by Kelsey Tidball
Coos Bay – Holiday Lights at Shore Acres
89039 Cape Arago Hwy, Coos Bay, OR 97420
Thanksgiving thru New Year’s Eve – 4:00 – 9:30 PM every night (including Christmas Eve, Christmas and New Year’s Eve.) $5 parking; free admission.
This coastal winter lights festival features more than 325,000 lights, more than 30 landscape light displays, at least 30 large holiday trees, dozens of light sculptures and nightly entertainment and refreshments. The displays are centered around a beautiful garden house and the festival is ocean-themed, featuring a life-size orca whale display, pelicans, puffins, lighthouses, wildlife and marine life exhibits. Pick up your complimentary apple cider and cookie at the entrance and head out to explore the Oregon coast in all its glowing glory. Complete the night with a meal at Little Italy Restaurant and a stay at the Edgewater Inn.
Portland – Oregon ZooLights
4001 Southwest Canyon Road, Portland, OR 97221
The zoo opens each day at 9:30 a.m. ZooLights tickets are valid after 4 p.m. ZooLights hours are 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Value Nights. Grounds remain open for one hour after gates close. $14.95 regular admission, $9.95 Value Nights.
This classic Oregon winter lights festival is located at the Oregon Zoo. It features more than a million and a half lights arranged throughout the zoo’s exhibits and draws in thousands of people each year. Not to mention, it’s located in Portland, which is a city that offers so many other holiday attractions, too. Take a weekend trip and see Oregon Ballet Theatre’s Nutcracker, shop in Pioneer Square, and go to the Holiday Ale Festival.
Roseburg – Umpqua Valley Festival of Lights
River Forks Park Rd. Roseburg, OR 97471
The Festival of Lights opens at River Forks Park Sunday, November 19, 2017 and runs through Monday, Jan. 1, 2018.
This smaller festival comes complete with wagon rides, a visit from Santa, a miniature holiday village, and the world’s largest nutcracker. It features about 90 light displays and over 500,000 lights. Stop by the new Roseburg McMenamin’s for a meal before the festival, and bundle up for this walk-through event.
Portland – Christmas Festival of Lights at the Grotto
Friday after Thanksgiving thru December 30, Nightly 5 – 9:30 p.m. (Festival grounds close at 10 p.m.) General Admission $11.
This lesser-known Portland lights festival is for the romantic and the music-lover. Walk through the lit-up trees with your sweetheart and a hot cup of cocoa and enjoy the quieter side of Portland’s holiday scene. The festival also features over 160 nightly concerts performed in The Grotto’s 600-seat chapel.