Each year, hundreds of thousands of twinkling holiday lights go up on display at Christmas in the Garden. Running until just after the New Year, the event takes place at Oregon Garden in Silverton, just south of Portland.
Holiday lights at the Oregon Garden — Photo courtesy of Meagan Shamy
Christmas in the Garden will run until January 3, 2016, featuring a variety of events throughout the season. And for the first time ever, there will be an ice skating rink! The 3,500 sq. ft. outdoor ice skating rink is housed inside a massive tent protecting you and the little ones from the cold.
For the most part, everything takes place in the Rediscovery Forest which is illuminated by 400,000 holiday lights. This is 100,000 more lights than last year.
As you stroll through the grounds under the lights, you'll find 18 artisan vendors participating in a traditional German Christmas market. An assortment of items are for sale like cheese knives, ornaments, bracelets, candles, pottery, chocolates, wine, cards, soaps and more.
Not only is there a traditional German Christmas market, but there is German food, too. How does this menu sound?
- Fondue with apples, bread and sausage
- Soft pretzels with fondue
- Sausage with sauerkraut
- Hot dogs
- German potato salad
Drinks offered include hot cocoa, coffee, hot spiced cider, gluhwein (a traditional hot spiced wine), Gilgamesh Brewing Beer, spirits from Hood River Distillers, soda and water.
Santa will even join the party when he can make time in his busy holiday schedule. He's scheduled to appear on the following dates: Thursday Dec. 3 through Sunday, Dec. 6; Thursday, Dec. 10 through Sunday, Dec. 13; and Thursday, Dec. 17 through Wednesday, Dec. 23. There will also be live reindeer onsite throughout the event. Your admission includes a family photo with the reindeer.
Admission into Christmas in the Garden ranges from $6-10, not including the ice skating. They offer discounts to members and Silverton residents. Ice skating costs another $12, plus $5 to rent ice skates.
A standard hotel room at the Oregon Garden — Photo courtesy of Meagan Shamy
For more fun, consider staying the night. The Oregon Garden hotel offers special Christmas packages Thursdays and Sundays starting at $109, Fridays and Saturdays starting at $139. An overnight stay does not include ice skating, but it does include tickets to Christmas in the Garden, continental breakfast and beverages served in a commemorative mug for each person on the reservation.
Remember that although there are covered seating areas along with heaters and fire pits placed throughout the garden, you'll still need to bundle up.