Where You Can Catch Covid-Approved Holiday Lights This Year in the Portland Metro Area

Some of our most treasured holiday lights displays in the Portland metro area have fallen victim to Covid-19 including Peacock Lane. But others have reinvented themselves to still find a way to light up the season and as the Christmas Ships website says, “offer some form of normalcy in such an abnormal time.” Here’s a rundown of Christmas lights you can still enjoy.

Oregon Zoo ZooLights. The show must go on…just in a different way. This year, holiday revelers can enjoy the 1.5 million light display from the comfort and safety of their cars as the zoo opens up its gates to drive-through traffic for a Covid-safe event. Tickets must be purchased online in advance and are made available on a 7-day rolling schedule. You can also pre-order snacks or gifts which will be delivered to you at check-in. Face masks must be worn when interacting with staff, but not while you are enjoying the display from your vehicle. Ticket prices vary, depending on the date.

The Grotto. The Grotto’s gift shop is the only thing open right now given the Multnomah County Covid-19 mandate. Daily mass is also being offered to only 25 people who must register online. And a virtual Advent celebration is available with activities, reflections, recipes and crafts to those who register online. After December 16, the Grotto hopes to re-open its gardens and grounds to daytime visitors and resume its Sanctuary Lantern Tours that guide a maximum of 8 people at a time through the Via Matris and its cultural shrines, as well as St. Anne’s Chapel and the Meditation Chapel. Tickets are $25/person and available online.  

Winter Wonderland. Since this has always been a drive-through event, the only thing that has changed this year is that tickets must be purchased online and there can only be a maximum of six people in a car. Tickets for what is considered the largest light show in the Northwest are $28 Monday through Thursday, $33 on Friday and Sunday and $39 on Saturdays. Check online for hours.

Lights at the Oregon Garden Resort. The popular Christmas in the Garden has been postponed until 2021 but the Oregon Garden Resort is offering a more intimate holiday light experience for its overnight guests. When you book a room between November 27 and January 2 (excluding December 24-25), your amenities include entry to Lights at the Oregon Garden Resort for 1.5 hours. This year’s display will feature a one way path surrounding the lodge and winding through the gardens and include the magical candy lane tunnel of lights. It is not open to the general public. Accommodations start at $169 for two people and also include breakfast the next morning.  

Christmas Ships. 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 4 through December 22 (excluding December 14 and 15).  The combined fleet will make a trek from the Riverplace Marina down to George Rogers Park on December 19, with expected arrival around 6:00 p.m. Lake Oswego viewing spots include Foothills Park, Roehr Park and George Rogers Park. Spectators are asked to maintain a safe distance from other viewers and to wear masks. FREE.

And for local lights here in Lake Oswego, check out the nextdoor app reflecting spots neighbors have recommended. One spot you have to be sure to include on your list of local Lake Oswego homes to check out for holiday lights is the house on the corner of Indian Springs Rd. and SW Childs Rd. After our holiday lights tour of Lake Oswego, we deemed them the winner!

Be sure to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in and around Lake Oswego. Click the “Sign me up” button in the right hand column and receive weekly updates.

About lovelakeoswego

I feel pretty lucky—I live where I work and I love where I live. As a Realtor in Lake Oswego, I get to share that enthusiasm with clients every day. Through this blog, with the help of my freelance writer wife, Genita, I’d like to share that enthusiasm with you. The quality of life you’ll find in Lake Oswego belies its size—there is so much to experience here from a fireworks show over the lake on the 4th of July to the Festival of the Arts--one of the premier arts events in the region. So please check in each week for another reason why I love Lake Oswego and who knows—maybe you’ll fall in love too! If you’re interested in experiencing Lake Oswego personally, please feel free to contact me either on my cell at (503) 939-9801, via email at kevin.costello@cascadehassonsir.com or check my website by clicking the link in the "Contact me" section in the right-hand column. I would love to show you around.
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