Portland events calendar for December 2015. Festivals, fun things to do, Christmas events, Christmas lights, Christmas ships, New Year’s Eve parties in Portland, OR.

Best events for 12 months     events12.com
Best events for 12 months
December 2015
December 2015

Enjoy the best Portland events, festivals, and things to do with this calendar of events.

Mileage is from Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown Portland, Oregon.

Cirque for grownups

December 1 - 27, 2015 (also Nov.)

1.2 miles NE

Spiegelworld says its new show Empire features “the sexiest, most daring artists from across the globe” doing comedy, circus, vaudeville, and burlesque in a heated tent with beer garden in the Rose Quarter. Discount tickets $30.

Lights at The Grotto

Dec. 1 - 30, 2015 (begins Nov. 27)

8 miles NE

Christmas Festival of Lights features 500,000 lights, choirs, carolers, a petting zoo, puppet shows, and hot chocolate at The Grotto. Closed December 25.

Christmas lights trail

Dec. 1 - 31, 2015 (4 to 9 p.m.)

13 miles south

Follow colorful lights through the woods to a viewing platform on the Willamette River at Lighting of Maddax Woods, 5785 River Street in West Linn. Free.


Dec. 1 - 31, 2015 (Nov. 27 to Jan. 3)

3 miles west

ZooLights uses 1.5 million LED lights to transform the Oregon Zoo into a winter wonderland of lighted trees, animal silhouettes, and moving sculptures. Closed Dec. 24 & 25.

Christmas in the Garden

Dec. 1, 2015 - Jan 3, 2016 (schedule)

43 miles south

Christmas in the Garden features 400,000 lights, festive music, warm fires, a Christmas market, ice skating, and Santa at Oregon Garden in Silverton. Closed Dec. 24 & 25.

Christmas concert

December 2, 2015 (7 p.m.)

0.2 mile SW

A PLU Christmas [sound] features the choir, chorale, and orchestra of Pacific Lutheran University at Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.

Holiday Ale Festival

December 2 - 6, 2015

0 miles

Enjoy 50 bold winter ales at Holiday Ale Festival in heated tents at Pioneer Courthouse Square for age 21+.

Christmas play

December 2 - 24, 2015

3.5 miles NE

Portland Playhouse performs Charles Dickens’ holiday classic A Christmas Carol about the miraculous transformation of miserly Ebenezer Scrooge.

Drive-through light show

Dec. 2 - 27, 2015 (begins Nov. 26)

8 miles north

Billed as the largest holiday light show west of the Mississippi, Winter Wonderland has 250 displays at Portland International Raceway. Closed Dec. 1 & 7.

Christmas fantasy trail

December 2 - 30, 2015 (6 to 9 p.m.)

26 miles SE

Families love the lighted Christmas Fantasy Trail and bonfire at Wenzel family farm in Oregon City. Closed Sundays and Dec. 24 to 25.

Flamenco show

December 3 - 5, 2015 (7:30 p.m.)

8 miles SW

Watch a deeply emotional display of dance and music when Soledad Barrio & Noche Flamenca of Spain return to Newmark Theatre.

Discount tickets $13.

Vampire musical

December 3 - 12, 2015 (also Nov.)

4.6 miles SE

Bite Me a Little is a campy jazz-filled musical about a boy who meets a vampire girl at Post5 Theatre. Discount tickets $10.

Circus show with Beatles music

December 3 - 12, 2015

4.7 miles NE

Jugglers, aerialists, and acrobats of Wanderlust Circus perform onstage as Nowhere Band plays a classic Beatles album at the White Album Christmas show in Alberta Rose Theatre.

Discount tickets $20.

Wine tasting

December 4, 2015 (7 to 10 p.m.)

11 miles SE

Taste wine from eight local wineries with appetizers and chocolate at Uncorked, which includes music and a silent auction for charity at Lakeside Gardens.

Christmas tree lighting

December 4 - 5, 2015

Portland area

See a free tree-lighting ceremony if you missed it in Pioneer Courthouse Square on Nov. 27.

Christmas trees in Portland

December 4 - 5, 2015 (gala Dec. 3)

1.5 miles NE

Wander among dozens of decorated trees, visit Santa, make crafts, and watch entertainment at the Festival of Trees at Oregon Convention Center.

Art fair

December 4 - 5, 2015

5 miles south

Artful Gift Sale is at Multnomah Arts Center. Free.

Acrobatic show

December 4 - 6, 2015

2.9 miles east

Other Names For Home is a song-and-aerial-dance show “filled with joy, goodwill, humor, beauty, wonderful surprises, and discoveries” for all ages at Echo Theater. Discount tickets $12.

Nativities in Beaverton

December 4 - 6, 2015

6.2 miles SW

See 100 nativity dioramas on display and hear Christmas music at A Festival of Nativities and Carols at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Christmas bazaar

Dec. 4 - 6, 2015 (also Nov. 27 - 29)

7 miles north

America’s Largest Christmas Bazaar has 400 booths of juried handcrafted items plus 500 booths of commercial holiday products at Portland Expo Center.

Japanese film festival

December 4 - 13, 2015

0.5 miles SW

Japanese Currents features films ranging from anime to samurai epic, documentary to family melodrama, at Portland Art Museum. Discount tickets $4.

Christmas Ship Parade

December 4 - 20, 2015

Portland locations

Watch 50 boats with Christmas lights cruise the Columbia River and the Willamette River during the Christmas Ship Parade. Free.

Hood River Holidays

December 4 - 26, 2015

62 miles east

Hood River Holidays has lit Christmas trees along Main Street, decorated buildings, unique shops, restaurants, microbreweries, and wine-tasting rooms plus a Last Chance Holiday Bazaar Dec. 12 - 13.

Build a gingerbread house

December 5, 2015 (10 a.m. or 12:30 p.m.)

1 mile SE

Build a gingerbread house to take home, visit the hot chocolate bar, and get a photo with Santa Claus at Gingerbread Jamboree at OMSI.

Marijuana event

December 6, 2015

1.2 miles NW

NW Cannabis Classic features vendors, awards, seminars, and samples at Pure Space for age 21+

Cider festival

December 5, 2015 (4 to 11:59 p.m.)

1.8 miles east

Taste local hard cider and hear live music during Ciderfest at the EastBurn.

Ugly Sweater Run/Walk

December 5, 2015

16 miles south

Wear your ugliest holiday sweater for the 1-mile or 5K Ugly Holiday Sweater Dash in West Linn.

Discount tickets for the 5K.

Handel’s Messiah

December 5 - 6, 2015

0.2 miles SW

Oregon Symphony and PSU Chamber Choir perform Handel’s Messiah at Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.

Scandinavian fair

December 5 - 6, 2015

1.5 miles NE

Celebrate the foods, crafts, music, and traditions of a Scandinavian Christmas at ScanFair at the Exhibit Hall in Memorial Coliseum. Free.

Pub crawl dressed as Santa

December 5 - 19, 2015

Portland bars

Christmas train

Dec. 5 - 20, 2015 (weekends & Nov.)

6 miles SE

Take a one-hour ride along the Willamette River and meet Santa on the decorated Holiday Express train, which leaves the station at 7805 SE Oaks Park Way.

Las Vegas Christmas show

December 5 - 23, 2015

1.5 miles east

It’s a Tony Starlight Christmas is the closest thing in town to a Las Vegas variety show, with music, comedy, and optional dinner. Discount tickets $13 to $35.


December 5, 2015 - Jan. 3, 2016

1 mile NW

Based on the book and movie, Shrek The Musical is an adventure about an ogre, his donkey, and a princess for ages 6+ at Northwest Children's Theater and School. Discount tickets $12.

Holiday bazaar

December 6, 2015

4 miles NE

Shop from 80 local, artisan vendors at Laurelhurst Winter Bazaar at Laurelhurst School.

Christmas concert

December 6, 11, 13, 2015

1.1 miles west

Oregon Repertory Singers perform traditional carols, sacred music, and Christmas music from “Home Alone” at Glory of Christmas at First United Methodist Church.

Discount tickets $11.

Holiday sax concert

December 7, 2015 (9:30 p.m.)

0 miles

Saxophonist Chris Mitchell plays yuletide classics, including his passionate take on “Let it Snow” at The Nines. Discount tickets $35 for two people.

Christmas ships trolley ride

December 7 - 19, 2015

8 miles south

Reserve a seat on the Willamette Shore Trolley in Lake Oswego to see the Christmas Ships Parade.

Holiday marketplace

December 8 - 10, 2015

0 miles

Shop for holiday gifts from 38 artists at Portland Artisan Festival in Pioneer Courthouse Square. Free.

Inspiring play

December 8, 2015 - Jan. 3, 2016

0.5 miles west

Miracle Worker is the emotional story of Helen Keller, who overcame being blind, deaf, and mute to become a productive and influential woman, at Artists Repertory Theatre. Discount tickets $13 to $24.

Free holiday concert

December 9, 2015 (7:30 p.m.)

13 miles NW

Westside Community & Youth Orchestra performs music from Frozen, the Grinch, and the Messiah at its winter concert The Bells of Christmas at Liberty High School in Hillsboro. Free.

Holiday improv

December 9 - 31, 2015

0.5 miles NW

A Christmas Carol: Twist Your Dickens is a zany sendup of the holiday classic, based on audience suggestions, with adult humor at Gerding Theater. Discount tickets Dec. 12, $35.

Christmas carols

December 11, 2015

0 miles

Carolers sing on downtown streets from 6 to 7 p.m. and give a final performance in Pioneer Courthouse Square at 7:15 p.m. for a $1000 prize during The Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition. Free.

Brass Christmas concert

December 11, 2015 (7:30 p.m.)

0.3 miles SW

Spanish Brass Christmas features traditional European Christmas songs plus selections from “A Charlie Brown Christmas” played on trumpets, French horns, trombones, and tubas at Winningstad Theatre. Discount tickets $20.

Masquerade dance party

December 11, 2015 (8:30 p.m.)

1.2 miles east

Portland’s Masquerade Ball is a high-energy music and dance experience for ages 21+ at Bossanova Ballroom. Video.

Gospel Christmas

December 11 - 13, 2015

0.2 miles SW

The Northwest Community Gospel Chorus performs with the Oregon Symphony at Gospel Christmas in Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.

Handel’s Messiah

December 11 - 13, 2015

0.5 mile west

Portland Baroque Orchestra and Cappella Romana join forces for complete three-hour performances of Handel’s Messiah at First Baptist Church.

Green expo

December 11 - 13, 2015

1.5 miles NE

The Green Festival has exhibitors, an organic food court, sustainable beer and wine garden, kids eco-fun zone, and yoga pavilion at Oregon Convention Center. Discount tickets $4.

Winter beer festival

December 11 - 13, 2015

9 miles north

Sample winter beers from 35 breweries at Vancouver Winter Brewfest at Esther Short Park in Vancouver WA.

Tuba concert

December 12, 2015 (1:30 to 3 p.m.)

0 miles

Hear 300 tubas play in unison at the Tuba Christmas Concert in Pioneer Courthouse Square. Free.

Marijuana event

December 12, 2015 (2 to 10 p.m.)

1 mile east

Sungrown Cannabis Festival has art, live music, food, and samples of concentrates, edibles, and flowers at Refuge PDX for age 21+ (or OMMP card holders 18+).

Green gift show

December 12, 2015

10 miles north

Shop for green gifts from 60 vendors at Check ‘Em Off Green at Marshall Community Center, Vancouver.

Holiday craft show

December 12 - 13, 2015

1 mile NW

Shop from 200 creative artists and craft makers at the Crafty Wonderland Super Colossal Holiday Sale at the Oregon Convention Center. Repeats in May. Free.

Holiday aerial show

December 12 - 13, 2015

2 miles NE

Toy Box is a holiday show about toys that come to life, performed on stage and in the air by students in the warehouse of A-WOL Dance Collective.

Christmas at the mansion

December 12 - 23, 2015 (6 to 10 p.m.)

6 miles north

Visit the Victorian Belle mansion and its 2.5-acre grounds to see millions of lights and hear holiday music during The Miracle of a Million Lights.

Nutcracker ballet

December 12 - 26, 2015

0.6 miles south

The Nutcracker is a holiday classic with outstanding choreography and dance by Oregon Ballet Theatre at Keller Auditorium. Discount tickets $22 to $49.

Film festival

December 12, 2015 - Jan. 4, 2016

0.5 miles SW

Orson Wells at 100 celebrates what would be the 100th birthday of actor and director Orson Wells by showing 18 of his films at the Portland Art Museum. Discount tickets $4.

Holiday run

December 13, 2015 (8 a.m.)

3.5 miles north

Wear festive colors for Holiday Half Marathon & 5K, which begins at the Adidas North America Campus, has carolers along the way, and ends with warm food, hot chocolate, and seasonal beer. Sells out.

Christmas neighborhood

Dec. 15 - 31, 2015 (6 to 11 p.m.*)

3 miles east

See quaint houses adorned for Christmas at Lights on Peacock Lane. Dec. 18 to 20 is pedestrians only. *Dec. 24 and 31 it’s open until midnight. Free.

Celtic Christmas

December 16, 2015 (7:30 p.m.)

4.7 miles NE

Celtic Yuletide is Irish music, dance, storytelling, juggling, and holiday songs at Alberta Rose Theatre. Discount tickets $12.

Baroque holiday concert

December 16 - 20, 2015

Gresham & Portland

Portland Chamber Orchestra and a local choir perform music by Corelli, Vivaldi, and Bach, plus part of of Handel’s Messiah at A Holiday Postcard.

Christmas show

December 17 - 22, 2015

0.5 miles south

The Christmas Revels is a family-oriented celebration of the winter solstice with music, dance, song, theater, and humor at St. Mary’s Academy.

Bluegrass holiday show

December 17, 2015 (8 p.m.)

4.7 miles NE

Acoustic musician Darol Anger and singer-songwriter Emy Phelps perform with fresh faces at the Keepin’-It-In-The-Fam Holiday Show at Alberta Rose Theatre.

Discount tickets $10.

Baroque Christmas concert

December 18, 2015 (7:30 p.m.)

4.1 miles NE

Bach Cantata Choir & Chamber Orchestra perform a Baroque Holiday Concert with Baroque Christmas carols at Rose City Park Presbyterian Church.

Christmas Carol circus

December 18 - 20, 2015 (8 p.m.)

4.7 miles NE

A Circus Carol is the familiar story of Scrooge & Tiny Tim performed by aerialists, jugglers, and singers to music at Alberta Rose Theatre.

Winter ball

December 19, 2015 (9 p.m.)

1.2 miles east

Celebrate the winter solstice at Vespertine Winter Ball, which has Gothic and industrial music, catered food, and a live performance in Melody Ballroom.

Holiday craft show

December 19, 2015

4 miles NE

Check out local holiday crafts at Handmade NW, Formal Holiday Artisans Fair at Red Rose Ballroom.

Affordable Nutcracker

December 19 - 22, 2015

8.8 miles south

Portland Festival Ballet performs The Nutcracker at Lake Oswego High School Auditorium.

Discount tickets $15.

Whale Watching Week

December 27 - 31, 2015

107 miles SW

Volunteers will help you spot whales at 24 sites during Whale Watching Week. Mileage shown is to Depoe Bay Whale Center in Newport. Repeats in March.

Early New Year’s concert

December 29 - 30, 2015 (7:30 p.m.)

0.2 miles SW

Ode to Joy: New Year’s Celebration includes a cabaret act and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony at Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. Discount tickets $38.

New Year’s Eve dusk-to-dawn

December 31, 2015

Portland locations

McMenamins’ New Year’s Eve Packages include dinner, party, champagne, hotel room, and breakfast.

New Year’s Eve restaurants

December 31, 2015

Portland locations

Find a list of restaurants that offer special menus and celebrations for New Year’s Eve at OpenTable.

New Year’s Eve gala

December 31, 2015 (8 p.m.)

0.1 mile

Count down to the New Year at the spectacular Champagne Ball, which has four dance floors and 17 bars at the Hilton Portland and Executive Tower. No jeans or anyone under 21.

New Year’s Eve - Governor’s Ball

December 31, 2015

0.3 miles west

A ticket to The Governor's Ball includes reserved seating, dinner, dancing to live music, and a champagne toast at The Sentinel Hotel.

New Year’s Eve party

Dec. 31, 2015

0.5 miles SW

Dance into the New Year in ballrooms overflowing with art, music, beer, spirits, smoothies, and organic meals at InspireTruth in the Portland Art Museum. It promises to be edgy, sexy, and transforming for ages 21+.

New Year’s Eve run/walk

December 31, 2015

0.5 mile SE

Ring in the New Year at First Run with a party at 10 p.m. followed by a 5K run/walk and 10K run at midnight from the World Trade Center Plaza.

New Year’s Eve - Bollywood style

December 31, 2015

1.2 miles SW

New Year’s Eve with DJ Anjali and the Incredible Kid has DJ dance music, aerial acts, a dance shows, and a guest marching band in the Melody Ballroom.

New Year’s Eve ball

December 31, 2015

1.2 miles NW

Portland’s Grand Ball features Hit Machine plus a magician, trapeze artists, appetizer buffet, and champagne toast at midnight at Pure Space. Table tickets cost more.

New Year’s Eve comedy

December 31, 2015

6 miles north

New Year’s Eve Extravaganza is four hours of sketch, stand up, improv, and aerial arts plus hors d’oeuvres, dessert, a champagne toast, and a midnight dance party for 100 people at Curious Comedy Theater.
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© December 2015 calendar of events in Portland, OR: Christmas, holidays, New Year’s Eve parties, festivals, things to do in Portland, Oregon.