Portland events calendar for December 2014. Festivals, fun things to do, Christmas events, Christmas lights, Christmas ships, New Year’s Eve parties in Portland, OR.

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December 2014

Enjoy the best Portland events, festivals, and things to do in December 2014 with this calendar of events.

Events are listed by starting date, and all dates are confirmed. Mileage is from Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown Portland, Oregon.

Visit Santa Claus

December 1 - 24, 2014 (begins Nov. 28)

8 miles west

Find Santa at Cedar Hills Crossing in Beaverton.

Drive-through light show

Dec. 1 - 28, 2014 (begins Nov. 27)

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. 2 & 9.

Lights at the Grotto

Dec. 1 - 30, 2014 (begins Nov. 28)

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.


Dec. 1 - 31, 2014 (Nov. 28 - Jan. 4)

3 miles west

ZooLights uses one million LED lights to transform the Oregon Zoo into a winter wonderland of lighted trees, animal silhouettes, and moving sculptures. Closed Dec. 10, 24, 25.

Christmas lights trail

December 1 - 31, 2014 (begins Nov. 15)

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.

Christmas fantasy trail

Dec. 2 - 30, 2014

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.

Holiday Ale Festival

December 3 - 7, 2014

0 miles

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

Christmas play

December 3 - 28, 2014

3.5 miles NE

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

Romantic comedy

December 4 - 21, 2014 (begins Nov. 7)

9.2 miles south

See the 1963 musical comedy She Loves Me onstage at the Lakewood Center for the Arts.

Christmas in the Garden

December 4 - 21, 2014 (Thurs. to Sun.)

43 miles south

Christmas in the Garden features 300,000 lights, festive music, warm fires, a traditional Christmas market, and Santa at Oregon Garden in Silverton.

Fremont Holiday Fest

December 5, 2014

5 miles NE

Santa and Mrs. Claus ride down NE Fremont St. on a fire engine with sirens blaring to Santa’s Village during Fremont Holiday Fest, which includes a tree-lighting ceremony, music, and entertainment.

Christmas tree lighting

December 5 - 6, 2014 (Nov. 28 downtown)

Portland area

See a free tree-lighting ceremony with music.

Christmas tree festival

December 5 - 6, 2014 (gala Dec. 4)

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.

Craft fair

December 5 - 6, 2014

5 miles south

Artful Gift Sale is at Multnomah Arts Center. Free.

Christmas bazaar

Dec. 5 - 7, 2014 (also Nov. 28 - 30)

7 miles north

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

Toy swap

December 5 - 7, 2014 (presale Dec. 4)

8.5 miles SE

Buy or sell used toys and holiday clothes at Just Between Friends Toy Sale in Milwaukie. Free or prepay $5 to enter one hour early.

Japanese film festival

December 5 - 14, 2014

0.5 miles SW

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

Christmas train

Dec. 5-7 and 12-14, 2014 (begins Nov. 28)

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 7806 SE Oaks Park Way.

Christmas Ship Parade

December 5 - 21, 2014

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 5 - 24, 2014

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. 13 - 14.

Build a gingerbread house

December 6, 2014

1 mile SE

Build a gingerbread house to take home, decorate ornaments, watch a holiday movie, and get a photo with Santa Claus at Gingerbread Jamboree at OMSI.
December 2014

Scandinavian fair

December 6 - 7, 2014

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 6 & 20, 2014

Portland locations

Holiday improv

December 6 - 24, 2014

0.5 miles NW

Christmas Carol: Twist Your Dickens is a zany sendup of the holiday classic, based on audience suggestions, with adult humor at Gerding Theater.

Holiday bazaar

December 7, 2014

4 miles NE

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

Christmas concert

December 9, 2014

0.2 mile SW

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

Holiday marketplace

December 9 - 12, 2014

0 miles

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

Dinosaur show

December 10 - 14, 2014

1.4 miles NE

Watch 20 life-size dinosaurs moving and roaring on a prehistoric set with narrator and music when Walking with Dinosaurs invades Moda Center.

Film turned musical

December 11 - 28, 2014

0.3 miles SW

It’s a Wonderful Life, based on the 1946 film, tells how one man’s life makes a difference and touches so many others at the Brunish Theatre.

Christmas carols

December 12, 2014

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 12 - 14, 2014

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 12 - 14, 2014

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.

Winter beer festival

December 12 - 14, 2014

9 miles north

Sample winter beers from 35 breweries at Vancouver Winter Brewfest at Esther Short Park in Vancouver WA. Get tickets onsite since online sales have ended.

Tuba concert

December 13, 2014

0 miles

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

Masquerade dance party

December 13, 2014

1.3 miles east

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

Cider festival

December 13, 2014

1.8 miles east

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

Green gift show

December 13, 2014

10 miles north

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

Holiday craft show

December 13 - 14, 2014

1 mile NW

Shop from 250 creative artists and craft makers at the Crafty Wonderland Super Colossal Holiday Sale at the Oregon Convention Center. Repeats in May. Free.

Christmas at the mansion

December 13 - 23, 2014

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 13 - 27, 2014

0.6 miles south

The Nutcracker is a holiday classic with outstanding choreography at Keller Auditorium.

Champagne tasting

December 14, 2014

1.9 miles east

Taste 60 sparkling wines with oysters and popcorn at A Bubbly Spectacular at Pix Patisserie on Burnside. Best to buy tickets in advance.

Holiday run

December 14, 2014

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

December 15 - 31, 2014 (6 to 11 p.m.*)

3 miles east

See quaint houses adorned for Christmas at Lights on Peacock Lane. Free. (*until midnight Dec. 24 & 31)

Celtic Christmas

December 17, 2014

4.7 miles NE

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

Christmas show

December 18 - 23, 2014

0.5 miles south

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

Christmas Carol circus

December 19 - 21, 2015

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.

Holiday craft show

December 20, 2014

4 miles NE

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

Whale Watching Week

December 27 - 31, 2014

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.

New Year’s Eve restaurants

December 31, 2014

Portland locations

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

New Year’s Eve ball

December 31, 2014 (standing room)

0 miles

Portland’s Grand Ball features Hit Machine plus a magician, trapeze artists, appetizer buffet, and champagne toast at midnight at The Nines hotel.

New Year’s Eve gala

December 31, 2014

0.1 mile

Count down to the New Year at the spectacular Champagne Ball, which has four room themes, three 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, 2014

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 run/walk

December 31, 2014

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, 2014

1.2 miles east

New Year’s Eve with Anjalie and the Kid has DJ dance music, aerial acts, a dance performance, and a guest marching band in the elegant Bossanova Ballroom.

New Year’s Eve - rock

December 31, 2014 (online sales ended)

1.5 miles east

Rock out with the cover songs and guest singers of Weinland’s NYE Supergroup at the Doug Fir Lounge.

New Year’s Eve - soft rock

December 31, 2014 (7:30 or 10:30 p.m.)

1.5 miles SE

Tony Starlight sings with his band at the New Year’s Seventies Soft Rockin’ Eve at Tony Starlight Showroom. Some tickets include dinner or dessert.

New Year’s Eve concert

December 31, 2014

2.2 miles SE

Hot Tuna Acoustic plays at the Aladdin Theater, with champagne at midnight. Minors can attend with adult.

New Year’s Eve comedy

December 31, 2014 (sold out)

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.

New Year’s Eve party bus

December 31, 2014 (sold out)

Mysterious locations

Catch Shanghai Portland’s New Year’s Eve Party on Wheels bus to six mystery bars and venues.

New Year’s Eve dusk-to-dawn

December 31, 2014

Portland locations

McMenamins’ New Year’s Eve Packages include dinner, party, champagne, hotel room, and breakfast. (Although overnight packages are now sold out, most locations welcome you to their parties.)

New Year’s Eve party

Dec. 31, 2014 (sold out) & Jan. 1, 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+. Separate celebration on Jan. 1 is not sold out.
Next month:January 2015

December 2014 calendar of events in Portland, OR: Christmas, holidays, New Year’s Eve parties, festivals, things to do in Portland, Oregon.   steve.davis@events12.com