The holiday season is officially here! Portland is transforming into a winter wonderland. The Rose City has many magical holiday light displays. Whether you want to walk through stunning displays 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.
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Best Holiday Light Displays in Portland
November 24, 2023-January 7, 2024 (closed Christmas Day)
The Oregon Zoo’s special holiday attraction lets you walk on the wild side of a holiday celebration. Zoo Lights features more than 1.5 million lights and gives visitors a whole new zoo experience.
As you walk along the forested pathways, pass through tunnels of sparkling lights, see colorful animal displays, take a ride on the zoo train or carousel, and marvel at the zoo’s biggest ever light display. View event details and ticket information.
November 24-December 31, 2023 (Open Christmas Eve and Day, and New Year’s Eve and Day!)
Every holiday season, Portland International Raceway transforms its track into the largest light show West of the Mississippi. View more than 250 light displays and animated scenes at this drive through holiday attraction.
The Bike the Light Nights and Lights & Leashes Nights are taking place on select nights. Tickets are on sale now.
November 24-December 31, 2023
The annual event illuminates a Merry Christmas with a life-size nativity, thousands of lights and the tallest decorated Christmas tree in Southeast Portland. The display can be viewed from the public streets outside the property.
This year, the display is opening its gates on December 9 and 10 for a free family event.
Lights will be on from dusk to dawn. Christmas music will play from 4:30 to 9 p.m. every evening. This light display is free to view. Check out the info on this year’s Christmas on the Campground.
November 24-December 30, 2023 (closed Christmas Day)
In Northeast Portland, there’s a sanctuary nestled among a tranquil forest: The Grotto. During the holidays, The Grotto transforms into the 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 and peruse the gift shop.
For me, this is the most peaceful light display. I recommend slowing down and really taking in the walk through the woods illuminated by beautiful lights. Tickets are on sale now.
December 15-31, 2023
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 cutouts of Santa, the Grinch, Jack Skellington (my favorite) and a plethora of other colorful characters.
This event is free to visit. This year, Peacock Lane will have designated car-free nights on December 15, 16 and 17.
December 1-17, 2023, select days
Did you know this has been a Portland tradition for 69 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 for free.
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.
Holiday Light Displays Outside Portland
December 1-December 30, 2023, select days
Clackamas County Winter Fair features a walk through holiday light display, holiday market and visits with Santa surrounded by the sights and sounds of Christmas.
See more than 200,000 of sparkling lights as you walk along a one-and-a-half mile path at Clackamas County Winter Fair. Tickets are on sale now.
December 5-30, 2023 (Closed Christmas Day)
Lightopia, Hillsboro’s free drive-through light display, invites you to enjoy the twinkle of the award-winning event this December. The illuminated journey features an awe-inspiring number of lights and light vignettes ranging from funny to dazzling.
This event is free, but you do need to register in advance.
December 2, 2023-January 2, 2024
Every year, Sandy’s crown jewel park transforms into a magical holiday experience. Visit the holiday lights at Meinig Park this season every night from 4 to 9 p.m. This year, there are five special events happening on select nights.
View the full schedule for the Holiday Lights at Meinig Park.
November 17-December 31, 2023 (Closed November 22-23 and December 24-25)
Stroll along a one-way path draped in one million lights. The light displays range from immersive storybook creations to magical lit paths with trees full of brilliant lights. Along the route is a traditional German Christmas Market with handmade gifts.
This event takes place at the Oregon Garden Resort. Get your tickets.
Looking for more holiday events in Portland? Here’s a full list: