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Are you ready to find the best places to see Christmas lights in Portland? Portland (and the entire Pacific Northwest) is a popular place during the holidays and for good reason! There are countless light shows and special events for the holidays and you can almost fill every night with something new to explore! Below we have created a list for you of wonderful holiday events and light displays for you to see! Most of these displays go through New Year’s Eve or later so you have plenty of time this holiday season to check them out!
Whether your goal is to simply go to see the best Christmas lights, visit a holiday market, find a place to see Santa Claus, or just spend some quality family time together, all of the places we have listed below will be great for you and your family to visit during the holiday season!
Best Places to See Christmas Lights in Portland
Portland, Oregon is known for its festive holiday spirit and stunning Christmas light displays. Here are some of the best places to see Christmas lights in Portland:
The Grotto’s Festival of Lights: The Grotto, a beautiful Catholic sanctuary, hosts an annual Festival of Lights. You can stroll along the paths adorned with over 150,000 lights, nativity scenes, and a life-size replica of Bethlehem. There are also choral performances to enhance the holiday ambiance.
Located in Southeast Portland, Peacock Lane is a street renowned for its extravagant Christmas light displays. When talking about holiday lights in the Pacific Northwest, you’ll almost always hear SE Peacock Lane brought into the conversation. The entire neighborhood participates, and the houses are adorned with colorful lights, decorations, and festive themes. The lights are usually on from mid-December through December 31st.
Check out the Peacock Lane website for specific visitor information.
Winter Wonderland at Portland International Raceway
Head to the Portland International Raceway for what is said to be the “largest holiday light show west of the Mississippi.” Winter Wonderland is a drive-through light display at Portland International Raceway. You can drive your vehicle through a mile-long route featuring over 250 colorful light displays, including animated scenes and holiday characters. This holiday drive-through experience is a favorite amongst locals!
Check out the Winter Wonderland at PIR website for general admission and other pricing information.
During the holiday season, the Oregon Zoo transforms into a magical winter wonderland with ZooLights. Enjoy a walk-through or train ride experience as you marvel at the dazzling light displays of animals, trees, and iconic landmarks. Warm up with hot cocoa and ride the carousel for added fun.
Check out the Oregon Zoolights website for specific information.
The Christmas Ships Parade
A beloved Portland tradition, the Christmas Ship Parade takes place along the Willamette and Columbia Rivers. Boats are adorned with lights, decorations, and festive displays as they sail along the waterways. You can watch from various locations along the riverbank or even book a dinner cruise for an up-close experience. In addition to the boats, the parade also features live music and carolers. Many of the participating boats have their own choirs or musicians on board, who serenade the crowds on the shore with holiday tunes. The parade culminates with a grand finale on Christmas Eve, featuring the entire fleet of decorated boats sailing together in a spectacular display of holiday spirit. The Portland Christmas Ship Parade is a unique way to celebrate the holiday season and is a favorite event for locals and visitors alike.
Check out the Christmas Ships Parade website for more info.
The Pittock Mansion
Located in the West Hills of Portland, the Pittock Mansion offers stunning panoramic views of the city and becomes even more enchanting during the holiday season. The mansion is decorated with thousands of lights, creating a magical atmosphere. Take a tour inside to see beautifully adorned rooms and learn about Portland’s history.
Outside of the holiday season, the Pittock Mansion is a historic landmark that is open for tours for the public to see. It is owned by the city of Portland and has been featured in several well-known movies and television shows.
Check out the Pittock Mansion website for more information.
The Miracle of a Million Lights at the Victorian Belle
The Victorian Belle mansion, a historic event venue, hosts a spectacular holiday display called “The Miracle of a Million Lights.” The historical home (built in 1884) is adorned with over a million lights, transforming it into a glittering wonderland. You can take a self-guided tour to explore the beautifully decorated rooms and outdoor displays.
Check out the Victorian Belle website here.
Silverton Christmas Market
The Silverton Christmas Market at the Oregon Garden Resort is a great light display that offers a unique experience complete with fire pits, an authentic Christmas market, and a walk-through Christmas light display that provides you with awesome Instagram-worthy photo opportunities. Also worth noting, this event used to be known as “Christmas in the Garden” but has since changed names. We have talked about this dazzling display before (check it out here).
Check out the Silverton Christmas Market website for more information.
Pastega Christmas Light Display
Although it’s a bit of a drive from the Portland area, the Pastega Light Display is worth the trip! OSU fans will love to take a quick trip to Corvallis to view the Pastega Christmas Light Display located at the Benton County Fairgrounds. This light display is my family’s favorite holiday light display to visit. It’s a drive-through display where you’ll find lots of characters, great Christmas music, and even volunteers collecting food for the local food bank! We love helping out our neighbors and Corvallis is a favorite town of ours to visit. The Pastega lights have been a holiday tradition for us since the first year our oldest even knew what Christmas lights were.
Check out their website here for date and time info.
Happy holidays for our family don’t mean expensive gifts or far-away travel, for us it means spending time together and visiting some of our favorite holiday spots, including all of the places on this list.
More Events and Best Places to See Christmas Lights in Portland and Surrounding Areas
For more great Christmas events and places to be during the holidays in the area, check out the following posts: