Free Family Holiday Cultural Events


Professor of Cultural Studies April Allen shares free cultural events in the area.


1.) Las Posadas: A Mexican Christmas Tradition

  • December 9 @ 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
  • Trinity Cathedral
  • 147 NW 19th Avenue Portland, OR 97209
  • Followed by a fiesta with piñatas and homemade tamales. All are welcome!
  • Las Posadas, ( Spanish: "The Inns") religious festival celebrated in Mexico and some parts of the United States between December 16 and 24. Las Posadas commemorates the journey that Joseph and Mary made from Nazareth to Bethlehem in search of a safe refuge where Mary could give birth to the baby Jesus.

2.) Norwegian Christmas Music Festival: Norsk Julesangfest

  • Sunday, December 10th at
  • Gethsemane Lutheran Church
  • 11560 SE Market Portland, OR 97216 from 3:15-4:15pm.
  • Singing carols in Norwegian and hearing a Christmas message in Norwegian. They will honor Saint Lucia as well. The festival was started by a professor of Norwegian studies at Portland State University. His purpose was to have a purely Norwegian experience of a purely Norwegian Christmas.

3.) Hanukkah Story Time

  • To hear a great reading, head over to Green Bean Books for their annual Hanukkah Story Time for children! This year's featured author and storyteller Eric Kimmel (Hanukkah Bear; Simon and the Bear: A Hanukkah Tale ; Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins) , who will read from his children's publications. Listen to a great book and meet some new friends in the process.
  • December 12, 11 am-12 pm
  • Green Bean Books
  • 1600 NE Alberta St
  • 503-892-7415

4.) Nine Free Days at Lan Su Chinese Gardens

  • Saturday, December 9, 2017 through Sunday, December 17, 2017
  • Lan Su Chinese Garden will offer a free admission for each donation of a non-perishable food item, from Saturday, December 9 through Sunday, December 17, 2017. (General admission is regularly $10.)

5.) Celebrate Kwanzaa:

Kwanzaa, means "First Fruist"! The week long celebration honors African heritage and values in African American culture, and is observed form Dec. 26th-Jan. 1. Each of the 7 days is dedicated to 7 principals that represent Kwanzaa:

First Celebration: Join us for a free community Kwanzaa celebration.

  • Kwanzaa Celebration
  • Saturday, Dec. 16th, 2017 from 3pm-7pm
  • At New Direction Community Church in Vancouver, Washington.

Second Celebration:

  • Saturday, December 30th, 10:30am-12pn.
  • North Portland Library
  • 512 N. Killingsworth St.
  • Portland, OR 97217
  • 503.988.5394

Come and celebrate the fifth principle, Nia (Purpose), during our Family Kwanzaa Celebration:

10:30-11 am: Kwanzaa Family Storytime

11-11:30 am: Kwanzaa Candle Ceremony with Joyce Harris

11:30 am-12 pm: Kwanzaa Family Craft

Light refreshments provided.