It may seem like we were just trick-or-treating and visiting pumpkin patches, but believe it or not — the holiday season is just around the corner! And thankfully, there are so many exciting holiday events in Vancouver and surrounding communities in Southwest Washington to look forward to.
Complete with holiday markets, Santa visits, ugly sweater parties, festive concerts, tree lightings and more festivities, our holiday guide will help you maximize the holiday season in Vancouver this year. Happy Holidays!
November 14 | 4–9 p.m.
Head to downtown Camas for a festive evening of holiday shopping and merriment. Your $25 ticket price includes a double-decker bus ride, 10 tasting tickets, a ticket to enter the basket raffle, and a holiday passport with downtown specials. For every five stamps you receive in your passport, you are entered to win an “Enjoy Downtown Camas” package, which includes an overnight stay in the beautiful Camas Hotel, dinner for two, movie tickets at the historic Liberty Theatre, free coffee, free cupcakes, a free bottle of olive oil of your choice, and more!
November 23 + 31, December 21 + 28 | 7:30 p.m.
Photo Courtesy of the National Park Service
Fort Vancouver is hosting their annual lantern tours, allowing visitors to view this iconic fort in a new light — or lack thereof. Each adult will carry their own candle lantern and follow a park ranger through the reconstructed fort’s Counting House, Fur Store, Chief Factor’s House, Kitchen and Bake House. In each building, encounter historical vignettes with costumed living history interpreters, and top off the tour with a cup of hot cider to complete the magical experience! Lantern Tours will be offered on November 23 and 31 and again on December 21 and 28, in addition to several other days in January, February and March.
November 29 | 4–7 p.m.
Witness the awe-inspiring display as thousands of lights come to life on the community tree in Esther Short Park. Plus, enjoy holiday music, a visit from Santa and his elves, special appearances by Anna and Elsa from Frozen, horse-drawn wagon rides around the park, special performances, and more. Stop by Divine Consign to view 12 beautifully decorated trees in lieu of the past three-day Festival of Trees.
November 29–December 1 | Varying Times
The Vancouver Farmers’ Market is heading indoors at the Hilton so you can shop from your favorite market vendors with a holiday twist. This is the ideal place to get your holiday shopping done!
December 6 | 5–9 p.m.
Photo Courtesy of Downtown Camas
Don’t miss the ultimate holiday celebration in Camas. Hosted and organized by the City of Camas, Hometown Holidays includes a downtown tree lighting, photo opportunities with Santa, crafts, hay rides, entertainment, hot cocoa, holiday shopping, art shows and more. The event starts at 5 but the tree lighting is at 6:30 — and yes, the snow and fireworks are back this year!
December 6–21 on Sundays, Thursdays, Fridays + Saturdays | Varying Times
Watch the classic Miracle on 34th Street story come to life at Magenta Theater, with performances on Sundays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays all throughout December. Follow the captivating story of an old man going by the name Kris Kringle who accidentally finds himself filling in for Santa at Macy’s in Manhattan, New York. After claiming he is the real Santa, Kringle finds himself in a courtroom to defend both his mental health and his true identity.
December 7 | 8 a.m.–7 p.m.
The City of Ridgefield is hosting an all-day celebration to kick off the holidays. The fun begins with the Ugly Christmas Sweater 5K/10K at 9 a.m. and continues with a food and gift festival at Overlook Park, featuring vendors, snacks, live music and more. Other activities around town include cookie decorating and holiday crafts, pictures and holiday trailer rides with Santa, a nativity scene, a family game and activity center, and more. Don’t miss the tree lighting ceremony at 4:30, complete with a holiday performance by DanceFusion, a cup of hot chocolate or hot cider, sweet treats, and a community sing-along.
December 7, 14, 18, 21 + 28 | 12 p.m.
Make your way to the Pomeroy Living History Farm in Yacolt for their Christmas Tea, a festive tea luncheon featuring three types of sandwiches, four assorted desserts, scones, and of course — plenty of tea. After your meal, enjoy a tour through the historic log house decked out for the holidays!
December 8 | 7–9 p.m.
Now in its 13th season, It’s a Tony Starlight Christmas brings back the nostalgic holiday traditions from entertainers like Bing Crosby and Dean Martin with a fresh, comedic spin. This year, Tony is joining forces with Bo Ayarsa at Old Liberty Theater in Ridgefield for a musical and comedic Christmas program like no other. This show is both silly and sweet — and it’s sure to put you in the holiday spirit!
December 8 | 1–4 p.m.
Main Street in Uptown will be closed for the Reindeer Block Party for a fun, free and festive holiday event. Visit craft vendors, make crafts, take a photo with Santa, enjoy live music, and of course — meet two famous reindeer, Comet and Vixen!
December 13–25 | Varying Times
All throughout the holiday season, Kiggins Theatre is playing a variety of holiday movies, starting with Elf and Christmas Vacation playing December 13–17, and culminating with White Christmas December 20–25. This historic theater provides the ideal setting to enjoy these classic holiday movies!
December 14 | 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
A beloved tradition for Vancouver area residents, Christmas at the Fort is back at Fort Vancouver. Experience the sights and sounds of the 1840s holiday season as you enjoy wreath making, holiday beverages, caroling, and much more. The price of admission is just $7 for ages 16 and older and free for ages 15 and under.
December 14–15 (3 p.m. on Saturday + 7 p.m. on Sunday)
The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra is busy this time of year with their much-anticipated Classical Concert Series. On December 14 and 15, the orchestra is presenting a special holiday celebration with guest artist and soprano Charlotte Pistor. Tickets range from $10–52.
December 14 | 4–9 p.m.
Slip on your ugliest holiday sweater and join the madness in Uptown Vancouver at the Ugly Holiday Sweater Pub Crawl. The event is free for anyone 21 and over; simply stop by one of the participating businesses, choose your route and win prizes along the way. Keep an eye on the Facebook event page for updates as the event draws near!
December 20–23 | Varying Times
No holiday season is complete without The Nutcracker — and each year, Columbia Dance puts on an exceptional performance of this beloved story. Watch as a cast of over 90 local dancers presents the magical story of Clara and her Nutcracker Prince as they battle the Mouse King and embark on a thrilling journey through the Land of Snow into the Kingdom of Sweets. The performance is open to the public December 20–23.
December 21–22 | 12 + 2:30 p.m. (Both Days)
Finish the season strong at Chelatchie Prairie Railroad’s Steam Winter Finale. After several weekends of Christmas tree excursions, this is their final operating weekend of the year. Visit with Santa, capture views of the Lewis River on this serene train ride, then return to the station for warm cider and cocoa, hot coffee and cookies. The supply of trees may be limited on the final weekend and all trees are first come, first served.
What holiday events in Southwest Washington are you looking forward to? Let us know in the comments below!