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News / Life / Clark County Life

Looking for Christmas lights in all the wrong places? These are the light shows Clark County is dreaming of

By Monika Spykerman, Columbian staff writer
Published: November 30, 2023, 6:05am
10 Photos
Visitors explore Zoo Lights at the Oregon Zoo.
Visitors explore Zoo Lights at the Oregon Zoo. (Michael Durham/Oregon Zoo) Photo Gallery

Nothing brightens the holiday season like colorful, twinkling lights. Here’s where to find sparkle in Clark County and beyond.

Christmas Ships

The Christmas Ships Parade floats by the Vancouver-Portland area on selected nights between Friday and Dec. 15. The Columbia fleet will sail past Vancouver’s Waterfront Park on Dec. 4, 6 and 15; Wintler Community Park on Dec. 5 and 13; and McCuddy’s Steamboat Landing Marina on Dec. 8.

To see the most boats bedecked with lights, plan your viewing for the nights both the Columbia and Willamette fleets ply the waters along Clark County’s shores. On Friday, the combined fleet will float by The Cove restaurant, 5731 S.E. Columbia Way, Vancouver. On Saturday, the combined fleet will circle in front of the Port of Camas-Washougal, 24 S. A St., Washougal.

Most parades begin at 7 p.m., although the ships might not be visible from every vantage point until later. See the complete schedule with maps at christmasships.org.

Christmas on Franklin

Christmas on Franklin features 200,000 lights stretched across 10 properties that will glow from 5 to 10 p.m. every night until Dec. 31, with a centerpiece display hosted by the Mains family at 4616 N.W. Franklin St., Vancouver. Highlights include a life-sized Nativity scene with a 24-foot-tall star, a 60-foot-tall lighted cedar tree, a 15-foot-tall snowman with a winter landscape and characters from the Disney film “Frozen,” lifelike reindeer (including Rudolph), The Grinch and his dog, dancing Christmas trees and characters from Charlie Brown and Pooh Corner. The display also features live entertainment, appearances by Santa Claus, and “snowfall” over the street on Christmas Eve. Boy Scouts and other groups will sell hot cocoa and treats on weekends. For complete details, see facebook.com/HolidaysOnFranklin or holidaysonfranklin.com.

Zoo Lights

Zoo Lights at the Oregon Zoo, 4001 S.W. Canyon Road, Portland, is open 4:30 to 7 p.m. daily through Jan. 7. Adult tickets range from $12 to $26 and youth tickets are $12 to $18. Buy Zoo Lights Any Night tickets at oregonzoo.org/lights to use any night and time throughout the season.

Winter Wonderland

The Winter Wonderland drive-thru light show at Portland International Raceway, 1940 N. Victory Blvd., Portland, continues through Dec. 31. Hours are 5 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 4:30 to 11 p.m. Friday through Sunday. From Dec. 15-25, hours are 4:30 to 11 p.m. Admission is $37 per car Monday through Thursday, $43 on Sunday and $48 on Friday and Saturday evenings. Tickets are $48 per car Dec. 15-25. Buy $32 tickets at Safeway. VIP tickets are $85. Get details at winterwonderlandportland.com.

Festival of Lights

The Grotto’s Christmas Festival of Lights, 8840 N.E. Skidmore St., Portland, features outdoor light displays, choir concerts, caroling, puppet shows and live music. Hours are 5 to 10 p.m. Nov. 25 through Dec. 15 and 4:45 to 10 p.m. Dec. 16-30. Admission is $14 for ages 12 and over and $6 for children ages 3-11. Children 2 and under are free. Discount nights ($5-$12) are today and Dec. 4-7. Tickets are $7-$18 (cards only, no cash) at the gate. Get details at thegrotto.org.

Peacock Lane

Peacock Lane in Portland’s Sunnyside neighborhood will be open for free viewing from 6 to 11 p.m. daily from Dec. 15 to 31. Pedestrian-only nights are Dec. 15, 16 and 17, when the street is blocked to vehicle traffic. Cars will be allowed on the street Dec. 18-31. If viewing on foot, parking is available on surrounding streets. Peacock Lane residents request that visitors be quiet, respectful and not block driveways. Get complete details at peacocklane.org or check facebook.com/peacockln for updates.