In the holiday spirit
Hillsboro Orenco Station's Winter Village
Here is the chance to finally act like an Olympic ice skater, even if only for a day — or more, if you'd like. This 150-foot ice skating rink is open until Jan. 6, giving residents the opportunity to keep the fun past ringing in the New Year. Located in Hillsboro's Orenco neighborhood, the outdoor rink takes over the Jerry Willey Plaza at 943 N.E. Orenco Station Loop.
Open Mondays through Thursdays from 4 to 9 p.m. and weekends from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., the Winter Village also offers skating times on Christmas Eve until about 2 p.m. The rink is closed Christmas Day, but it opens right back up on Dec. 26 and will operate from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day until Jan. 6.
The Grotto's 'Christmas Festival of Lights'
If there is one place to feel in the Christmas spirit this time of year, it's The Grotto. The sanctuary is home to irreplaceable views of Portland, but when the sun goes down, the lights go up. Running until Dec. 30, the Christmas Festival of Lights is known to be the largest choral festival in the world. Each night, new choirs sing in The Grotto's chapel, which holds up to 600 people and onlookers. More than 190 groups perform each year and provide entertainment for the night as visitors weave in and out of the gardens to see Christmas lights. Not only is there music, but The Grotto also hosts a petting zoo.
Be sure to bundle up! Each night from here on out is expected to be in the low 40s. Parking is free and tickets are sold at the door: $12 for adults, $11 for military, $6 for children ages 3 to 12, and children younger than 2 enter for free.
Theatre in the Grove in downtown Forest Grove, 2028 Pacific Ave., is making sure everyone has an opportunity for a Christmas show right up until the very last minute — and the troupe promises laughs, too. The ensemble cast of nuns wants to put on a TV holiday special, and the audience is a part of the journey to create the show. Breaking the fourth wall, actors come out and encourage participation.
Catch the last three performances of "Nuncrackers" on Friday, Dec. 21, and Saturday, Dec. 22, at 7:30 p.m., or on Sunday, Dec. 23, at 2:30 p.m. Tickets costs $16 for adults or $14 for seniors and youth and can be purchased at the box office on Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., an hour before the show, or online at theatreinthegrove.org.
The Oregon Zoo, 4001 S.W. Canyon Road, is the largest tourist destination in the state and is a major stop even in the coldest time of the year. Every night, except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and up until Jan. 6, the Oregon Zoo will have more than a million lights shining among the animal habitats. Hot cocoa will be sold, plus a whole slew of food carts will be there to give guests something to munch on.
Haven't caught Santa yet for photos? Santa will be in attendance until Sunday, Dec. 23, so catch him before he is off on his delivery rounds.
Pricing for ZooLights is $17.95 for adults 12-65, $15 for seniors 60 and up, $12.95 for youths 3 to 11, and free for children under 2.
'It's A Wonderful Life,' radio-style
If you missed "It's A Wonderful Life" on TV, why not hear about George Bailey's story live and be whisked away to Bedford Falls? The 1946 classic Christmas movie is a radio show with Portland's Artists Repertory Theatre's rendition of the radio play. You can still catch tickets for the show, held at the NW Children's Theater on 1819 Everett St., until Dec. 30 by visiting artistsrep.org. Tickets cost $40 for adults, $30 for ages 35 and under or students, and $20 for children.
Christmas concert in Hillsboro
Missed out on choraling this year? If you want to sing out, sing out!
The Westside Community & Youth Orchestra presents their winter 2018 concert, "An Old-Fashioned Christmas," at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 19, at the Liberty High School auditorium at 7445 N.E. Wagon Drive, Hillsboro.
The group will perform holiday classics such as "Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire," "Sleigh Ride" and "Angels We Have Heard On High."
This is a free opportunity to hear Christmas music with your loved ones, and it is open to the public.
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