Where to See Holiday Lights in the Portland Area

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Winter is here. Shorter days mean longer nights, and one unexpected bonus to that arrangement is that it means more hours to enjoy holiday lights. Whether it’s your neighbor’s yard or a multi-million light display, sparkly displays and joyful colors can bring cheer during this season. Here are six ways to enjoy holiday lights in the Portland region. Visit our map at the end of this post to plan your visit. Or, maybe go all out and hit up multiple spots (and grab some hot cocoa on the way!).

Archway of holiday lights as taken from inside a car

Silverton Christmas Market

Running from November 26 – Jan 9 (closed December 24 and 25), the Silverton Christmas Market is a full-on experience. More than one million lights are in their walkable display, and the event includes other holiday goodies such as Santa and Frosty, an authentic German Christmas Market, and a snowless tubing hill. Another very popular event, all tickets must be purchased in advance. Additionally, all on-site vendors are cashless this year, so be sure to have a debit or credit card on hand.

895 W. Main St.
Silverton OR 97381

Tigard Walks! 2021 Holiday Lights

The City of Tigard invites you to enjoy visiting festively-lighted homes along Christmas Card Lane and a handful of nearby streets by car or on foot from December 3-30. Start at Primo Espresso, where you can redeem your ticket for a free cookie and cocoa. View a map of the participating streets online or download a PDF here.

Primo Espresso
15981 SW Hall Blvd
Tigard OR 97224

Zoolights at the Oregon Zoo

After the impressive switch last year to a car-based Zoolights experience, the 2021 edition is now offered in both an on-foot or by-car option. Because of the popularity of the event, reservations are required and often sell out. For everyone’s safety, admissions are based on time slots, so plan accordingly! 

Zoolights runs November 19 – January 9 and is closed on December 25. Reserve your spot here.

4001 SW Canyon Rd Portland OR 97221

Christmas Ships

While not your typical holiday lights opportunity, the Christmas Ships present a particularly Portland way to enjoy the season. Decorated ships lit up with festive lights and holiday decor cruise along the Columbia and Williamette rivers and published schedules, bringing the experience to Portland-area families at various viewing locations. The website outlines more about which ships are anticipated on each day, and they provide prime spots to make the most of your adventure with detailed maps of the ships’ routes. 

Multiple viewing spots; see website for details.

Winter Wonderland at Portland International Raceway

Claiming to be “the largest show in the Northwest,” Portland International Raceway’s Winter Wonderland spans the track of the raceway for a drive-thru adventure of festive lights. Their 250+ animated displays are an annual hit, sometimes drawing in large crowds. Saturdays have the longest wait times; organizers encourage you to plan ahead and see if you can make one of the Mon-Thu 5:00-10:00pm options. The first hour, according to their website, is best, with little to no wait time.

1940 N Victory Blvd
Portland OR 97217

Neighborhood Cheer Maps

NextDoor has created the ability for neighbors to list their homes on a “Cheer Map,” indicating they have holiday lights or displays for others to enjoy. If you belong to NextDoor, log in to see homes listed in your area. Individual details are sparse, but a quick look at your neighborhood map can give you a good idea which way to head out on foot or by car. Plus, if you have an awesome display, list your home for your neighbors to admire!

Various neighborhoods

Did We Miss Your Favorite Holiday Lights?

Where do you go to enjoy holiday light displays? Did we miss a great local spot? Let us know in the comments!

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Lee Ann moved to Portland in 2008 following an eight-year stint in Paris, France, where her eldest was born. Though she thought nowhere could compete with the City of Lights, the City of Roses immediately stole her heart. As a great place to raise kids, she loves getting out and exploring the city and the PNW with her husband and four young children. While in France, Lee Ann earned a B.A. in Journalism and a Master's in Linguistics at the American University of Paris and L'Universite de Paris - La Sorbonne, respectively, before returning stateside to become a Speech-Language Pathologist through the Portland State University graduate program. Throughout her studies, she kept one foot in the digital world, writing content for publications and creating websites for clients. After many years as a medical Speech Pathologist, she left to the field to continue freelance writing, become the owner of Portland Mom Collective (!), and to create a crafting/workshop space for PDX makers. She likes to spend whatever "me" time she can muster making soap, geocaching, jogging, sewing, and staring at the wall with no small humans talking to her. Get in touch by sending a note to leeann {at} portlandmomcollective {dot} com, or follow her on Instagram.

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