There may be just 12 days of Christmas in the traditional holiday carol, but downtown Portland is maxing out the season by kicking things off now!
Upwards of 35 new retailers and restaurants opened this year, creating even more opportunities to feast, play and shop downtown. From internationally beloved brands like ZARA and MUJI to locally based favorites, shoppers will spot new additions alongside Portland standbys. Keep an eye out for exquisitely made men's work shirts at the holidays-only Grayers brick and mortar in the West End, and find tailored women's apparel and jewelry at new arrival IGWT.
What's more, PDX Pop-Up Shops—which turn empty storefronts into temporary spaces for local designers, artisans and entrepreneurs—are back, from Nov. 15 through Dec. 24. Some of our favorites: City Pop, which features fun handcrafted items and vibrant art by local female artists; BlackSheepMade, the fiber brand that sells hand-knit scarves and pet beds as well as customized pieces you can co-design with designers at the shop; and the social enterprise-lifestyle brand combo dfrntpigeon, which offers apparel, prints and accessories designed by Portland's marginalized youth.
Need to refuel after a day of shopping? Pop into Blue Star's new flagship space for one (or a dozen) of its Insta-famous donuts. Then zip through Tea Bar's new refueling station for a warm drink that will keep you toasty (and caffeinated!) as you stroll the streets. Or tuck in with handmade pasta and a chicken parm sandwich at the newly opened East Coast-Italian joint Il Solito.
Finally, don't miss the 34th annual Tree Lighting Ceremony on Nov. 23, the epic event that brings together locals and visitors alike in Portland's Living Room. Between 75 feet of Douglas fir, 14,000 multicolored lights and thousands of carolers led by Pink Martini's Thomas Lauderdale, there will be a lot of holiday cheer at the Pioneer Courthouse Square event. Sing along—and ooh and aah—as they flip the switch and light up downtown Portland.