O Christmas tree: Though there’s no in-person tree-lighting celebration this year, downtown Vancouver’s giant Christmas tree in Esther Short Park will still shine throughout the holiday season. Visit any time from Nov. 26 to Jan. 1 to see the tree’s thousands of lights setting the city aglow. Find details at www.rotarytreelighting.org.
Local love: Celebrate everything local from over 60 vendors at the Night Market Vancouver’s Holiday Market at The Vancouver Innovation Center, 18110 S.E. 34th St., from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. Nov. 26, 27 and Dec. 17 and 18. Enjoy live music, a DJ and dance lessons. Food and drinks are available to buy. Get details on vendors at www.nightmarketvancouver.com.
Bedazzled baboons: See the Oregon Zoo’s 1.5 million ZooLights from 5 to 9 p.m. Nov. 26 through Jan. 3. Nonrefundable tickets, available only online, are $19 for kids and $24 for adults to experience the open-air walking path through the brightly lit zoo. Masks are required. Several midweek drive-thru nights will also be offered. For tickets and details about dates and times, visit oregonzoo.org/zoolights.
Light the night: The Grotto, 8840 N.E. Skidmore St., Portland, will offer the Christmas Festival of Lights nightly from 5 to 10 p.m. Nov. 26 through Dec. 30 except Christmas. Enjoy caroling, a puppet show, indoor concerts and 2 million lights. Tickets ($14 for adults, $7 for ages 3 to 11, free for ages 2 and under) must be purchased at thegrotto.org. Check for reduced-price value nights, Nov. 29-Dec. 2 and Dec. 6-9.
Critter Christmas: From reindeer and bears to lions and mice, the Pittock Mansion’s rooms at 3229 N.W. Pittock Drive, Portland, have been transformed into animal havens for Critters Make Merry. The exhibit runs daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 26 through Jan. 4 except Christmas. Timed tickets ($13 for adults, $11 for seniors, $9 for kids, free for ages 5 and under) are available at pittockmansion.org.
Delightful drive: Winter Wonderland Holiday Lights at Portland International Raceway, 1940 N. Victory Blvd., Portland, will be open Nov. 26 through Jan. 1 from 5 to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and from 4:30 to 11 p.m. Fridays through Sundays. Tickets are $46 per car. Proceeds benefit the Sunshine Division’s hunger relief efforts. Tickets must be purchased online at www.winterwonderlandportland.com or 503-823-2329.
Traintastic: The Columbia Gorge Model Railroad Club, 2505 N. Vancouver Ave., Portland, will host its holiday open house Nov. 27-28 and Dec. 4-5. Doors open at 10 a.m. with ticketed entry at hourly intervals and final entry at 4 p.m. Reserve tickets ($10 for adults, $3 for kids 3 to 11 and free for tots under 3) at cgmrc.com or call 503-288-7246.
Small is beautiful: Kick off holiday shopping from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 27 during Shop Small Saturday in downtown Ridgefield’s boutiques and pop-up shops. Hungry shoppers can also visit Carts by the Park, the food cart pod in Overlook Park, with Sugar’s Barbecue, Little Conejo tacos and Bobalastic bubble tea and poke bowls. Get details at www.facebook.com/ridgefieldmainstreet/.
Seasonal bounty: The Vancouver Farmers Market’s Fall Market will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday through Dec. 18, rain, shine or snow, at the west edge of Esther Short Park on Esther and Eighth streets. Pick up fresh produce and flowers for your holiday table or find locally made artisan gifts. See a list of vendors at vancouverfarmersmarket.com.
Deck the halls: North Clark Historical Museum, 21416 N.E. 399th St., Amboy, will be open from noon to 4 p.m. Nov. 27 and Dec. 11. November is Native American Heritage Month and the museum is featuring Native American exhibits. On Saturday, the public is invited to help decorate the museum for Christmas. Admission is free. For details, call 360-247-5800.
Dancing Dickens: The Portland Ballet will perform “A Christmas Carol: The Ballet” at 1 and 4 p.m. Nov. 27 and 28 at Lincoln Performance Hall at Portland State University, 1620 S.W. Park Ave. Masks, proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test are required. Run time is 50 minutes with no intermission. Get details and tickets ($15) at theportlandballet.org or call 503-452-8448.
Festival of light: All are welcome to attend the Clark County Community Hanukkah “Fire on Ice” Celebration at 5 p.m. Nov. 28 in Esther Short Park. The event features the lighting of the community menorah, a giant ice menorah carving, doughnuts and hot cocoa. Find details at www.jewishclarkcounty.com.
A bright idea: Washougal’s Lighted Christmas Parade will begin with Santa, who will arrive at Reflection Plaza, 1703 Main St., Washougal, at 5 p.m. Dec. 2 for photographs. The procession of lighted vehicles, including Santa and Mrs. Claus in an antique sleigh, begins at 6 p.m. and will be followed by the tree lighting, music by the Washougal High School band and choir, free hot cocoa and cookies. Get details at www.cityofwashougal.us or call 360-835-8501.
Snow business: Camas Parks and Recreation will host Hometown Holidays in downtown Camas from 5 to 8 p.m. Dec. 3. Enjoy photos with Santa, activity bags, hay rides, entertainment, free hot cocoa, holiday shopping and art shows. The tree will be lit in front of the Liberty Theater and “snow” will fall. Elves will hand out goodies to children from the Holiday Swag Wagon. For details, visit www.cityofcamas.us or call 360-834-5307.
Merry movies: Liberty Theatre, 315 N.E. Fourth Ave., Camas, will make you merry with classic holiday films from Dec. 3-21, including “A Christmas Story,” “Elf,” “Christmas Vacation,” “Polar Express,” “White Christmas,” “It’s a Wonderful Life” and the Bolshoi Ballet’s “Nutcracker.” Check times and get tickets ($6 or $15 for the ballet) at www.camasliberty.com.
Battle Ground bash: Battle Ground will host its Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 3 at the Battle Ground Community Center, 912 E. Main St., Battle Ground. Enjoy caroling with the Battle Ground High School choir, hot cocoa and cookies, and photographs with Santa, who will arrive on the Fire District 3 fire engine. Learn more at www.cityofbg.org or call 360-342-5000.
Ship shape: See the Christmas Ships at many locations on the Columbia River from Washougal to Ridgefield on Dec. 3, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 14, 15, 17, 20 and 21. The Port of Camas-Washougal’s viewing party is Dec. 4, when ships will sail from Parker’s Landing Marina at 6 p.m. The port will be closed but spectators can watch from Washougal Waterfront Park and Marina Park. See the complete schedule at www.christmasships.org.
Tell me the story: Pacific Stageworks presents “Every Christmas Story Ever Told (and Then Some!)” at the Terrell-Everest Theater in the RS Medical Building at 14001 S.E. First St., Vancouver. Four actors will perform classic Christmas stories with holiday traditions from around the world and every carol ever sung. Shows are 7 p.m. Dec. 3, 4, 10, 11, 17 and 18 and 2 p.m. Dec. 5, 12 and 18. Tickets are $12 to $20 at www.pacificstageworks.org.
First Saturday festivities: Enjoy a Hometown Celebration from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 4 in downtown Ridgefield and Overlook Park, 113-131 S. Main Ave. Enjoy a Holiday Marketplace until 2 p.m., the Ugly Christmas Sweater 5K/10K Run, an ornament hunt, a contest featuring a “forest” of decorated trees, photos with Santa and the tree lighting at 4:30 p.m. with dancing and music. Get details at ridgefieldwa.us or call 360-887-3557.
Yuletide melodies: Tap your toes to merry tunes by the award-winning fingerstyle guitarists of Acoustic Guitar Summit during the group’s holiday concert, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4 at the Old Liberty Theater, 115 N. Main Ave., Ridgefield. Tickets ($30) are available at oldlibertytheater.com. Masks are required. Doors open at 6:45 p.m.
Junior jam: The Junior Symphony of Vancouver will offer a holiday concert at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4 at Cascades Presbyterian Church, 9503 N.E. 86th St., Vancouver, featuring classical music and traditional carols. Tickets are $10, available at the door. The concert will be followed by a reception. Attendees must be vaccinated and masked. For details, call 360-696-4084 or visit www.oregonchamberplayers.org.
La Center stage: La Center will host its community Christmas celebration at 4:30 p.m. Dec. 5 near City Hall, 214 E. Fourth St., La Center. Enjoy a visit from Santa, a laser light show, an interactive Nativity scene and festive music from the La Center High School Choir and Brass Ensemble, plus hot cocoa, apple cider, cookies and the Christmas tree lighting.
Gifts for the givers: The second annual Caregiver Christmas runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Dec. 7 at the Clark County Event Center at the Fairgrounds, 17402 N.E. Delfel Road, Ridgefield, where 1,500 gift bags, valued at $100 each, will be handed out to attendees in a drive-thru, COVID-safe format. It’s free to attend but reserve tickets at Eventbrite. To learn more, visit lovingthemforward.org.
Holiday pop: The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra presents Broadway and holiday music at 7 p.m. Dec. 11 and 3 p.m. Dec. 12 with Tony-nominated singer Liz Callaway at Skyview Concert Hall, 1300 N.W. 139th St., Vancouver. Proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test is required, as are masks. Tickets ($30) are available at vancouversymphony.org or at 360-735-7278. Tickets can be used for in-person attendance or to watch live online.
Can you Handel it? The Vancouver Master Chorale will perform Handel’s “Messiah” with live orchestra at 7 p.m. Dec. 11 and 3 p.m. Dec. 12. Admission is $25. Proof of vaccination and masks are required. Details are available at www.vancouvermasterchorale.org.
Grown-up goodies: Third Thursday in downtown Camas is a monthly event with a grown-up vibe that features after-hours shopping, dining and drinking. The theme for Dec. 16 is “Mistletoe and Munchies,” featuring a variety of festive nibbles in downtown businesses. For details, see downtowncamas.com or call 360-216-7378.
Christmas crackers: Columbia Dance presents “The Nutcracker” with a local twist at 1 and 5 p.m. Dec. 18 and 19 at Skyview Concert Hall, 1300 N.W. 139th St., Vancouver. The first act features Tchaikovsky’s characters as figures from Fort Vancouver history, with Dr. John McLoughlin as Drosselmeyer and a battle between beavers and fur trappers. Tickets, available at columbiadance.org, are $20 for adults or $15 for seniors and youth, or $30 for access to a livestreamed performance.
It’s a Wonderful Star Wars: Enjoy two holiday traditions at the Kiggins Theatre, 1011 Main St., Vancouver. First, it’s the annual free screening of the cult classic, “The Star Wars Holiday Special,” at 8 p.m. Dec. 18. Costumes are encouraged. Then, it’s the 75th anniversary re-release of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” showing Dec. 22-24. Proof of vaccination is required to enter the theater. Visit www.kigginstheatre.com or call 360 816-0352 for ticket information and showtimes.
This story was updated to accurately state the price of the Vancouver Master Chorale tickets.