Christmas Fun in the Northwest

Fun Things to Do During the Holiday Season

Christmas Lighting Festival, Leavenworth, Washington, USA
Getty Images/Danita Delimont

We have many different ways to celebrate Christmas in the Northwest. Our mountains and forests are great places to go choose and cut your own tree or to enjoy snow sports such as tubing and skiing. Holiday parades, tree lighting ceremonies, and craft fairs are offered in almost every community, making it a great time for a Christmas-themed getaway.

Christmas Parades in the Northwest

Santa often makes his first appearance of the season at Christmas parades. The Northwest has a tradition of boat and ship parades, where the decorations and lights reflect off the water to magnificent effect. Many of these holiday parades take place during the days following Thanksgiving, while others run throughout the season.

Christmas Light Shows and Festivals in the Northwest

The twinkles and color of lights are everywhere during the holiday season, whether on a yacht, a downtown storefront, or a path at the zoo.

  • Portland Courthouse Square Tree Lighting in Portland, Oregon
    This annual tree lighting ceremony is held on Thanksgiving evening at Portland's Courthouse Square.
  • Christmas Lighting Festival in Leavenworth, Washington
    Live music, food, and festivities in Leavenworth's Front Street Park.
  • Zoolights in Tacoma, Washington
    Every year, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium puts on a lavish holiday light display.

Outdoor Christmas Fun in the Northwest

It might be more than a bit chilly, but getting outdoors during the Christmas season can be fun for the whole family. Most of these outdoor events include hot cocoa or fresh doughnuts, making them an extra special treat.

  • Cut Your Own Christmas Tree
    The Northwest's national forests sell permits allowing you to cut your own tree. You'll also find choose-and-cut Christmas tree farms throughout the Northwest.
  • The Grotto Christmas Festival of Lights in Portland, Oregon
    The Grotto, a 62-acre Catholic Shrine and botanical garden in Portland, put on a fantastic and moving Christmas Festival of Lights each year.
  • Winter Garden aGlow in Boise, Idaho
    The Idaho Botanical Garden in Boise decorates their grounds in 250,000 twinkling lights to celebrate the winter holiday season.

    Holiday Trains in the Northwest

    Kids love Christmas and they love trains -- combine the two and you're sure to have some serious holiday fun.

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