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 (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 four locations.
Wine Country Thanksgiving
During Oregon’s premier tasting and cellar-stocking event, more than 150 wineries open their doors to the public, offering samples of favorite selections.
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.
Museums & History
At these local monuments, museums and landmarks, you can explore Portland’s pioneer origins and Indigenous history, as well as exceptional collections of art, crafts and more.
Indoor Activities for Children
When Portland's weather prevents kids from running around outside, families can choose from dozens of awesome 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.
Portland’s favorite Chinese New Year celebration is back at Lan Su Chinese Garden. Celebrate Chinese New Year, the most colorful and joyous of all Chinese festivals during Lan Su’s two-week celebration featuring hanging red lanterns, contact-free scavenger hunt, festival audio tour, cultural displays, and much more! On the first day of the festival, every visitor…
EVENT CANCELED. Please visit the event website for current information. The Portland International Auto Show is the largest auto show in the Pacific Northwest. With more than 480,000 square feet of exhibit space you will find over 600 vehicles from 35 manufacturers, the latest in car design and technology plus exotics from around the world….
2021 EVENT POSTPONED FROM JANUARY TO MARCH. Please visit the event website for current information. Northwest Reptile Expos is the largest reptile expo in the Northwest, and the longest running reptile show in Oregon. Come out and see the largest selection of reptile vendors in the Pacific Northwest.
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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