Gathering up loved ones to go take in holiday lights and festivities is perhaps among the finest of annual traditions. If you couple that with a road trip to one of the most beautiful spots on the Oregon Coast, you might be dancing into “Lasting Memory” territory. And this is certainly the year for it. Because after a two-year hiatus, the Holiday Lights at Shore Acres are returning to Oregon’s Adventure Coast.
From 4:00 pm - 9:00 pm each night starting Thanksgiving Day, November 24th, through December 31st, the already spectacular seven-acre Botanical Garden at Shore Acres State Park transforms into what could arguably be called the Pacific Northwest Capital of Holiday Cheer. Thanks to the handiwork of volunteers, the garden is adorned with well over 325,000 LED lights, fanciful animated displays, and a Garden House dressed to the nines with Christmas ornamentation. It’s a monumental holiday display that’s been a tradition since 1987.
This year, to make things easier for everyone, Holiday Lights visitation will happen through a timed reservation system. Entry into the lights is free, but each vehicle must pay a $5 fee to park at Shore Acres for the event. Here’s how to make your reservation.
- Pick your day/time to visit - note that half of the parking tickets will be sold in advance with the rest available within 7 days of entry.
- Visit the OPRD website or click the Book Now Button below to book your time.
- Pay the $5 fee per vehicle.
- Print your pass - you must bring the pass with you to enter the park.
- Have more questions? Call 541-888-3778, the local State Parks office.
Oh, but there’s more! If you’re going to be in the Coos Bay area for the headliner which is the Holiday Lights at Shore Acres, you can augment that festive fervor with a number of additional holiday happenings within the same timeframe.
On the way to Shore Acres, you’ll pass through the charming fishing village of Charleston. Each year, visitors and locals can marvel at one of the most thematically perfect displays of holiday cheer anywhere on the coast: the Crab Pot Tree. From November 22nd through December 31st, the tree illuminates the parking lot of the Fisherman’s Grotto restaurant.
In downtown Coos Bay proper, there’s plenty more to see and do. The annual tree lighting event takes place at the Coos Bay Visitor Information Center on November 25, 2022, beginning at 4:30 p.m.Guest appearances include Santa and the Mayor of Coos Bay, who do the honors of lighting the 30-foot Christmas tree. Cider and cookies will be served before the lighting at 5:30 pm.
After, you can head to the Historic Egyptian Theatre to visit Santa, and enjoy the traditional showing of the holiday classic, Elf. Entry to the movie is FREE with a pair of new clean socks which are donated to local shelters after the showing. The Egyptian Theatre will have two additional screenings of Elf the following day Saturday, November 26, 2022, at 2 p.m. which coincides with another appearance by Santa, as well as a Santa-free screening at 7 p.m.
Just north of Coos Bay, the town of North Bend will be the epicenter of holiday festivities all day long on December 3rd: waffles with Santa, Storytime with Mrs. Claus, Christmas on Main, Block Party, and a Tree Lighting. All the Christmas cheer you’ll need, packed into one day.
Also in North Bend, The Mill Casino will be celebrating the Festival of Trees. The event invites businesses, individuals, and organizations in the community to sponsor and decorate a tree or wreath. All decorated trees and wreaths will be auctioned off in person at The Mill Casino at 7 PM on Tuesday, December 6. Trees will be decorated at the Mill Casino on Monday, November 28. But visitors are welcome to view the decorated trees in the hotel lobby from Tuesday, November 29th - Monday, December 5th.
That’s a lot of “Lasting Memory” potential. And it’s all transpiring this holiday season in the one possible setting it could - Oregon’s Adventure Coast.