4 Places to See Portland Holiday Lights

The season is fast upon us, Portland, along with the rain and wind. Let's take time to take in the sparkling lights of the holidays, as well as plenty of hot cocoa, so our holidays stay happy and bright. And Portland, OR celebrates with spectacles that do not disappoint: I've only included four here- no doubt each little neighborhood has its own (share them with us?). They're listed below, in What/Where/When fashion.

What : Peacock Lane- not only are the lights on this street fantastic, but so are the homes: stately European style architecture, Victorian and Craftsmen at their fancy best.  Homeowners try to outdo one another with brilliant, over-the-top light displays, and best of all, their efforts are free for you to enjoy (no entrance fee!).

Where: Peacock Lane is one block east of SE 39th/Caesar Chavez, between SE Stark and SE Belmont St. Park somewhere nearby and walk, or ride your bike down (it gets popular and parking becomes tedious the close to Christmas we come). Lock it up and walk down the lane. You won’t be able to ride down very easily as the attraction draws hundreds of folks per night, many families with small kids in strollers and such. Much better on foot.

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What: Zoolights - the Oregon Zoo stages this winter wonderland, over a million lights adorning the zoo’s landscape. You also get to see the zoo in a different way than ever before, in the sparkling dark, and enjoy a holiday train ride.

Where: The Oregon Zoo, 4001 SW Canyon Road, Portland, OR 97221

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What: Festival of Lights - In NE Portland’s Grotto, a 62 acre Catholic park/garden/shrine, find hundreds of thousands of lights arranged for a gorgeous (and very holy) celebration. Concerts, puppet shows, a petting zoo, and carolers come with admission, but check the website for the latest information on entertainment. Park outside the sanctuary and walk through.

Where: The Grotto, Sandy Boulevard at NE 85th Avenue

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What: Downtown Portland: Pioneer Square and Holiday Tree. Centered on Pioneer Square, Portland downtown does “holiday” with twinkly, tinsel-y style, making shopping down there (or just walking around) a festive experience.  Plus, Pioneer Square hosts events all season in holiday theme. Check out the calendar here—most are free.

Where: In Pioneer Square, intersection of SW 6th Ave, SW Yamhill, and SW Broadway. 

Photo of the Grotto via Grotto website.

Anna Marie Erwert writes from both the renter and new buyer perspective, having (finally) achieved both statuses. She focuses on national real estate trends, specializing in the San Francisco Bay Area and Pacific Northwest. Follow Anna on Twitter: @AnnaMarieErwert

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