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Winter Wonderland: Portland, Oregon

Skiing on Mount Hood and make it back in time for happy hour:

Mount Hood lies in the footprint of the Rose City, offering a bountiful winter playground just 90 minutes to downtown Portland. After a day of skiing, snowboarding or snow shoeing the many trails zigzagging on the mountain, head back to the city for a beer and dinner at the new Fracture Brewing and Lil’ America Food Cart Pod, both opening in November 2022, the latter of which will consist exclusively of BIPOC and queer-owned businesses. Alternatively, you can pop over to the queer-owned Shine Distillery on North Portland or enjoy a slice of Detroit-style pizza at BIPOC owned Assembly Brewing in SE Portland or over to Steeplejack Brewing housed in the former Metropolitan Community Church of Portland, known for its queer-friendly approach to Christianity.

Cozy up in a bookstore:

From the cozy nooks of our own homes, books transport us to faraway worlds for a much-needed escape. A book town like Portland, though, lures bibliophiles to explore the literary treasures of the city outside of the mere words written on earmarked pages. On a rainy winter’s day, get lost in Powell’s Books – the world’s largest independent bookstore which takes up an entire city block in Portland’s Pearl District, offering 68,000 square feet of used, new, rare and out of print books. Third Eye Books is a Black-owned bookstore that opened its new brick-and-mortar location in June 2021. Owners Michelle Lewis and Charles Hannah are dedicated to being a resource for African-centered books and antiracist literature. Vivienne Kitchen & Pantry is a Hollywood neighborhood favorite that exclusively sells treats alongside cookbooks, chef demonstrations and cookbook-inspired classes.

Winter Events:

The Gay Men's Chorus Winter Concert, December 9, 10, and 11: Portland's own gay men's choir will perform their concert Light the Way for three days, welcoming in the holiday season with classics, "new favorites," and "a few surprises." This group has been performing for more than 40 years now, with currently around 125 members.

Peacock Lane, December 15 to December 31: This small residential street has been going all-out for the holiday season for nearly a century — in fact, any homeowners on the street need to sign a contract stipulating their enthusiastic participation for the holidays. Every house on the street is decked out in extravagant Christmas and holiday decorations with hundreds of thousands of lights and other props and decorations. Visitors can travel the street by car, foot, or even horse-drawn carriage, while carolers perform and vendors sell hot cider and cocoa.

ZooLights, November 23, 2022 to January 5, 2023 (closed Christmas Day): The Oregon Zoo, which operates as a conservation organization, dresses up for the holidays every year with one-and-a-half million strung Christmas lights. Visitors can take the mini train around the Zoo and observe all the lighting displays, see some animals, and enjoy Christmas treats like cider.

The Portland Winter Light Festival (PDXWLF) will take place February 3 - 11, 2023 and will feature pop-up art installations in windows, storefronts, and public spaces throughout the city of Portland. Each year, the event hosts upwards of 200,000 visitors and guests who come out to explore light-art installations throughout the city, visit local businesses, and celebrate art and community during the darkest time of year. The nonprofit event is family-friendly and is presented to the public for free. The mission of PDXWLF is to build community by bringing digital art to inclusive audiences while invigorating Portland in the winter.

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