Make Your New Year’s Eve Plans in and Around Lake Oswego Now

If  “make New Year’s Eve plans” is on your holiday To Do list, the time to act is now. There are a few venues hosting events in Lake Oswego but they fill up so you want to put the shopping and wrapping aside for a moment and make your reservations. Consider these three options.


Tavern on Kruse. If you want to get all gussied up with someplace local to go, this is your spot. Enjoy a club-like atmosphere while rocking out on the dance floor to the tunes of the two-time Oregon Music Hall of Famer Andy Stokes and band. Purchase your libations of choice at two bars, order from the light menu, enjoy complimentary appetizers and toast with champagne on the house at midnight. Doors open at 8:00 p.m. and seating is first come-first served. Tickets are limited at $100 per person and available by calling 503.303.5280.  4835 Meadows Road.

Gemini Bar and Grill. If you want to get things started a little earlier, make plans at the Gemini Bar and Grill. This popular Lake Oswego hangout will open its doors at 6:00 p.m. on New Year’s Eve and later in the night you’ll find yourself dancing to the sounds of Stump City Soul (show starts at 8:30 p.m.) Order from a special New Year’s Eve menu then toast in the New Year with free champagne and enjoy free snacks before you head home. Advance tickets are $60 and include a $20 dining credit with reserved table seating which you can select online. Tickets at the door are only $30 but do not guarantee a seat. 456 N. State Street, 503.636.9445.

Domaine Serene Wine Lounge. Book a spot at Lake Oswego’s culinary newcomer. There will be two prix-fixe menus with the later one including access to the after party complete with live music, DJ and sparking midnight toast. Earlier reservations are at the half hour beginning at 5:00 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. for a four-course meal at $75/person; $35 more for wine pairings. The second shift begins at 7:30 p.m. through 9:00 p.m. and features a six-course menu for $120 with wine pairings an additional $50. Book online through Open Table or by calling 503.664.7030. 300 1st Street.


Wilsonville Family Fun Center. Head down to Wilsonville especially if you plan on celebrating with your kids. Attractions include Go-Karts, Miniature Golf, the Rock Wall, Batting Cages, Sky Trail Ropes Course, Lazer Tag, Bumper Boats, Kidopolis Playland, the Frog Hopper, and arcade games. You can select the ticket package that suits you best. Hours: 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. 29111 SW Town Center Loop, Wilsonville, 503.685.5000.

Oregon Garden. Another family-friendly way to ring in the New Year is a visit to the Oregon Christmas Garden in Silverton on its last day of the season. Activities include live music, artisan vendors, ice skating, snowless tubing, a 100 foot long candy cane tunnel,  a Biergarten and one million lights. Activities and pricing vary. Night skating and tubing opens at 5:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.

Sign up for the late shift and you can ring in the New Year to the big band sound of Blue Skies dance band. The party starts at 7:00 p.m. with swing lessons from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. followed by the band taking the stage from 9:00 p.m. to 12 midnight. $75/person or $130/couple. Special overnight packages are available that include a room at the Oregon Garden resort. 879 W. Main Street, Silverton.


The Governor’s Ball. Think swank and high-end and you’ll get the idea of what’s in store for you at The Sentinel Hotel on New Year’s Eve. Choose your experience from 7:00 p.m. reserved seating and a three-course dinner catered by Jake’s at $225/person or come later at 10:00 p.m. and enjoy the party scene and dancing for $125. 614 SW 11th Avenue.

Pink Martini New Year’s Eve Celebration. If you’re a Pink Martini fan, this is your ticket featuring the popular Portland group along with the Portland Youth Philharmonic and special guest Ari Shapiro. Two performances: 7:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Tickets range from $34 to $115. Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway.

Champagne Ball. This event rises to the occasion with four party rooms, three dance floors and 18 bars. If that sounds like your kind of party scene then buy your tickets now. Prices range from $89 (for admission after 10:00 p.m.) to $179, with several price points in between. Admission before 10:00 p.m. includes an hors d’oeuvres buffet from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., desserts and midnight pizza as well as live music provided by the Hit Machine and three DJ’s. Make it a night and book a room at the hotel. Hilton Portland Hotel, 921 SW 6th Avenue.

New Year’s Eve Midnight Chocolate Buffet. If a chocolate hangover sounds like a great way to start the New Year, then head over to Pix Patisserie starting at 10:00 p.m. The $10 admission comes with a glass of Cava and everything chocolate from mousse, cake and meringue to ice cream, truffles and beer. First come, first served until the chocolate runs out. 2225 E. Burnside.

If you are looking for a more non-traditional way to ring in the New Year, take a look at one of my earlier posts here.

And if buying or selling your home is on your New Year’s To Do list, be sure to give me a call. I’ve been helping people buy and sell their homes in Lake Oswego for over 30 years and would love to put my experience to work for you. I’d be happy to provide you with a free market analysis of your current home and/or give you a tour of some homes currently on the market in your price range. Give me a call at 503.939.9801 and/or check out my website.

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Add some festivities to your holiday shopping this coming week in Lake Oswego

Lake Oswego retailers are out to buck a national trend—online holiday shopping. This week many of them are offering special incentives to stop by and “experience” their store, their products, and their hospitality. So, add a little fa la la to your holiday shopping by accepting their invitation to check them out.

Holiday Shopping with the Librarians at the Booktique on Wednesday, December 4 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Get help picking out the perfect book selection for the reader on your list with Lake Oswego librarians on hand to guide you in the right direction. They’ll be presenting some of their favorites from the current titles in stock from 5:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. 4 Monroe Parkway, 503. 699.9109.

Holiday Gift Show at Oswego Heritage HouseGet your holiday shopping done early and local with selections that include hats, jewelry, puppets, wine and more. Wednesday, December 4, 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Oswego Heritage House. 398 10th Avenue. 503.635.6373.

Personal shopping with Vanillawood experts from December 5 through December 14 from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The design/build firm is converting their brick-and-mortar location into a pop-up shop where clients can select and pick up curated gifts and home accessories. As part of this shift, they are launching a personal online shopping service to help guests purchase items for themselves or as gifts and are opening their doors during these two weeks to show you how it works. 16354 Boones Ferry Rd. 503.305.8830.

Rain Spark Gallery Meet the Artist Reception on Thursday, December 5 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Meet some of the artists at Rain Spark Gallery and enjoy light refreshments while you learn more about the inspiration and process behind their work. Offerings include everything from pottery, jewelry, fabric, paintings and photography. And be sure to check their website and/or facebook page every day for clues to where their 60 hand-made gingerbread people ornaments are hidden throughout the city. You can also enter your name to win one of the collectible ornaments in their weekly Thursday raffle drawings. 310 N. State Street, Suite 108.

Lake Oswego Arts Council First Friday Reception and Gleeful Giving Event Friday, December 6 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Attendees will get a minimum 5% discount on all purchases and be eligible to enter a raffle for larger discounts. Enjoy wine and appetizers while you check out all the gift options ranging from candles, jewelry and wall hangings to glass works, original paintings and home goods. 510 1st Street, 503. 675.3738.

Shop Hop on Friday, December 6 through Saturday, December 7 from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Join in the second annual Shop Hop giving you the perfect excuse to check out four of Lake Oswego’s home décor boutiques. Pick up a passport at one of these locations: Piper Louie, 16148 Boones Ferry Rd., 503.305.6426; The Grove, 4473 Lakeview Blvd., 503.697.9999; The Iron Gate Cottage, 16722 Boones Ferry Rd., 503.358.0039; or Wishbone Home Design, 385 1st St., 503.636.1229 and then collect stamps at all four to enter a raffle for a $250 gift basket. Drinks and goodies will greet you at each location as well as a treasure trove of wonderful finds from paperwhite narcissus, and jewelry to garden statuary and comfy throws.

Dennis’ 7 Dees Reindeer Magic.Bring the kids to meet Santa and his reindeer. Ticketed admission gives you access to view and take pictures with the reindeer, sit on Santa’s lap, enjoy holiday music, shop around and enjoy other festivities. Tickets are on sale online now until sold out. Saturday, December 7 and Sunday, December 8 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Lake Oswego Garden Center, 1090 McVey Avenue. 503.636.4660.

Zupan’s Market in the Breezeway: Holiday Bazaar Saturday, December 7 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Spend the afternoon sampling holiday foods and wine and check out holiday décor and floral. Pick up some hostess gifts and place an order for a holiday basket. 16380 Boones Ferry Road, 503.210.4190.

Enjoy the season while supporting your local merchants. These are just a few of the reasons you want to get out and explore Lake Oswego. Check last year’s post for more ideas of where to do your holiday shopping in Lake Oswego.









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Best Christmas Light Displays In and Around Portland

The lighting of Lake Oswego’s storied Christmas tree this Friday kicks off a season of light throughout the Portland metro area. Lake Oswego neighborhoods are a good place to wander in search of festive displays, being sure to include Westlake and Cardinal Drive on your itinerary.

When you are ready to venture out a bit further and see things on even a grander scale, here’s a guide.

LIGHTING OF MADDAX WOODS. This is Portland’s first lighting display to get turned on so you can catch it now through December 31. Enjoy a wildlife-themed walk down a lighted, accessible path through the woods to a river viewing platform. Along the way search for creatures of the woods, explore the boat barn history exhibit and check out Dorothy’s Garden addition. Hours: 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. November 16 through December 31. Free admission. 5785 River Street, West Linn.

THE GROTTO FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS. Nestled in a beautiful setting in northeast Portland, this outdoor shrine and sanctuary is home to the largest Christmas choral festival in the world with over 160 indoor holiday concerts offered during the season. Twinkling lights throughout the space both indoors and out set the tone for Christmas magic. In addition to the five nightly concerts held at 5:15, 6, 7, 8 and 9, there are carolers, puppet shows, and a live petting zoo. Hours: 5:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. from November 29 through December 30. Tickets sold at the gate: $12.50/General admission, $11.50/Seniors and Military, $6.50/Children ages 3-12, Free/Children 2 and under. Please bring a donation of canned dry food to benefit the Snow-Cap food bank. 8840 NE Skidmore, Portland.

WINTER WONDERLAND. The Portland International Roadway is home to the largest light show in the Northwest with over 250 colorful light set pieces and many fully animated scenes that you can enjoy from the comfort and warmth of your own car. Special events include: Bike the Lights on opening night, November 29—no cars allowed; Dog Walk Night, December 2 and 3—you and your leashed pooch can walk the roadway free of any wheeled transports. Hours: Sunday through Thursday (as well as Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Friday/Saturday from 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. from November 29 through January 4. Best times to avoid crowds are in early December or a week night. Admission from November 29 through December 12 is $20/car online (plus a service fee) or $22/car at the gate. Afterwards the price increases $2/car. Saturday admission is $25/car.1940 N. Victory Blvd., Portland.

ZOOLIGHTS. The live animals take a back seat to their lit-up and sometimes animated counterparts inhabiting the zoo thanks to more than 1.5 million lights. Attendees can also ride the lighted train and carousel as well as take photos with Santa Clause and enjoy hot drinks and local food carts. Train lines are longest from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. so zoo-goers are encouraged to schedule your rides early and purchase tickets online. Special Events include Brewlights for those 21 and over on November 22 from 5:00 pm. to 10:00 p.m. Ticket price of $39.95 includes admission, souvenir glass and ten drink samples; and Zoolights Sensory Inclusive Night on January 6 from 5:00 p.m. go 6:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. with muted lighting and sounds and cool down spaces provided. Ticket price: $12.95/Adult; $7.95/Child. Regular Zoolights Hours: 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. November 29 through January 5 (Closed Christmas Day). Regular admission: $17.95/Adults 12 and over; $12.95/Children 3-11; Free/Children 2 and under. Value Nights Hours are 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. December 2-5 and December 9-12. Value Night admission: $12.95/Adult; $7.95/Child. 4001 SW Canyon Road, Portland.

CHRISTMAS IN THE GARDEN. A drive to the garden will take you a little under an hour but if you’re looking for a festive holiday atmosphere, it will be well worth it. Enter this holiday wonderland through a Christmas light show tunnel where over a million lights make for a memorable display. Other activities include ice skating, a 100 foot snowless tubing, market vendors, international dining, concerts, and a wood-burning fire pit. If you’re looking to avoid the crowds, head over on a Wednesday through Friday or else Saturday or Sunday after 7:00 p.m. Hours: 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. November 29 through January 5. Catch the Michael Allen Harrison Christmas Concert on Sunday, December 1 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Tickets: $40/Adults; $30/Children 10 and under. Check online for ticket prices. Note there is a $5 fee for onsite parking. 895 W Main Street, Silverton.

WENZEL CHRISTMAS FANTASY TRAIL. Enter through a giant 40 foot castle to this 1,000 foot wooded walkway featuring thousands of lights, miniature castles, charming villages and Christmas scenes. Hours: 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. December 2 through December 28 (Closed December 24 and 25). Admission: $7/Adults; $6/Children 2 and under. Cash only. 19754 South Ridge Road, Oregon City.

CHRISTMAS SHIPS PARADE. Catch up to 60 boats decked out in their holiday brightest on two different fleets parading both the Columbia and Willamette Rivers. Check online for a complete schedule and best viewing spots including the seven nights the combined fleet sets out. Operates 15 nights from December 5 through December 22 (excluding December 8, 9, and 16). FREE.

THE MIRACLE OF A MILLION LIGHTS AT VICTORIAN BELLE MANSION. This 2.5 acre historic landmark is turned into a winter wonderland complete with beautiful twinkling lights and unique traditional touches. Check the website for special events. Hours: 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. from December 8 through December 28. 1441 N. McClellan Street, Portland.

PEACOCK LANE. Since 1932 these couple blocks of mostly Tudor homes have greeted visitors with their colorful lights, nativity scenes, rotating trees and life-like replicas of some of our favorite holiday characters. Hours: 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. from December 15 through December 31. Pedestrian only nights December 15-17. Southeast Peacock Lane between Stark and Belmont.

As a Realtor in Lake Oswego I not only enjoy selling homes but helping the people who live here enjoy what the community has to offer. So be sure to subscribe to my blog by clicking the “Sign me up” button in the top right hand column and give me a call at 503.939.9801 and/or check out my website if you’re ever in the market to move to Lake Oswego. 






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Your 2019 Search for the Perfect Christmas Tree In and Around Lake Oswego Starts Here

Back in the day…the tree hunt was a family affair but this year due to the shortage of trees and the shortage of time with our kids at Thanksgiving, my wife and I had to tag the tree ahead of time. Something tells me the kids won’t miss the arguing and debating whose tree gets picked–instead they left that to my wife and I and two hours later we finally agreed.

If you’re hoping to cut your own Christmas tree this year, best to get an early start.

It appears  that many of the popular u-cut spots are dealing with a tree shortage in a variety of ways: closing for the season, shortening hours, and/or limiting the size of trees available. The growth cycle for Christmas trees is anywhere from 7-12 years from seedling to harvest so growers and harvesters like us have to be patient.

Below you’ll find a roundup of Christmas tree lots and farms in and around Lake Oswego.  I’ve tried to list the restrictions here but best to call ahead and/or check their Facebook page for the latest updates. 

Boy Scout Troop 127. Local Boy Scouts have been selling trees as a fundraiser since 1947, starting at the local Piggly Wiggly before moving to George Rogers Park. Once again, Scouts will be on hand but in a new section of the park—next to the Iron Smelter. Over the 2½ weeks the lot is in operation, they will get three fresh shipments of 300 trees each, traveling from a farm near Estacada.
Address: George Rogers Park, 611 S. State Street, Lake Oswego
Hours: Opens Saturday, November 30 until December 15.
Wednesday-Friday: 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday: 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Varieties: Pre-cut Noble Fir
Cost: $35 to $100+
Other: Scouts make a fresh cut, bale if wanted, carry it to the car and tie it on. Wreaths, garland by the foot, free cookies and hot chocolate

Parsons Farms. The family that brings us local produce also brings us trees. Pre-cut and close-in makes this spot very convenient.
Address: Lake Bible Church (Tree Lot), 4565 Carman Drive, Lake Oswego
Hours: Monday-Friday, 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Saturday: 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., except for Saturday, December 9, closes at 5:00 p.m.
Sunday: 12:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Varieties: Noble, Douglas, and Nordmann Fir.
Other: Handmade fresh wreaths, fresh cut greens, pine cones, and centerpieces also available.

Stroupe Christmas Tree Farm. This is the closest spot for u-cut trees. It’s located right across from one of the family’s other businesses: S&H Landscape. Check online for recent updates as plans were still in the making at publication time.
Address: corner of Stafford and Borland Roads
Varieties: Douglas, Grand, Nordmann and Noble
Cost: Check online and/or call S & H: 503.638.1011
Other: Handmade wreaths and swags

Ron’s Christmas Tree Farm. There is no address posted but look for the sign that says, “Christmas Trees.” It’s at roughly 4400 Borland Road, between Stafford and SW 65th.
Address: See above. (about 3 miles from Lake Oswego) Phone: 503.475.7576.
Hours: Open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Fridays-Sundays only from November 29-December 8 and then just Saturday and Sunday, December 14 – 15.
Varieties: All Nobles along with one 20 foot Douglas Fir and a 45 Grand Fir
Cost: $6/foot
Other: This place is u-pick, Ron-cuts. He has rope to tie it on to your car.

Little Z Christmas Tree Farm. This family farm prides itself on quality and service. This year only trees that are seven feet tall or larger are available for u-cut, except for Shasta fir.
Address: 842 Rosemont Rd., West Linn. 503.453.0573 (about 4 miles from Lake Oswego)
Hours: Opens Friday, November 29 at 9:00 a.m. through December 22.  Hours are Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with a full crew on hand to help you, especially needed for trees taller than 10 feet and Wednesdays through Fridays from noon to 4:30 p.m. with a skeletal crew on hand. Varieties: U-cut Noble, Douglas, Fraiser, Nordmann, Shasta Fir
Cost: Price varies, but generally $10/foot
Other: The Zerkels are ready to serve you, including cutting down the tree you want with their chainsaws, carrying it to your car, and loading it or tying it down. If you’d rather cut your own, they recommend bringing your own hand saw.

Lee Farms. Talk about tradition! The Lees have been farming in Tualatin since 1869 over seven generations with three generations currently involved in the family farm. This is a year-round operation so if you want to get out there early to tag your tree, you can. This year there is a 7-foot minimum on u-cut to preserve their field trees. No minimum on already-cut trees.
Address: 21975 SW 65th Avenue, Tualatin. (about 4 miles from Lake Oswego). 503.638.1869.
Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays; noon to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday beginning November 15 through December 23. Closed for Thanksgiving.
Varieties: Fresh cut and u-cut Noble, Grand, Nordmann
Cost: Price varies. Check website. 
Other: They will cut, shake, bale and load your tree free of charge. Will also install Davis Tree Stand. Also available: wreaths, garlands, swags, centerpieces, custom wreath and centerpiece orders, ornaments, decorations. Visit the bakery for donuts and espresso and place an order for a Christmas pie.

Sleighbells. This is a one-stop shop for Christmas with a gift shop packed with holiday décor and Santa on hand from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. starting November 29 and every Saturday and Sunday following as well as Monday, December 23 for photo opps ($5 fee).
Address: 23855 SW 195th Place, Sherwood. 503.625.6052 (10½ miles from Lake Oswego)
Hours: 7 days a week, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. for trees; gift shop stays open until 5:00 p.m.
Varieties: Noble/Nordmann and Douglas/Grand Fir
Cost: Prices vary so check online. Example: 8 ft. Noble is $65; 8 ft. Grand Fir is 53.
Other: You can pre-tag for additional fee. Food carts are open on Saturdays and Sundays. Complimentary cocoa and coffee.

Sunny Days Tree Farm. If you want a tree with a view, this is your place set atop 80 hilltop acres in Tualatin and overlooking the Willamette wine country.
Address: 25100 SW Neill Rd., Sherwood. 503.629.1017 (15 miles from Lake Oswego)
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; closed Monday starting November 23 (closed for Thanksgiving) through December 22
Varieties: Turkish Fir, Nordmann Fir up to 9 feet. No Nobles.
Cost: $60 u-cut all trees; $65 pre-cut
Other: Saws and twine provided, but you might want to bring your own handsaw in case it’s crowded. No baler or shaker. Cash and checks only. Visit during the week to avoid crowds. Also available: wreaths, garland, log reindeer and snow people.

Merrywood Farm. Due to how late Thanksgiving is this year, Merrywood will open the weekend before turkey day, November 23-24 with limited staff on hand and no pony rides. And because of the shortage of average room-size u-cuts they are bringing in 1,000 freshly cut trees and will stay open while supplies last.
Address: 12328 South Casto Rd., Oregon City. 503. 307.2495 (20 miles from Lake Oswego)
Hours: Open Saturday and Sunday, November 23-24 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and then Tuesdays through Sundays beginning Friday, November 29 from 10:00 a.m. to 430 p.m. on weekdays and 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekends. Open while supplies last.
Varieties: Normally The Keysers grow 10 varieties of trees including Noble, Nordmann, Grand, White Fir, White Pine and Douglas but because most field trees this year are only in the 3-4 foot range, they are bringing in fresh cut trees from a nearby field.
Cost: Check online.
Other: Complimentary hot cider and warm fire. Twine and hand saws are provided but no baler. Free pony rides for the kids on weekends.

Redland Family Farm. This Oregon City farm is only open two days this season: Saturday, December 7 and Sunday, December 8 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. but it has a lot to offer so if that time frame suits you, you might want to head over.
Address: 19400 S. Redland Rd., Oregon City (19 miles from Lake Oswego)
Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. December 7 and 8.
Cost: $75 for both u-cut and pre-cut, all sizes
Varieties: Check online and/or call to confirm 503.462.4636
Other: Warming fire with free hot cocoa, s’mores, wagon rides, petting zoo, bounce house, kids’ craft station and Santa visits. Free shaking and baling.

Mt. Hood Tree Farm. Head here on a clear day and get a view of Mt. Hood as an added bonus.
Address: 17472 S. Harding Road, Oregon City
Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays; 11:00 a.m.. to 4:00 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays from November 29 through December 15.
Varieties: Douglas, Grand, Noble, Nordmann and Turkish up to 12 feet. Some pre-cut.
Cost: Check online or call ahead: 503.932.7967.
Other: They’ll provide help cutting, transporting and loading your tree. Saws, baler and shaker available. Enjoy hot cider, candy canes and cookies around a warm fire. Wreaths and garlands also available.

Furrow Farm. These trees are celebrities–they’ve appeared in multiple Christmas episodes of Grimm.
Address: 25877 NW Union Rd, Hillsboro (20 miles from Lake Oswego) 503.647.5288
Hours: Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to dark; Saturday and Sunday, 9:00 a.m. to dark
Varieties: Noble, Nordmann, Grand, Douglas
Cost: All trees are $8/foot except for Douglas Fir which are $6/foot
Other: Enjoy a warming fire and free hot cocoa and candy canes as well as tractor rides. Tree baling is $2 extra. Mistletoe, wreaths, garland and tree stands also available.

Plumper Pumpkin Patch and Tree Farm. If you love everything pumpkin this time of year, head over here to grab a pumpkin donut along with your tree.
Address: 11435 NW Old Cornelius Pass Road, Portland (about a half hour away from Lake Oswego) 503.645.9561
Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Fridays through Sundays beginning November 29 until mid-December; Monday through Thursday and pre-season by appointment.
Varieties: u-cut Douglas, Noble, Grand and Nordmann; Pre-cut: Noble and Grand, 6-12 feet.
Cost: Check online. Credit cards accepted
Other: Saws provided. Baler. Visit the store for hot drinks and pumpkin donuts, garland, wreaths and mistletoe. Feed the animals and visit with Santa the first and second weekends in December from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Historic Kirchem Farm. This natural, no spray farm will be closed this year to give their trees a chance to catch up.

If you have any Christmas tree recommendations, please leave them here! And be sure to subscribe to 52 Reasons to Love Lake Oswego to receive weekly updates. Just click the “Sign me up” button in the top right hand column.

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Holiday Activities in Lake Oswego (Part 2)

There are lots of reasons to be merry this holiday season in Lake Oswego. Here are some suggestions to help you get the most out of the holidays (and be sure to check out part 1 of this guide here).

Best Christmas Pageant Ever.Watch what happens when a teacher casts the worst kids in school to star in the Christmas play. Nightly performances at 7:30 p.m. begin on Friday, December 13 through December 22 (note: no performance on December 16) along with a 2:00 p.m. matinee performance on Saturday, December 21 and Sundays, December 15 and 22.  Lakewood Center for the Arts, 368 S. State Street. Purchase tickets online,  at the box office or by calling: 503.635.3901. Fee: $15/adults; $12/seniors and youth 18 and under.

West Linn Holiday Parade. Join our neighbors in their annual holiday tradition that culminates with a visit from Santa at the fire station. Get there early and you can participate in (or just get a good laugh from) the Ugly Sweater Dash that begins at 8:30 a.m. Parade starts at 10:00 a.m. at 10th and Willamette Falls Drive. Saturday, December 14.

High School Holiday Choir Concerts. Holiday carols have a way of bringing out the merry in all of us. Let local high school students work their magic as they perform in their auditoriums over the next couple of weeks. Lakeridge High School on Wednesday, December 18 at 7:30 p.m. 1235 Overlook Drive. 503.534.2319. Admission charge for Lakeridge: $7/Adults; $5/Students and those over 55. Lake Oswego High School on Thursday, December 19 at 7:00 p.m. 2501 Country Club Rd., 503.534.2313.

Holiday Fa La La Trolley. Bundle up and board the trolley to share your holiday voices with neighborhoods of Lake Oswego, Riverwood, Dunthorpe, and South Portland. Treats will be onboard and you’re welcome to bring your own beverages. Rides will last about two hours. Thursday, December 19 at 6:00 p.m., and Sunday, December 22 at 4:00 p.m. Tickets go on sale November 11 at 10:00 a.m. online: $30/Adults 15 and older; $25/Kids (5-14). Children 4 and under are free as long as they can be lap sitters.

Holiday Cookie Daze. Bring the grandkids to decorate cookies for Meals On Wheels recipients and go home with a dozen yourself! Chances are registration is full but you can ask to be put on the waiting list. Tuesday, December 17 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center, 505 G Avenue. Register for Activity #120218. $5/Resident; $7/Non-resident. 503.675.2549.

Christmas Ships Parade. Catch a glimpse of up to 60 boats decked out in holiday lights as they make their way from the River Place Marina in Portland to George Rogers Park in Lake Oswego. Boats due to arrive around 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 21. Viewing points: Foothills Park, 199 Foothills Drive and Roehr Park, 350 Oswego Pointe Drive.  503.675.2549.

Elf Night for grades 6-12. Calling all last-minute elves—getting ready for Christmas is so much more fun when doing it with friends. The Teen Lounge is open for holiday merry making. Friday, December 20 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Christ Church Parish, 1060 Chandler Road.

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8 Ways to Pay It Forward in Lake Oswego This Holiday Season

With Thanksgiving around the corner, now is the time we take stock of all that we are grateful for. For those of us lucky enough to live in Lake Oswego, the list runs long. November is a perfect time to pay all that gratitude forward.

Here are a few ways for you to do just that.

Hasson Company Dress for Success clothing drive. Help local disadvantaged women who are trying to become more economically independent by supporting the Dress for Success clothing drive. Donations can be dropped off at any of the Hasson Company Portland Metro offices, including mine at 15400 Boones Ferry Road, from November 4-8. Organizers ask that donations be: seasonally appropriate, freshly dry-cleaned/laundered, on hangers or neatly folded in shopping bag or box, no more than 5 years old, free from stains, rips and holes, and not having been stored in the garage for longer than a few days as rodents can be a problem. Cash donations are also welcome—$500 supports one woman’s services through the program for an entire year. Wardrobe assistance is just one piece of the package that Dress for Success offers. Women also receive résumé, job search, and interview preparation as well as job success services. Dress for success is definitely not just a “help out” program but a “hand up.”

Pillowcase Project. The City of Lake Oswego is inviting citizens to fill a pillowcase and/or fill a stocking this year with basic needs items for homeless families. A list of items will be inserted inside each pillowcase/stocking but think of things that are easily transported including toiletries, socks, playing cards, health bars, and gloves. Pick up a handmade pillowcase sewn by City staff volunteers at City Hall, 380 A Avenue,  the Adult Community Center, 505 G Avenue, or the Lake Oswego Library, 706 Fourth Street, and return to City Hall Friday, December 13.

With Love. This non-profit’s mission is to support foster families by providing safe, clean and quality clothing and supplies for children ages 0-6. They are holding a Stocking Stuffer Drive and are asking for new items if at all possible so these children can feel the love this holiday season. Items needed include  for Infants (0-2 years old): baby toys, balls, bath toys, bibs, blocks, bubble bath, bubbles, hair bows and brushes, hair detangler, large crayons, shape sorters, sippy cups, socks, stickers, teethers, toy cars, wipes and wrist rattles; and for Little Kids (ages 3-6): action figures, art supplies, balls, band-aids, bath toys, books, bubbles, chalk, dolls, games, gloves, hair bows, hats, Hot Wheels, Legos, movies, play jewelry, Play-Doh, puzzles, socks, stickers and underwear.  Donations can be dropped off by Saturday, December 7 at the With Love Facility, 14555 SW 74th Ave, Tigard. Hours are Tuesdays from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and Wednesdays and Fridays from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. On Saturday, December 7 they will hold special hours from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Tualatin School House Pantry. This Oregon Food Bank affiliate serves families each month living in Tualatin, Durham, Lake Oswego, West Linn, and Wilsonville. Cash donations are welcome to buy essentials and can be done in person or online. Canned food donations are also welcome and can be dropped off at the pantry during normal business hours. Both hours and most needed items are available online. Volunteers are also needed in the food pantry as well as for delivering and picking up donations. If you would like to volunteer, call the pantry at 503-783-0721.

Lake Oswego Toy Drive. Drop off new, unwrapped toys to the Lake Oswego Fire Department Main Station (300 B Avenue) or the Lake Oswego Public Library (706 Fourth Street) by Friday, December 13. Donations will be delivered to families in need by the Tualatin Valley Elks Club. 503.635.0275.

Hunger Fighters Oregon.In 2014 when students at Lake Oswego Junior High realized that food insecurity is an issue even for Lake Oswego families, they started a club to address it. Today this official nonprofit distributes food from a pantry located at 2301 Hazel Road in the green house garage on the east side of the Lake Oswego High School campus. Donations are always welcome during business hours every Saturday from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Non-perishable items can also be dropped off in the Blue Barrel at the Lake Oswego Public Library during regular hours. Current needs include canned fruit, pasta sauce, white/brown rice, canned chicken, snack foods, paper towels, toilet paper, and condiments. The donation of fresh fruits and vegetables can be arranged through Linda Mathes at Cash is always welcome too which you can donate in person or online. A gift of $28 feeds a family of four for a week. Volunteer help is also needed as a shopping assistant helping clients select their items and/or a gleaner, picking up donations from grocers and restaurants in the area as well as helping to stock the pantry. You can sign up online.

HandsOn Portland.Check their calendar for ongoing as well as one-time volunteer opportunities. Many occur year-round such as serving at Potluck in the Park in Portland or delivering books to the Children’s Book Bank. But there are holiday-related events too such as the Holiday Cheer Gift Bag assembly (December 7 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) where you’ll be wrapping donated gifts to be delivered to isolated older adults in the Portland metro area.

Ongoing Winter Food, Coats and Blankets Drive. City Hall will continue accepting donations for used, clean items for families in need through January. Hope Sparrow Services distributes them to families in our community, especially those with children. You can drop them off at City Hall, 380 A Avenue.

If you’d like to count living in Lake Oswego as one of your blessings, give me a call at 503.939.9801. I’ve been a Realtor in Lake Oswego for over 30 years and would love to put my experience to work for you. Check out my website or get in touch below.


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Holiday Activities in Lake Oswego (Part I)

It may not even be Halloween yet but it’s never too early to start booking your holiday festivities in Lake Oswego. Popular events like the Tinseltown Trolley sell out early. So start making a list and book the festivities that require reservations.

Luckily there are lots to choose from–so many that I’m covering them over two different weeks. Here’s the first installment.

Make Your Own Holiday Centerpiece for ages 18+. Learn the basics of floral design and then take what you’ve learned to assemble a centerpiece to display during the holidays or to give as a gift. All materials will be provided but you are asked to bring your own clippers. Saturday, November 6 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. $40/person. Register online. Luscher Farm, 125 Rosemont Road.

West Linn Annual Holiday Bazaar. Get a jump start on unique holiday gifts with over 50 vendors featuring handcrafted jewelry, kids’ clothing, woodworks, ceramics, artwork, home décor, paper products and more. Wine tasting and bottle purchases available after 11:00 a.m. Free admission. Saturday, November 16 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. West Linn Adult Community Center, 1180 Rosemont Road. 503.557.4704.

Lakewood in City Lights. This annual event is returning to downtown Portland to the Sentinel Hotel. Enjoy dinner catered by Jake’s Grill, entertainment, and silent and oral auction. Make a night of it and stay at the hotel at a special rate. Saturday, November 16 from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $125/person and can be purchased at the box office, online, or by calling 503.635.3901.

Lighting of Maddax Woods. Our West Linn neighbors will be turning on the lights of Maddax Woods park with accessible trails down to the Willamette River viewing platform. Look for creatures of the woods along the way and enjoy the holiday sparkle. Lights will remain on every evening through November and December. Saturday, November 16 from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. 5785 River Street, West Linn.

Floral design and Wine. Create a beautiful autumnal floral arrangement for your holiday table that guests and your family will enjoy. Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served. Sunday, November 17 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. $100. Zupan’s Market Breezeway. 16380 Boones Ferry Road, 503.210.4190.

Reunion Farmers Market. Local farms bring autumn’s bounty to downtown Lake Oswego. Enjoy shopping in the crisp fall air and pick up some fresh ideas for your Thanksgiving feast. Saturday, November 23, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Millennium Plaza Park, First and Evergreen.

Horse Drawn Wagon Rides. Here’s another opportunity to slow the season down and take in the sights as enjoy a 20 minute ride through downtown Lake Oswego and the First Addition neighborhood while the Reunion Farmers Market is taking place. Saturday, November 23 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Limited reserved seating ($8/Adults; $5/Youth) is available on the hour by registering online or contacting 503.675.2549. The rest of the seats are first come, first served for rides on the half hour: $8/adults; $5/children. Millennium Plaza Park, 200 First Street.

54th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. Enjoy one of Lake Oswego’s longest standing traditions which includes tree lighting, caroling, treats, and a visit from the big guy decked out in red and white. Friday, November 29 at 5:30 p.m. Begins at Bigelow Plaza on the corner of 5th and A Avenue and proceeds down to Millennium Plaza Park.

Arts Council of Lake Oswego’s Holiday Marketplace. Looking for that special gift or something unique for yourself? Stop by the Arts Council of Lake Oswego’s Holiday Marketplace for a unique gift for yourself or someone on your list. Select from fine art, ceramics, jewelry, handmade one-of-a-kind items, and wonderful prints and cards, among many other fine gifts and home goods. Marketplace opens Saturday, November 30 through Saturday, December 28. Hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10:00 5:30 p.m. and Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. 510 1st Street, 503.675.3738.

Holiday Gift Show at Oswego Heritage House. Get your holiday shopping done early and local with selections that include hats, jewelry, puppets, wine and more. Wednesday, December 4, 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Oswego Heritage House. 398 10th Avenue. 503.635.6373.

Holiday Gift Making for ages 7-12. Over three different sessions kids will learn to make holiday inspired art including rock painting, cork ornaments and more. Wednesdays, December 4-18 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Christ Church Parish, 1060 Chandler Road. Register online for class #19902. $43/Residents; $65/Non-residents.

Holiday Caroling Event. Meet at Old Town’s Peg Tree, 141 Leonard Street and be entertained by the Portland Phoenix Choir before joining in the fun as you carol-while-you-walk to the Preservation Society’s Iron Workers Museum at 40 Wilbur Street for hot chocolate and cider. Friday, December 6 at 7:00 p.m. 503.481.2479.

Holiday Magic Breakfast Theatre—The Peppermint Bear Show: Seasoned Greetings.Enjoy a special holiday continental breakfast ½ hour before the curtain goes up for this holiday production o area high school student performers. Geared for ages 3-12. Performances are twice daily at 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. on Saturdays December 7, 14, and 21; Sundays December 15 and 22 and Monday, December 23 in the Lakewood Center Community Meeting Room on the Side Door stage at the Lakewood Center for the Arts, 368 S. State Street. Advance reservations are required by purchasing tickets either online, at the box office or by calling: 503.635.3901. Fee: $15/adults; $12/youth 18 and under.

Gingerbread House Workshop for ages 6-13. Who needs a boxed kit when you can bake your own gingerbread? Luscher farmhouse Chef Laura Content will help kids bake gingerbread, decorate a keepsake house and send them home with dough to bake. They’ll finish up by making holiday cards. Saturday, December 7 (#20046) from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and (#20048) from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Sunday, December 8 (#20047) from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Luscher Farm, 125 Rosemont Road. $52/Resident; $78/Non-Resident. Register online.  

Market in the Breezeway: Holiday Bazaar. Spend the afternoon sampling holiday foods and wine and check out holiday décor and floral. Pick up some hostess gifts and place an order for a holiday basket. Saturday, December 7 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Zupan’s Market. 16380 Boones Ferry Road, 503.210.4190

Dennis’ 7 Dees Reindeer Magic.Bring the kids to meet Santa and his reindeer. Ticketed admission gives you access to view and take pictures with the reindeer, sit on Santa’s lap, enjoy holiday music and other festivities. Tickets are on sale online now until sold out. Saturday, December 7 and Sunday, December 8 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Lake Oswego Garden Center, 1090 McVey Avenue. 503.636.4660.

‘Tis the Season of Soul Holiday Concert. Let the sounds of Oregon Music Hall of Fame inductee Patrick Lamb put you in the holiday mood while he works his magic with his saxophone. Concert benefits the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center. Sunday, December 8 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Lake Oswego High School Auditorium, 2501 Country Club Road. $22/Adults; $15/Youth (0-12). Register online or call 503. 635.3758.

Christmas Ships Trolley Excursions.Come see the lighted Christmas ships along the Willamette River from the comfort and warmth of the Willamette Shore Trolley. Schedule begins Wednesday, December 11 with trolleys leaving at both 6:15 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. as well as on Fridays, December 13 and December 20 and Wednesday, December 18. Catch the combined fleet on Saturday, December 15 on a 3:30 p.m. trolley. Tickets are $30/person; $40 for the Saturday run. Rides should take between 60-90 minutes depending on the boats. Tickets go on sale Monday, November 18 at 10:00 a.m. Online reservations only.

Tinseltown Trolley.It’s Lake Oswego’s version of the Polar Express. Hop aboard and let your imaginations soar as you enjoy carols, story time, treats and a visit from someone special from the North Pole! Friday, December 13 at 2:15 p.m., 3:30 p.m., and 4:45 p.m.; Saturday, December 14 rides are at 1:00 p.m., 2:15 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 4:45 p.m., and 6:00 p.m.; and Sunday, December 15 rides are 1:00 p.m., 2:15 p.m., 3:30 p.m., and 4:45 p.m. Depart from station at 311 N. State Street. Allow about 45 minutes for the roundtrip to Portland and back. Reservations are required and tickets sell out fast. Tickets are $19/Adults; $16/Youth 12 and under. 503.675.2549.

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