DO | Ornament Hunt
Whether you love the thrill of a good hunt or simply get bored browsing the aisles of Target for Christmas decorations, this event should keep you entertained if you’re getting ready to trim a tree. The Willamette Valley Visitors Association has hidden 200 wooden ornaments along non-wilderness trails in the Willamette and Umpqua National Forests. Each one includes a Willamette Valley leather patch and instructions on how to register to win a prize. Though you might have to break a light sweat to get one, there are worse holiday traditions than hiking in the woods. Willamette and Umpqua National Forests, willamettevalley.org/ornaments. Through Jan. 1, 2022.
SEE | Foamboy
A name like Foamboy suggests softness, inefficacy, the quality of being a punching bag—a neat contrast with the muscular post-disco that the duo has been pursuing since changing its name from Chromatic Colors. Their recently released debut, Sober Daydream, sets Katy Ohsiek’s sangfroid against a jazzy, hard-hitting backdrop from producer Wil Bakula and a boatload of local players. Imagine the grungiest and most elegant bits of the ‘80s combined—as much synthwave as sophisti-pop, as much Sade as Schwarzenegger. Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison St., 503-239-7639, holocene.org. 8 pm Wednesday, Dec. 1. $10.
DO | Drag Queen Bingo with Katya
Drag queen bingo is like a drag show where you have something to do with your hands—other than toss back cocktails and clap. This one-off charity night asks supporters of the Cascade AIDS Project to dress up in red and fill out their cards for a good cause. Local hostess and performer Katya will provide the wit and the numbers. Kells Brewery, 112 SW 2nd Ave., capnw.org. 6 pm Thursday, Dec. 2. $20, includes one bingo card for each of three rounds.
SEE | The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
It’s no wonder Portland Center Stage artistic director Marissa Wolf once again tapped Jamie Sanders for the lead in this production after he last appeared in her Kansas City staging of this Tony Award winner. The raw emotion he brought to the stage in March 2020 as a 15-year-old autistic boy determined to track down the person who killed his neighbor’s dog was at once tender and haunting. The company also worked marvels with a spare set that looked like the Transporter Room in Star Trek. Unfortunately, the company had to close the production just one week into its run because of the pandemic lockdown. Happily, though, it’s brought it back for a full run. Portland Center Stage at the Armory, 128 NW 11th Ave., 503-445-3700, pcs.org. 7:30 pm Wednesday-Saturday, 2 and 7:30 pm Sunday, through Dec. 24. $30-$87.
GO | Portland Night Market
With the holidays approaching and supply chains being what they are, consider the Portland Night Market—and its 175-plus local retail, artisan goods, food and art vendors your unique and irreplaceable gift-giving salvation. Though the Night Market appears promptly every four months, the holiday incarnation can be one of its busiest. The ticketed Thursday preview event means you get first pick of what’s for sale and can move around a little more freely, but unlike the free market it’ll set you back $20 (one cocktail included). Portland Night Market, 100 SE Alder St., pdxnm.com. 6-9 pm Thursday, Dec. 2. $20. 4-11 pm Friday-Saturday, 11 am-4 pm Sunday, Dec. 3-5. Free.
VIRTUAL | Neal Stephenson
Sci-fi and fantasy lovers saw Neal Stephenson in conversation with Lev Grossman and are already clicking over to Powell’s to register for this remote chat between two beloved world-building authors about Stephenson’s new vision of the future, Termination Shock. Ever focused on the roads our world might rumble down, Stephenson’s new novel brings together characters from far-ranging continents and cultures to grapple with potential solutions for climate change. Seeing as Stephenson’s first book, Zodiac, was an unabashed eco-thriller, filled with soliloquies to hardware stores and bike lights, this subject has long been part of Stephenson’s oeuvre. Register for the zoom at powells.com. 5 pm Friday, Dec. 3. Free.
GO | Unique Markets Portland Holiday Pop-Up
By now, we’ve all heard about the global shipping delays that are expected to continue into the new year. If you want to avoid buying holiday gifts online for fear they’ll arrive by Christmas 2022, then it’s time to return to the old brick-and-mortar, and this holiday pop-up should make it easy to get your shopping done all in one place. Unique Markets Portland launched last year in a vacant Orchard Supply Hardware and since then has tripled in size, growing into the Veterans Memorial Coliseum. There you’ll find 140 local businesses, emerging brands and artists. And to make the drudgery of shopping a little more fun, organizers will offer free drinks and holiday portraits, and even wrap your gifts before you leave. Veterans Memorial Coliseum, 300 N Winning Way, uniquemarkets.com. 10 am-4 pm Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 4-5. $5 general admission, $25 VIP online, in advance.