It’s not Christmas without a trip to the big guy, Santa Clause! Here’s where to catch Santa around the city this year.
The Holiday Express
What better location to see Santa than a ride on the Holiday Express. The Holiday Express provides children with a magical ride on Portland’s famous steam trains where vintage rail cars will drive you along the Willamette and into the city. The train departs from Oaks Park and the ride lasts 40-45 minutes round trip. Coffee, tea, and hot chocolate are available while you board, the interior of the train is decorated Christmas style, and Santa is on each train! Tickets are $22 for adults, $16 for children, or $70 for a family. The train runs November 29 & 30, and December 1, 7, 8, 14, and 15. Choose a daytime or a nighttime ride
Festival of the Trees
The Festival of the Trees is a magical winter wonderland filled with beautifully decorated Christmas trees and displays by local florists, businesses, designers, and volunteers. With more than 100 uniquely decorated trees and 300 businesses, this year’s 37th Festival of Trees is not one to miss. Proceeds from the event benefit Providence Children’s health. While children can see Santa at the festival, take it to the next level and sign them up for Elf Academy, where they can learn what it’s like to be one of Santa’s elves! They will get to decorate cookies, create crafts, participate in a scavenger hunt, and visit the Teddy Bear Hospital. Elf Academy is taking place December 6-7 and tickets are $10 for adults, and $8 for kids ages 3-12, or buy a family pack for 2 adults and 2 children for $28! The event takes place at the Oregon Convention Center.
Santa’s Headquarters at Washington Square
Visit Santa’s headquarters at Washington Square Mall where children can be transported to the North Pole. Test out the Magic Mirror where kids can get transformed into elves, Elf-Ray Vision and the Naughty or Nice Meter! Mrs. Clause is also having story time on select days! Of course, this is a perfect place to purchase your photo with Santa. The line can build, so reserve your spot ahead of time. Santa will be at Washington Square through December 24th.
Nothing says Christmas in Portland like Hipster Santa! Located in Pioneer Place at the Lower Level Rotunda December 7-19, 12-9 pm. Sitting on a PDX Carpet chair with a bike on one side and a typewriter on the other, Hipster Santa wears skinny jeans and a cardigan and has a man bun. Photos with Hipster Santa can be purchased and spots in line can be reserved with a FastPass. Hipster Santa even has a pet night on December 9 from 5-8 pm where guests can bring their dogs & cats. They like to say “he’s like a regular Santa, but cooler”.
Visit Santa in his cozy cottage at Bridgeport Village where photos can be purchased and Santa will hand out small toys and candy canes. Santa is at Bridgeport Village on November 23-December 24. Then, get some Christmas shopping done around the outdoor mall that is adorned in garland, ornaments, and Christmas lights! They suggest arriving 1 hour before closing if you are planning on attending in the evening. The wait time varies, and Santa will take cookie breaks every day from 3-4 pm, and on Christmas Eve from 1-2 pm.
Blog Image Credit: Providence Foundations of Oregon (Festival of the Trees)