Christmas Day in Portland is one of my all-time favorite days of the year. The streets are quiet. There’s no traffic. It is almost like the whole city is put on pause. Take advantage of this rare sleepy Monday in Portland and check out one of these Christmas Day activities.
Whether you like to be indoors or outdoors during the holiday, you can find a Christmas activity that will get you out of the house and enjoying some of the best our beautiful city has to offer.
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Find your Christmas Day activities below and make some fun holiday memories with your loved ones.
What to Do in Portland on Christmas Day
Go to the Movies
I’ve gathered a list of independent Portland movie theaters open on Christmas Day. These 11 local theaters are showing new releases and Christmas classics on December 25. All of them have theater snacks and some offer full meals. View the full list of movie theaters.
Play bingo and attend an ugly sweater dance party at Kennedy School
Kennedy School invites you to bundle up and stop by on Christmas Day for some festive fun. The McMenamins location is hosting bingo, an ugly sweater dance party and holiday movies along with food and drink specials throughout the day.
Take a walk or drive down Peacock Lane
Nothing rings in the holiday spirit quite like visiting Portland’s Christmas street. Every December, a quiet street in southeast Portland transforms its charming homes into a holiday spectacular for all to enjoy. Each home on Peacock Lane takes on its own personality. Some stick to holiday tradition with nativity scenes and spiritual depictions, while others display incredible replicas of Santa, Frosty and all your favorite holiday characters.
Peacock Lane‘s lights will be on from 6-11 p.m. on Christmas Day. You can drive through or park nearby and walk through the street.
Watch the snowfall on Franklin Street
Franklin Street in Vancouver is known for going all out during the holidays. This year features 200,000 lights along with themed displays. On special nights, you can watch the snowfall on the hour.
Here’s the snowfall schedule:
- Sunday, December 24: Snow falls on the hour from 2-10 pm. There’s also a fire lit from 4 p.m. to midnight and Christmas Mass from 5 to 8 p.m. The light display will be on all night.
- Monday, December 25: Snow falls on the house from 2-10 p.m.
Holiday lights and music are on nightly from 5-10 p.m. through January 1.
Go on an urban hike
Get up early and start Christmas morning with a brisk adventure at one of Portland’s best urban hikes. It may be the best day of the year to visit. You won’t have to fight for parking or walk in a single file line along the trails.
I recommend the Lower Macleay Park hike, which passes by the Witch’s Castle and ends at the Pittock Mansion.
Go to PIR’s Winter Wonderland
Portland International Raceway transforms into the largest light show in the Northwest. At Winter Wonderland, view more than 250 colorful light displays and many fully animated scenes from the comfort of your vehicle.
The light show will be open on Christmas Day. Get your tickets today.
Drive by Christmas on the Campground
Take in the sights at Christmas on the Campground. The light display features life-size nativity, thousands of lights and the tallest decorated Christmas tree in Southeast Portland.
Lights will be on from dusk to dawn. Christmas music will play from 4:30 to 9 p.m.
View The Benson’s gingerbread masterpiece
For the 51st year, the historic Portland hotel has made a special gingerbread creation the centerpiece of its lobby. This year’s gingerbread masterpiece theme is Multnomah Falls.
Stroll through the holiday lights at Meinig Park
Every year, Sandy’s crown jewel park transforms into a magical holiday experience. Visit the holiday lights at Meinig Park this season.
The holiday light display is free to visit and the lights are on every night from 4 to 9 p.m. through January 2.
Sing Karaoke at Chopsticks
Dubbing itself Portland’s most favorite karaoke bar, Chopsticks on NE Sandy location is open seven days a week, 365 days a year. Karaoke starts at 8 p.m. Get a rice or noodle plate, fill up on some liquid courage and sing your heart out at this Portland treasure.
Go whale watching
I know this isn’t technically in Portland, but it is whale watching season on the Oregon Coast! Gray whales are making their migration south to the calving lagoons near Baja, Mexico. Take a spontaneous trip to one of 15 viewing locations along the coastline.
Get a bite to eat
Leave the stress of preparing a holiday feast behind by dining at one of these Portland restaurants. Locations across the city are hosting you and your loved ones on Christmas day.
Have breakfast at Black Bear Diner, brunch at Who Song & Larry’s or enjoy a fancy dinner at some of Portland’s best restaurants. Find your favorite Christmas dining location.