Portland's Best Holiday Events in December

Portland’s Best Holiday Events in December

The tree on Pioneer Square is lit, Starbucks holiday cups can be found everywhere, the stores around town are playing non-stop Christmas music, and it looks like temperatures are also dropping. It’s December! And Portland has a host of great holiday events - some of which we will be sharing with you today.

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Balanchine’s Nutcracker at Keller Auditorium

It is a tradition for many, and Keller Auditorium still has seats left for your journey to the Land of Sweets to get swept away by the Sugar Plum Fairy! Roasted nuts and alcoholic and non-alcoholic can be purchased before the show and during intermission. Get your tickets now and start a new holiday tradition.

Cinnamon Bear Cruise

If you have children and don’t know about this beautiful cruise yet, it’s time! All throughout December, you can cruise with Cinnamon Bear (brought to you by Portland Spirit). Enjoy magic, music, storytelling with fun real life characters, and your hot chocolate is included, too. Fun for kids and for kids at heart.

Festival of Lights at the Grotto

One of the most beautiful displays of lights can be found at the Grotto all December long. Nothing says Christmas like lighted trees, carolers, and a life-sized nativity scene. There is family entertainment going on in the tented area every night the master puppeteer performs a Christmas themed story.

Christmas Ships Parade

Until the 20th of December you’ll have an opportunity to see the Christmas Ships Parade both on the Willamette and the Columbia Rivers. Whether you make dinner reservations at one of the restaurants lining the river or are just out for a walk down the waterfront, the parade is fun and beautiful. For a complete schedule, visit the Christmas Ships website.

Lights on Peacock Lane

For decades, the residents of Peacock Lane have been decorating their homes for your viewing pleasure, and some even offer hot cocoa or cider to visitors for free. Of course donations are always welcome. The show starts December 15th and will continue until the end of the month. It is recommended that you park your car in a neighboring street and enjoy the lights on foot.

Zoolights Festival

This list would not be complete without the fabulous Zoolights at the Oregon Zoo. Take the MAX to the zoo and wander around to enjoy millions of lights. Or take the zoo train and simply see the lights while sitting down with a hot beverage. Kids will love the carousel and seeing Santa Claus and you can buy dinner at one of the local food carts, too!

From the Latitude Family to yours Happy Holidays!


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By Ute Mitchell, Executive Assistant

Ute is the executive assistant at Latitude Realty and Property Management and a writer at heart. A German native, she’s called Portland home for many years and lives in the suburbs with her husband and kids but spends many hours in Portland, discovering new places to eat and hang out.