Portland events calendar for December 2016. Festivals, fun things to do, Christmas events, Christmas lights, Christmas ships, New Year’s Eve parties in Portland, OR.

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Best events for 12 months
December 2016
December 2016

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.

Please note: Links to some websites are not working properly today due to a major U.S. Internet outage.

Holiday Ale Festival

December 1 - 4, 2016 (begins Nov. 30)

0 miles

Enjoy 50 bold winter ales at Holiday Ale Festival in heated tents, with a root beer garden and food vendors at Pioneer Courthouse Square for age 21+.

Nativities in Beaverton

December 1 - 4, 2016

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. Free.

Circus show with Beatles music

December 1 - 10, 2016

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.

Japanese film festival

December 1 - 12, 2016

0.5 miles SW

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

Classic holiday songs

December 1 - 24, 2016

0.2 miles south

Plaid Tidings features the four men of “Forever Plaid” singing nostalgic songs in perfect harmony at Brunish Theatre. Discount tickets $24.

Drive-through light show

December 1 - 25, 2016 (begins Nov. 25)

8 miles north

Billed as the largest holiday light show west of the Mississippi, Winter Wonderland has 250 displays at Portland International Raceway. Special nights:
  • Nov. 28 - closed
  • Nov. 29 - bicycles only
  • Dec. 6 - dog walkers only

Christmas play

December 1 - 30, 2016 (begins Nov. 30)

3.5 miles NE

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

Lights at The Grotto

December 1 - 30, 2016 (begins Nov. 25)

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

December 1 - 31, 2016 (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.


December 1 - 31, 2016 (Nov. 25 - Jan 1)

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 - 31, 2016 (Nov. 25 - Jan. 1)

43 miles south

Christmas in the Garden features 500,000 lights, festive music, warm fires, a Christmas market, ice skating, and Santa at Oregon Garden in Silverton. Closed Dec. 24 & 25.

Christmas tree lighting

December 2 - 3, 2016

Portland area

See a free tree-lighting ceremony this month. (Also see Pioneer Courthouse Square on Nov. 25.)

Christmas trees in Portland

December 2 - 3, 2016 (gala Dec. 1)

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.

Christmas bazaar

December 2 - 4, 2016 (begins Nov. 25)

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. Open Nov. 25, 26, 27; Dec. 2, 3, 4.

Christmas Ship Parade

December 2 - 18, 2016

Portland locations

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

Christmas fantasy trail

December 2 - 30, 2016

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.

Hood River Holidays

December 2, 2016 - Jan. 1, 2017

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. 10 - 11.

Holiday sax concert

December 3, 2016 (8 p.m.)

0.3 miles SW

Saxophonist Chris Mitchell plays yuletide classics, including his passionate take on “Let it Snow” at Winningstad Theatre Discount tickets $20.

Build a gingerbread house

December 3, 2016

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.

Scandinavian fair

December 3 - 4, 2016

1.5 miles NE

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

Pub crawl dressed as Santa

December 3 - 17, 2016

Portland bars

Christmas train

December 3 - 18, 2016 (begins Nov. 25)

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.

Holiday bazaar

December 4, 2016 (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

4 miles NE

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

Christmas concert

December 4, 9, 11, 2016

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.

Christmas ships trolley ride

December 5 - 17, 2016 (uncertain)

8 miles south

Reserve a seat on the Willamette Shore Trolley in Lake Oswego to see the Christmas Ships Parade. Tentative dates are Dec. 5, 7, 9, 14, 16, 17.

Holiday marketplace

December 6 - 9, 2016

0 miles

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

Free Christmas concert

December 7, 2016 (7:30 p.m.)

13 miles NW

Westside Community & Youth Orchestra plays classical Christmas music at its winter concert Handel Christmas at Liberty High School in Hillsboro. Free.

Christmas carols

December 9, 2016 (5:30 to 7:30 p.m.)

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.

Gospel Christmas

December 9 - 11, 2016

0.2 miles SW

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

Green expo

December 9 - 11, 2016

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.

Handel’s Messiah

December 9 - 12, 2016

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 (except two hours of highlights on December 12).

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

December 9 - 24, 2016

8 miles SW

Beauty and the Beast is a hit Disney musical about a young woman (Belle) and a prince under a witch’s curse (Beast) live at Newmark Theatre. Discount tickets $20.

Tuba concert

December 10, 2016 (1:30 to 3 p.m.)

0 miles

Hear 250 tubas play in unison at the Tuba Christmas Concert in Pioneer Courthouse Square. Free.

Wine tasting

December 10, 2016

10.5 miles SE

Taste wine from eight local wineries with appetizers and chocolate at Uncorked, which includes music and a silent auction for charity at Eagle Landing in Happy Valley.

Holiday craft show

December 10 - 11, 2016

1 mile NW

Shop from 200 creative artists and craft makers at the Crafty Wonderland Holiday Art + Craft Market at the Oregon Convention Center. Repeats in June. Free.

Nutcracker ballet

December 10 - 26, 2016

0.6 miles south

The Nutcracker is a holiday classic with outstanding choreography and dance by Oregon Ballet Theatre at Keller Auditorium. Discount tickets $29.

Holiday run

December 11, 2016

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 at the mansion

December 11 - 23, 2016

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.

Celtic Christmas

December 14, 2016 (7:30 p.m.)

4.7 miles NE

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

Holiday concert

December 14 - 18, 2016

muliple locations

Portland Chamber Orchestra and a local choir perform music by Bach, traditional carols, and part of Handel’s Messiah in three locations.

Christmas neighborhood

December 15 - 31, 2016

3 miles east

See quaint houses adorned for Christmas at Lights on Peacock Lane, which on some nights is closed to cars and open only to pedestrians. Free.

Baroque Christmas concert

December 16, 2016 (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, 2016

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.

Christmas show

December 16 - 21, 2016

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.

Whale Watching Week

December 27 - 31, 2016

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 30 - 31, 2016 (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.

New Year’s dance party

December 30, 2016 - Jan. 1, 2017

0.3 miles north

Vote for Dancing (formerly InspireTruth) is a “playful New Year’s Eve celebration that can inspire us to reach for depth and transform ourselves and our world” at Roseland Theater for age 21+. All ages on Jan. 1.

New Year’s Eve restaurants

December 31, 2016

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, 2016

0.1 mile south

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, 2016

0.3 miles west

A ticket to The Governor’s Ball includes reserved seating (7 p.m.), dinner (8 p.m.), dancing to live music (9 p.m.), and a champagne toast at The Sentinel Hotel.

New Year’s Eve run/walk

December 31, 2016

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, 2016

1.2 miles SW

New Year’s Eve with DJ Anjali and the Incredible Kid has DJ dance music and dance performances, aerial acts, and it promises a special guest in the Melody Ballroom.

New Year’s Eve ball

December 31, 2016

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.

New Year’s Eve comedy

December 31, 2016

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.

Marijuana event

December 2016 (undated)

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+).

Speedo run

December 2016 (undated)

1.1 miles NW

A ticket to Portland Santa Speedo Run includes four drink tickets, food, and a two-mile run/walk in your underwear or festive attire for charity, age 21+.

Masquerade dance party

December 2016 (undated)

1.2 miles east

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

Winter ball

December 2016 (undated)

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.

Cider festival

December 2016 (undated)

1.8 miles east

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

Holiday aerial show

December 2016 (undated)

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.

Bluegrass holiday show

December 2016 (undated)

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.

Art fair

December 2016 (undated)

5 miles south

Artful Gift Sale is at Multnomah Arts Center. Free.

Winter beer festival

December 2016 (undated)

9 miles north

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

Green gift show

December 2016 (undated)

10 miles north

Shop for green gifts from 60 vendors at Check ‘Em Off Green at Marshall Community Center, Vancouver.
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© December 2016 calendar of events in Portland, OR: Christmas, holidays, New Year’s Eve parties, festivals, things to do in Portland, Oregon. pdx-12