Traditionally Untraditional: Celebrate the holidays in Downtown Portland

Traditionally Untraditional: Celebrate the holidays in Downtown Portland

Enjoy new stores and restaurants & don’t miss the final season of PDX Pop-Up Shops

We are excited to share all that is new and “Traditionally Untraditional” in Downtown Portland this holiday season. Join us in the heart of Portland’s Downtown for exciting activities and new shopping experiences for the whole family this winter.

“This holiday season presents the perfect opportunity to savor all that Downtown Portland has to offer. Let’s all shop, eat, play and show our support for the many incredible and new holiday activities available in the heart of the Rose City,” Mayor Ted Wheeler said.

More than 30 new retailers and restaurants opened in downtown Portland this year. 
  • Celebrate the opening of the Portland Beer Museum (318 SW Washington St.). It’s not what you might think. Everything is for sale! Celebrate beer culture with curated draft beers, beer souvenirs, and the best bottled beers from Oregon and the world. 
  • Japanese bookstore Kinokuniya (829 SW 9th Ave.) opened their 13th U.S. store in the former Guild Theatre building. The bookstore carries carefully selected books, unique gifts and Japanese stationery, with a focus on art and comics from Japan. It is also home to the Book of Tea Café, an ideal spot to relax while enjoying authentic Japanese tea and sweets. 
  • 1927 S’mores (1126 SW Alder St.) shows that s’mores aren’t just for around the campfire anymore. Now you can indulge in an artisanal torch fired dessert every day of the week. The business name is an homage to the first ever documented s’mores recipe from the Girls Scouts’ 1927 “Tramping and Trailing” newsletter. 
  • Baseballism (875 SW Yamhill St.) is an off-the-field store near Director Park focusing on the class, tradition and history of baseball, products made for the love of the game, and getting Portland ready for a future MLB franchise!
  • Compound Gallery (625 SW 10th) is the destination for streetwear enthusiasts to shop a curated selection of toys, accessories, sneakers and apparel. It is currently in its temporary location through February 2020.
  • Visit Pioneer Place for Oregon’s only Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co. and Zara. While you are there, stop by new dining additions including Kung Fu Tea, BurgerFi and Raising Cane’s. Try Raising Cane’s famous southern-inspired chicken fingers, Texas toast and sweet tea. Meat-lovers and vegetarians alike will enjoy delicious burgers, hotdogs and milkshakes at BurgerFi. Also new to the space is Palette at Pioneer Place, a locally owned store featuring more than 30 business owners of color representing more than 15 different ethnicities. The store offers quality small batch food items, unique retail items and ethically sourced imports.
  • When you are in the Old Town area, make sure to check out the new eclectic retail and dining offerings. Little Taco and Tequila features more than 100 different tequilas and seasonal drinks in their cozy neighborhood space. Produce Organics offers an impressive inventory of local and international high-end streetwear brands. Laundry PDX is the city’s go-to for authentic vintage Blazers gear and paraphernalia. Zapapizza satisfies your munchies combining pan pizza with Mexican food. Last but not least, Casa Tolteca is the newest café and mezcal bar featuring artisanal Mexican food.
  • Be sure to stop in to the region’s only locations of MUJI and ZARA, two international retailers that opened last year. Fast-fashion giant ZARA at Pioneer Place spans two levels, and features women’s, men’s and children’s collections. Japanese lifestyle brand MUJI in the historic Meier & Frank building offers product lines that include apparel, kitchenware, tableware, furniture, interior and storage accessories, stationery, skincare, bags and suitcases.
“People love the tradition of coming together into the heart of Portland. It’s a tradition that starts for many with the Tree Lighting Ceremony in the Square and continues with unique holiday experiences and places to meet with family and friends,” said Downtown Retail Council (DRC) chair Courtney Posey, store manager of Nordstrom Downtown Portland. 

Through November and December, retail events and promotions will be updated regularly at, and on our popular Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts.

This year’s campaign is focused on all that makes Downtown Portland Traditionally Untraditional. With a focus on all of the things quirky and unique that make Downtown a memorable holiday destination. Special artwork is featured online, print and billboards throughout the region, as well as special postcards that will showcase the many downtown cultural events, holiday happenings, and retailers that visitors will want to explore this season. Postcards are available at local stores and with Downtown Portland Clean & Safe’s Sidewalk Ambassadors.
2018 PDX Pop-Up Shop participants.
PDX Pop-Up Shops
This is the tenth and final year for the PDX Pop-Up Shops. Next year, a project co-sponsored by the Portland Bureau of Transportation and Prosper Portland will unveil a new independent retail hub in the center of downtown that will showcase small businesses owned by diverse community members. The tradition of PDX Pop-Up Shops turned Portland’s vacant retail space into temporary destinations for local designers and artists to “set up shop” for the season. The program has served as a launch pad for establishing small businesses, including Crafty Wonderland, Boys Fort, and Bridge and Burn. 

2019 PDX Pop-Up Shops feature:
Alshiref and Friends, established in 2014, specializes in handmade, locally sourced and custom printed textiles, with a focus on home goods, bags and apparel featuring hand drawn perspectives of Portland’s iconic bridges and places. This Pop-Up Shop will also showcase local products from more than 20 Portland-based artists, including blown glass drinking cups, handmade soap, woven fabric art, jewelry, ceramic dishware, wood-based art, and prints and illustrations.

The Pop-Up Shop is open Thursday, Nov. 14 through Tuesday, Dec. 31, and is located in Pioneer Place at 700 SW 5th Ave. on the lower level next to the Gap. Program partners include the Portland Business Alliance, Downtown Portland Clean & Safe District, Prosper Portland, Travel Portland and Pioneer Place.

Free Parking Sundays
This year, shoppers will once again receive a special gift: Free parking in SmartPark garages all day on Sunday, Dec. 8, 15, and 22. Between noon and 5 p.m., show your parking ticket at the PDX Pop-Up Shop in Pioneer Place located at 700 SW 5th Ave. on the lower level next to the Gap, or at Boys Fort located at 1001 SW Morrison. Eligible drivers will receive a $5 parking voucher to cover the day’s cost of parking in SmartPark garages.

Holiday Lighting
Every year, the Downtown Portland Clean & Safe District lights more than 750 trees in a 63-block area in the retail core to provide a festive atmosphere. Holiday lighting light up our downtown core beginning on Friday, Nov. 1 and continues through mid-February. Tree trunks on SW Yamhill and SW Morrison streets have enhanced lighting in November and December, bringing an even more festive feel to our signature retail streets.

Another special addition back this year is snow all season long around Pioneer Courthouse Square. Look for a special installation of snowflakes lighting up the night sky on SW Yamhill and SW Morrison streets between SW 5th and SW 6th avenues. 

Visit Santa
This year, Santa is traveling from the North Pole and making several stops in Downtown Portland. At Pioneer Place, Santa arrives on Thursday, Nov. 14, and dons his hipster threads on Dec. 7, 8, 9, and 19. Make sure your furry friends get a picture with Hipster Santa on the evening of Dec. 9. Santa is also making a special stop by Nordstrom on Friday, Nov. 29 for the Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Square, and for a breakfast event on Thursday, Dec. 7 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Kids can tell him their Christmas wishes from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Dec. 13, 14 and 15, as well as Dec. 20-24. On Christmas Eve, Santa is only available until 4 p.m. before he begins his world-wide tour that evening.  

Menorah Lighting
Each year, Chabad of Oregon hosts a Chanukah Menorah Lighting at Director Park. Join the Festival of Lights celebration on the first night of Chanukah with music, traditional foods, children's crafts and a Menorah Lighting with dignitaries on Sunday, Dec. 22. Lightings will go on through Monday, Dec. 30. This is the 36th year that Chabad of Oregon is lighting Portland's Public Menorah. 

Festival of the Last-Minute
‘Tis the season for Portland Saturday Market’s Festival of the Last-Minute! Open daily beginning Thursday, Dec. 19 through Christmas Eve, the marketplace will once again feature one-of-a-kind handcrafted items, exotic foods and an appropriately chilly, yet perennially cool atmosphere. The event marks the perfect opportunity to shop the work of talented area artists and support the local economy, with some 40 categories of arts and crafts. After all, just because you didn’t make the gifts yourself, doesn’t make them any less handmade or thoughtful.

Pioneer Courthouse Square Holiday Events  
Pioneer Courthouse Square is the place to be this holiday season to enjoy free, family-friendly holiday events, activities, performances and traditions. The 35th annual holiday season begins with the Stimson Lumber Tree Arrival at noon, Friday, Nov. 15. Santa Claus will be there as the city’s tree makes its way down SW 6th Avenue to Portland’s Living Room. The 35th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony, presented by SmartPark, will be held the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, Nov. 29, with a crowd of more than 25,000 Portlanders united in a joyful sing-a-long led by a diverse array of our city’s talented musicians and chorale singers. The evening’s program will feature Mayor Wheeler, city dignitaries and Santa Claus as they ‘flip the switch’ to illuminate 14,000 colorful lights on our city’s centerpiece to the holiday season in Portland. 

The holiday season continues with The Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition, presented by Portland Mall Management, Inc., spanning an eight-block radius throughout downtown. This fun and festive event will bring caroling groups of all ages to the heart of downtown from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 13. Prizes are awarded to the top three caroling groups along with a grand prize of $1,000. The 29th Annual Tuba Christmas Concert, presented by SmartPark, will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14. Once again, downtown will pulse as the big brass sound of nearly 300 tubas perform festive songs of the season during this free performance. 

Pioneer Courthouse Square will also continue the tradition of performances by local school, art and dance groups providing festive entertainment throughout the holiday season. For a complete list of holiday events and performances taking place at the Square, visit or follow on Instagram at @thesquarepdx.  

For more information on these campaigns and other downtown happenings, visit or follow us on Facebook at Visit Downtown Portland, Instagram at @downtownpdx and Twitter at @inDowntownPDX. To participate in the conversation and follow the campaign, use #downtownpdx and #PDXPopUpShops.

About the Downtown Marketing Program
The Downtown Marketing Program is a public-private partnership with the Portland Bureau of Transportation SmartPark garage operations, Portland Business Alliance and the Downtown Portland Clean & Safe district. The program is dedicated to promoting the long-term vitality of consumer businesses in Downtown Portland.

Pioneer Courthouse Square

Pioneer Courthouse Square, Inc. is a non-profit organization whose mission is to manage Downtown’s central public space, Pioneer Courthouse Square, to achieve an active and healthy downtown core.  Hosting more than 300 programmed events each year, through a variety of public and private partnerships, Pioneer Courthouse Square operates within a budget of $2.2M composed of cash and in-kind donations.