A Very Merry Portland Christmas

I know it’s not even Thanksgiving yet, but our holiday calendar is already filling up the month of December. It’s going to be hard to fit in all these fun events next month!

Last year, I blogged about cheap and free holiday-related Portland-area events. Here’s the evolving roundup of cheap and free (those are my favorite!) festive events for 2013:

Checking out the model trains in Dairyville at the Alpenrose Dairy.

Checking out the model trains in Dairyville at the Alpenrose Dairy.

Christmas in Dairyville at the Alpenrose Dairy is free and based on our outing last year, a very popular event! My son would have stayed hours longer than we did just to watch the model trains.

The Lights on Peacock Lane is free and from what I can tell when I drive by it on the freeway, very beautiful. This might be the year we actually visit it!

Visiting the Grotto.

Visiting the Grotto.

The Grotto’s Festival of Lights isn’t free, but it’s a beautiful place, worth the $9 adult admission fee.

One of the spectacularly decorated rooms in Pittock Mansion.

One of the spectacularly decorated rooms in Pittock Mansion.

Pittock Mansion gets gussied up for Christmas. This year’s theme is “A Locally Crafted Christmas.” Last year I went with my mother-in-law and we had a great time. Not recommended for children under 3. $8.50 adult admission (watch out for Groupon or Living Social deals).

The Oregon Zoo Lights Train

The Oregon Zoo Lights Train

Zoo Lights at the Oregon Zoo is buy one, get one admission free on December 10. Since the train is out of commission this year, I’m not sure if we’ll make this one a priority.

The Mt. Hood Railroad Polar Express (I wrote about last year’s ride here) isn’t free OR cheap, but it was great fun last year. I’m hoping to convince our friends (and my husband!) that we should do it again this year.

At the Journey to Bethlehem, a living nativity.

At the Journey to Bethlehem, a living nativity.

The Journey to Bethlehem and Follow the Star are both free outdoor living nativities. We went to the Journey to Bethlehem last year and it was well worth the hour wait. Live Christmas music is provided to entertain you while you wait your turn to participate, and it is really something to see a camel up close and personal. I highly recommend it, especially for kids!

New to me: the Christmas Ship Parade. It’s free from various viewing sites. Also new for our family is an attempt to sit through a classical music performance with a two-year old! We’re starting with a free performance of Handel’s Messiah. Get your tickets here.

What are your favorite holiday-related things to do in the Portland area? I’d love to hear your ideas, especially the cheap and free ones.

Last year we also went to the Pearson Air Museum* (free) and tried to take a picture with Santa. Let’s just say Santa and Future President aren’t the best of friends.

*The fate of the Pearson Air Museum is up in the air!

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5 thoughts on “A Very Merry Portland Christmas

  1. Hi, great round-up of holiday events!
    Couple notes: We watched the ships parade from the east side of the Willamette, near the Hawthorne Bridge. The ships were mostly on the west side of the river, making it not-too-exciting for the kiddos. I recommend watching from the west bank!

    ZooLights (Disclaimer – I work at the zoo): even though the train isn’t running, there is a whole new section of the zoo covered in lights. So ZooLights is actually bigger and better than ever. In addition to the Buy-one-get-one all day (and evening) on December 10, you can also get BOGO coupons for Monday-Thursday nights through December 12. Coupons are available at local Toyota dealers.

    • Thanks for the heads up about the coupons!

      I’m hoping we have a good view of the ships parade at my husband’s holiday party at the Red Lion in Vancouver. Otherwise, it will just be Santa for my son, and based on last year’s Santa encounter, it’s not going to be good. 🙂

  2. Pingback: Let’s Bundle Up & Go to the Zoo! | Perspectives from a Hard Boiled Egg

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  4. Pingback: A Very Merry Portland Christmas, 2016 Edition | Perspectives from a Hard Boiled Egg

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