7 fun things to do in Portland this December to get into the holiday spirit

Dec 4 2019, 8:00 am

Christmas is coming Portlanders, and while it’s the “most wonderful time of the year” (we can hear Andy Williams’ rich baritone already), it’s not always easy to get into the spirit of Christmas when the dreary work week and other endless life obligations have you down.

However, fear not. We have put together a list of exciting activities that you can do as 2019 slowly draws to a close, and as Christmas nears, to get you out of your slump and into the holiday spirit.

Here are seven super fun things you can do this December with your friends and loved ones to get into the holiday spirit! You won’t regret this.

Portland Night Market


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This free event is sure to get you into the holiday spirit. The Portland Night Market features some of the city’s best vendors, creators, and artists. This bimonthly event will have a special holiday twist between December 5 and December 8, and is sure to put even the most hopeless Scrooge into Christmas spirit.

When: December 5 to 8, 2019
Where: 100 SE Alder Street, Portland
Time: 4 pm Р11 pm
Cost: Free!

Portland’s Holiday Ale Festival


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Christmas trees, glowing gas heaters, and delicious beers? What could be more in the spirit of the holidays than the combination of those three things? This cozy event, which features more than 50 breweries this year, will be taking place at Pioneer Courthouse Square overlooking the city lights.

When: December 4 to 8, 2019
Where: Pioneer Courthouse Square, 715 SW Morrison Street, Portland
Time: 11 am Р9 pm Wednesday to Saturday, and 11 am to 5 pm on Sunday
Cost: Advanced tickets are $40, available online

The 2019 Yule Ball


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Do you love Harry Potter? Because if you do, the 2019 Yule Ball is going to blow you off your brooms. The Harry Potter-inspired ball will feature ballroom music and entertainment at The Melody Event Centre. There will also be a multi-course feast inspired by different themes in the Harry Potter series. So grab your best witch robes and wands, and get ready to enjoy the most magical night of your life.

When: December 14, 2019
Where: The Melody Event Center, 615 SE Alder Street,
Time: Doors open at 7:30 pm
Cost: $37.74 with service fee, available online

Winter Wonderland Portland


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The Winter Wonderland Festival is the largest light festival in the Northwest, and features the most beautiful and dazzling drive-through light show in Portland with over 250 lights and animated light displays.

When:¬†November 29, 2019 ‚Äď January 4, 2020
Where: 1940 N Victory Boulevard, Portland
Time:¬†Sunday to Thursday from 5:30 pm ‚Äď 9:30 pm, and ¬†Friday to Saturday from 5 pm ‚Äď 11 pm
Cost: Prices vary, available online

Oregon Ballet Theatre: The Nutcracker


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Any celebration of the holidays is incomplete without The Nutcracker. This year, Oregon Ballet Theatre will be showcasing George Balanchine’s rendition of The Nutcracker. You’ll be whisked to the world of dreamy magic with “swirling snowflakes, glorious scenery, and lavish costumes”.

When: December 7 to 26, 2019
Where: 222 SW Clay Street, Portland
Time: For a full list of times, check this 
Cost: Prices vary, available online

ZooLights at Oregon Zoo


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ZooLights at Oregon Zoo has something for everybody. The zoo’s adorable and majestic animals are not the only attraction anymore; the zoo is transformed into paradise with 1.5 million twinkling lights. You can also get delicious hot drinks and food from local food carts, and enjoy a ride on the lighted carousel.

When: November 29, 2019 to January 5, 2020
Where: 4001 SW Canyon Road, Portland
Time: 5 pm to 9 pm
Cost: Prices vary depending on the date, available online

The Grotto’s Christmas Festival of Lights


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The Grotto’s Christmas Festival of Lights “is the largest Christmas choral festival in the world.” The festival will feature more than 160 concerts, puppet shows, as well as a live petting zoo, as well as beverages and food. Cute seasonal gifts and souvenirs will be also available at The Grotto Gift Shop.

When: November 29 to December 30
Where: 8840 NE Skidmore Street, Portland
Time: 5 pm to 9:30 pm
Cost: Tickets will be sold at the date. General Admission Tickets are $12.50, available online