KATU Problem Solvers' Guide to Family Holiday Events

KATU Problem Solvers' Guide to Family Holiday Events »Play Video
Colorful lights glow at the annual ZooLights display. (KATU file photo)

It's the most wonderful time of the year - again - unless you haven't thought of things to do while the kids are out of school and the weather is not exactly outdoor-friendly.

The KATU Problem Solvers have made their list of budget-friendly holiday outings.  Look closely, some discounts are only good for KATU viewers like you!

The Holiday Express
Join Santa and his elves for a 1-hour ride along the Willamette River in a vintage train. Nearly hourly departures, Dec. 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 10 am-8 pm. Adult: $17, Kids ages 2-12: $11, Discounted family 4-pack: $47, plus surcharge.
Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation. Board at Oaks Park Station, 7806 SE Oaks Park Way. 503-224-8499


Christmas at Pearson
Bring your camera and take a photo with Santa in a vintage plane, post a letter to the North Pole, enjoy treats. Dec. 8,10 am-2 pm. Free w/admission. Adult: $7, Kids ages 6-17: $5, Kids ages 0-6: free, Discounted family 6-pack: $22.
Pearson Air Museum, 1115 E 5th St., Vancouver. 360-694-7026.


Christmas Ships
Local boaters, 50 or 60 strong, decorate their boats with holiday lights and parade up and down the Willamette and Columbia rivers from Camas to St. Helens to Lake Oswego. Special kick-off in Camas on Dec. 1, then every night Dec. 7-21.
See web page for schedules and routes.


Santa’s Workshop at the Oregon Garden
Reindeer petting zoo, crafts, music and more. Dec. 1-2, 12-8pm. Free with garden admission.  Mention KATU and get discounted pricing: Adults: $10, Kids ages 12-17: $7, Kids ages 5-11: $4, Kids ages 0-4: free.
879 W Main St., Silverton. 503-874-8100.


Holiday Magic Breakfast Theatre
Young performers entertain with The Peppermint Bear, Who Needs Sneeds? Plus a yummy breakfast. Dec. 1, 8, 15, 22, 9am & 11am. 2-day advanced reservations required.  Mention KATU for discounted family 4-pack: $40.
Lakewood Center for the Arts, 368 State St., Lake Oswego. 503-635-3901.


Oregon Zoo ZooLights
Glittering lights and the zoo at night. Lighted train ride (extra charge). Fri and Sat, 5-8:30 pm, Sun-Thurs, 5-8 pm through Dec. 31 (no Zoolights Dec. 24; zoo closed Dec. 25).  Adults: $10, Kids ages 3-11: $7, Kids ages 0-2: free.  Buy one, get one free tickets at Fred Meyer stores (purchase at courtesy counter).
Oregon Zoo, 4001 SW Canyon Rd. 503-226-1561.



Follow the Star
Take a 45-minute walking tour of live action scenes that tell the story of the Christ child. Hosted tours leave approximately every 8 minutes starting at 5:30 pm on Fridays, 4:30 pm on Saturdays and Sundays.  Nov. 30, Dec. 1, 2, 7, 8, 9. Free admission.
Gladstone Park Conference Center, 19800 Oatfield Rd., Gladstone. (503) 655-2614



The Princess Who Had No Name
Watch a comedic fairytale performed by student actors. Nov. 29-30 at 7pm, Dec. 1 at 3pm and 6pm. $5 students, $6 seniors, $7 adults.
Cedar Park Middle School, 11100 SW Park Way, Portland. (503) 672-3620



36th Annual Christmas Storybook Land
Stroll through a simulated Christmas forest of storybook and family movie characters.  When you reach the North Pole, Mr. and Mrs. Claus will be waiting.  Mon-Fri, 6:30-8:30pm, Sat-Sun. 10am-8:30pm. Special hours on Dec. 14, 1:00pm-8:30pm). Free admission; also accepting non-perishable food items.
Linn County Fair & Expo Center, Cascade Livestock Building, 3700 Knox Butte Rd., Albany.



"A Night in Bethlehem" Live Nativity
See this nativity scene complete with a live camel! Dec. 15, 5-9pm.  Free admission; also accepting non-perishable food donations for the Marion/Polk Food Share.
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 3154 Eola Dr. NW, Salem.



Loch Lolly Christmas Forest
Bring family and friends to pick out the perfect tree. Visit Santa and pet his reindeer.
28366 NW Dorland Rd., North Plains. 503-647-2619



“The Secret of Snowflake County”
Tap dancing wise men, ice skating snowflakes, and a partridge in a pear tree – oh my!  Tigard Christian Church Kid’s Choir presents their musical about the meaning of Christmas. Dec. 1-2, 6pm.
Tigard Christian Church Auditorium, 13405 SW Hall Blvd, Tigard. 503-639-5713



Christmas in Dairyland
Transport yourself to a winter wonderland at nostalgic Storybook Lane. This year’s displays benefit Multnomah County 4-H youth programs. Fridays 3-6 pm, Saturdays & Sundays 11am-6 pm, Dec. 7-9, 14-16, 21-23.
Alpenrose Dairy, 6149 SW Shattuck Rd., Portland. 503-244-1133



For even more holiday ideas from Metro Parent magazine, click here!