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.

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

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 food vendors at Pioneer Courthouse Square for age 21+. No smoking or pets.

Holiday concert

December 1 - 4, 2016 (begins Nov. 25)

0.6 miles south

Portland’s Singing Christmas Tree holds a 300-voice choir singing holiday songs, and they’re joined by dancers, a cinematic Nativity, and Santa at Keller Auditorium.

Nativities in Beaverton

December 2 - 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.

Beatles circus spectacular

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.

Holiday comedies

December 1 - 24, 2016

multiple locations

  • Dec. 1 - 24 - Santaland Diaries is a cult classic comedy for adults about a department store elf at Gerding Theater.
  • Dec. 2 - 17 - Comfort and Joy is a fast-paced comedy about a gay couple with visiting relatives at Twilight Theater Company.
  • Dec. 8 - 23 - In the comedy A Tuna Christmas, two guys play the 22 citizens of tiny Tuna, Texas at Winningstad Theatre.

Holiday songs in harmony

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.

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.

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.


Dec. 1, 2016 - Jan. 1, 2017 (also Nov.)

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, 2016 - Jan. 1, 2017 (also Nov.)

43 miles south

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

Holiday home tour

December 2, 2016 (10 a.m. & 6 p.m.)

5.4 miles SE

With a ticket to the Duniway Holiday Home Tour & Boutique, you can visit six classic homes decorated for the holidays, with a free trolley that connects them all, an art fair, and live music in the evening.

Hood River parade

December 2, 2016

62 miles east

Hood River Holidays kicks off with a parade at 6 p.m. on Oak Street, followed by carolers and a tree lighting at Overlook Memorial Park at 7 p.m. Free.

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.

Japanese film festival

December 2 - 11, 2016

0.5 miles SW

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

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.

Hood River train ride

December 2 - 28, 2016 (begins Nov. 18)

63 miles east

Take a 75-minute train ride along the Columbia River as you drink cocoa with cookies and hear music on the Polar Express, with a visit from Santa and his elves.

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.

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.

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.

Beer & wood market

December 3, 2016 (11 a.m. to 8 p.m.)

1.9 miles SE

Shop for gifts made from wood, drink beer aged in wood, and eat wood-fired pizza at The WoodWorker Holiday Market at Baerlic Brewing. All ages are OK.

Holiday bazaar

December 3, 2016 (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

7 miles SW

Garden Home Holiday Bazaar has a morning breakfast, an afternoon wine tasting, and 100 local art and craft vendors with holiday music all day at Garden Home Recreation Center. Free except breakfast.

Green gift show

December 3, 2016 (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.)

10 miles north

Shop for green gifts from 60 vendors at Evergreen Gift Market at Marshall Community Center in Vancouver.

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.

Cat show

December 3 - 4, 2016

1.8 miles NE

See 200 cats and 30 breeds at the Lewis & Clark Cat Show at DoubleTree Hotel at the Lloyd Center.

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.

Free holiday concert

December 4, 2016 (2 to 5 p.m.)

8.2 miles SE

The first hour, wander the grounds of Gray Gables Estate, visit “a rustic hot cocoa bar,” hear Dickens carolers, and pet adoptable animals. A 3 p.m. Dignity Memorial Holiday Concert in the ballroom features Michael Allen Harrison and the Parkrose Choir. Free.

Free Christmas concert

December 4, 2016 (4 to 6 p.m.)

8.7 miles east

Sunnyside Symphony performs its Christmas Concert with holiday music and featuring two sopranos at Sunnyside Seventh-day Adventist Church. Free.

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

8 miles south

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

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.

Holidays at a historic home

December 8 - 11 and 15 - 18, 2016

2.6 miles SW

Winterville is a new event featuring student choirs, a winter beer and cider garden, food and craft vendors, children’s craft making, free photos with Santa for children, and tours of decorated Zimmerman House.

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.

Winter beer festival

December 9 - 10, 2016

9 miles north

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

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 Expo has exhibitors, an organic food court, sustainable beer and wine garden, kids’ eco-fun zone, and yoga pavilion at Oregon Convention Center.

Beer festival

December 9 - 11, 2016

7.5 miles NW

Try 20 winter beers and IPAs with food for sale at the St. Johns Winter Beer Fest at 8608 N Lombard Street in St. Johns for age 21+. Free entry.

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).

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.

Family theater

December 10, 2016 (noon)

1.3 miles NE

La Belle: Lost in the World of the Automaton brings to life the timeless tale of “Beauty and the Beast” with puppetry, shadow theater, song, and dance at Imago Theatre.

Holiday bazaar

December 10, 2016

6 miles SE

Shop from 75+ local arts and craft vendors at the East Portland Holiday Bazaar at 8114 SE Division St. Free.

Wine tasting

December 10, 2016 (6:30 to 9:30 p.m.)

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

Holiday aerial show

December 10 - 11 and 17 - 18, 2016

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 10 - 23, 2016 (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 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.

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.

Adult party

December 12, 2016 (7 p.m.)

3.1 miles east

XXXmas Xtravaganza by BarFly features a naughty Santa, drink specials, Elvis, rousing choruses of Christmas carols, dreidel, and DJ music at Hawthorne Theater & Lounge for age 21+.

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.

Cider festival

December 16, 2016 (4 p.m.)

1.8 miles east

Taste local hard cider and hear live music during Ciderfest at the EastBurn for all ages until 9 p.m.

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.

Holiday cirque show

December 16 - 18, 2016 (8 p.m.)

4.7 miles NE

A Circus Carol is a spooky, edgy version of Charles Dickens’ story about Scrooge and Christmas ghosts 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.

Winter ball

December 17, 2016 (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 for age 21+. Sign into Facebook to see the Facebook page.

Christmas ships party

December 17, 2016 (5 to 8 p.m.)

6.4 miles SE

Winter Solstice & Christmas Ships Viewing Event includes bonfires, food for sale, a beer garden, and a view of the Christmas ships at Milwaukie Riverfront Park with a tent in case of rain. Free.

Christmas spectacular

December 22 - 24, 2016

0.2 miles SW

Cirque Dreams Holidaze features flying reindeer, jumping gingerbread men, rousing music, amazing costumes, and Santa at Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.

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.

Wizard of Oz

December 30, 2016 (noon)

1 mile NW

The Wizard of Oz takes you over the rainbow to a magical kingdom filled with munchkins, witches, flying monkeys, wizards, and timeless songs at Northwest Children's Theater and School.

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 swinging Big Band plus 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 are welcome on Jan. 1 at The Breathe Building. (Dec. 31 sold out.)

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 dusk-to-dawn

December 31, 2016

Portland locations

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

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 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, 2016

0.3 miles west

A ticket to The Governor’s Ball includes reserved seating (7 p.m.), a three-course 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 a 10K run at midnight from the World Trade Center Plaza. In 2016, there is also a 1.5-mile run/walk.

New Year’s Eve - Bollywood style

December 31, 2016 (9 p.m.)

1.2 miles SW

New Year’s Eve with DJ Anjali and the Incredible Kid has dance music and dance performances in two ballrooms on two levels at the Melody Ballroom for age 21+.

Bollywood New Year’s Eve

December 31, 2016 (8 p.m.)

3.1 miles east

Jai Ho! Bollywood New Year’s Eve is a DJ dance party with a dance lesson, dance performances, and Indian food for sale at Hawthorne Theater for age 21+.

New Year’s Eve concert

December 31, 2016 (9 p.m.)

4.7 miles NE

Spend New Years Eve hearing songs and stories by Art Alexakis of “Everclear” and Leigh Nash of “Sixpence None The Richer” at Alberta Rose Theatre. Must be 21 or have a parent or guardian.

New Year’s Eve comedy

December 31, 2016 (8 p.m.)

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 2016 calendar of events in Portland, OR: Christmas, holidays, New Year’s Eve parties, festivals, things to do in Portland, Oregon. pdx-12