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.
- Parade of Lights in Missoula, Montana
Santa headlines this festive holiday parade through downtown Missoula.
- Portland Christmas Ship Parade in Portland, Oregon
Portland's Christmas Ship Parade is an annual event on the Columbia and Willamette rivers.
- Downtown Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting Ceremony in Seattle, Washington
This annual Westlake Center celebration ends with not only a Christmas tree lighting but fireworks.
- Christmas Ship Festival in Seattle, Washington
Music and lights on the waters around Seattle, headed up by an Argosy cruise ship. You can watch or participate.
- Cheyenne Christmas Parade in Cheyenne, Wyoming
All the traditional parade fun with a Christmas theme.
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.
- Candle Lighting Festival in North Pole, Alaska
Festivities include the crowning of the year's North Pole King and Queen and a Christmas carol sing-a-long.
- Holiday Lights Show at The Coeur d'Alene Resort in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
The whole family can enjoy holiday lights, fireworks, and festive lake cruises throughout the Christmas season at The Coeur d'Alene Resort.
- Zoolights at the Oregon Zoo in Portland, Oregon
Every holiday season the Oregon Zoo becomes a Christmas wonderland of colorful lights and decorations.
- 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.
- Christmas Holiday Train in Anchorage, Alaska
This family-friendly Alaska Railroad event includes Santa, sweet treats, and festive and scenic train ride.
- Christmas Trains at Mount Hood Railroad in Hood River, Oregon
Mount Hood Railroad offers a number of Christmas-themed trains, including The Polar Express, Christmas Tree Trains, and Holiday Brunch Trains.