The holidays are here and soon your children will be out of school for a few weeks. Instead of filling their break with screen time, plan a few family-friendly activities.
But entertaining your family can get expensive fast. The good news? Portland offers plenty of free holiday-themed activities for the whole family.
Make the most of the festive season with these fun and free things to do in Portland with your family.
1. Pioneer Courthouse Square Tree
Even though the Pioneer Courthouse Square Christmas tree has already been lit, take the whole family to see this festive tree.
This 75-foot tree will light up everyone’s night, including your family’s Grinch. Add the arrival of the Christmas tree to your calendar for next year. Thousands gather each year on the Friday after Thanksgiving for the tree’s grand entrance.
2. The Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition
This year marks the fifth annual Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition. This event is Dec. 7 at the Pioneer Courthouse Square.
Caroling groups of all ages come together to perform for a cash prize. As an attendee, you’ll have the opportunity to vote for the People’s Choice Award. Bring the family out for a day of classic Christmas carols.
3. The Lights On Peacock Lane
The houses on Peacock Lane are famous for going all out for the Christmas holiday. This neighborhood has decorated for the public since the 1920s. Each year, their displays are viewable starting Dec. 15 through Dec. 31.
Drive down the streets to enjoy the lights or if the weather is nice, take a walking tour of the neighborhood. These houses are so extravagant, even Clark Griswold would be jealous.
4. Holidays at the Mall
Portland Mall Management and Pioneer Courthouse Square bring you Holidays at the Mall. Families can enjoy different free events throughout the month of December.
Enjoy live musical events and holiday-themed giveaways. Visit online to see a full calendar of events.
5. Christmas Ship Parade
The Portland Christmas Ship Parade put a holiday-spin on the typical parade experience.
Enjoy over 50 boats decorated in their best holiday lights as they take over the Columbia and Willamette rivers. This parade occurs over a period of 15-nights, giving every family an opportunity to enjoy the lights.
6. Go Christmas Light Hunting
Some of the best holiday entertainment is getting the family together to go hunting for the best Christmas light decorations.
Have everyone put on their pajamas and pile into a car. Drive around neighborhoods on the lookout for the best light displays. Don’t forget to turn on Christmas music and bring hot chocolate for the full holiday experience.
Beyond the Free Things to do in Portland
Now that you know all about the free things to do in Portland during the holidays, consider spending a few bucks for other activities.
The Christmas light lovers can enjoy Zoolights Festival, Winter Wonderland, or The Festival of Lights at the Grotto. Families can also check out the Oregon Ballet Theatre or the Cinnamon Bear Cruise for more holiday-themed fun.
Looking for fun activities that aren’t holiday themed? Check out this article on fun things to do in Portland.
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