Does it ever feel like holiday season passes in a flash? For the most part, people spend their holiday season under the stress of providing a great experience for their family, friends, and/or loved ones. So much so that some people begin to declare they “hate the holidays.” Lies. Nobody hates the holidays. But, if you forget to slow down and simply enjoy the time with good company, it makes sense why it might just feel like a whirlwind of consumerism. Setting aside time to enjoy some of the local offerings during the holiday season is a great way to spend a few special moments with each other. Here’s a look at some fun holiday events in Lane County.
December 15, 16, 22, 23, 10:00am to 6:00pm | December 24, 10:00am to 4:00pm
796 W. 13th Ave., Eugene, OR
The Saturday Market’s Holiday Market is vintage Eugene. If you have a friend or family member coming to town this holiday season and you want to fully immerse them into Eugene, Oregon, take them to the Holiday Market. Aside from the endearing and sometimes comical atmosphere, it really is something to behold. There is an incredibly wide range of handmade arts and gifts ranging from fun and goofy, to practical and useful, to accessible trinkets and crafts, to enigmatic works of art. When you grow tired of walking about, the market offers an international food court made up of only local vendors and provides seating to enjoy local musical artists while they fill the room with original arrangements.
Gingerbread House Night
December 21, 6:00pm to 7:30pm
Adventure! Children’s Museum, 490 Valley River Center, Eugene, OR
Gingerbread House Night is a tradition in many households; as is the mess left behind. Adventure! Children’s Museum is graciously opening their doors so that your dwelling may remain mess free. They ask that you RSVP by December 17th so that they can prepare enough gingerbread, but there is no limit for how many can come to enjoy the workshop! House building materials cost $12 each, with hot cocoa or tea included to enjoy while you construct your ginger abode.
Winter Solstice Celebration
December 14, 5:00pm to 8:00pm
Museum of Natural and Cultural History, 1680 E. 15th Ave., Eugene, OR
Come celebrate the winter solstice celebration by journeying back into Oregon’s ice age past! The Museum of Natural and Cultural History will be hosting a meet and greet with prehistoric sloths, mammoths, and other thought-to-be-extinct freezing friends. In addition to your icy expedition will be live music and dance performances, crafts, face painting, and a gift shop stocked with locally made holiday gifts. General Admission costs $5 or is free with a non-perishable food donation (per person) to FOOD For Lane County.
December 22, 23, 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Friendly Street Church of God, 2290 Friendly St., Eugene, OR
A Eugene tradition unlike any other, the live nativity is put on by the Friendly Street Church of God. The event is open to all and serves complimentary hot beverages and cookies. With animals in tow, the Friendly Street Church spares no details in their portrayal of the birth of Christ. The live nativity is a rare opportunity for you and your family to experience the true meaning of Christmas.
Nutcracker at the Hult
December 21, 22, 7:30pm | December 22, 23, 2:00pm
The Hult Center, 1 Eugene Center, Eugene, OR
Everybody should see a live performance of The Nutcracker at least once. Fortunately for us, we have the added benefit of being home to the renowned Eugene Ballet, who has been performing The Nutcracker annually since 1981. This year’s performance will be accompanied by Orchestra Next. Have an enchanted evening out with a partner or friends, or bring the whole family to watch Clara and the Nutcracker in their battle to break the Mouse King’s curse. Either way, the seasonal spectacle is a great excuse to attend the ballet in your Sunday’s. Performing arts enthrallment starts at $34.00 for both evening and matinee showings.
Dickens of a Christmas
December 16, 2:30pm
The Hult Center, 1 Eugene Center, Eugene, OR
The Hult plays host to another theatrical act, A Dickens of a Christmas. This is a musical version of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and is only showing once! Tickets start at $25 so snag them while you still can. The Eugene Concert Choir leaves you with this, “Christmas Past is a Renaissance Feast, Christmas Present is the mid-1800s time of Dickens, and Christmas Future is a raucous, kitschy look at the contemporary culture of today.”
Zoolights at Wildlife Safari
December 14, 15, 16, 5:00pm to 8:00pm
Wildlife Safari, 1790 NW Safari Rb., Winston, OR
Join the animal kingdom in their celebration of Christmas! They’ve decked their halls, stuffed their stockings, and are ready for Santa’s visit. Speaking of Santa, how does he even determine which animals are on which list? The Wildlife Safari village has prepared a light show for you and yours to drive through and experience the wonder of the wilderness. They have “special stop” planned along the way as well as free cookies, cocoa and coffee, family photos and gingerbread house assembling at the end (or beginning). Tickets are only $5, although it is a bit of a drive.
2nd Annual Muppet Christmas Carol Sing Along
December 19, 6:30pm-Late (Minors welcome until 8:00pm)
Old Nick’s Pub, 211 Washington St., Eugene, OR
Old Nick’s Pub is putting on a free event for all! They will be playing one of their favorite Christmas movies (it’s a secret), and encourage all to sing along. Minors are welcome until 8:00pm, when they officially turn into a bar (per OLCC). Feel free to join midway through or after, Christmas cheer will be spread all evening.
December 9, 15, 16, 1:00pm, December 14th, 4:00pm
McMurphey Johnson House, 303 Willamette St., Eugene, OR
What a fun and charming way to spend a brisk afternoon. The McMurphey Johnson House runs around eight tea weekends a year as a fundraiser to keep the museum running. They often plan around holidays such as Valentines and Halloween, but December is something else altogether. Join in on the fun but reserving a space or table online. There are no physical tickets, so you’ll receive an email with confirmation. A spot costs $30 and includes tea sandwiches, scones, savories, and dessert.
Nutcracker for Kids, by Kids
December 14, 4:00pm and 6:00pm (two showings)
Eugene Public Library, 100 W. 10th Ave., Eugene, OR
A cherished Eugene tradition, the Nutcracker for Kids is put on by the Eugene Youth Ballet. The show is a child size rendition of the Eugene Ballet’s performance and is performed in the Eugene Public Library! There are only two shows, both on the same day, and are free to all ages. If the Nutcracker at the Hult Center is too tough a sell, or just not right this year, head downtown and snuggle up for a cozier, more succinct performance of the magical fairytale.
A Brassy Christmas
December 23, 3:00pm and 4:30pm
First United Methodist Church, 1376 Olive St., Eugene, OR
First United Methodist gets a special visit from Oregon’s only British-style brass band. This all-volunteer ensemble includes members from around western Oregon. The group will be playing all of your Christmas favorites in unique style and tone, with instruments not often seen live. The band and audience will, of course, be marching to the tunes. The casual evening has a $10 suggested donation or allows for a non-perishable food donation to FOOD for Lane County.
The Village Green’s Holiday Lights
5:00pm to 9:00 daily until December 23
Village Green Hotel, 725 Row River Rd, Cottage Grove, OR
Cottage Grove is located 30 minutes south of Eugene, but don’t let that deter you from visiting the Village Green Hotel their annual holiday gardens. The grounds are truly a sight to behold, lighting up over half a million Christmas themed bulbs. But the drive doesn’t just come with a light show, the Hotel offers a holiday market, marshmallow roasting, live music, and a visit with Santa!
Only a grinch would come away from this list having nothing to do.
Happy Holidays from all of us at Camas Swale Medical Clinic!