Magical holiday light displays in the Rose City
The holiday season is officially here! Portland is transforming into a magical winter wonderland. Below are the seven of the best Portland holiday light displays. Whether you want to tour a historic Victorian mansion or see the rivers come to life with decorative ships, Portland has holiday lights for everyone.
Don’t forget to cruise through some of Portland’s neighborhoods for beautiful light displays. Laurelhurst, Westmoreland and Irvington neighborhoods have beautiful homes and awe-inspiring holiday decor.
Seven best Portland holiday light displays
November 29 – January 5 (closed Christmas Day) | Times vary
Adult $19.95 | Kid:(ages 3-11) $14.95
ZooLights lets you experience the Oregon Zoo like never before. As you walk around the zoo, you’ll see a dazzling display of more than 1.5 million lights.
You’ll be able to see some of your animal friends by visiting the elephant, mountain goat and other wildlife habitats. Photos will be available for the little ones every evening through Dec. 24. Tickets for the train are sold separately for $5.
This year, you can get ZooLights discount nights are offering $5 off admission on December 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, and 12.
You can get an additional $2 off admission when you buy tickets online (no processing fees!).
November 29 – December 30 (closed Christmas Day) | 5 – 9:30 p.m.
Adult: $12.50 | Kids: (3-12) $6.50
Along Sandy Blvd is a peaceful forest hidden away from the busy city, The Grotto. During the holidays, The Grotto transforms into a Festival of Lights. From sky high trees to small bushes, everything is adorned in twinkling lights.
While you’re there, light a rosary candle, swing by the chapel for a live chorus, peruse the gift shop and admire the cute critters in the petting zoo.
For me, this is the most peaceful light display. I recommend slowing down and really taking in the a walk through the woods illuminated by beautiful lights.
November 29 – January 4 (Open Christmas Eve and Day, and New Year’s Eve and Day!) | Sunday – Thursday, 5:30-9:30 p.m. and Friday – Saturday, 5- 11 p.m.
Tickets are sold by car. Price ranges from $20 to $25 depending on the night you visit.
This light show boasts the largest light show in the Northwest spanning the track at Portland International Raceway.
If you like to beat the crowds, the best time to visit is early December or during week nights.
If you’d like to save a little green, visit during the special event night for $7 tickets, such as Bike the Light Nights and Lights & Leashes Night.
December 5 – 22 | Times vary
The event is FREE.
Did you know this has been a Portland tradition for 65 years? The Christmas Ships make for such a fun night out on the town. You can see the ships from many different locations around Portland.
The ships run at specific locations each night. Make sure you check the schedule for the fleet ships on the Columbia and Willamette rivers.
My favorite spot to watch last year was under the St. Johns bridge. You can walk out onto the pedestrian dock and see the ships just a few yards away.
December 2 – 28 (Monday-Saturday | Closed Christmas Eve and Day) | 6 – 9 p.m.
Adult: $7 | Kid (12 and under) $6 cash only
Take a festive walk through a lighted, wooded wonderland decorated with thousands of holiday lights. a 40-foot castle features Christmas scenes along with a tunnel, maze, crooked house, suspension bridge and more.
When you’re done warm up around the bonfire, which will be burning every night.
December 8 – 28 (closed Christmas Eve and Day) | 6 – 10 p.m.
Adults $8 | Kids $5 (age limits not listed)
What could be more beautiful than a 1885 Victorian home dressed top to bottom in twinkly lights and tasteful holiday trimmings? The Victorian Belle is truly spectacular during the Miracle of a Million Lights.
On the outside, take in the dazzling lights on the home and throughout the courtyard. The gazebo features treats for purchase and fun displays. Inside a separate tent, holiday movies are playing on loop. The best part is you get the explore the home, which has every nook and cranny artfully displaying beautiful holiday decor.
This is one of my favorite stops. I usually plan for an after work visit during the week to beat the big crowds on the weekends.
December 15 – 31 | 6 – 11 p.m
This event is FREE.
Since 1932, each house on Peacock Lane has been going all out for the holiday season. The street is filled mostly by charming Tudor-style homes. Each house is adorned with not only beautiful sparkling lights, but also stunningly life-sized replicas of Santa, the Grinch, Jack Skellington (my favorite) and a plethora of other colorful characters.
Avoid the traffic and take the street by foot during pedestrian-only nights December 15, 16 and 17.
This is a very busy event every year. If you can handle it, I suggest moving with the sea of people and then doing a second loop to catch everything you may have missed.
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