Portland Saturday Market is the largest arts-and-crafts fair in the U.S.
The Wild Arts Festival is Pacific Northwest’s premier art show and book fair celebrating the natural world. Held each November by the Portland Audubon, the festival attracts nearly 5,000 visitors each year. An anticipated 75 artists and authors will come together for the 41st annual event, all for the benefit of Portland Audubon.* *The health…
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…
Recognized throughout the Pacific Northwest as the “Largest Holiday Light Show West of the Mississippi”, Winter Wonderland, will grab your attention with glimmers and glows around every corner. Since 1993, a journey through Winter Wonderland has become a holiday tradition for many families, friends, and social organizations to celebrate the spirit of the holiday season….
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…
My People’s Market showcases local entrepreneurs and makers of color, connecting them with industry professionals and consumers.
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.
Experience the sights, sounds, tastes, and traditions of the Nordic Holiday season. ScanFair brings Scandinavia to Portland through traditional food vendors, entertainment programs focused on cultural heritage, educational craft corners, and welcoming local community organizations.
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…
The City of Roses boasts one of the best tango communities outside of Buenos Aires, with dances and lessons available almost every night.
Music is medicine. RX Fest is a multi-venue, multi-day festival is a large-scale benefit for organizations vital to our community, all centrally located in downtown Portland at Star Theater, Dante’s, Kelly’s Olympian and Valentine’s.
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