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8 things to do in the Portland area this weekend: Nov. 27-29

From a virtual tree lighting to drive-thru light shows, jump into holiday spirit with these eight, coronavirus-safe activities.

PORTLAND, Ore. — With Thanksgiving over, it’s time to jump into the holiday spirit. From a virtual tree lighting to drive-thru light shows, there are plenty of events you can enjoy this weekend even with COVID-19 restrictions. 

Here’s a look at eight holiday events in the Portland area.

Virtual tree lighting in Portland’s Pioneer Square

Credit: Pioneer Courthouse Square
Christmas tree lit at Pioneer Courthouse Square

The 36th annual tree lighting tradition at Pioneer Courthouse Square will not be held in-person this year because of the pandemic. But you can still watch the lighting virtually from the comfort of your own home. Starting at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 27, KGW will broadcast an hour-long special featuring a caroling sing-along with local band Pink Martini. The tree will remain in the square throughout the holidays, so visitors can enjoy it in-person later.

RELATED: Watch tonight: Christmas tree lighting at Portland's Pioneer Square goes virtual

Clackamas County Winter Fair

Credit: Clackamas County Winter Fair
Clackamas County Winter Fair

Clackamas County Fairgrounds is hosting its first Winter Fair this year. It features a quarter-mile drive-thru experience with thousands of lights and a 100-foot light tunnel. Santa will be at the fair on select days (including Friday, Nov. 27 and Saturday, Nov. 28) so children can wave and place a letter in a special mailbox. Space is limited, so get your tickets ahead of time here.

Drive-in holiday show

Credit: Cinnamon Bear Holiday Show
Cinnamon Bear Holiday Show

Oaks Park and Portland Spirit have teamed up with Webracadabra Events to present a live musical that you can watch from the comfort of your own vehicle at Oaks Park’s drive-in theater. The production features a sing-along with the Cocklebur Cowboys Band and appearances by the Cinnamon Bear, Chipper the Squirrel, the Big Red Elf and Santa. All tickets must be purchased in advance here, and all visitors must follow COVID-19 safety protocols.

Light show at Portland International Raceway

A Portland holiday staple for decades, the 28th annual Winter Wonderland kicks off on Friday, Nov. 27, at Portland’s International Raceway. Visitors can drive through two miles of holiday fun, with 250 colorful light set pieces and fully animated scenes. All proceeds go to the Sunshine Division, to give food to local families in need.

Holiday Market

Credit: Coopers Hall
Coopers Hall-iday Market

Coopers Hall, a winery and taproom, is transforming for the holiday season to a one-stop shop for local gifts. The shop has goods from over 25 local vendors, like Floradee Candles, Deadstock Coffee, Goodos for Doggos and more. The garage doors will be open and fans will be on to follow COVID-19 protocols. Coopers Hall is only offering online shopping on its website, with next-day pickup or local delivery.

'A Christmas Story' interactive experience

Credit: Vancouver Mall
'A Christmas Story'-themed Santa visit

On Friday, Nov. 27, the Vancouver Mall will launch an interactive experience based on the classic holiday film, “A Christmas Story.” It will feature a walk-through set from the film with “selfie museums” and augmented reality interactive experiences. Children will be able to talk with Santa from a distance to share wish lists or place a letter in Santa’s mailbox. All employees and guests will wear masks during their visits and follow COVID-19 safety protocols. The experience is free and open to the public, though guests are strongly encouraged to make a reservation here.

Christmas Tree Farm

Oregon City’s Misty Ridge Tree Farm is one of many tree farms in the Portland area open for u-cut Christmas trees. Misty Ridge offers Noble, Nordmann and Turkish Firs, as well as wreaths. The farm also features a mini donkey and other farm animals, along with a gift shop, hot cocoa and s’mores, and a fire pit.

Drive-thru ZooLights 

Credit: Joanna Dyer
Credit: Joanna Dyer

Though zoos in Oregon are closed under Gov. Kate Brown's statewide freeze, the Oregon Zoo is still offering people an option to escape from their homes and safely take part in its annual holiday tradition. This year’s ZooLights will be a drive-thru experience with more than 1.5 million animal-themed lights. Tickets must be purchased in advance on the Oregon Zoo's website and can be purchased up to one week in advance. 

**As of 2 p.m. on Nov. 27, tickets are sold out through Sunday, Nov. 29, but are available starting Monday, Nov. 30. 

  • What: ZooLights Drive
  • When: Nov. 22-Jan. 10 (with the exception of Dec. 25)
  • Where: Oregon Zoo, 4001 SW Canyon Rd, Portland, OR 97221

RELATED: Oregon Zoo will be allowed to host drive-thru ZooLights