One of our favorite activities in the holiday season is just driving around and seeing the different Christmas light displays all over the city, especially now that they are slowly making a comeback this year (some were canceled again due to COVID). There is so much to do in December that it can seem like the fun is over in the blink of an eye so take a moment to enjoy these days and take a stroll around these locations.
Nothing gets our holiday spirit going like getting outside and perusing the breathtaking displays. Thankfully, there are many spots to catch twinkling lights in Oregon. Whether it’s a tradition to you as a Portland native or you’re new to the city – this is a great way of getting to know our neighborhoods – you will not regret facing the cold to catch this truly magical spectacle.
1. Christmas Festival of Lights in The Grotto
This is one of the displays that gets Portland on a few nationwide lists so it’s truly a must-see.
Dates: November 30th to December 30th (Closed on Christmas Day)
2. ZooLights at the Oregon Zoo
The Oregon Zoo is already a great place for a family outing with the kids, but stay late this month and you get to see the spectacle of ZooLights from 5 PM to 8 PM.
Dates: November 19th to January 9th
3. Christmas Ship Parade
A Portland Christmas tradition that began in 1954 with just one sailboat has grown to a fleet of more than 60 boats with bright displays in a parade that you can watch from bank to bank of the Willamette and Columbia rivers.
Dates: From December 3rd (5 PM to 8 PM)
4. PIR Winter Wonderland
Winter Wonderland has been a tradition for many since 1993. Enjoy a spectacular drive through a display that has been called “the largest Holiday Light Show West of the Mississippi.”
Dates: November 26th to January 1st
5. Peacock Lane Light Display
Most of us had a neighbor that did the most on Christmas with their lights display, Peacock Lane is a neighborhood full of those neighbors that have formed a tradition that dates back to the 1920’s. A true beauty that is better enjoyed taking a stroll across the neighborhood than driving around.
6. Beaverton Christmas lights
Come to our side of town and enjoy the beauty of the Beaverton Christmas lights! There are several displays, including Candy Cane Lane and The Grove at City Park, and the Round near City Hall.
Dates: December 4th – January 6th
7. Christmas Lights at Powerland
Watch Powerland’s beautiful lights from the comfort of your vehicle.
Date: December 10-12 (5 PM to 8 PM)
If you are looking for other fun things to do outside in Portland, check out our list of must-visit parks here