Holiday Events Around WOU

Red WOU Holiday Tree Lighting banner with green text and white tree silhouette

As the temperature begins to drop, a feeling of celebration spreads across campus. Even though students might be cramming for tests and spending long hours at the library, the campus is alight with the spirit of the season. From festive lights wrapped around the giant Sequoia tree to hot cocoa served in Caffé Allegro, signs of the season can be seen all around WOU. Here’s a guide for events on or surrounding the campus. 

WOU Holiday Tree Lighting – Friday, December 6 

One of WOU’s most famous traditions is our annual tree lighting, which is held near the end of  fall term. Festive lights are strung in WOU’s Sequoia tree, which is lit at the end of a holiday parade. At this event, you can also partake in a cookie bake-off, arts and crafts, pictures with Santa, and more! 

Making Spirits Bright – Saturday, December 7 

Celebrate the season at Making Spirit Bright’s second annual event, right here in Monmouth. Enjoy a holiday bazaar, entertainment, festive lights, and more! 

Nutcracker in Salem – December 8-9

If you’re looking for a wonderful ballet, check out the American Ballet Academy’s A Children’s Nutcracker at Salem’s Elsinore Theater. Doors open at 6 p.m. and tickets range from $16 to $25. 

Holidays at the Capitol – December 4-24

Festive music abounds during the month of December, and there is no exception at Salem’s capitol building. Every Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., you can enjoy various Oregon choirs, which checking out the capitol’s holiday decor. 

Christmas in the Garden- November 29, 2019- January 5, 2020

For a more extensive holiday event, you can head to Silverton’s Oregon Garden, where you can ice skate, experience a German market, check out festive lights, and much more. General admission does not include ice skating or snowless tubing, so make sure you know which ticket to buy. 

Keizer Holiday Lights Parade- December 14

Located on River Rd in Keizer, the Holiday Lights Parade is a joyous celebration of the season. Check out the sparkling lights while listening to festive music. 

A train outlined in holiday lights travels on a snowy path at path
The Zoo Train at  Zoo Lights, photograph courtesy of The Oregon Zoo

Zoo Lights at the Oregon Zoo – November 29, 2019- January 5, 2020

One of Portland’s most popular holiday events is Zoo Lights, which starts at 5 p.m. and runs until 9 p.m. Walk around the zoo and sip hot cocoa, or take a ride on the zoo’s train, taking in the beautiful lights. Check out the schedule on the zoo’s website to save some money! 

Winter Wonderland at the Portland International Raceway – November 29 – December 29

Sometimes you want to enjoy the lights of the season, but the weather doesn’t necessarily warrant that. If that’s the case, you can check out Winter Wonderland in Portland, which allows you to check out hundreds of light displays, all from the comfort of your own car, safe from the cold and rain. You pay per car, so gather up you friends and head to the show. 

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