Plan the Perfect Holiday in Portland

Discover the magic of Portland holidays. From festivals to special events and performances, experience the best this season has to offer when you stay at The Hotel Zags. Plan your perfect holiday vacation with our guide to the top ten Portland holiday events. 

The Nutcracker at The Oregon Ballet Theater

A timeless holiday tradition, George Balachine’s The Nutcracker returns to the Oregon Ballet Theater for its 17th-annual production. Performances run from December 7-26 with both matinee and evening shows.

The Holiday Ale Festival

Sip and sample your way through some of Portland’s most delicious beers and ciders at the 24th-annual Holiday Ale Festival. From December 4-8, ticket holders can enjoy a selection of more than 50 different beers and ciders under the cover of a clear top tent. 

Pittock Mansion Christmas Decorations

Among Portland’s most stunning destinations, Pittock Mansion goes all out for the holiday season. Each year, they come up with a new theme to decorate the wintry grounds with beautiful holiday decorations. Tickets for this event sell fast — be sure to book in advance.

The Grotto’s Christmas Festival of Lights

From November 29 – December 30, The Grotto will host their musical holiday celebration, the Festival of Lights. The festival features more than 160 indoor holiday concerts performed by school, church, and civic choirs. 


No holiday in Portland is complete without a visit to the dazzling ZooLights festival. This shining display features more than 1.5 million lights spread throughout the animal exhibits. There will also be a lighted train and carousel, hot drinks, and food carts. The festival runs from November 29 – January 5. 

Portland Christmas Bazaar

Billed as “America’s Largest Christmas Bazaar,” the Christmas Bazaar Portland draws thousands every year and features Santa’s Village and an array of curated handcrafted goods — including ornaments, jewelry, and baked goods.

Christmas Fantasy Trail

During the month of December, enjoy a stroll along the Christmas Fantasy Trail. Decorated with thousands of lights, this festive celebration features various Christmas scenes, a maze, and bonfires. 

Christmas Ship Parade

Returning for its 65th season, the Christmas Ship Parade will once again light up the Columbia and Willamette Rivers. For 15 nights from December 5-22, hundreds of boats decked out in dazzling holiday lights will sail along our city’s rivers, making for a one-of-a-kind experience.

The Holiday Express

The perfect family activity during the holiday season, the Holiday Express offers a rare opportunity to hop aboard vintage rail cars with Santa and his elves. On the ride, you’ll pass along the Willamette River through the heart of the city.

Holiday Run 

Get in the holiday spirit at Portland’s largest winter marathon, the Daimler Holiday Half & 10 Miler race. The race starts and ends on Swan Island and will feature carolers and cookies along the course.