Sunday, November 30, 2014

December 2014 Events

This is my monthly list of free and low cost events for the month of December 2014. These are happenings of educational or cultural value that are family-friendly, in the greater Portland area and beyond.  I have done my best to keep the event details in this list accurate. Do doublecheck any event you plan to attend in case of mistakes, changes or cancellations. 

December is a terrific month for planting trees, because the seedlings will likely have months of rain ahead to help them get well established before summer.  SOLVE http://solveoregon.org and Friends of Trees http://www.friendsoftrees.org will be hosting lots of community tree planting programs. Most will be family friendly, but you may need to pick up some gardening gloves in kids' sizes ahead of time.  This is a great activity for kids, because they can take pride in their work as they watch the trees they planted grow taller each year!  

If you are looking for more service learning opportunities, Hands On Greater Portland http://www.handsonportland.org/ is a wonderful place to look. They are an online resource connecting volunteers with hundreds of area nonprofits, and they make it simple to find suitable volunteer activities for kids. Under "Find Volunteer Opportunities" click on "Advanced Search", and under "Additional Filters" click on "Appropriate For" where you can select the right age group. Oregon Food Bank http://www.oregonfoodbank.org/Volunteer also offers lots of terrific volunteer opportunities, most beginning at age 6.

"Lighting of Maddax Woods", daily now through Wednesday, December 31, Maddax Woods, 5785 River St., West Linn. Free. "Enjoy a magical walk down a lighted, accessible path through the woods and to the viewing platform on the Willamette River." http://westlinnoregon.gov/parksrec/friends-maddax-woods   


The Holiday Express”, now through Sunday, December 14, departing from the Oaks Park Station, 7805 SE Oaks Park Way. Advance tickets required; tickets available online: http://www.orhf.org/the-holiday-express/ “Join Santa Claus and his elves for a magical ride behind Portland’s famous steam locomotives. Vintage rail cars transport you through wilderness in the heart of the city. Round-trip rides run from Oaks Park Station through Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge to the Springwater Trail gateway on the Oregon Pacific Railroad.”

"Railroad Speeder Rides", Friday, December 5; Saturday, December 6; Sunday, December 7; Friday, December 12; Saturday, December 13; and Sunday, December 14; departing from the Oaks Park Station, 7805 SE Oaks Park Way. Tickets are $5 and are purchased on board the speeder. "The Oregon Pacific Railroad will be offering railroad speeder rides on our railroad in conjunction with the Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation's Steam Train Rides. Hours vary but in general, trains and speeders operate on Fridays from 12pm to 7pm and on Saturdays and Sundays 10am to 8am. Speeders will depart just before the train leaves, which normally departs on the hour. Speeders are railroad motor cars, powered by small engines that used to be used by railroad maintenance crews to ride, inspect and repair the rails from the earliest days of railroading until the 1970s. Today, these historical rail vehicles are privately owned and maintained and will be available to give passengers an extremely rare opportunity to ride a piece of railroad history not normally afforded to the public. Speeder rides will depart from Oaks Station, which is located directly across from Oaks Amusement Park. Speeders will travel north along the OPR's East Portland Branch toward's OMSI and take passengers as far as the Oregon Rail Center and the OPR's East Portland Yards and back to Oaks Amusement Park.  www.portlandtrainrides.com

Holiday Lights”, now through December 31, 4PM-9:30PM, Shore Acres State Park. $5 day use fee per vehicle. “A community event sponsored by Friends of Shore Acres, Inc. in partnership with Shore Acres State Park, Coos Bay, Oregon. The brightest and most beautiful place on the West Coast shines as brightly as ever this season. At least 300.000 lights, almost all LED, in a walk-through display which is all-abilities accessible. Lights Sculptures: Pelicans, Puffins, Jellyfish, Shore Acres’ Cranes, Life-size leaping Orca whale, Life-size spouting Gray whale, Tulips, Rhododendron, Rose, Dahlia, Dungeness crab, Sea Star, Sea Urchin, Sea Anemone, Sea horse, Octopus, Kelp, Frogs, Butterflies, dragonfly, playful sea lions, leaping frog in pond, ship, fuchsia flower and hummingbird, Koi carp and more! Open Garden House with hot cider, punch, coffee and cookies! During the 2013 season, an estimated 48,416 visitors viewed the lights display and enjoyed the refreshments in the decorated Garden House.” http://www.shoreacres.net

The Grotto Festival of Lights”, nightly 5PM- 9:30PM through December 30 (except Christmas Day), 8840 NE Skidmore St., Pdx. $10 adults, $9 seniors, $5 children 3-12, and free for kids 2 and under, plus a nonperishable food donation. Free parking. “Presenting the sights, sounds and sensations of the season, The Grotto’s Christmas Festival of Lights is the largest Christmas choral festival in the world. The festival features nearly 160 indoor holiday concerts performed by many of the region’s finest school, church and civic choirs. Offering a family-oriented blend of traditional celebration and serene reflection, the festival theme reflects the special season of hope that Christmas offers to many thousands of families from around the Pacific Northwest. Five indoor concerts are scheduled each evening in The Grotto’s 600-seat chapel, known for its cathedral quality acoustics. Continuous family entertainment in The Grotto’s plaza area includes outdoor caroling, puppet shows and a live animal petting zoo. Holiday foods and beverages are also available, as is seasonal shopping in The Grotto’s Christian Gift and Book Store. A magnificent display of nativity sets from around the world is on display for viewing and individual sets are available for purchase in the Grotto’s Visitor Complex.” http://www.thegrotto.org/christmas/

Feed the Elk at Jewell Meadows”, December through February, daily at 9AM, Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area, Jewell, OR Free. Preregistration required; call 503-755-2264 on December 1. “ODFW offers members of the public an opportunity to view the elk feeding on tours that run from December through February each year. These free popular wagon excursions trips begin at 9 a.m. and last for one hour. ODFW feeding programs are designed to keep elk in areas where they can be viewed and enjoyed by the public. The feeding programs also help keep elk off adjacent private agricultural property where they could cause damage and aid in elk repopulation efforts. Elk from Jewell Meadows have been used in reintroduction and repopulation programs in the Cascade and Coast Ranges and as far away as Northern California and Alaska.” http://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/visitors/docs/Jewell_Meadows_WLA_Broch.pdf

Practicing Journalism: the Power and the Purpose of the Fourth Estate”, Monday, December 1, 7PM, Cascade Park Library, Vancouver. “At a time newspapers are under siege and laying off workers, many newspaper professionals soldier on. Why? Authors Paul Steinle and Sara Brown interviewed editors and publishers. Their combined oral history gives us stories of challenging authority, serving community, embracing empathy and influencing change.” http://www.whoneedsnewspapers.org/index.php

Looks Like a Good Beginning: Immigration, Ethnicity, and Exclusion in Oregon 1850-1910”, Monday, December 1, 7PM, Kennedy School, 5736 NE 33rd Ave., Pdx. Free. Presented by Dr. Jacqueline Peterson-Loomis, Emeritus Professor of History, Washington State University.  http://www.oregonencyclopedia.org/oregonhistory101/

Homeschool Archery”, Monday, December 1, Tuesday, December 2, Monday, December 15 and Tuesday, December 16, 10:30AM-12PM, Archers Afield, 11945 SW Pacific Hwy Ste #121, Tigard, just behind the Dollar Tree building. $8.50 per session. All ages welcome! http://www.archersafield.com/homeschool.html

Mr. Carnegie’s Grand Tour of Washington and Oregon”, now through January 15. Pick up a hard copy of the Passport at Clark County Historical Museum, 1511 Main St. Vancouver, or download it from their website: http://www.cchmuseum.org/education/mr-carnegies-grand-tour-of-washington-and-oregon/ “This passport is your guide to an automobile adventure celebrating Carnegie libraries – the cultural legacy of 19th century steel magnate, Andrew Carnegie. Use the maps to find potential stops in Washington and Oregon. Get your passport stamped to be entered to win a prize, and use the scavenger hunt to learn more about each location! If the location you visit is participating, ask the staff there to stamp or initial your passport in the space provided. Once you collect at least three stamps from participating locations, mail the page in with your contact information to be entered into a prize drawing done each January 15 (until passport supplies are exhausted).”

Exhibit Reception, “30 Years of HIV Activism and Action”, Monday, December 1, 5:30PM, Central Library Collins Gallery. Exhibit runs now through December 7. Parents, use your discretion. “We invite you to experience Cascade AIDS Project’s (CAP) and AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT-UP) Portland’s rich history through historical memorabilia, posters, program materials and artifacts. From the passion and creativity of its grassroots beginnings in Portland’s gay and arts communities to today’s nationally recognized programs, this exhibition captures 30 years of HIV prevention, outreach and advocacy in Portland. Join us on World AIDS Day during our evening reception with special remarks from CAP's Executive Director Tyler TerMeer and Multnomah County Commissioner Jules Bailey. There will be HIV/AIDS personal readings and live entertainment from the Humble DIVAS. Light refreshments provided.” https://multcolib.org/events/30-years-hiv-activism-and-action/31416

First Lego League Presents, “World Class: Learning Unleashed Presentation Showcase”, Tuesday, December 2, 6:30PM; Friday, December 5, 6:30PM; Saturday, December 6, 1PM; Wednesday, December 10, 6:30PM; and Friday, December 12, 6:30PM, Cedar Mill Library.  “Teams of 4th through 8th graders participating in the local First Lego League competition have researched an innovative way to address this year’s challenge ‘World Class – Learning Unleashed’. Family, friends and the public are invited to come cheer them on as teams practice delivering their presentation in front of a live audience.”

Tween Book Discussion”, Tuesday, December 2, 3:15PM, La Center Library, La Center, WA. “Join us and talk about books!” 

Wintercraft Wreath Making”, Tuesday, December 2, 4PM and 6PM, Stevenson Library. “Come either at 4pm or 6pm for our annual wreath making workshops. Materials provided.”

Homeschool Literary Circle”, Tuesday, December 2, 1PM, Fairview-Columbia Library. “Calling all homeschoolers ages 10-14! Make new friends and talk about great books. Read ‘The Gift of the Magi’ by O. Henry.”

Concert, “2jazzguitars”, Tuesday, December 2, 7PM, Lake Oswego Library. “2Jazzguitars will play holiday jazz and other favorites for Lake Oswego Library’s First Tuesday Music series. Ben Graves and Neil Mattson are accomplished professionals with decades of performance experience. The duo’s unique interaction is a musical conversation, with each guitar telling its own story. We never know where the conversation will go or how the stories will unfold, but that’s part of the excitement of 2jazzguitars.”  http://2jazzguitars.com

Homeschool Book Party”, Tuesday, December 2, 1PM, Sellwood-Moreland Library; and Tuesday, December 16, 1PM, Fairview-Columbia Library. “Calling all homeschoolers ages 6-10! Make new friends, talk about great books, and make book-related crafts.” The Fairview-Columbia book for December will be ‘The True Gift’ by Patricia MacLachlan.

From Bach to Rock - A History of Modern Music”, Tuesday, December 2, 7PM, Forest Grove Library. “Musician and teacher Paul Anthony Rademacher speaks about the evolution of Western music and plays selections.”

Tualatin High School Crimsonnaires Choir”, Tuesday, December 2, 7PM, Tualatin Library. “The Tualatin High School Choir will be in the library for a free performance you won't soon forget! These amazing teens put on a great show for the library every year that puts you in the mood for the holidays.”

Orion, Gemini, Taurus, and the Winter Sky”, Tuesday, December 2, 6PM, 7:15PM, and 8:30PM, Mt. Hood Community College Planetarium, 2600 SE Stark St., Gresham. $2. Campus map on their website: http://www.mhcc.edu/planetarium/ “All shows are presented under a realistic representation of the night sky, 
featuring the latest galactic, stellar and planetary images.”

Teen Anime Club”, Tuesday, December 2 and Tuesday, December 16, 5PM, Northwest Library; and Wednesday, December 10, 3:30PM, Hollywood Library. Grades 6 and up. “View, review, snack and yak about all things anime.”

Kids’ Ceramic Painting”, Tuesday, December 2, 5PM, Rockwood Library; Saturday, December 13, 2:30PM, Northwest Library; and Tuesday, December 23, 4PM, Midland Library. Presented by artist Terri Jones. “Come and paint your own car, truck, butterfly, princess, dragonfly, and much, much more! We supply the ceramic pieces, paint, brushes, smocks, water tubs and mats. You come with your imagination and talent. The pieces are painted with lead free acrylic paint and ready to be taken home in just a few minutes!”

Middle School OBOB Book Club”, Wednesday, December 3, and Wednesday, December 17, 4PM, Beaverton Library. Grades 6-8. “Discuss Battle of the Books titles and answer trivia about a different book each session. Dec. 3: Lost Hero by Rick Riordan. Dec. 17: Into the Wild by Erin Hunter.”

Gingerbread Houses”, Wednesday, December 3, 3:30PM, Woodland Library, Woodland, WA. “Yum, yum! Kids, come and make your own gingerbread house to take home, if you can resist eating it first!”

Winter Animal Puppets”, Wednesday, December 3, 3PM, Fairview-Columbia Library; Saturday, December 6, 10:30AM, Capitol Hill Library; and Wednesday, December 10, 4PM, Hillsdale Library (free tickets will be given out at 3:30PM). “In this puppet-making workshop, create winter animals and perform their own snowy stories! After reading ‘The Mitten’ by Jan Brett, children ages 4-10 will enjoy mixing recycled and craft materials to create puppet characters from the book. Puppetkabob will show you how to transform ordinary craft materials into unique animal puppets.” http://www.puppetkabob.com

Film Screening, “Finding David Douglas”, Wednesday, December 3, 6:30PM, Washington County Museum, 120 E. Main St., Hillsboro. $6 adults, $4 seniors, children, college students and veterans. “Lois Leonard, the Producer/Director of the critically acclaimed documentary ‘Finding David Douglas’ will present the film followed by a Q and A in this special evening lecture presentation. The film explores the all too short life of Scottish explorer David Douglas (1799-1834) who managed to discover and/or introduce to the gardens and forests of the Old World more than 200 previously undocumented plant species. Douglas lived during the ‘age of enlightenment’ when science and reason came together to spur mankind to new heights of discovery and exploration."  http://www.washingtoncountymuseum.org/home/ http://www.findingdaviddouglas.org This is a great film and really wonderful for anyone wanting to learn more about both the human and natural history of the Pacific Northwest.

Paper Engineering 101”, Wednesday, December 3 and Wednesday, December 10, 4:30PM, Battle Ground Library. “Tweens (ages 8-11yrs) - come learn the basics of paper engineering! We will be designing and making things from paper using a variety of techniques. All supplies provided.” December 3- pop up cards; December 10- 3D snowflakes.

The Great Missoula Floods, From A Historical Perspective”, Wednesday, December 3, 1PM, Tualatin Heritage Center, 8700 SW Sweek Dr., Tualatin. Donations requested. “Join us when Bob Setterberg shares historical changes wrought by the Missoula floods through visuals and stories.” http://tualatinhistoricalsociety.org/calendar.html

Night at the Refuge”, Wednesday, December 3, 6:30PM, Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, Sherwood. Free. Preregistration required; Email Jenna Mendenhall or call 503-625-5944. “Have you ever touched a coyote, seen a bat skeleton, or hooted like an owl? Join refuge staff and volunteers for Night at the Refuge. Learn about the nocturnal creatures that call the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge home, and what makes them so unique. We will start inside exploring pelts, skulls, feathers, and much more. Then we will head out on the trail to look and listen for the sights and sounds in the night. This is a family friendly event.” http://www.fws.gov/tualatinriver/specialevents.html

InBeTweens”, Wednesday, December 3, 5PM, Cascade Park Library, Vancouver. “Join this group of 8-12 year olds for a lively book discussion the 1st Wednesday of each month. This month we’re reading ‘Gregor the Overlander’ by Suzanne Collins.” http://www.suzannecollinsbooks.com/gregor_the_overlander_48384.htm

"Lunch with the Birds", Wednesday, December 3, 10 and 17, 12PM-1PM, Rood Bridge Park, 4000 SE Rood Bridge Road in Hillsboro, meet at the tennis court. Free. "Join Jackson Bottom staff and volunteers to learn ID tips and natural history facts of our local wildlife. Meet our resident and wintering forest birds as we encounter mixed flocks of insectivorous birds. For bird watchers of all levels. Free--no pre-registration required. Bring binoculars if you have them, and be prepared for the weather rain or shine." http://www.jacksonbottom.org

Lab Rats”, Wednesday, December 3, 3:30PM- 5:30PM, Vancouver Library. Suggested for ages 5-11. “Drop in for self-guided family science exploration. This month: Technology petting zoo!”

The Page Turners”, Wednesday, December 3, 5PM, Cascade Park Library, Vancouver. “Come join our book group for ages 11 to 14! This month we’re reading ‘Navigating Early’ by Clare Vanderpool.” http://www.clarevanderpool.com

Me, My Family, and I: An Introduction to Genealogy”, Wednesday, December 3, 9AM, Belmont Library. Preregistration required; register online: https://multcolib.org/events/me-my-family-and-i-introduction-genealogy/32734 “Have you ever wanted to know more about your family history, but you weren't sure how to get started? By the end of this class, you will be able to use some basic genealogy vocabulary, be familiar with some ways to get started, know some effective online communication techniques, and understand research basics and vital records This class is for beginners, but you must be comfortable using a keyboard and a mouse. Classes start promptly at the time listed. At that time, any remaining seats are given to those on the waiting list.  Offered by OASIS Connections.”

OBOB Book Club”, Wednesday, December 3, and Wednesday, December 17, 4PM, Beaverton Library. Suggested for grades 3-5. Preregistration required; register online: http://apps.beavertonoregon.gov/Library/EventRegistration/ “Come discuss Battle of the Book books and answer trivia about a different book each session. Dec. 3: A Nest For Celeste. Dec. 17: Swindle.”

Concert, “James Manuele”, Wednesday, December 3, 6:30PM, West Slope Library. “Take a musical journey with guitar virtuoso James Manuele's Guitarology, which showcases the versatility of guitar music and highlights the diversity of the guitar family of instruments. What a wonderful way to kick off the holiday season!” http://jamesmanuele.com

The Library in 3D”, Wednesday, December 3, 7PM, Hillsboro Shute Park Library. “3D printing has arrived at the Hillsboro Public Library! We have a new UP Mini 3D printer that is being readied for public use, and we want to show it off. The presentation will include a demonstration of the 3D printer, information about how the UP Mini works and how patrons will be able to use it, and a chance to ask questions.”

"Homeschool Skate", Wednesday, December 3, 10, and 17, 12:30PM-2:30PM, Mt. Scott Community Center, 5530 SE 72nd Ave., Pdx.  For skaters ages 5 and up. $2 per skater, including skate rental; $1 for younger kids.  http://www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/60409

Orion Spacecraft Launch Viewing”, Thursday, December 4, 3AM- 9AM, OMSI Planetarium. Free. “Get a front-row seat to watch the first launch of Orion, Exploration Flight Test-1, on Thursday, December 4, live via satellite on NASA TV from Space Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. We will show the lift-off at OMSI Planetarium beginning at 3:00 a.m. with the launch scheduled at 4:05 a.m. and the splash down taking place at approximately 8:00 a.m.. Admission to the televised launch is free and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.  The Orion spacecraft is a key component of the NASA human space exploration system that will provide an entirely new capability for the United States – a flexible system able to launch crew and cargo missions, extend human presence beyond low-Earth orbit, and enable new missions of exploration throughout our solar system. Orion’s first mission will set NASA on the path to accomplishing those goals. Beginning at 3:00 AM, guests are invited to learn about Orion, view the flight from launch to splashdown, and enjoy fun hands-on activities throughout the event. Guests will hear NASA commentary prior to Orion’s launch, and learn about the flight and mission objectives through interviews with experts at NASA, Lockheed Martin and United Launch Alliance. They will see the launch pad and launch control center, and feel as though they are at the launch site when the main engines ignite. Media representatives will have the opportunity to film and speak to members of their local community about why they’re so excited about Orion’s first flight.” https://www.omsi.edu/events/orion-launch/120414 More about Orion here: http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/orion/#.VHRTSYsWUVs

Storytelling With Jacque”, Thursdays, December 4, 11, and 18, 6:30PM, Hillsboro Main Library. “Enjoy world folktales, Indian legends, and favorite picture book stories with Jacque Denton, storyteller extraordinaire. Recommended for families, children of all ages, and anyone who loves listening to stories told in the oral tradition.”

Author Talk, “Cary Elwes”, Thursday, December 4, 7PM, Powell’s, 3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd., Beaverton. Cary Elwes discusses his book, “As You Wish”. “From actor Cary Elwes, who played the iconic role of Westley in The Princess Bride, comes a first-person account and behind-the-scenes look at the making of the cult classic film filled with never-before-told stories, exclusive photographs, and interviews with costars Robin Wright, Wallace Shawn, Billy Crystal, Christopher Guest, and Mandy Patinkin, as well as author and screenwriter William Goldman, producer Norman Lear, and director Rob Reiner. The Princess Bride has been a family favorite for close to three decades. Ranked by the American Film Institute as one of the top 100 Greatest Love Stories and by the Writers Guild of America as one of the top 100 screenplays of all time, The Princess Bride will continue to resonate with audiences for years to come. Cary Elwes was inspired to share his memories and give fans an unprecedented look into the creation of the film while participating in the twenty-fifth anniversary cast reunion. In As You Wish he has created an enchanting experience; in addition to never-before seen photos and interviews with his fellow cast mates, there are plenty of set secrets and backstage stories.” 

Waterfowl ID For Beginners: Mallards to Wood Ducks”, Class Thursday, December 4, 7PM, Audubon Society of Portland, 5151 NW Cornell Rd., Pdx. $15 ($60 with optional field trips on Sundays, December 7 and 14). Preregistration required; register online: http://audubonportland.org/trips-classes-camps/adult/classes/waterfowl_beg “The Willamette Valley is home to more than 25 species of waterfowl. Join Laura Whittemore, long-time birder and teacher, and learn how to identify some of the more widespread and abundant waterfowl species using shape, plumage, habits, and habitat as guides. Then practice your skills at some of the best spots for finding these species in the Portland metro area. Experience the satisfaction of mastering identification of a notoriously difficult family of birds!”

Homeschoolers’ Design Workshop”, Thursday, December 4, and Thursday, December 18, 1:30PM, Ledding Library of Milwaukie. Suggested for ages 5 and up. “Ever wanted to create something? This is your chance to design your own robot, catapult, book, or game. Includes craft time.”

Reading Rangers”, Thursday, December 4, 4PM, Cascade Park Library, Vancouver. Suggested for ages 5-8. “Calling all Reading Rangers! Are you too old for storytime? Ready for chapter books? Then grab an adult to join you and come ready to discuss, have fun and make new friends. This month we’re discussing ‘The BFG’ by Roald Dahl.”

Concert, “John Nilsen”, Thursday, December 4, 7PM, Cedar Mill Library. “Notable pianist John Nilsen will perform holiday favorites on the main floor of the library in the mezzanine area. This program is free and open to the public.” http://www.magicwing.com/magicwing.html

Wassail and Ornament Decorating Party”, Thursday, December 4, 4PM, Washougal Library. “Enjoy cookies and wassail while decorating ornaments. Join the city Christmas parade and tree lighting ceremony to follow.”

Author Talk, “Rona Arato”, Thursday, December 4, 6:30PM, Ridgefield Library. “Rona Arato, award winning children’s author of ‘The Last Train’, will share this true story about the miraculous rescue of a Jewish family on a train from the Bergen Belsen concentration camp by American soldiers. This is also a story about the subsequent reunion of this family with their rescuers. This special program celebrates Jewish Book Month.” http://www.ronaarato.com/books.html

Carnegie Studio- Planning a New Library”, Thursday, December 4, 2PM- 5PM, Oregon City Library. “Drop in and visit with the architect. Provide ideas and feedback. Ask questions of the expert. Make sure we know what you want to see in your new library!”

North of the Black Sea: Music from Eastern Europe”, Friday, December 5, 7PM, Tigard Library, http://www.elderaudience.com/roy-torley-gentleman-scientist/
Burgess Community Room. “Instrumentalist Roy Torley and vocalist Joan Gaustad will perform music of Ukraine, Russia, Hungary, and other parts of Eastern Europe. Roy will play the 55-stringed Ukranian bandura, and Joan will sing a variety of folk songs in Ukrainian, Hungarian, and English, as well as a holiday song in Latin.”

Magenta Theater Presents, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus”, Friday, December 5 through Thursday, December 20, Magenta Theater, 606 Main St., Vancouver. Ages 7 and up. Reserved seats $13-$16. “Dear Editor, is there a Santa Claus? 

A question innocently asked by 8-year old Virginia O’Hanlon (played by Lana Sage) of the editor of the New York Sun. Her letter falls into the hands of editor Francis P. Church (played by Tony Provenzola) who knows there is no avoiding the question. And so he begins his reply which was to become one of the most memorable and cherished editorials in newspaper history. Directed by Tanya Gray, Magenta Theater presents this timeless classic about life's struggles and suffering and the miracle of faith that preserves hope and the human spirit. Warm your heart and soul at Magenta Theater just in time for the holidays.” http://www.magentatheater.com/page/yes-virginia-there-santa-claus

Christmas in Dairyville and Storybook Lane”, Fridays 3PM-6PM, Saturdays and Sundays 11AM- 6PM, December 5-21, Alpenrose Dairy, 6149 SW Shattuck Rd., Pdx. Free Admission. “A Ho, Ho Holiday Tradition. During the holidays, Dairyville, a replica of a western frontier town, transforms into a winter wonderland. Animals are on display in nostalgic Storybook Lane, vintage storefronts, local choirs singing, holiday movies in the Opera House and, of course, Santa. Christmas in Dairyville is where lasting memories begin.” http://www.alpenrose.com/christmas-in-dairyville/

Film Screening, “What Would Jesus Buy?”, Friday, December 5, 6:30PM, End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, 1726 Washington St, Oregon City. Free. “Do you think our culture is overly preoccupied with materialism, particularly around the holidays? Before you set out for your holiday shopping join us for this provocative film.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGi21YQFjMM

Christmas Ships”, Friday, December 5 through Sunday, December 21. Ships all aglow with gorgeous lighted displays! There is a Columbia River fleet and a Willamette River fleet, and the combined fleets sail together many evenings. All sailings subject to cancellation if the weather conditions do not permit this event to take place. (Both Lake Oswego and Milwaukie will host Christmas Ship viewings on the evening of the 20th, but there are many other places they can be seen for free.) Lots of details here: http://www.christmasships.org

Family Clay Night”, Friday, December 5, Multnomah Arts Center, 7688 SW Capitol Hill Hwy., Pdx. $20 a session per adult and child pair, $10 a session for each additional family member. Pay at MAC office before attending. “Come as a family and create with clay! Includes glazes, firings and 5 lbs. of clay. Not for solo participants. This is an adult and child activity. Use of the potter’s wheel by instructor approval only.” http://www.multnomahartscenter.org

Theatre in the Grove Presents, “Shrek the Musical”, Friday, December 5 through Sunday, December 21, Theatre in the Grove, 2028 Pacific Ave., Forest Grove. $14 adults, $12 seniors and youth 17 and under. “Directed by TITG veteran Jeanna Van Dyke, and based on the Oscar winning DreamWorks film that started it all, Shrek the Musical brings the hilarious story of everyone’s favorite ogre to dazzling new life on the stage. In a faraway kingdom turned upside down, things get ugly when an unseemly ogre – not a handsome prince – shows up to rescue a feisty princess. Throw in a donkey who won’t shut up, a bad guy with a SHORT temper, a cookie with an attitude and over a dozen other fairy tale misfits, and you’ve got the kind of mess that calls for a real hero. Luckily, there’s one on hand…  and his name is Shrek. Full of all-new songs, Shrek the Musical is part romance, part twisted fairy tale and all irreverent fun for the whole family! Songs include: The Story of My Life, Welcome to Duloc, Freak Flag, and I’m a Believer.” http://theatreinthegrove.org/wp/

ISing Choir Presents “Noël: Christmas in France”, Friday, December 5 and Saturday, December 6, 7:30PM, and Sunday, December 7, 3PM, Bethel Congregational UCC, 5150 SW Watson Ave., Beaverton. Free admission; charitable donations requested. Advance tickets required; reserve online: http://www.isingchoir.org ISing Choir and the Beaverton Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Stephen Galván, present a program featuring the sublime "Oratorio de Noël" (Christmas Oratorio) by Camille Saint-Saëns, delightful arrangements of "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" and "Noël nouvelet" as well as a new arrangement of "Cantique de Noël" by ISing's Assistant Conductor, David Walters. Harpist Denise Fujikawa will also be performing with the choir and orchestra. There is no charge for this concert - 100% of the donations collected will benefit p:ear whose mission is to build positive relationships with homeless and transitional youth through education, art and recreation to affirm personal worth and create more meaningful and healthy lives.”

"Reindeer Magic at Dennis' 7 Dees", Friday, December 5, 1090 McVey Ave., Lake Oswego; Saturday, December 6, 6025 SE Powell Blvd., Pdx; and Sunday, December 7, 10455 SW Butner Rd., Pdx. Reindeer from 10AM to 5PM and Santa from 11AM-4PM. Free. Donations of blankets requested. "Bring the whole family to visit Santa’s reindeer and create magical holiday memories. Kids will enjoy festive make-n-take activities, cookies, hot cocoa and cider while enjoying the magical company of Santa’s reindeer and listening to holiday tunes. Don’t forget to bring your camera for a festive photo opportunity with Santa and his reindeer! New this year - Baby reindeer petting station and photo op! In addition to getting a photo with Santa, kids will get the opportunity to take a picture with one of Santa’s baby reindeer. This is a great time to bring the family to pick out a Christmas tree of find something special in our holiday gift shop. Bring in a new or a gently used clean blanket. All blankets will be donated to Human Solutions, who are in need of blankets this winter for their Family Winter and Daybreak Shelter. These families are coming into the shelter with little to nothing to keep them comfortable and warm. The blankets are important because as the winter months get colder, the shelter attracts more families."  http://www.dennis7dees.com/garden-centers/seminars-events/reindeer-magic/

Champoeg Holiday Gathering”, Saturday, December 6, 12PM-5PM, Champoeg State Park. Free with $5 per vehicle parking fee. “Children and adults of all ages are invited to share in the simple joys of an old-fashioned holiday celebration. Volunteers in period clothing will help children and their families make sugar plums, decorate gingerbread, play 19th century games, listen to holiday storytelling and create holiday decorations. An annual family tradition.”  http://oregonstateparks.org/index.cfm?do=parkPage.dsp_parkEvent&parkId=79&eventId=21793

Squid Dissection”, Saturday, December 6, 10AM, OMSI Life Science Lab. $8 for 1 squid and up to two participants. Suggested for ages 3-12. Preregistration required; register online: https://www.omsi.edu/lab-experiences/squid-dissection/120614 “Participants will look for clues in the squid anatomy to figure out how these animals live. One squid per ticket, maximum two people per squid.”

PCC Rock Creek Choirs Present, “A Soulful Messiah”, Saturday, December 6, 7:30PM, Forum Theater, Room 114, Building 3, PCC Rock Creek Campus, 17705 NE Springville Rd., Pdx. $10 adults, $5 seniors and students under 16, free for children 9 and under, cash or check only at the door. Free parking in the event parking area immediately behind Building 9. “The Rock Creek Choirs, under the direction of Pollyanna Hancock-Moody, invite you to celebrate this holiday season with this unique presentation. Classical music shares the stage with contemporary arrangements in this high octane program. Audiences will enjoy select choruses from Handel's 1741 ‘Messiah' as well as ‘A Soulful Celebration,’ a reinterpretation of the ‘Messiah’ which has been widely praised for its use of multiple genres of African American music. The concert will also feature international jazz performer and Portland icon Marilyn Keller as special guest soloist.” More info here.

Sculptural Needle Felting Workshop”, Saturday, December 6, 2PM, Tigard Library, Burgess Community Room. Preregistration required; call 503-718-2517. “Local artist Suki Allen will demonstrate needle felting techniques for creating fiber sculptures. Explore techniques and materials and make a small felted gnome. The presenter will provide supplies and tools.” Needle felting is pretty easy but it’s inevitable that beginners will stick themselves with the needles at some point. So this workshop would be best for adults and older kids with patience, good fine motor skills and an accompanying adult.

Christmas Tree Trains”, Saturday, December 6, Sunday, December 7, Saturday, December 13, and Sunday, December 14, 207 N. Railroad Ave., Yacolt, WA. Various prices. Take a historic and very scenic train ride, have some hot cocoa, hot cider and cookies, meet with Santa, and pick a Christmas tree to be brought back to the station by train. Really neat! Get tickets and all the details here: http://www.bycx.com

Polk Station Rail Model Railroad Club Open House”, Saturday, December 6, 10AM-3PM, Rickreall Grange Hall, 289 Main St., Rickreall, OR. Donations requested. “Polk Station Rail Open House, Train Swap Meet, and Holiday Craft Bazaar. Great food, free parking. Something for the whole family!” http://pnr.nmra.org

Circle of Life”, Saturday, December 6, 11AM-3PM, Columbia Grove and Wood’s Landing, 3412 SE Riverwood Ct., Vancouver. RSVP required; contact the hosts Sandy and Erskine Wood at columbiagrove@msn.com or by calling 360-892-1443 x 230. “Join us on Saturday, December 6th from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to celebrate the return of the Chum Salmon to their native spawning grounds. This community event strives to celebrate the ecological, cultural, and historical significance of salmon to our beloved northwest home. Festivities include naturalist interpretation at Wood’s Landing overlook, a Native American blessing ceremony, and a salmon bake potluck. A huge thank you to the Wood family for generously hosting and catering this annual celebration. The Circle of Life Celebration is hosted at the Columbia Grove and Wood’s Landing property at 3412 SE Riverwood Court Vancouver, WA. Lots of parking available in the meadow, but carpooling is encouraged. Recommended to bring: sunglasses, binoculars, and umbrella.” http://www.columbiasprings.org/events/annual-events/circle-of-life/

Horse Drawn Wagon Rides”, Saturday, December 6, 5PM-7:30PM, and Saturday, December 13, 4PM- 8PM, Adult Community Center, 505 G Ave., Lake Oswego. Reserved seating $5 adults, $3 youth 12 and under (contact Dawn Kolb at 503-697-6590); first come first served seating $3 adults, $2 youth 12 and under. “Experience the thrill of an old fashioned horse-drawn wagon ride. Slow down and savor the sights and sounds of the holiday season with a memorable carriage ride through Lake Oswego's First Addition and downtown Lake Oswego. This year we will have fun children's activities and a mini holiday market located inside the Adult Community Center. Your family can stay warm, have fun and do some last minute holiday shopping while waiting for your ride. Rides are scheduled on the half hour."  http://www.ci.oswego.or.us/parksrec/horse-drawn-wagon-rides-0

Discover Rock Creek Work Party”, Saturday, December 6, 8:45AM-12PM, 14974 SE Hwy. 212, Clackamas. Preregistration required; register online: http://www.solv.org/get-involved/events/discover-rock-creek “Happy fish make happy valleys! Join SOLVE, the Clackamas River Basin Council, and Clackamas County Water Environment Services at “Discover Rock Creek”, a work party and project celebration on December 6th from 9 am – 12 pm in Happy Valley. Take advantage of the rare opportunity to explore this beautiful natural area around the Rock Creek Confluence, learn about recent habitat construction, and plant trees along the banks of the creek. During this special event, the Rock Creek Confluence natural area will be open to the public for the first time since the habitat construction was completed. Activities include observing water quality sampling demonstrations led by Clackamas High School students; touring habitat construction led by the contractors; learning from a Metro naturalist about the local wildlife; planting 500 native trees and shrubs, contributing to over 18,000 plants that will ultimately be installed along the banks over the next year. Carpooling is recommended as parking may be limited. Wear outdoor clothing that can get dirty and dress for the weather. Rubber boots are strongly encouraged.” This is a family friendly event. SOLVE generally provides gardening gloves for adult volunteers, but families should bring kid sized gloves. 

Birding on Sauvie Island”, Saturday, December 6, 8AM-11AM. Free with Sauvie Island parking permit which is available online: http://www.dfw.state.or.us/online_license_sales/index.asp “Join Audubon Society Leader Tim Shelmerdine for a morning trip to Sauvie Island. We’ll visit several spots, looking at many waterfowl species as well as raptors, gulls, and sparrows. Meet at parking area at end of Sauvie Island Bridge. We plan to carpool; drivers need a Sauvie Island day parking permit (please purchase at nearby store before meeting time).” http://audubonportland.org/trips-classes-camps/adult/fieldtrips/SauvieIsland_Dec2014

Weekend Guided Tour”, Saturday, December 6, 11AM, Leach Botanical Garden, 6704 SE 122nd Ave., Pdx. Free. “Join Gardener/Curator on the 1st Saturday of each month (March through December) for her seasonal exploration of the garden.” http://www.leachgarden.org/event/weekend-guided-tours/?eID=4072

Battle Ground Community Library Holiday Open House”, Saturday, December 6, 1PM, Battle Ground Community Library. “Join us at our annual open house, where we will be exploring a Victorian holiday through crafts, music, dance and treats. The Sprouting Seeds Youth Choir will present a holiday concert at 1 pm. A preview of The Nutcracker by Columbia Dance will follow at 3 pm. A holiday treat and cider will be provided.”

Guided Nature Walks”, Saturdays in December, 10AM, Tryon Creek State Park. “Venture out with a park guide for a free, nature hike to explore the forest and stream ecosystems and natural history at Tryon Creek State Natural Area. Topics will vary from week to week but will be appropriate for all ages.” December 6- Lichen: The Odd Couple; December 13- The Forest Prepares for Winter; December 20 and 27- Topic To Be Announced. http://www.tryonfriends.org/

Lab Rats”, Saturday, December 6 and Saturday, December 13, 11AM, Gladstone Library. Suggested for all ages. “Discover the world of science through stories and hands-on experiments. This is a lively and action packed storytime.”

Twirly Whirlys”, Saturday, December 6, 1PM, Gregory Heights Library. Presented by artist Kathy Karbo. “Create this simple toy with wire, beads and found objects. Watch the beads shimmer and dance as you move it in your hands. Gain experience with needle-nose pliers, wire cutters, hammers and anvils to create your one-of-a-kind toy.”

Concert, “Ellen White Trio”, Saturday, December 6, 2PM, Ledding Library of Milwaukie. “The Friends of Ledding Library present the Ellen White Trio playing seasonal favorites for your listening enjoyment.”

“Holiday Wassail”, Saturday, December 6, 2PM, White Salmon Valley Community Library, White Salmon, WA. “Join us for an afternoon of music, art, artisan demonstrations and kid's activities, along with seasonal snacks and the Friends' traditional Wassail punch. This is the first day you may pick up a copy of ‘Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis’ by Timothy Egan to read as part of KOOBDOOGA, White Salmon’s Community Reads Program. Be sure to stop by!” More about the book here: http://timothyeganbooks.com/books-2/short-nights-of-the-shadow-catcher/

Annual Wreath Making Party”, Saturday, December 6, 2PM, Washougal Library. “Greenery and wreath form provided. Bring ribbon or other embellishments and clippers for trimming greens if you'd like. One wreath per family.”

Origami Ornaments”, Saturday, December 6, 2PM, Albina Library; and Saturday, December 13, 2PM, Belmont Library. Presented by artist Yuki Martin. “Make pretty origami ornaments to decorate the house with for the holiday season. Have fun folding various kinds of three-dimensional geometric shapes using pretty paper.” http://yukiorigami.blogspot.com

Decorative Decoupage Boxes”, Saturday, December 6, Gresham Library. “Decoupage is a fun and easy craft for the whole family! If you can cut and paste, you already know most of the techniques involved. Artist Shanon Schollian will show you how to decorate small boxes for keepsakes or gift giving.” 

Think Universally, Read Locally: Oregon Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors”, Saturday, December 6, 3PM, Hillsdale Library. “Portland-based authors will read selections from their work; featuring Tina Conolly, David Goldman, Felicity Shoulders and Dale Ivan Smith.”

Leaping Lizards!”, Saturday, December 6, 1:30PM, Woodstock Library. Presented by artist Judith Hankin. “Inspired by the whimsical hand painted animals from Oaxaca, Mexico, as well as the playful poetry of Douglas Florian's ‘Lizards, Frogs, and Polliwogs’, we'll cut, paste and decorate our own 3-D lizards. Bring your imagination. All materials provided.”

Heritage Holidays at the McLoughlin House”, Saturday, December 6, 2PM-6PM, 719 Center St., Oregon City. Free. “Join us at the McLoughlin House in Oregon City for period music, crafts, and refreshments. The McLoughlin House will be decorated for an 1850s Christmas and cookies and cider will be available in the Barclay House.” https://www.facebook.com/events/625067194279995/

Herb Walk”, Saturday, December 6, 11AM, Forest Park, Pdx. Meeting at NW Aspen Ave. at the Aspen Trailhead. Free. Preregistration required; register online: http://forestpark.businesscatalyst.com/BookingRetrieve.aspx?ID=240100 “Join a National College of Natural Medicine student for an hour-long herb walk in Forest Park! This educational romp will focus on the medicinal uses of plants that can be found in your own backyard.”

Christmas in the Country”, Saturday, December 6, 11AM-4PM, Philip Foster Farm, 29912 SE Hwy. 211, Eagle Creek. Free. “This free event is our gift to you! Meet with Santa in the parlor, enjoy some pioneer hospitality, traditional music, and get your Christmas tree while you’re here! Visit our store for an interesting variety of books, toys, games, and crafts.” http://philipfosterfarm.com/pffwp/christmas-in-the-country/

Botanical Illustration with Watercolor”, Saturday, December 6, 11AM-3PM, Hoyt Arboretum, 4000 SW Fairview Blvd., Pdx. $20. Ages 12 and up. Preregistration required; register online: http://www.hoytarboretum.org/events/upcoming-events1/ “Whether you are a budding artist wanting to learn about botany or a plant lover eager to hone your botanical illustration skills, this class is for you! Students will learn the basics of botanical illustration and complete one or two watercolors. This class will highlight festive winter trimmings like holly and pinecones – great practice for creating your own botanic-themed holiday cards! Supplies: Students are asked to bring their own watercolor paints or watercolor pencils. A small set is fine (just tubes of red, yellow, blue and a palette or plate for mixing). Students should also bring their own brushes, including a fine round #2 or #3 brush and a ½”-wide flat brush. Bring a favorite pinecone, or use one from our collection! All other supplies (paper, pencils, etc.) will be provided at the class.” 

Lantern Tour of Ft. Vancouver”, Saturday, December 6, and Saturday, December 20, gates open at 6:30PM for 7PM tour, $10 for ages 16 and older, $7 for ages 10-15. Ages 10 and up. Preregistration required; call 360-812-6232. “Experience live theater and take a lantern-lit journey with a Park Ranger. Peek into the past with costumed interpreters performing historical vignettes of a night at Fort Vancouver. Learn about your urban national park then and now while walking through the Fort's buildings. Finish off your evening by sharing a cup of hot cider with the talented costume interpreters and park rangers!” http://www.nps.gov/fova/planyourvisit/lantern-tour.htm

Portland Youth Spelling Bee”, Saturday, December 3, 1PM with signup at 12:45, Mississippi Pizza, 3552 N. Mississippi Ave., Pdx. “Just like the Scripps National Spelling Bee, only mellower, funnier, and friendlier. Kids ages 5-18 are welcome to take the stage and demonstrate their budding spelling skills. Whether you’re prepping for a school-level Bee or just looking for a chance to demonstrate your word power, you’ll have fun and learn new words at the Youth Spelling Bee. Three levels of difficulty mean everyone has a chance to shine. Free to play!” http://www.mississippipizza.com/geeks/

30th Annual ScanFair”, Saturday, December 6, 10AM-5PM and Sunday, December 7, 10AM-4PM, Portland Veterans Memorial Coliseum, 300 N. Winning Way, Pdx. $7 adult, $6 seniors and students, $15 family (2 adults and 2 children), free for kids 12 and under. “Live music, dance and entertainment; Scandinavian arts and crafts; Oregon Lucia, Queen of Light; Joulupukki, Finnish Santa Claus; The Pippi Longstocking Kids Area; Scandinavian delicacies, cultural explorations, pickled herring eating contest.” http://www.scanheritage.org/c-50-scanfair.aspx This is a really terrific festival!

What Fun Washi Tape”, Sunday, December 7, 1:30PM, Tigard Library. All ages. “It's fun and easy to create and decorate with this colorful Japanese paper tape. We'll make simple bookmark people, magnets, garlands, cards and more!”

Staver Locomotive Holiday Train Event”, Sunday, December 7, 11AM-3PM, 2537 NW 29th Ave., Pdx. Donations to Friendly House requested. “Free viewing of live model steam locomotives! Live music, raffle and kid play area. Come see our new outdoor track!” http://www.staverlocomotive.com

Birding at Graham Oaks Nature Park”, Sunday, December 7, carpool meeting at 8AM at the Backyard Bird Shop, 16949 SW 65th Ave., Lake Oswego. Free. Preregistration required; call 503-620-7454. “Join wildlife expert Elaine Murphy on an expert-guided bird walk in Graham Oaks Nature Park. Metro staff and volunteers have planted over 150,000 trees and 100 million grass and flower seeds, to enhance existing oak savanna and Douglas fir forests. The result is an area rich in wildlife and fauna. Look for blue birds, nuthatches and even kingfishers on the 3 miles of trails that meander through the park.”  http://backyardbirdshop.com/index.php/site/event/graham_oaks_nature_park_march_16/

Physics Phenomena”, Sunday, December 7, 10AM, OMSI Physics Lab. Suggested for ages 8 and up. $8 per person. Preregistration required; register online: https://www.omsi.edu/lab-experiences/physics-phenomena/120714 “View spectacular demonstrations of unusual physics, including the vacuum chamber, the Van de Graaf generator, or unusual musical instruments.”

Holiday Cheer: A Celebration of Oregon Authors”, Sunday, December 7, 12PM-4PM, Oregon Historical Society, 1200 SW Park Ave., Pdx. “For nearly 50 years, the Oregon Historical Society has celebrated the literary talents of Oregonians at this annual holiday book sale and signing. Meet your favorite author, and take home a personally signed book for the perfect local holiday gift. All authors who are invited to participate have published in the current year, and many will have multiple books available for sale. Enjoy holiday treats, music, and more as we kick off the holiday season at the Oregon Historical Society!” http://www.ohs.org/visit-ohs/events.cfm

NW Dance Theater Presents. “A Nutcracker Tea", Sunday, December 7, 3PM, Tualatin Library, by the fireplace. Suggested for ages 4 and up. “A Nutcracker Tea is an abridged, family-friendly adaptation of the Nutcracker ballet for ages 4 and up. The classic story of Clara and the Nutcracker Prince is told with beautiful music, colorful costumes, and delightful dancing.”

30th Annual Christmas Along the Barlow Trail”, Sunday, December 7, 1PM-4PM, Oregon County Settlement Living History Village, 73370 E. Buggy Trail Dr., Rhododendron, OR, behind the Still Creek Inn. Free admission and parking. “This 30th annual celebration is a free, festive gathering held on Mount Hood that features two special events associated with the history of the Oregon Trail, where it traversed around the Mountain’s southern flank. Held on Saturday during the day a few weeks before Christmas, this is an event for the entire family. Featured is a traditional holiday festivity held at a pioneer village [the Oregon Country Settlement] along a section of the Oregon Trail through the Cascade Mountain Range, known as the Barlow Trail, in which the Willamette Valley-bound emigrant’s traversed a route along the southern flank of the 11,250-foot Mount Hood. ‘Pioneer Spirits Along Mount Hood’s Oregon Trail’ will be a special feature this year. Situated in the various historical buildings on the property, re-enactors, dressed in period clothing, will allow visitors to listen in on the conversations that would have taken place back in time, interpreting this Winter holiday as it was in our past. These are not only historical characters, but all are those who traveled this emigrant path over Mount Hood and camped in one of the several meadows on this 18-acres owned by the Cascade Geographic Society. There will be traditional Christmas caroling, Native American flute and pioneer flute music, free Christmas goodies and hot drinks. This is also an opportunity to shop for unique historical and nature books, Huckleberry and other Wildberry jams, and specialty products made from this wildland bounty, that would be ideal for gifts, especially for those who are hard to buy for. And, naturally, Santa Claus will be there on duty from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. One of the main features will be ‘Christmas Tales of Old Oregon’ that begins at 3:00 p.m., which is a unique storytelling program that takes you from the days of the Lewis and Clark Expedition at the rainy and cold Pacific Coast in 1805, to the days of the Oregon Trail and pioneer settlement, and concluding on the slopes of Mount Hood in the early 1900’s. The oral tradition being shared makes this an ideal event for adults and children alike.” http://cascadegeographicsociety.com/events-schedule.html

From a Name to Number: A Holocaust Survivor's Story”, Monday, December 8, 7PM, Hillsboro Main Library. All ages allowed but parents should use their discretion. “Alter Wiener, author of '64735 - From a Name to a Number', is one of the very few Holocaust survivors still living in Oregon. A resident of Hillsboro, he has shared his life story with almost 800 audiences at universities, colleges, schools, churches, synagogues, prisons, companies and libraries around the Northwest. He was interviewed by radio, TV stations and newspapers. Mr. Wiener received an Honorary Bachelor Degree from Warner Pacific College and an Honorary Law Degree from Lewis and Clark Law School.” http://www.alterwiener.com

Holiday Performance Readings”, Monday, December 8, 7PM, Tigard Library, Burgess Community Room. “CarollAnn Curthoys shares her dramatic interpretations of favorite holiday stories and poems. Some selections will make you smile. Others will make you laugh. Some will give you pause. All will evoke the holiday spirit.”

Treatments for Ebola: New Approaches to Infectious Disease”, Monday, December 8, 6PM, Old World Deli, 341 2nd St., Corvallis. Free. All ages. Presented by Patrick Iversen, research professor, Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology, Oregon State University. “By now, the images and stories of the Ebola epidemic are depressingly familiar: health workers covered head-to-toe in protective clothing; clinics overflowing with the sick; anxious family members; assurances and predictions from the directors of health-care organizations. As health-care agencies struggle to marshal an effective response, they are looking to an Oregon State University professor and Sarepta Therapeutics for help. Patrick Iversen was a senior vice president at Sarepta when he led a team that developed drugs to treat Ebola and a related virus known as Marburg. The company has completed Phase 1 clinical trials with the Ebola drug, known as AVI-7537. It would normally take years and millions of dollars to complete Phase 2 and 3 trials before it receives approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. At the Corvallis Science Pub, Iversen will review what scientists know about Ebola and how the new drug works. He’ll also discuss how the basis for Sarepta’s approach could signal a new way to treat infectious diseases.” https://www.omsi.edu/sciencepubcorvallis/120814

The Monumental Agenda of Hatshepsut, Ancient Egypt’s Female King”, Monday, December 8, 7:30PM, Portland State University, Smith Memorial Student Union, 1825 SW Broadway, Pdx (all ages, free, and parking is free in the PSU parking structure after 7PM) http://www.arce.org/chapters/oregon/events/u889; and Tuesday, December 9, 7PM, Empirical Theater at OMSI, $5 suggested donation) https://www.omsi.edu/sciencepubportland/120914. Presented by Prof. Kara Cooney, Egyptian Art and Archaeology, UCLA. “A woman’s power in the ancient world was always compromised from the outset. Complex societies are inherently based on masculine dominance, forcing female rulers to resort to familiar methods to gain power. Some female rulers, like Cleopatra, used their sexuality to gain access to important men and bearing them children. Many, like Sobeknefru, only ruled at the end of a dynasty, after the male line had run out, or, like Britain’s Boudica, in the midst of civil war. Sometimes, a woman was the only effective leader left after drawn-out battles against imperial aggression. Some women, like Hatshepsut, gained their position as the regent and helper of a masculine king who was too young to rule. Almost no evidence of successful, long-term female leaders exists from the ancient world. Only the female king of Egypt, Hatshepsut, was able to take on formal power for any considerable length of time, and even she had to share power with a male ruler. Given this social reality, how did Hatshepsut legitimize her leadership role? Despite her controversial ascension to the throne, she used architecture to link her legacy to those of previous kings. But how did she use innovation in design and building to set herself apart from previous rulers and show the uniqueness of her place in history?” 

Spectacular Arcade for Kids”, Monday, December 8, 4PM, Hollywood Library (free tickets given out at 3:30PM); Saturday, December 27, 1:30PM (free tickets given out at 1PM); and Tuesday, December 30, 1PM, Sellwood-Moreland Library (free tickets given out at 12:30PM). “Join Tinker Camp and imagine, design and create your one of a kind arcade game using cardboard, recycled materials and electronic components such as LED lights and motors.” http://www.tinkercamp.org

Gingerbread House Workshop”, Monday, December 8, and Friday, December 12, 4PM, Battle Ground Library. Preregistration required; call 360-906-4747 starting on Dec. 1. Suggested for ages 5-12 with an adult. “Bring your engineering and artistic know how to create your very own gingerbread house. We will provide the supplies.”

Concert, “Sally Harmon and Frank Gruner”, Monday, December 8, 12PM, Portland5, Antionette Hatfield Hall Rotunda Lobby, 1111 SW Broadway, Pdx. Free. All ages. “Holiday piano and bass.” http://www.sallyharmon.com

Home School Skate”, Monday, December 8, and Monday, December 22, 10AM-12PM, Oaks Park Skate Rink, 7805 SE Oaks Park Way, Pdx. $6.50 per skater.  http://oakspark.com/specials.html

Author and Illustrator Talk, “The Scandinavian Santa”, Monday, December 8, 6:30PM, Stevenson Library. “Come meet the Victoria Lindstrom and Michael Lindstrom, author and illustrator of a wonderful new picture book, ‘The Scandinavian Santa.” http://thescandinaviansanta.deedspublishing.com

“Anime Club”, Tuesday, December 9 and Tuesday, December 23, 6PM, Beaverton Library. Grades 6-12. “Join other anime fanatics to eat snacks, watch anime, and master surprise anime activities!”

White Lotus Japanese Club”, Tuesday, December 9, and Tuesday, December 23, 4PM, Troutdale Library. Grades 6 and up. “If you like anime, manga, or Japanese culture, come on in! We will be drawing, reading, socializing, watching movies, and even cooking Japanese food every now and then. Come and learn more!”

An Evening at the Zimmerman House”, Tuesday, December 9 and Tuesday, December 16, 3PM-8PM, Zimmerman Heritage Farm, 17111 NE Sandy Blvd., Gresham. Suggested donation $5. A specific tour time must be reserved in advance; reservations can be made online: http://frwhs.org/1121/an-evening-at-the-zimmerman-house/ “If you’ve enjoyed the Zimmerman House during the day, you should see her at night! The historic Zimmerman House was built in 1874 and was home to three generations of the Zimmerman Family. Their furnishings and personal articles remain in this two-story Victorian home, including children’s toys, games, Christmas postcards and winter clothing.”

Prowling for Owls”, Tuesday, December 9, 7PM, Audubon Society of Portland, 5151 NW Cornell Rd., Pdx. Free. “Owls have fascinated us since prehistoric times, representing various things to various cultures – from wisdom, protection and good fortune to omens of doom. Despite our collective captivation, many people have limited firsthand experience with owls. In general, owls are secretive, and most species are nocturnal, making them relatively hard to find. By learning a bit about their behavior and breeding biology, however, you can greatly increase your odds of seeing owls, even in the daytime. Join local birder and photographer Scott Carpenter as he shares his insights into finding and enjoying owls in the Pacific Northwest. With the goal of empowering you to have enough information to go out and observe owls on your own, Scott will share the tools and strategies he uses for locating the fifteen species of owls that occur in Oregon.” http://audubonportland.org/about/events/nn-dec2014

Cards with Sentiment”, Tuesday, December 9, 7PM, Lake Oswego Library. Preregistration required; call 503-675-2540. “Join artist and facilitator Anya Hankin as she shares her signature approach for creating beautiful cards and prints that welcome whimsy and celebrate the season. Each participant will leave with their very own multi-dimensional, original illustration. All materials provided.”

The Curt Show”, Tuesday, December 9, 6:30PM, Tigard Library; and Saturday, December 20, 6:30PM, Compus Church, 1812 Main St., Vancouver. Free. “Seriously funny juggling! Juggling mastermind Curtis Carlyle will combine some serious juggling with a giggle-worthy comedy show.”  http://curtshow.com/blog/

Family Book Group- For the Younger Set”, Tuesday, December 9, 3:30PM, Northwest Library. “Boys and girls in grades 1-3 and their parents come together to share excellent books and learn about each other.”

Family Book Group”, Tuesday, December 9, 6PM, Hollywood Library. “Boys and girls in grades 4-6 with an adult family member gather to discuss children's literature. Read ‘A Long Way from Chicago’ by Richard Peck.’

Wreath Making”, Tuesday, December 9, 6PM, Ridgefield Library. “Enjoy making a wreath at the library. Supplies provided. Please bring wirecutters if you have them.”

“The ‘Tween Scene”, Tuesday, December 9, 6:30PM, Three Creeks Library, Vancouver. Preregistration required; call Holly at 360-906-4790. “Join a Parent/Child Book Discussion Group for a friendly, lively discussion on the 2nd Tuesday of each month. Children ages 9-12 AND a parent must attend together, no younger children, please. Refreshments provided. Come to the library to pick up a copy of the book of the month which is yours to keep.”

ORCA Book Group”, Wednesday, December 10, 3:30PM, Sherwood Library. “ORCA (Oregon Reader's Choice Award) Book Group. Students in grades 3-5 are invited to join us to discuss ‘Splendors and Glooms’ by Laura Amy Schlitz over snacks. Please register in advance at the Circulation Desk. The first 6 students to sign up will receive a free copy of the book!” http://www.candlewick.com/cat.asp?browse=Title&mode=book&isbn=0763653802&pix=n

Secrets of Orion: Birthplace of the Stars”, Wednesday, December 10, 7PM, Kiggins Theatre, 1011 Main St., Vancouver. $8 advance tickets or $10 suggested donation at the door. http://www.viaproductions.org/events/kiggins_dec_10_orion/ “This event will feature two speakers: Doug McCarty, Professor of Astronomy with the Science Integration Institute and past Planetarium Director and Astronomy Instructor at Mount Hood Community College; and Pat Hanrahan, current Planetarium Director and Astronomy Instructor at Mount Hood Community College.”

The Adventures of the OR-7 Expedition”, Wednesday, December 10, 6PM-8PM, Base Camp Brewing Co., 930 SE Oak St., Pdx. Free. Minors are welcome at this venue until 10PM. “In 2014, the Wolf OR-7 Expedition retraced the approximate track generated by the GPS collar worn by the Oregon wolf known as OR-7. This young male grey wolf traversed over 1,200 miles through Oregon and into California, to become the first and only documented free-roaming wolf in California in nearly 90 years, and he is still out there . . . Now settled in Oregon with a mate and pups. The expedition consisted of a wolf ecologist, a storyteller, a filmmaker, a National Geographic Young Explorer, a logistics coordinator and a wild peace advocate. The group’s aim was and continues to be about raising awareness of local strategies that make on-the-ground strides toward human and wolf coexistence in the region. Expedition member Rachael Pecore-Valdez will share photos and stories from the exciting expedition and about wolves in Oregon. Oregon Wild will also fill you in on what we are doing to protect wolves in Oregon and across the West.” http://www.oregonwild.org/events/oregon-wild-wednesday-portland-adventures-or-7-expedition

Kid Lit Book Club”, Wednesday, December 10, 4PM, Three Creeks Library. “Are you 6-9 years old? Do you enjoy being read to or reading on your own? Do you, and a grown up, like to talk about books? Join us to read a different new book each month. This month: ‘Strawberry Girl’ by Lois Lenski.”

Walking With Dinosaurs”, Wednesday, December 10 through Sunday, December 14, Moda Center, 100 N. Winning Way, Pdx. Tickets start at $30 each. So this is far from cheap. But we’ve gone during two American tours before and always thought we got our money’s worth! Life-size, very realistic dinosaurs. Some are costumes and the biggest ones are actually puppets controlled remotely by “voodoo technology”, where they manipulate a small model of the larger dino, and the large one mimics the movements of its smaller counterpart. http://www.dinosaurlive.com/tourdate/moda-center-or/?show=world

Birding at Dawson Creek”, Wednesday, December 10, 9AM, meeting at the north end of the Hillsboro Main Library parking lot, 2850 NE Brookwood Pkwy, Hillsboro. “Join Audubon Society leaders Mary Ratcliff and Richard and Caroline Arnold for a walk through Dawson Creek Park. December is great for seeing lots of wintering ducks including Hooded Merganser and Wood Duck.” http://audubonportland.org/trips-classes-camps/adult/fieldtrips/DawsonCrk_Dec2014

Holiday Open House”, Wednesday, December 10, 12:30PM, Lake Oswego Library. “The Lake Oswego Public Library is very pleased to present its annual Holiday Open House, featuring ‘A Christmas Carol in Prose’ at 1:00 p.m. Cookies, coffee and cocoa will be offered with the holiday music, so please stop by and join in the festivities. Man of Words will perform a dramatic recitation of Charles Dickens’ public reading version that he himself performed 124 times. Over 25 distinct characters will come to life through Man of Words’ vocal characterization. The experience of this timeless and poignant tale is enhanced by the ever looming presence of the four ghosts in the form of bronze busts created by the world renowned artist Dan Chen.”

Christmas Bird Count Preview/Review”, Wednesday, December 10, 7PM, Audubon Society of Portland, 5151 NW Cornell Rd., Pdx; and Thursday, December 18, 7PM, Leach Garden Manor House, 6704 SE 122nd Ave., Pdx. Free. “Have you thought about participating in a Christmas Bird Count but are worried that as a beginner birder you’ll get left behind? Have you done several counts in years past and are ready to take on the role of a team leader? Join Eric Scheuering in this refresher course to get ready for this year’s Christmas Bird Counts. We’ll preview what species to expect and review key field marks for identification of those species. For some fun, we’ll split into teams at the end and ‘count’ birds in a short simulation.” http://audubonportland.org/trips-classes-camps/adult/classes/xmasbirdcount The Christmas Bird Count is actually January 4; more info here: http://audubonportland.org/local-birding/cbc

Open Collage Night”, Wednesday, December 10, 6PM, Independent Publishing Resource Center, 1001 SE Division St., Pdx. Donations requested. “Join us for our new monthly collage night, where all are welcome to come hang out, create, and share work with other enthusiasts of collage art. If you have always wanted to learn more about collage or perhaps used to collage and haven’t in a long time, here’s your chance to do so in a fun environment of people eager to create and explore this easy-to-learn and very DIY medium. The night will kick off with a short slide show of collage art from around the world designed to inspire you with ideas. And then the cutting and pasting will commence! This event was created by local collage artists A.M. O’Malley and Kevin Sampsell. Some materials (scissors, paper cutters, glue stick, old magazines and books) will be provided, but please bring some of your own materials as well.” http://www.iprc.org/category/calendar

Poetry Reading, “Kim Stafford”, Wednesday, December 10, 7PM, Ledding Library Pond House, 2215 SE Harrison St., Milwaukie. “Join us for a poetry reading by Kim Stafford. Kim Stafford grew up in Oregon, Iowa, Indiana, California, and Alaska, following his parents as they taught and traveled through the West. Stafford is the founding director of the Northwest Writing Institute at Lewis and Clark College, and author of a dozen books of poetry and prose. His most recent books are 100 Tricks Every Boy Can Do: How My Brother Disappeared, and Wind on the Waves: Stories from the Oregon Coast.” http://www.kim-stafford.com

Club Improv For Teens”, Wednesday, December 10, Tualatin Library. Grades 6-12. “Let go. Have fun. Laugh out loud. If you are interested in drama and acting, or just like performing, this club is for you. No experience required.”

Concert, “Harpist Joanna Pearson”, Thursday, December 11, 7PM, Oregon City Library. “Join local harpist Joanna Pearson for an evening of beautiful holiday music at the library!” 

Fireside Nature Chat”, Thursday, December 11, 6PM, Leach Manner House, 6704 SE 122nd Ave., Pdx. Free. Preregistration required; email Gladys Ruiz at gruiz@audubonportland.org or call 503-349-9554. “Join Portland Audubon in a family friendly cultural exchange about nature in wintertime. We’ll sip hot drinks by the fireplace at the Leach Manor House while learning about wildlife in winter and sharing different wintertime cultural traditions. Kids’ activities provided.” http://audubonportland.org

Author Talk, “Tim Dawdy”, Thursday, December 11, 11AM, Stevenson Library. “Meet Author Tim Dawdy and hear him read from his new book ‘Francis Goes to School’. It’s about a bear caught up in the school system. Francis the Bear does his best in a world designed for humans. Francis is able to triumph because he’s a bear! Many children will relate to Francis’ experiences. Tim has been telling Francis stories for more than 30 years, and now a wider audience gets to enjoy this lovable bear.”

Film Premier, “A Magic-Lantern Life”, Thursday, December 11, 7PM, Museum of the Oregon Territory, 211 Tumwater Dr., Oregon City. Free. “Free film and a magic lantern program with Professor Steve Lehl, exploring the entertainment craze of the Victorian Era, the Magic Lantern Show. The film documents the performances and history of The American Magic Lantern Theater, a troupe that recreates the 19th century spectacles of magic lantern shows—the live projected productions that preceded cinema over 100 years ago. AMLT, based in Connecticut, consists of two people, usually Terry Borton, founder and showman, and lead singer Nancy Stewart. The company has been performing for 20 years, is the only professional magic-lantern theater in the US, and is one of the only three existing in the world.” Trailer here: http://vimeo.com/105192305

“GSWCO Meeting: Scandinavian Festival”, Thursday, December 11, 7PM, Hillsboro Library. “This is the monthly meeting of the Genealogical Society of Washington County Oregon. Meetings are free and open to members and non-members. Two of our members have ventured across the pond this year to Scandinavian countries in search of their ancestors. Join us as they relive their journeys and share some Scandinavian treats. Janet Raymond and Debi and Katherine Knox will be our guest speakers.”

Ted Talks, We Listen: Privacy”, Thursday, December 11, 6:30PM, Belmont Library. “Come watch one of the hottest recent TED Talk videos, 'Why Privacy Matters,' and stay for conversation afterwards. Glenn Greenwald, one of the first reporters to see — and write about— the Edward Snowden files, makes the case for why you need to care about privacy, even if you’re ‘not doing anything you need to hide.’ Experience the power of ideas. TED Talks present today’s most fascinating thinkers and doers giving the talk of their lives … in 18 minutes or less.”

NW Classical Ballet Presents, “The Nutcracker”, Thursday, December 11 through Sunday, December 14, Ft. Vancouver High School, 5700 E. 18th St., Vancouver. Ages 4 and up. Tickets $15; available online: http://nutcracker14.bpt.me “Catch the holiday spirit with Northwest Classical Ballet's Production of The Nutcracker, led by Artistic Director, Maricar Drilon. Company Members and Production Dancers will delight you with the traditional story of Clara and her Nutcracker. Performed by NCB's professional and pre-professional dancers, you'll be left with dreams of sugar plum fairies and snow kings and queens. Don't miss out on the highlight of the holiday season!”

Tween Book Discussion”, Friday, December 12, 3:30PM, Ridgefield Library. “Join us for a great read each month. Pick up a copy of the current book at the library to read before the meeting. Refreshments provided. Stay after the discussion for a quick craft. Read ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ by Madeline L’Engle.”

Author Talk, “Robbie Rodgers”, Friday, December 12, 7:30PM, Powell’s, 1005 W. Burnside, Pdx. Robbie Rodgers discusses his book, “Coming Out to Play”. “Robbie Rogers knows better than most that keeping secrets can crush you. But for much of his life Robbie lived in paralyzing fear that sharing his big secret would cost him the love of his family and his career as a professional soccer player. So he never told anyone what was destroying his soul, both on and off the field. While the world around Robbie was changing with breathtaking speed, he knew that for a gay man playing a professional team sport it might as well be 1958. He could be a professional soccer player. Or he could be an out gay man. He couldn’t do both. Then last year, at the age of twenty-five and after nearly stepping away from a brilliant career—one that included an NCAA Championship, winning the MLS Cup, and competing in the Olympics—he chose to tell the truth. But instead of facing the rejection he feared, he was embraced—by his family, by his teammates, and his fans. In ‘Coming Out to Play’, Robbie takes readers on his incredible journey from terrified teenager to a trailblazing out and proud professional soccer player for the L.A. Galaxy, who has embraced his new identity as a role model and champion for those still struggling with the secrets that keep them from living their dreams.” http://robbiehrogers.com

Jazzy Nutcracker”, Friday, December 12 and Saturday, December 14, 7PM, Vancouver School of Arts and Academics, 3101 Main St., Vancouver. Tickets $4, seniors $3. “Vancouver School of Arts and Academics dancers and musicians come together to perform Duke Ellington's Nutcracker Suite. Step back in time and enjoy the energetic performance in the spirit of United Service Organization (US0) events.”  http://www.cityofvancouver.us/community/jazzy-nutcracker

Cupcake Wars”, Saturday, December 13, 2PM, Cedar Mill Library. Grades 6-12. Preregistration required; call 503-644-0043 x112 to register. “Design your own cupcake based on your favorite literary character or book. We’ll give prizes to the best looking designs.”

Birding at Vancouver Lake Park”, Saturday, December 13, 8AM-11AM. Free with possible $3 parking fee. “Join Audubon Society Leader Ron Escano to scope the lake for waterbirds then explore the riparian woodland for White-throated Sparrows. Meet 8am at parking lot in front of middle bathrooms. From I-5 north, take Exit 1-D (4th Plain Blvd), go west on 4th Plain thru Vancouver onto SR-501 (Lower River Rd). After 3.5 miles on SR-501, continue straight for 0.6 miles to the park (possible $3 fee). http://audubonportland.org/trips-classes-camps/adult/fieldtrips/VancouverLk_Dec2014

The League of Extraordinary Writers”, Saturday, December 13, 2PM, Powell’s, 3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd., Beaverton. “In 'Everyone Can Make Comics!,' a writing workshop for young adults, author and illustrator Matthew Holm shows how to create original cartoon characters and plan out a graphic-novel story.” http://www.matthewholm.net

24th Annual Tuba Christmas Concert”, Saturday, December 13, 1:30PM-3PM, Pioneer Courthouse Square, Free. “Downtown will pulse with the melodic sounds of big brass as over 250 tubas play in unison for the 24th Annual Tuba Christmas Concert in the heart of downtown.” http://thesquarepdx.org/events/24th-annual-tuba-christmas-concert-presented-by-smartpark/

Public Night at the Haggart Observatory”, Saturday, December 13, 5:30PM- 8PM, Haggart Observatory on the grounds of the John Inskeep Environmental Learning Center, 19600 Molalla Ave., Oregon City. Free. Please call 503-594-6044 option 1 after 3PM on the day of the event to hear a recording that will tell you if it is too cloudy for this event to take place. You may climb the stairs to the observation deck and have a turn looking through the main telescope! No flashlights please. More info here: http://www.rosecityastronomers.org/sp/haggart.htm Visitors get in line very early for this event, so be prepared for a wait. It will be worth it!

Quizissippi Jr.”, Saturday, December 13, 1PM with signup at 12:45, Mississippi Pizza, 3552 N. Mississippi Ave., Pdx. “Quick, Mom! Which character was the title star of the first Pokémon movie? Dad–who was President when Oregon became a state? Combine your family’s collective brainpower and work together at Portland’s only family-friendly trivia event. It’s all the fun of Quizissippi geared for an all-ages audience. Test your knowledge of games, toys, history, science, books, movies, and more. Don’t miss the kid-friendly Multimedia Round! Free to play!” http://www.mississippipizza.com/geeks/#quizissippijunior

Waterbird Watching 101”, Saturday, December 13, 8AM-10AM, Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, Sherwood. Free. Preregistration required; email Jenna Mendenhall or call 503-625-5944 x222. “Do you enjoy watching birds in wetlands, lakes, and streams, but are not sure what they are doing, where they came from, or even know their name? Do you want to learn more about bird behavior, migration, identification, or how to use binoculars? Join U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Biologist, Michelle McDowell, to learn the basics of birdwatching and nature observation and open your eyes to the wonders that can be discovered at Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge. Fall and winter are the best time to experience migrating waterfowl that travel through the refuge by the thousands. All experience levels are welcome.” http://www.fws.gov/tualatinriver/specialevents.html

Let’s Go Birding- Bird Survey”, Saturday December 13, 9AM, Fort Stevens State Park, Battery Russell. “Come join Fort Stevens State Park on our monthly bird surveys and see some of the amazing variety of birds in our local area. The surveys will monitor the bird species that are utilizing the park from season to season. No birding experience is required, and experts are welcome to come share their knowledge. Binoculars are recommended, and we have a few binoculars that first-timers may borrow. The survey will take around 2 hours and will cover several diverse habitats within the park. The sites will be accessed by walking and driving.” http://oregonstateparks.org/index.cfm?do=parkPage.dsp_parkEvent&parkId=129&eventId=43200

Uptown Village Free Horse and Wagon Rides”, Saturday, December 13, 5PM-8PM, boarding at Vancouver Pizza, 2219 Main St., Vancouver and Simple Solitude, 1703 Broadway St., Vancouver. Donations for YWCA Family programs accepted. “Our biggest event of the season just doubled! TWO Horse Drawn Wagons will provide FREE rides along Main or Broadway in historic Uptown Village! Carolers, holiday photo booth, free hot beverages and free craft station will be provided. SANTA will arrive on the first wagon at 5:00 p.m. in front of Vancouver Pizza Company and will be available for photos till 6:30 p.m.” http://www.cityofvancouver.us/community/uptown-village-free-horse-wagon-rides

Soap Making”, Saturday, December 13, 10AM, OMSI Chemistry Lab. $15 per ticket, maximum 3 people per ticket. Preregistration required; register online: https://www.omsi.edu/lab-experiences/soap-making/121314 Suggested for ages 10 and up. “Make soap and discover both the reactions that go into its creation and why it has such amazing cleaning properties! Participants must wear clothing that completely covers their arms, legs, and feet (no sandals or open-toed shoes) as we will be working with caustic substances. One ticket allows up to three people to make a pound of soap (6-8 bars) together in the OMSI Chem Lab.”

"Lone Fir Cemetery Guided Walking Tour", Saturday, December 13, 10AM-12PM, Lone Fir Cemetery, entrance at SE 26th Street between Stark and Morrison Sts, Pdx. $10 suggested donation, which goes towards headstone restoration and educational programs. "Come for an informal history lesson while enjoying the beauty and tranquility of Lone Fir Pioneer Cemetery in SE Portland. Friends of Lone Fir Cemetery conducts monthly tours, highlighting Portland’s founders, pioneers, its famous and infamous alike, as well as interesting headstones and monuments. Come visit this hidden jewel! Explore 30 acres of mature trees, a very special rose garden and fascinating architecture in this unique place, the only cemetery in Portland listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Suitable for all ages. No advance registration required. Wheelchair accessible by arrangement. We suggest a $10 donation, and we also offer FLFC merchandise at the tours: t-shirts, hoodies, keychains, stickers, tote bags, bookmarks, and magnets. All proceeds go directly to cemetery restoration and education. Tours also available at other times by arrangement. Meet in the center of the cemetery, at the soldiers’ monument." Lone Fir was the first public cemetery in Portland, and a tour is a must for anyone learning about local history. http://www.friendsoflonefircemetery.org/tours

The Nutcracker Cracked”, Saturday, December 13, Saturday, December 20, and Saturday, December 27 at 2PM; Sunday, December 14, Sunday, December 21, and Sunday, December 28 at 4PM, Ping Pong’s Pint Size Puppet Museum, 906 SE Umatilla St., Pdx. $7. “Our wacky send up of the beloved Nutcracker Ballet. — You’ve never seen a version quite like this. Imagine — the entire ballet in 38 minutes - What a time saver!! It’s a miniature satire of epic proportions, with Tchaikovsky’s enchanting music, and 84 new rod puppets. It came out wild and crazy - and best of all, appropriate and fun for children as well. Shows are 40 minutes and are fun for the whole family.” http://www.puppetmuseum.com/PingPongsPSPM.html

Christmas at Ft. Vancouver”, Saturday, December 13, 10AM-1PM, Ft. Vancouver National Historic Site. $3 for adults, free for children ages 15 and under. “Experience the sights and sounds of the 1800's holiday season at Fort Vancouver. Visitors will be able to view and participate in activities undertaken by residents at the fort during the holiday season. Enjoy Wreath Making, Holiday Beverages, Caroling, and more!” http://www.nps.gov/fova/planyourvisit/event-details.htm?eventID=475540-307230

Family Day”, Saturday, December 13, 10AM-4PM, Washington County Museum, 120 E. Main St., Hillsboro. Free. “It’s a science circus of fun! As we enter the season of giving, learn the science behind your toys. At 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Rhys Thomas will explain the physics behind some of your favorite toys using scientific thinking and a little engineering. Rhys presents science with hilarity and dexterity by blending mature science with kid-savvy comedy the whole family will love. Make a toy to take home with museum staff and volunteers.” http://www.washingtoncountymuseum.org/home/

Sock Snowman”, Saturday, December 13, 3PM, Holgate Library; and Saturday, December 20, 2PM, Gresham Library. “Get crafty making holiday decor! You’ll make a friendly snowman base out of a white sock, and then decorate him (or her) with buttons, beads and other trimmings. Like snowflakes, each snowman will be unique!” http://lebrie.com

Concert, “Mary Flower and BBQ Orchestra”, Saturday, December 13, 2PM, Wilsonville Library. “Delta blues with a world class finger-style guitarist and lap slide player.” http://maryflower.com

Concert, “Johnny Keener”, Saturday, December 13, 10:30AM, Sunnyside Library. “Do the family rock at an interactive performance at the library.” http://www.johnnykeener.com

Fisherpoets Presentation and Workshop”, Saturday, December 13, 11AM-3PM, Oregon Historical Society, 1200 SW Park Ave., Pdx. Free. “The Oregon Folklife Network and OHS are pleased to present an afternoon with some of Oregon’s fisherpoets, many of whom are best known for their annual winter gathering in Astoria each February. Commercial fishermen, which include men and women, have long composed songs and written verse and prose about the drama, dangers, and funny side their work. A variety of our state’s finest, including Cary Jones (Eugene), Moe Bowstern, Jon Broderick, and Jay Speakman, will perform from 1-3 PM. There will also be opportunities to participate in a writing workshop preceding the performance (first come, first served). There will also be children’s activities including knot tying lessons.” http://www.ohs.org/visit-ohs/events.cfm

Birding at Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden”, Saturday, December 13, meeting to carpool at 8AM at the Backyard Bird Shop, 1419 NE Fremont St., Pdx. Free. Preregistration required; call 503-445-2699. “Amidst the thousands of rhododendrons on the seven-acre Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden, a jewel of a lake hosts wintering waterfowl. Take a free expert-guided bird walk with naturalist, Elaine Murphy, to seek ducks, mergansers, herons, and kingfishers. Stroll the pathways, and enjoy the tranquility of this scenic setting while you spy the waterfowl that winter on the spring-fed Crystal Springs Lake.”  http://backyardbirdshop.com/index.php/site/event/crystal_springs_rhododendron_garden/

The (Recycled) Gift of the Trashi”, Saturday, December 13, 12PM, Sellwood-Moreland Library (free tickets given out at 11:130AM); and Tuesday, December 30, 1PM, Woodstock Library. “KCPuppetree presents a new musical and interactive Puppet performance focusing on friendship, sharing, and selflessness. It is Trashanalia Day, and BagMan Hank (made of recycled bags) and his best friend Egger (made mostly of egg crates) are excited to exchange gifts with each other. Neither of them, however, have any money. Instead, they offer up their favorite prized possessions, Hank's Hat, and Egger's favorite egg, in exchange. This silly homage to the classic tale "The Gift of the Magi," is full of interactive songs, lessons on friendship and sharing, and several silly puppets made out of re-used and upcycled items. This presentation has been made possible in partnership with Tears of Joy Theatre and SCRAP.” http://www.kcpuppetree.com

Heart of the Valley Children’s Choir”, Saturday, December 13, 11AM, Central Library Collins Gallery. “Listen to the beautiful voices of youth ages 10 to 18. The Heart of the Valley Children’s Choir was founded 31 years ago and is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing artistic musical experiences for the youth of Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley. Join the choir of 60 singers in a choral performance as part of their annual holiday tour.” http://hvcchoirs.com

Christmas Festival”, Saturday, December 13, and Sunday, December 14, 11AM-4PM, Silver Falls State Park, South Falls Lodge and surrounding day use area. $5 per vehicle parking fee; some crafts may have a fee for materials. “Join in various country Christmas time crafts - make a wreath, a gingerbread house, cards, and ornaments. Learn how the park changes during the winter. Enjoy storytelling and live music.” http://www.friendsofsilverfalls.net/Events.html

Creative Correspondence”, Saturday, December 13, 1PM, Hillsdale Library. “In an age of texting, emails, Facebook and phone calls, snail-mail letters—hand-written, sealed and stamped—have become rare treats. In the spirit of author Nick Bantock’s luminous ‘Griffin and Sabine’ series, join artist Anya Hankin as we revive the art of letter writing. During this workshop participants are invited to make your own decorative envelopes, collage and paint your pages, embellish your writing with calligraphy pens, and transform your written messages into works of art.”

Lucia Fest”, Saturday, December 13, 3PM (doors open at 2:15 for those with special needs and 2:30 for general seating), Immanuel Lutheran Church, 7810 SE 15th Ave., Pdx. $10 adults, $5 children ages 4-12, free for ages 3 and under. “Lucia symbolizes light and hope at the darkest time of the year. Come enjoy a beautiful traditional pageant and wonderful music of the season from the children of the Swedish School in Portland, The Scandinavian Choruses and Oregon's 2014 Lucia Court. Following the program there will be singing and dancing around the tree, a visit by Tomten, glogg, coffee and traditional baked goods.” http://www.scanheritage.org/c-57-upcoming-events.aspx

Annual Grieg Lodge Christmas Party”, Saturday, December 13, 1PM, Norse Hall, 111 NE 11th Ave., Pdx. Free. “The festivities will include a massive amount of food, a performance by our own Leikarringen, singing around the Christmas tree, a visit from Santa Claus, and a Children's Christmas Play starring the youth of our lodge! The Olso Lounge will be open. Admission is free. God Jul!” http://www.norsehall.org

Old Fashioned Holiday”, Saturday, December 13, 1PM-3PM, Water Resources Education Center, 4600 SE Columbia Way, Vancouver. Free. “Kids will delight in getting ready for the holidays by making handcrafted gifts. Many things found around your home are great for old-fashioned gift and decoration ideas. Families can explore their creativity during this fun Second Saturday event!” http://www.cityofvancouver.us/publicworks/page/second-saturday-water-center

Christmas in Waldport”, Saturday, December 13, 5PM, Alsea Bay Historic Interpretive Center, “Celebrate the holidays with us and enjoy live festive music, face painting, hot dogs, cider and other refreshments, a dog costume contest, and a visit with Mr. and Mrs. Claus! Park Naturalists provide a guided bridge walk tour with lights to guide the way!”    http://oregonstateparks.org/index.cfm?do=parkPage.dsp_parkEvent&parkId=143&eventId=43211

Rose City Flute Choir Holiday Concert”, Sunday, December 14, 3PM, Hillsboro Main Library. “Join us for a performance of holiday music by the Rose City Flute Choir, an ensemble of more than 30 flutists, including alto flutes, bass flutes, piccolos, and a contrabass flute. All ages are welcome.”

The Wake of Vanport”, Sunday, December 14, 2PM, Oregon Historical Society, 1200 SW Park Ave., Pdx. Free. “The Wake of Vanport is so named to honor the death of a city and the viewing of its history through the collection of Vanport stories told by the voices of those who lived there. It is also a celebration of life after loss. Vanport is a lost city of Oregon with a rich history for all Oregonians. Join us for this screening of multimedia works produced during the 2014 Vanport Multimedia Project dedicated to collecting and preserving Vanport survivors’ stories. Community members, local historians, artists, media makers, and educators collaborated to turn oral history interviews into short and powerful pieces of digital audio and visual narrative. Immediately following the screening there will be an opportunity for discussion with survivors and producers. Refreshments will be served.”  http://www.ohs.org/visit-ohs/events.cfm

Mt. Hood Pops Orchestra 2014 Christmas Celebrations Concert”, Sunday, December 14, 3:30PM, Mt. Hood Community College Theatre, 26000 SE Stark St., Gresham. $15 adults, $10 seniors and students, $45 families. Rosamunde Overture, by Schubert; A Rockin' Christmas, by Sayre; Messiah (two selections), by Handel; Petite Suite, movements 1 and 3, by Debussy; Nutcracker March, Trepak, by Tchaikovsky; Sleigh Ride, by L. Mozart; Christmas Singalong.  http://www.mthoodpops.com Campus map here: http://www.mhcc.edu/About.aspx?id=3093

Portland Oregon Paper Shapers”, Sunday, December 14, 1:30PM, Belmont Library. “Enjoy origami-paper folding for fun, relaxation and stretching your brain. Drop in and practice origami with members of the Portland Oregon Paper Shapers. Please bring origami paper if you have it. Adults and teens welcome, children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult.”

All Ages Bhangra Dance Social”, Sunday December 14, 5:30PM, Viscount Dance Studio, 720 SE Sandy Blvd., Pdx. $5. “DJ Anjali and The Incredible Kid welcome people of all ages to the Viscount Dance Studio for a bhangra dance gathering that starts with a dance lesson and turns into a fun-filled dance party.” http://www.anjaliandthekid.com/events/all-ages-bhangra-dance-social/

Posada Milagro”, Sunday, December 14, 1PM-5PM, Miracle Theatre, 537 SE Stark St., Pdx. Free. Canned goods donation requested.  “Milagro invites the whole family to enjoy the 10th anniversary of Posada Milagro! This community celebration filled with Latin American traditions reflects upon the journey of Mary and Joseph in their search for refuge and is a day of fun for all! This year’s celebration will feature two Spanish presentations at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. of an original pastorela written by Olga Sanchez and directed by Michelle Escobar. Music and folkloric dance with Ballet Papalotl. Arts and crafts activities for kids, storytelling for children under 5 years old, a piñata for all ages and, of course, traditional foods for purchase. Admission is free but performances are limited to ticket holders only. Free tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis at the theatre beginning at 1 p.m. on Sunday Dec. 14th. All the guests are encouraged to bring donations of canned food for benefit of the Oregon Food Bank."  http://milagro.org/1-Performance-Presentacion/2014-15Season/posada.htm

The Curious Garden”, Sunday, December 14, 10:30AM, Curious Comedy Theater, 5225 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Pdx. $5 suggested donation. “Come to the Curious Garden to see your old friends Razzie the Fairy, Ribbit the Frog, Flappy the Chicken, Meowzers the Cat, Renard the Raccoon, and Dottie the Ladybug! The Curious Garden is a show for all ages -- especially kids 0-8 -- and occurs every month on the second Sunday at 10:30am. And remember each episode ends with an open mic where you can sing, dance, tell a joke and show off your talent at the Curious Garden.” http://www.curiouscomedy.org/events/curious-garden/

Norwegian Julesangfest”, Sunday, December 14, 3:15PM, Gethsemane Lutheran Church, 11560 SE Market St., Pdx. “This celebration will present the Norwegian Christmas program with various musicians, followed by a reception in the Norwegian style. Everyone is welcome. Wearing your Bunad is welcomed and encouraged!” http://www.scanheritage.org/c-57-upcoming-events.aspx

Animal Food Storage”, Monday, December 15, 3:30PM, Hillsboro Main Library. Suggested for grades 1-3. Preregistration required; register online.  Presented by Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve. “As many animals prepare for winter, they store food in different ways. We'll take a look at many kinds of animal food storage and then make a simple and useful box that YOU can use to store things in! Registration required online or at the library.”

Concert, “Don Jansen”, Tuesday, December 16, 4:30PM, Sherwood Library. “enjoy holiday music in the Library with Don Jansen on guitar.” http://www.donjansen.com

Knotted Bond Poets”, Tuesday, December 16, 7PM, Lake Oswego Library. “Lake Oswego Public Library is pleased to present poet and editor Liz Nakazawa along with former Oregon Poet Laureate Paulann Peterson and poet Suzanne Sigafoos as part of the Library’s Third Tuesday Author series. The poets will read poems from the new anthology ‘The Knotted Bond: Oregon Poets Speak of Their Sisters’, which features sister-themed poetry from 32 poets from around Oregon.” 

Family Book Group”, Tuesday, December 16, Hollywood Library. “Boys and girls in grades 7-8 with an adult family member gather to discuss children's literature. Read ‘As Easy as Falling Off the Face of the Earth’ by Lynne Rae Perkins.” http://lynnerae.com/novels/as-easy-as-falling-off-the-face-of-the-earth/

Portland Menorah Lighting”, Tuesday, December 16 through Tuesday, December 23, Director Park, SW Taylor and SW Park Ave., Pdx. Free. “Join Chabad of Oregon for the annual Portland Menorah Lighting ceremonies.” Tuesday December 16 will feature children’s activities at 5PM, Lighting Ceremony at 5:30PM followed by dancing, latkes and apple sauce. Lightings at 5:30PM on Dec. 17, 18, 21, 22, and 23. Lighting Dec. 19 at 3PM and lighting Dec. 20 at 6PM. https://www.facebook.com/events/1473254986277605/

The Stomptowners: A Celtic Winter Solstice”, Tuesday, December 16, 7PM, Tigard Library. “Embrace the warmth of the season with The Stomptowners, a dynamic group featuring traditional Irish instruments, voice and foot percussion. They will dance and play ancient carols and traditional tunes of the Celtic winter solstice.” http://thestomptowners.blogspot.com

Winter Tales by the Fire”, Tuesday, December 16, 7PM, Walters Cultural Arts Center, 527 E. Main St., Hillsboro. Free. “The winter solstice has traditionally been a time to both honor the dark and celebrate the returning of the light. Join professional Bag and Baggage actors Cassie Greer and Pete Schuyler as they bring to life a resonant selection of light-and-dark tales from such master storytellers as Ursula LeGuin and Franz Kafka. Come early for a seat—and a cup of spiced cider—at this popular storytelling event!” http://www.hillsboro-oregon.gov/index.aspx?page=1092

Doing Dough: Holiday Tarts with Almond Cream and Cookie Crust”, Tuesday, December 16, 6:30PM, Holgate Library. Presented by author Jean Johnson. “There's nothing like a homemade fruit tart, and cookie dough crusts are perfect for beginners. We'll draw on seasonal fruits and make our own almond cream as well. Participants will leave with the fixings to bake up a sample tart at home.” 

Come One, Come All, To the Circus Parade!”, Tuesday, December 16, 4PM, “Come one, come all, to the best circus in town! Let’s walk on the tightrope, visit the animals, twirl our batons and practice our best circus march! This dynamic workshop for kids and families is one-half art-making adventure, one-half musical performance! Play with artist and educator Anya Hankin as we construct beautiful paper masks and circus accouterments. Then, we will be joined by a professional musician who will lead us in a rousing circus parade, with live music and songs to help us sing and celebrate! Kids are encouraged to come in costume. We will share animal cracker treats, and all materials will be provided.”

Community Menorah Lighting”, Tuesday, December 16, 5:30PM, Esther Short Park, 605 Esther St., Vancouver. Free. “The Chabad Jewish Center in Vancouver, Washington invites you to a community-wide celebration and public menorah lighting, Chanukah Lights. This event starts with the grand menorah lighting and a special ‘glow in the dark’ performance in Esther Short Park at 5:30 p.m. Then join us for more festivities at the Vancouver Hilton, including free live music, kids crafts and more. Food will also be available for purchase.”  http://www.jewishvancouverwa.com/jewish-community-holiday-celebrations.html

OBOB Book Club”, Wednesday, December 17, 4PM, Tualatin Library. “Register in person at the library. Every child who registers for a session will receive free copies of the two books being discussed in that session. Suggested for grades 3-5. “Do you like to read? Do you like to get free books? Are you in 3rd through 5th grade? If so, you are invited to join our Oregon Battle of the Books Club! Each month from September through February, we will talk about two great books from the Oregon Battle of the Books (OBOB) list for 3rd through 5th grade." December books: “The Trouble with Chickens” by Doreen Cronin; “Night of the Twisters” by Ivy Ruckman.

The Read-Aloud Crowd”, Wednesday, December 17, 5PM, Battle Ground Library. “This is a 'starter' book discussion group geared towards children 6-8 yrs. of age and their accompanying adult! Pick up a copy of the book from the library, read it together and come ready to discuss and have fun with new friends! This month we're discussing ‘A Nest for Celeste’ by Henry Cole.” http://www.henrycole.net/main.php?link=libdetail&sort=date%20DESC&page=2&bookID=72

NW Children’s Theater Kid’s Co Presents, “A Holiday Treat”, Thursday, December 18, 7PM, Tualatin Library. “This production takes you behind the scenes and allows you to see what it takes to put together a musical review. Watch each character sparkle, to prove that they are made for the stage, through singing, dancing, acting and magic! Songs include; Silent Night, Christmas Time is Here, Baby it’s Cold Outside and All I Want For Christmas is You!” http://nwcts.org/content/kids-company-nw

The Christmas Revels 2014”, Thursday, December 18 through Tuesday, December 23, St. Mary’s Academy, 1615 SW 5th Ave., Pdx. Ticket prices vary. Ages 4 and up. “A tower, a Wizard Earl, a prankster and some Revels magic . . . Welcome to the Christmas Revels 2014. Our brand new script by Revels scriptwriter Gray Eubank begins in the Tower of London in 2014. We follow a bored young teen who is transported back in time to the 17th century Caroline Era in English history. And Revels magic begins. We meet Henry Percy the Wizard Earl, and Morley, a resourceful prankster who’s been tunneling around the Tower for years. Audiences will enjoy period music, dance, costumes and the cultural traditions of Europe in the time of Charles I of England and The Three Musketeers.”  http://portlandrevels.org/calendar/christmasrevels/

A Radio Christmas Carol”, Thursday, December 18, 7PM (doors open at 6PM), Kiggins Theatre, 1011 Main St., Vancouver. Free with a nonperishable food donation to Clark County Food Bank. “Washington State University presents the Willamette Radio Workshop's performance of 'A Radio Christmas Carol' as part of the Re-imagined Radio series. Doors open at 6 p.m.. This live on-stage radio performance features voice actors and Foley sound artists. Please also join us after the performance for the opening of 'Move. Touch. Feel.' at Nouspace Gallery and Media Lounge, 1015 Main St. We'll be hosting a reception for the opening, with an opportunity for a Q and A with the actors and Foley artists.” 

Portland Scandinavian Chorus Christmas Concert”, Thursday, December 18, 7PM, Temple Baptist Church, 1319 NE 7th Ave., Pdx. Free. “Come enjoy beautiful songs from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. There is plenty of free parking.” See PortlandScandinavianChorus.com

Dr. Who Club”, Thursday, December 18, 6PM, Gladstone Library. “Are you a fan of Doctor Who? Watch episodes of all the Doctors and discuss/share any 'Who' related news. All ages welcome. Third Thursday of every month.”

Tween Book Group”, Thursday, December 18, 3:30PM, Woodland Library. “Are you between the ages of 9 and 12? Do you like reading? Do you like talking about cool books? So join us for our Tween Book Discussion Group! The first 10 to sign up get a free book to keep.”

Bookaneers”, Thursday, December 18, 6PM, Vancouver Library. “Each month a free copy of the next month’s book of the month will be given to those attending to keep and add to their home libraries. For children ages 6-9 with a participating adult. This month we’re reading ‘Chocolate Fever’ by Robert Kimmel Smith.” http://www.robertkimmelsmith.com/works.htm

Doctor Who Party”, Friday, December 19, 6PM, Cedar Mill Library. Grades 6-12. “Celebrate all things Whovian at our Doctor Who Party. Build a Tardis, dress as your favorite Doctor, craft a Who villain or participate in our Doctor Who scavenger hunt.”

Winter Origami Fun”, Friday, December 19, 3:30PM- 5:30PM, Vancouver Library. “Winter origami fun with Yuki Martin. Drop in any time between 3:30-5:30.” http://yukiorigami.blogspot.com

Soda Pop Blind Tasting”, Friday, December 19, 4:30PM, Ridgefield Library. Suggested for tweens and teens. “Think you can guess a Pepsi from a Coke from an RC from a Dr. Skipper? Give it a try at this program. Prizes awarded.”

Storytime with the Ballet: Winter Wonderland”, Friday, December 19, 4PM, Gregory Heights Library. “Join your librarian and Oregon Ballet Theatre’s teaching artist and read books about winter and snow. Watch your favorite stories come to life through dance and movement presented by a real ballerina! Learn about ballet and come face-to-face with real ballet costumes and shoes.”

Mother Daughter Book Club”, Saturday, December 20, 10AM, Hillsboro Main Library. “This is a book discussion group for mothers (or another significant woman in a girl's life) and girls in grades 3-5. December's book will be ‘Out of My Mind’ by Sharon Draper.” http://sharondraper.com/bookdetail.asp?id=35

Christmas Ships Viewing”, Saturday, December 20, 6PM, Foothills Park, 199 Foothills Dr., Lake Oswego. Free. In case of bad weather, check here for cancellations: http://www.christmasships.org “2014 marks the 60th year of the magical Christmas Ship Parade! This holiday tradition began in 1954 with a lone sailboat from the Portland Yacht Club. Today, up to 60 boats are expected to make up the two fleets which make their way to Lake Oswego. They depart from RiverPlace Marina and continue as far as George Rogers Park in Lake Oswego, arriving between 6:15 and 6:30pm. Make plans to enjoy the sparkle of the colorful flotillas from the shores of Foothills Park. A warm fire in the park shelter will guard you from the frigid winter temperatures.” http://www.ci.oswego.or.us/parksrec/christmas-ship-parade

Winter Solstice Celebration”, Saturday, December 20, 4PM, Tryon Creek State Park. Free. No registration. “Celebrate the changing of the seasons with the shortest day and longest night of the year. Learn the science behind the solstice, explore the forest during an evening guided walk with a trained naturalist, make a winter craft, and enjoy treats from a Dutch oven.” http://www.tryonfriends.org/calendar/?civicrm_install_type=wordpress&cid=all&mc_id=224

Winter Solstice Event”, Saturday, December 20, Milwaukie Waterfront City Park. Details are TBA but they generally have concessions and carolers from 4:30PM-6:30PM and a nice bonfire while the Christmas Ships go by. Check back for updates here: http://www.milwaukieoregon.gov/citymanager/winter-solistce-christmas-fleet-viewing-event

The Scourge of Positivism: A Drama in Three Acts”, Saturday, December 20, with continuous performances from 1PM-5PM, Oregon Historical Society, 1200 SW Park Ave., Pdx. Free with admission; always free with proof of Multnomah County residency, for nonresidents $11 for adults, $9 students and seniors, $5 youth ages 6-18, and free for kids 5 and under. “Zenith Tea House, in cooperation with the Oregon Historical Society, presents a slide show with live music, based on the Gifford and Cronise photograph collections in the Davies Family Research Library, combined with texts from the Oregon Journal. Performances are continuous throughout the afternoon of December 20.” http://www.ohs.org/visit-ohs/events.cfm

Columbia Dance Presents, “The Nutcracker”, Friday, December 19 through Monday, December 22, Royal Durst Theater, Vancouver School of Arts and Academics, 3101 Main St., Vancouver. $20 adults, $15 seniors, $10 for children 12 and under; tickets available online: http://columbiadance.org “Columbia Dance brings its most joyous holiday gift with its wonder-filled production of the ‘The Nutcracker.’ A cast of over 90 dancers from Columbia Dance present the magical story of Clara and her Nutcracker Prince as they battle the Mouse King and embark on a thrilling journey through the Land of Snow and into the Kingdom of Sweets.”

Winter Solstice at the Landfill”, Sunday, December 21, 10:30AM, St. Johns Landfill, 9387 N. Columbia Blvd., Pdx. $6 per person or $11 per family. Preregistration required; register online: http://www.oregonmetro.gov/event/winter-solstice-landfill/2014-12-21-10-30 “Winter solstice marks the shortest day of the year and is followed by the gradual return of the light. Come celebrate the end and beginning of this cycle by walking the prairie and ash forest at the St. John’s Landfill. This landscape hosts a spectacular array of song birds, waterfowl, raptors, and mammals that live along the Columbia Slough.”

Electricity and Magnetism”, Sunday, December 21, 10AM, OMSI Physics Lab. Suggested for ages 8 and up. $8 per person. Preregistration required; register online: https://www.omsi.edu/lab-experiences/electricity-magnetism/122114 “Learn how electricity and magnetism make our modern world possible as you play with magnets, motors, and generators in this hair raising and shocking Lab.”

Talk Back to Books”, Tuesday, December 23, 4:30PM, Ledding Library of Milwaukie. Ages 10 and up. “Read, discuss, and recommend your favorite books. Snacks provided by the library.”

Oregon Renaissance Band Presents, “Nowell Syng We”, Friday, December 26 and Saturday, December 27 at 7:30PM, and Sunday, December 28 at 3PM, Community Music Center, 3350 SE Francis St., Pdx. $15 adults, $12 students and seniors. “A program of early Christmas, New Years and Winter themed early music on voices and period instruments. Music of England, Ireland, Germany, Spain - composers include Tomás Luis de Victoria, Cristóbal de Morales, Michael Praetorius, and Turlough O' Carolan. 2 musicians will perform music on violin, lute, sackbutts, recorders, cornamusen, krummhorns, bagpipes, racketts, tartold, spinettino, tabor, and voices. Musicians: David Bryan, Andy Harris, Daphne Clifton, Lori Fitch, Polly Gibson, Cindy Markham, Ben Fitch, Kathryn Richer, Hideki Yamaya, Sharon Cheney, Phil Neuman, and Gayle Neuman. The Oregon Renaissance Band, celebrating its 23rd year, specializes in the performance of 16th and early 17th century repertoire on historical instruments. They have appeared on NPR's Performance Today and performed at the Regensburg Early Music Festival in Germany. Their new CD 'Now make we joye,' featuring Renaissance Christmas and other celebratory music has just been released, and their earlier CD 'Carnevale!,' featuring Italian carnival songs and other festive pieces, is in its second pressing. Many of the instruments played by members of ORB are built by the performers themselves after museum originals.” http://www.emgo.org/events.htm

Recycled Paper Beads”, Saturday, December 27, 2PM, Hillsboro Shute Park Library. Suggested for grades 3 and up. “Ever wonder what you can do with old magazines? Turn them into paper beads! We'll use colorful paper strips from magazines to make beautiful, one-of-a-kind beads you can use to make a bracelet or necklace.”

Art of the Microscope”, Saturday, December 27, 10AM, OMSI Life Lab. $8. Preregistration required; register online: https://www.omsi.edu/lab-experiences/art-of-the-microscope/122714 “We will explore ways to capture creative images by using the camera on your phone with a microscope. Visitors will be able to print one imagine to take home. It is highly recommended to have taken OMSI's Beginner Microscopy lab experience prior to this one. Make sure to bring your phone to capture many pictures.”

Whale Watching Week”, Saturday, December 27 through Thursday, December 31, Oregon Coast, various locations. “People come from all over to learn about the gray whales that migrate past the Oregon coast each year. The Whale Watching Spoken Here program places volunteers at great whale watching sites during watch weeks so they can help others spot the whales. For more than 30 years, our trained volunteers have helped visitors watch whales at 24 sites in three states along the Pacific Northwest coast. We definitely know whale watching. Learn more about whales at the Whale Watching Center in Depoe Bay, Oregon. Rangers are ready to answer your questions.” http://www.oregonstateparks.org/index.cfm?do=parkPage.dsp_parkPage&parkId=183 The whales are further from shore than they are in the summer. You should either plan on having a lot of patience and good binoculars, or going on a whale watching boat tour, which may not be as pricey as you’d expect. Whales can be spotted almost any time, but this week trained volunteers should be on hand to help.

Kwanzaa: A Celebration of Family, Community Culture”, Saturday, December 27, 1PM, North Portland Library. “Come help us celebrate 'Ujima,' collective work and responsibility.” 

Tracking Club”, Sunday, December 28, 9AM- 12PM, Oxbow Regional Park, 3010 SE Oxbow Pkwy., Gresham. Free with $5 per vehicle day use fee. Meet at the Flood Plain parking area. “The Tracking Club is a non formal gathering of people interested in the art of Tracking and Nature Awareness. Open to all skill levels.” The Tracking Club meets at Oxbow on the last Sunday morning of each month. They are very welcoming to newcomers and Oxbow is a perfect place to learn the art of animal tracking. https://www.facebook.com/groups/117827544940736/

Oregon Battle of the Books Test Your Knowledge”, Monday, December 29, 10:30AM and 1PM, and Wednesday, December 31 at 10:30AM, Cedar Mill Library. 4th and 5th grades. “The focus of this program is to concentrate on the book contents and questions. Book warriors in 4th and 5th grades who have already done OBOB are welcome to join us for one of the following OBOB TYK (Test Your Knowledge) session. (No registration.) Bring a pencil and a piece of paper to write your answers on. Limited adult sitting. Participants sit on the floor.”

Oregon Battle of the Books Mock Battle”, Tuesday, December 30, 10:30AM, 1PM and 2:30PM, Cedar Mill Library. 3rd and 4th grade. Preregistration required; email Marta at martaw@wccls.org when registration opens Dec. 9. “The focus of this program is to introduce the battle structure to inexperienced teams. Book warriors in 3rd in 4th grades who have never done OBOB before can sign up for one of the sessions. Individuals on the same team should coordinate their registrations before calling or emailing in order to battle together. Please have all the names ready including contact phone number, team’s name, school, and grade.”

Oregon Battle of the Books Practice Sessions”, Tuesday, December 30, 11:30AM, Beaverton Library. Preregistration required; register online: http://www.beavertonlibrary.org/register Grades 3-5. “Register your team and prepare to battle in these OBOB practice sessions.”

OMSI Presents, “Science Festival”, Tuesday, December 30, 1PM- 4PM, Vancouver Library, Columbia Room Level 1. “Science festival featuring hands-on science activities for anyone over the age of 5. Drop in any time and explore the fun of science!”

Recycled Wrapping Paper Collage”, Tuesday, December 30, 1PM, Hollywood Library. “Haven't you always wanted to be Queen or King for a day? Well, put on your tiara or crown and come on over to the library where you can help build a giant paper castle for our bulletin board. We'll be using leftover or recycled wrapping paper, glue and all manner of glittery things. Bring your own leftover paper to add to our stash and together we'll build a beautiful work of art for the entire community to see. Drop in any time.”

Wilsonville History Pub”, Tuesday, December 30, 6:30PM, McMenamins Old Church, 30340 SW Boones Ferry Rd., Wilsonville. Free. Minors welcome with an adult. This month’s topic is TBA- check the Wilsonville Library History Pub page: http://www.wilsonvillelibrary.org/188/History-Pub or McMenamin's site: http://www.mcmenamins.com/1652-mcmenamins-old-church-pub-home

A New Year’s Gift for Our Feathered Friends”, Tuesday, December 30, 3PM, The Mall Library Connection, Vancouver. “Make bird feeders for our feathered friends using pine cones, shortening and sunflower seeds.”

New Year’s Eve All Ages Skate Party”, Wednesday, December 31, 7PM-midnight, Oaks Park Skate Rink, 7805 SE Oaks Park Way, Pdx. $20 per skater. “10…9…8… 7…. It’s time to count down with the whole family at Oaks Park Roller Rink’s Annual All Ages New Year’s Eve Skate Party. Prize wheel, party favors at midnight, and more.” http://oakspark.com/specials.html

New Year’s at Noon”, Wednesday, December 31, 11AM-1PM, Mittleman Jewish Community Center, 6651 SW Capitol Hwy., Pdx. Free. Preregistration required; register online: http://www.portlandjewishacademy.org/page.cfm?id=1309&start=12/25/2014&verbose=10039#.VHRnyosWUVs

2015 New Year's Eve at Cornelius Pass Roadhouse”, Wednesday, December 31, 9PM-12:30AM, 4045 NW Cornelius Pass Rd., Hillsboro. Free. All ages welcome. “Make it a night to remember by partying to the psychedelic grooves of Garcia Birthday Band. They’ll jam in the heated, tented festive space in Imbrie Meadow.” http://www.mcmenamins.com/events/131051-2015-New-Years-Eve-at-Cornelius-Pass-Roadhouse  http://garciabirthdayband.com/home.html

A Very Happy New Year to All!

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