With ocean beaches, mountain peaks, lush forests, and fertile valleys, the Oregon landscape has many adorable towns that capture the spirit of a Hallmark Christmas movie. These Oregon towns are all steeped in seasonal hospitality from winter wonderlands, communities working together, train rides to Christmas Town, sparkling lights, and Christmas boat parades.
I have selected six adorable towns: Ashland, Medford, Newport, Hood River, Bend, and Klamath Falls. Here are events you can enjoy in each area that will make you feel like you are in a Hallmark Christmas movie.
Nested in the picturesque valley between the Cascades and Siskiyou mountain ranges, Ashland is the ideal location to experience all that is a Hallmark movie. Ashland celebrates the season beginning the day after Thanksgiving and continues through New Year’s. The Festival of Lights is turned on along with a Santa Parade at 5 p.m. when one million lights sparkle over downtown. Enjoy the sounds of the season as carolers stroll the area.
Afterward, children and families meet with Santa and Mrs. Clause at the Black Swan Theater on East Main and Pioneer.
Stroll downtown for all the trimmings of the season, from historic red lanterns to banners of snowflakes and streets decked with wreaths and bows.
A fun activity for children of all ages is to Help Santa Find His Missing Reindeer among downtown small businesses. Check the link for details on the businesses involved.
Enjoy the performance of Christmas Contigo at Oregon Cabaret Theater as the family celebrates Nochebuena. Performances run from November 18–December 31.
Shop for unique gifts and enjoy the season’s festivities at the Ashland Christmas Market on December 4. Along with the open-air holiday market, enjoy live music, art exhibits, and outdoor dining.
Experience Old-World charm with a stay at Ashland Springs Hotel, conveniently located right downtown.
Medford is a Hallmark-type town where the season of cheer begins with the annual Winter Lights Festival on Dec 4 and 5. Events include the Candy Cane Hunt at Pear Blossom Park, photo ops with Santa, holiday tree lighting, and fireworks are some of the magical Christmas experiences.
Enjoy Christmas experiences at the Craterian Theater, including such performances as Gingerbread Jubilee, Celtic Christmas, and Christmas Messiah.
Letters to Santa may be dropped off at the “Special Delivery North Pole Mailbox” at the Santo Community Center.
Stop by the nationally recognized Harry & David’s Country Store for fine foods and unique gifts. Visit one of America’s Top 10 Chocolatiers at Lillie Belle Farms Handmade Chocolates to satisfy Santa’s sweet tooth.
Of course, one also needs some adult libations to add to the Christmas cheer. Stop by Dancin Vineyards for award-winning wines and delicious small plates.
Enjoy the Christmas spirit and beautiful accommodations at the Hilton Garden Inn, conveniently located in a peaceful, quiet area just off the freeway.
Stroll Newport’s Christmas On The Bayfront, make your holiday shopping merry, and shop for local specials. Enjoy the refreshments and treats of the local family-owned businesses.
Plan a magical evening watching the Christmas Boat Parade & Ring of Lights lovingly titled “Jingle on the Waves.” Enjoy the magic of decorated boats, yachts, canoes, and kayaks as they journey around the harbor. You may find details on the route and a downloadable map here. There are many free viewing spots along the route, or you could combine a lovely dinner and parade viewing at Dine & Watch At the Waterfront. Check this link for reserved seating details and boat parade cruises.
On December 2, reserve your holiday memories with Portraits With Santa at Simply Design Studios.
4. Hood River
Climb aboard the “Train To Christmas Town” departing from Mt. Hood Depot in Hood River. From November 20 to December 26, trains depart four times daily. On the journey to the magical Christmas Town, guests will enjoy cocoa and cookies as they listen to the Train To Christmas Town story. You are encouraged to wear your favorite pajamas, just like in the book. Do also wear closed-toed shoes and dress warmly as you board the train from outside. Santa and his elves board the train at Christmas Town and ride back with folks to the depot. Each child receives a small gift, and all folks join in the Christmas caroling. The train has accommodation for special needs. Check the link above for details. Santa and what could be more like a Hallmark Christmas movie than the Train to Christmas Town?
Check out the other activities at the Hood River Downtown Festival. Enjoy the downtown window displays with the theme of Holiday Movies. How many holiday movies can you identify? The tree lighting ceremony and the static parade of festive floats warm your heart on December 3.
An enchanting place to stay is Columbia Gorge Hotel and Spa, nestled on the bank of the Columbia River and featuring awe-inspiring views and award-winning dining.
Embracing the small-town atmosphere of a Hallmark movie, the Bend Christmas Parade, one of the largest parades in the state, opens the holiday season on December 4 with the theme: Christmas: Better Together. That theme itself would make a pleasant Hallmark Christmas movie. Since 1992, the parade has been entirely organized by volunteers whose mission is “to capture the spirit of Christmas, connect and unify our community and bring a feeling of fun and excitement to participants and viewers alike.”
Check the parade map here.
Visit SantaLand to snap outdoor photos with Santa every Friday and Saturday, November 26– December 18. Did you know that Santa also flies in on an AirLink helicopter? See for yourself on November 26!
Marvel as the downtown lights up the Christmas tree on December 3 and the Menorah lighting on December 10.
For children to post letters to Santa, two North Pole Mailboxes are available, November 27–December 19. Santa will respond!
Enjoy accommodations on the scenic riverfront at Riverhouse on the Deschutes.
6. Klamath Falls
The premier winter event in Klamath Falls is the Snowflake Festival, a series of events beginning November 27. Like a Hallmark Christmas movie, the events unite the community with activities and entertainment. The theme of this year’s parade is Home for Christmas — it sounds like it is just like a Hallmark Christmas movie.
The Annual Gingerbread Building Competition will be held on November 30 at the Ross Ragland Theater and Cultural Center.
The Ross Ragland will be dressed in its Christmas splendor with neon lights shining red, green, and white. At the theater, look for other festive activities such as Christmas films: A Christmas Story on December 2 and Christmas Vacation on December 8. The Klamath Community Band presents the Sounds of Christmas on November 28. Santa visits on December 12 and 19.
Accommodation: The Running Y Ranch is dressed in its holiday splendor and offers fine dining and winter activities.
This holiday season, plan a visit to one of these adorable Oregon towns to have your own Hallmark experience. You will be delighted that you did!