Electric Avenues: Holiday Light Displays That Really Shine

Lighted trees and walkways are part of this Portland Christmas lights display at the Grotto

When it comes to the best Christmas lights Portland has to offer, these displays are totally lit

The City of Roses should be renamed the City of Lights during the holidays, as far as we’re concerned. Starting right after you finish up Thanksgiving dinner, running throughout the month of December, Portland is ablaze with fun and unique light displays that will brighten up anyone’s day. So after you’ve picked out the perfect tree for the season, fill your thermos with hot chocolate (maybe a hot toddy for the parents), bundle up the kids, and check out these holiday light displays that will brighten your season.


Videos From Tinybeans


Portland International Raceway Christmas Lights – Winter Wonderland

If you’re looking for drive-thru Christmas lights in Portland, head down to the Portland International Raceway for a one-of-a-kind holiday experience.  Recognized throughout the Pacific Northwest as the “Largest Holiday Light Show West of the Mississippi,” the 30th annual Safeway Winter Wonderland is unlike any light show you’ve ever seen. Spectators become part of the show as they drive through the track, taking in more than 250 set pieces and animated displays along the course. Plus, all proceeds from the event will benefit Sunshine Division’s year-round hunger relief efforts.

Good to Know: Tickets range from $48 – $155 depending on vehicle size

Dates: Nov. 25-Dec. 31, 2022

1940 N. Victory Blvd.
Portland
Online: winterwonderlandportland.com

Related: Our Top Spots for Local Holiday Shopping in Portland

a lighted train runs through the Oregon Zoo during Portland Christmas lights season
courtesy Oregon Zoo

Oregon Zoolights

‘Tis the season to check out one of Portland’s most popular light experiences:  ZooLights at, you guessed it, the Oregon Zoo. This larger-than-life display has more than a million and a half lights, plus all your favorite animals, too! You can take it all in two ways: on a classic walk through the grounds or from the comfort of your car during their drive-through experience.

Good to Know: All tickets are timed-entry and must be purchased in advance online. They range from $21-$29, and drive-thru tickets are $65. Remember, Zoo members receive discounted admission.

Dates: Nov. 23, 2022-Jan. 5, 2023 (Closed on Christmas Day)

4001 S.W. Canyon Rd.
Portland
Event details

Related: All Aboard! Holiday Train Rides to Book Now

a lighted reindeer atop a Portland Christmas ship for the lighted boat parade
christmasships.org

Christmas Ships Parade

The Christmas ships are coming! A fleet of ships have sailed down the Willamette and Columbia Rivers every year for 67 years. Grab a perch with a view (restaurants along the route book up quick), pack your thermos and blankets, and watch the floating lights go by. This is a great parade, and the best part is, you can catch it almost every night in December for free. Be sure to check online for when they’ll be closest to you, as the route changes. It’s the perfect winter evening activity for tiny boat enthusiasts (and their parents).

Dates: Dec. 3-21, 2022

Related: Your Insider’s Guide to the Portland Christmas Ships Is Here

Lighted trees and walkways are part of this Portland Christmas lights display at the Grotto

Christmas Festival of Lights

The Grotto’s Christmas Festival of Lights features more than two million lights and is the largest Christmas choral festival in the world. Enjoy the amazing sounds of local schools, churches, and civic groups as you explore the beautiful property.  Concerts are scheduled each evening and families can also enjoy outdoor caroling, puppet shows, and storytimes. 

Good to Know: Kids 2 and under are free at this display.

Dates: Nov. 25-Dec. 30, 2022 (Closed Christmas Day)

8840 N.E. Skidmore St.
Portland
Online: thegrotto.org

Christmas on the Campground

Drive by or stroll through the Apostolic Faith Church’s campground to enjoy thousands of lights with the kids this year. The lights are on from dusk to dawn at this free display, and music plays at two different times throughout the night. In addition to the life-size nativity scene, the coolest part of the display is hands down the ginormous Christmas tree at the heart of the display. It’s the tallest in Southeast Portland, and it’s one reason to bring the kids to see this festive display. 

Dates: Nov. 25 – Dec. 31, 2022

5415 S.E. Duke St.
Portland
Online: christmasonthecampground.com

A mom and young daughter among Portland Christmas lights displays smiling
iStock

Lightopia – An Illuminated Journey

Add Lightopia in Hillsboro to your light tour this year.  Families can take in all the beautiful sights as you drive along a half-mile winter landscape. This free display is open for visitors on Sundays through Thursdays, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and on weekends until 10 p.m. One thing to note, you’ll need a reservation to drive through, so snag one while you can.

Dates: Dec. 3-31, 2022 (Closed Christmas Day)

Gordon Faber Recreation Complex (Hillsboro Stadium)
4450 N.E. Century Blvd.
Hillsboro, OR
Online: hillsboro-oregon.gov

Clackamas County Winter Fair

Head over to the Clackamas County Event Center for the 3rd Annual Winter Fair and Holiday Market. Not only can you enjoy more than 200,000 lights and scenes, but the kids can meet Santa while you check off people on your Christmas list. Admission to the experience is just $10 for adults and $5 for kids ages 3-12. Bring your 3 and unders for free.

Dates: Dec. 2-23, 2022

694 N.E. 4th Ave.
Canby, OR
Online: clackamascountyfair.com

Related: 9 Festival Christmas Tree Farms You’ll Want to Visit

Enjoy more Portland Christmas lights at these neighborhood displays

Take a stroll on Peacock Lane

One street you absolutely cannot skip is Peacock Lane—known as Portland’s Christmas Street. Located in S.E. Portland, each house on this little street has been taking Christmas cheer to the next level since 1932. From nativity scenes and rotating trees to re-enactments of your favorite holiday characters and movies, Peacock Lane continues to delight visitors from near and far. You can find this super sweet displays along S.E. Peacock Lane between SE Stark and Belmont Streets.

Insider Tip: Families can walk the display without car congestion on pedestrian-only nights. This year they’re scheduled for December 15-17.

Dates: Dec. 15-31, 2022
Times: 6-11 p.m.

Online: peacocklane.org

Visit Portland’s Most Festive Neighborhoods

Nearly anywhere you drive in Portland, you are likely to see stunning and creative light displays by local families. Holding true to our city’s reputation for creativity, you are guaranteed a bright and magical holiday when you live in the City of Roses. Don’t forget to pack some hot chocolate and candy canes, to add to the seasonal magic when you head out to one of Portland’s many neighborhood light displays. Pile everyone into the car and head to these neighborhoods to see some of the best home grown displays in town. Some of our favorite areas include the Pearl District, Downtown Portland, Alberta, and the Sellwood/Moreland area.

Advertisement

Trending Now


Advertisement
Welcome to our Tinybeans family!
Be sure to check your email for new activities, recipes and parenting hacks – and to see if you’ve won!

 

 

 

 

 

 

FALL FOR TINYBEANS!

Enter to Win a $250 Gift Card!

Enter your email and zip code below for a chance to win a Mastercard Gift Card. We’ll pick one winner per month through December 31, 2022 – 9 lucky winners in all!

I agree to the official rules and to receive email communications from Tinybeans. By providing my email address, I agree to the Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.