For all my local friends, here are a few family friendly local Christmas events that take place in the Vancouver/Portland metro area. I sure love the holidays and all the fun activities to participate in! I would not recommend trying to hit everything, as that might just overwhelm or make your holidays more stressful. Pick one or two and strengthen family relationships by attending together!
Tuba Christmas – This fun event consists of nearly 200 tubas playing Christmas carols. It is a free concert that is so fun for the entire family, as watchers are encouraged to participate by singing along. Performed in the heart of downtown Portland at Pioneer Courthouse Square, Tuba Christmas is a fun break from Christmas shopping. Stop by the Square on December 13th between 1:30 and 3:00 pm to hear the festive tubas.
Kazoo Christmas – Kazoo Christmas is a holiday fundraising event in Portland that is free for all to attend and enjoy. A kazoo choir plays Christmas music while onlookers can join in by purchasing a kazoo to benefit Portland’s own Kinship House. The kazoo concert will take place at the Bridgeport Village Gazebo in Tigard, Oregon, from 2:00 to 4:00 pm on December 13th.
Macy’s Holiday Parade – Keep this in mind for next year! It takes place the day after Thanksgiving in downtown Portland. We attended this year and had a wonderful time! Every holiday season must start off with a parade! Portland’s Macy’s Parade is filled with marching bands, horses, and many floats. People line the streets for this fun event.
Singing Christmas Tree – For thirty-six years the Singing Christmas Tree has been a Vancouver tradition. This elaborate musical production combines a festival choir, handbells, children, drama, dance, and special effects, drawing on the talents of hundreds in their congregation. December 12-14, Vancouver, WA.
Journey to Bethlehem – A wonderful living walk through of Bethlehem and the nativity! See the shepherds, experience the townspeople buying and selling goods, tax collectors, and all! Very authentic outdoor event. Be prepared for a wait as this event is pretty popular! December 11-14. Kelso, WA
Christmas Ship Parade -The Christmas Ship Fleet averages about 55 to 60 boats between the two Columbia and Willamette River fleets. Both fleets will be out every night for two weeks beginning December 10, 2008 and running through December 21, 2008. The fleet will do a special performance in Camas, WA on Dec. 6th.
SMALL FEE EVENTS
The Grotto Festival of Lights – The Grotto, a 62-acre Catholic Shrine and botanical garden in Portland, puts on a fantastic and moving Christmas Festival of Lights each year. Hear wonderful acoustics in the cathedral as various groups sing or play through each day of the event. Walk through the retelling of the Christmas story in the lighted gardens. This is one of our family favorite Christmas activities! Runs throughout the month of December.
Zoolights at the Oregon Zoo-Every holiday season the Oregon Zoo becomes a Christmas wonderland of colorful lights and decorations. November 29-December 28, 5-8 pm.