November Guide to Family-Friendly Events in Portland



Día De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) (November 1)

The Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday where people remember, celebrate, and pray for loved ones who have died. The Tualatin Public Library is hosting a free, all-ages celebration with special crafts, games, and food in the library community room. Find more information here.

Little Ears Free Concert (November 1)

Come and see Penny Puppet Production perform The Princess and The Peanut (try saying that five times fast!). Kids will love this show, which will be held at The Old Church in downtown Portland.

Beyond Bizarre Ghost Tour (Every Thursday-Sunday except Thanksgiving)

Here’s one for the older kids: have you ever wanted to go ghost hunting in downtown Portland? Well, here’s your chance. Portland Walking Tours will lend you ghost hunting equipment while you and your family take a tour through some purportedly haunted spots. It’s definitely a unique experience! (The 7 p.m. tour is family-friendly, while the late show is adults-only.)

First Thursday at the Portland Art Museum (November 3)

Want to show your kids that there’s more to art than watercolor Pokémon? Bring them to the Portland Art Museum between 5-8 p.m. on this day and receive free admission.

First Friday at the Portland Children’s Museum (November 4)

Watch your kids have a blast at the Portland Children’s Museum, and keep your wallet happy, too. Admission is free from 4-8 p.m.

Goosebumps the Musical: Phantom of the Auditorium (November 5-6, 12-13, 19-20)

Come and see this world-premiere performance at the Newmark Theatre in Portland. The play features two friends who are excited to act in their school’s performance of The Phantom, until they find out the show is supposedly cursed!

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live! (November 7)

Mr. Rogers’s protégé Daniel Tiger is making his way to the Keller Auditorium to entertain all the little Portland neighbors. Don’t miss his “grr-ific” show that will be an interactive adventure into the world of make-believe.

Second Tuesday at the Oregon Zoo (November 8)

Enjoy a day at the Oregon Zoo for only $4 admission per person (ages 2 and under are free, as always). Bring proof of ridership on MAX light rail or TriMet bus and receive another $1.50 discount.

Frozen Fairy Tales Kids Concert (November 13)

Featuring songs focusing on all things cold and wintry (yes, ‘Let It Go’ is among them), the Oregon Symphony along with the Pacific Youth Choir and Dance West present a marvelous musical adventure. Sit back and relax at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall while your favorite winter music comes to life.

Young People’s Concert (November 19)

Presented by the Portland Baroque Orchestra, Young People’s Concerts are informational and interactive hour-long events meant to introduce kids to the world of Baroque orchestra music. This event takes place at First Baptist Church in downtown Portland.

Thanksgiving Running Races (November 24)

Columbia Bank/OORC Turkey Trot at the Oregon ZooNovember

This family-oriented, non-timed 4-mile run is held in Portland’s Washington Park and concludes inside the Oregon Zoo (you know, if you need that as a bribe encouragement to help your little ones to keep going) and includes three kids’ events. Approximately $25,000 of the entry fees from this event are donated to the Oregon Zoo.

Give n’ Gobble in Sherwood

If your spirit of thankfulness moves you to give back this Thanksgiving, bring your family to Sherwood on turkey day morning to participate in the 5k and 10k run/walk that benefits the Helping Hands Food Bank. They are also accepting donations of non-perishable food at the event. Families welcome!

Tofurkey Trot in Portland at Oaks Park

Want to participate in Thanksgiving day races but the thought of eating turkeys gives you the creeps? Try the Tofurkey Trot 5k, which is a fundraiser for local nonprofits that support a meat-free lifestyle. Start and finish are in the Oaks Park Dance Pavilion.

Turkeython at the Clackamas Town Center Mall

This turkey day 5k run/walk race is a charity event for OHSU/Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. They are also running a toy drive to benefit the children’s hospital and the Clackamas County Fire Department. Children ages 2-11 can run a 1/4 mile, non-timed race.

Hot Buttered Run in Vancouver (November 27)

Too busy feasting on Thanksgiving day? Check out the Hot Buttered Run in Vancouver the following Sunday at Esther Short Park. This event kicks off the Christmas season with activities for the whole family, including a half marathon, 12k, 5k, and Kids Kandy Kane race. Hot buttered rum served post-race for adults and hot chocolate for the kiddos.

NovemberMacy’s Holiday Parade (November 25)

Wait, doesn’t the Macy’s Parade take place in New York City? Well, yes, but Portland has one too! So if you ever wanted to see the big flying floats and enjoy some Thanksgiving entertainment, here’s your chance, right in downtown Portland. The event starts at 9 a.m. (We were unable to find an official website, but we hope one pops up before the event with more info.)

Portland’s Singing Christmas Tree (November 25-December 4)

The iconic Portland holiday show is back at the Keller Auditorium! Come with your whole family to see the 300-member choir sing songs while the Santas dance and the beautiful nativity is presented. Don’t miss this Portland Tradition!

The Holiday Express (November 25-December 18)

Do you have kids that are OBSESSED with trains? Even if they’re not, they’re sure to love riding in a holiday-decorated train car pulled by a real steam engine. The train runs along the Willamette River, and the trip takes about 40 minutes. There’s even a chance Santa himself will be there to greet your kids. Proceeds go to the Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation.

Winter Wonderland (November 25-December 25)

Get in your car and drive over to the Portland International Raceway, host to the Winter Wonderland holiday light show. A fundraiser for the Sunshine Division, this epic Portland holiday experience has amazed over two million people over 23 years. Enjoy the vast displays from the comfort of your vehicle!

Christmas Festival of Lights at the Grotto (November 25-December 30)

Hear the beautiful choral music, performed five times a day at the chapel of the Grotto, which is a national Catholic shrine. While you are there, stroll through the gardens, see the lights, watch puppet shows with the kids, pet live animals, and sing carols in a group.

Christmas in the Garden (November 25-January 1)

Christmas in the Garden is a holiday spectacular, featuring ice skating, a traditional German Christmas market, and a display of holiday lights in the Rediscovery Forest. Drink traditional German Christmas beverages while listening to carols and warming yourself by the fire at the Oregon Garden in Silverton.


ZooLights (November 25-January 1)

One of Portland’s most popular Christmas traditions, ZooLights at the Oregon Zoo appears for another year. Bring your kids to the zoo after 5 p.m. to see a beautiful display of over a million-and-a-half lights. Oregon zoo members receive free admission.


Christmas Tree Lighting in November

Pioneer Courthouse Square (November 25)november

Be there when the lights go on upon the 75 foot tall Christmas tree. It’s a decades-long tradition in the heart of downtown.

Lake Oswego (November 25)

The Lake Oswego Christmas Tree lighting is in its 52nd year, and is a celebration so big it encompasses two city parks! Santa will make an appearance on the Lake Oswego Fire Department firetruck.

Vancouver (November 25)

As part of the Festival of Trees, running November 25-27, the Vancouver Rotary sponsors an exciting Christmas tree lighting ceremony, with concerts both before and after the main event. The Festival goes on all weekend, with fun activities for the whole family. Best of all, the it’s free!

Hillsboro (November 26)

Join the community at the Tom Hughes Civic Center Plaza to see what Holly Days has to offer, including a tree lighting ceremony. Santa will be there visiting with children, and there will be crafts, holiday music, and a chance to explore the indoor playground as well.

Gresham (November 26)

The Spirit of Christmas celebration features Santa, hot chocolate, live music, a parade, and, you guessed it, a tree lighting ceremony. This free event takes place in historic downtown Gresham and culminates at the Christmas tree in the Arts Plaza.

Wilsonville (November 30)

This weeknight ceremony features cookies, hot cocoa, and performances by local school groups. The fun happens at Town Center Park starting at 5:30 p.m.

Any November events we missed? Please leave them below in the comments!