Cheap & Easy

50 Cheap & Easy Things To Do in Portland Through the New Year: Dec 23, 2021-Jan 2, 2022

Licorice Pizza, Kwanzaa Celebrations, and More Last-Minute Events Under $15
December 22, 2021
Paul Thomas Anderson's Licorice Pizza comes to the Hollywood Theatre in 70mm on Christmas Eve.
The phrases "season of giving" and "15 bucks and under" may not seem like easy bedfellows, but this year they totally are—from concerts to Kwanzaa celebrations to holiday displays, there are tons of ways to cap off this chaotic year with a bang (for your buck). See them all below, and find even more options on our complete winter holidays calendar. Plus, look out for our roundup of cheap & easy things to do on New Year's Eve. 

Stay safe out there, Portland! As always, get tested and stay home if you feel sick—and get your booster while it's hot. 



2001: A Space Odyssey in 70mm Past Event List
Stanley Kubrick's megalith of a film, shown here in 70mm, questions the nature of intelligence and consciousness through the story of an astronaut pitted against the malevolent computer on his spaceship.
Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District ($12)

Nightmare Alley Past Event List
If anyone can deliver a freshly twisted reenvisioning of the 1947 classic Nightmare Alley (based on William Lindsay Gresham's scandalous novel), it's Guillermo del Toro. The circus-set noir stars Bradley Cooper as a manipulative, success-driven carny who partners up with an equally manipulative psychiatrist (Cate Blanchett). Joining the leading duo is Willem Dafoe as a sideshow proprietor called Clem, Rooney Mara as a runaway who awes the crowd as Electrified Girl, and Toni Collette as the phony fortune-teller Madam Zeena. 
Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District ($10-$12)


Festivus Past Event List
Celebrate the Seinfeldian holiday "for the rest of us" with Hey Love, which will include all the requisite traditions, including the airing of grievances, feats of strength, and a Festivus pole. The restaurant will serve cheeky themed specials such as "I was in the pool! There was shrinkage!" (a Nathan's famous all-beef kosher wiener, wrapped in an egg roll and fried, with sauerkraut and hot mustard accompaniments) and the "Not That There's Anything Wrong With That" (pastrami fried rice with peas and carrots, served with soy-glazed baby bok choy and a sunny-side-up egg), plus cocktails like the "The Human Fund" (a Peppermint Patty shot).
Hey Love, Buckman (free)


Shadowplay Past Event List
Enjoy two dance floors playing a mix of new and old goth, industrial, EBM, and new wave at one of the city's longest-running goth nights.
Coffin Club, Buckman (free)

The Other Place, Nyxora, and Breath Past Event List
Local experimental groups The Other Place, Nyxora, and Breath will bring you an evening of dark psych out-of-this-world sounds.
No Fun, Buckman ($8)

Yuckgod, Foreign$, & AD+ Past Event List
Hungry Hungry Hip-Hop returns with Yuckgod (of Hella Dregs) and supporting act Foreign$ and AD+.
Mississippi Pizza, Boise (free)


Holidays at the Belle! Past Event List
Wander through this newly restored and garland-strewn Victorian mansion like you're the ghost of Christmas past, then step outside to take in festive light displays around the grounds.
The Victorian Belle Mansion, Kenton ($8-$12) 



Black Christmas Past Event List
The remake of this 1974 slasher offers a feminist twist as sorority girls get sick of their sisters being stalked and murdered on campus.
Clinton Street Theater, Hosford-Abernethy ($6)

Red Rocket Past Event List
If the brilliance of Tangerine (2015) and The Florida Project (2017) is any indication, Sean Baker's latest film—which follows a hustler in a hometown that barely tolerates him—will be one of the best features to cap off the year.
Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District ($10)


Bar Bar Holiday Disco Past Event List
Celebrate Christmas Eve at Bar Bar for their special holiday disco night!
Bar Bar, Boise ($10)

D80s Annual Nightmare Before Christmas Dance Party Past Event List
Dance away your holiday stress with the annual Nightmare Before Christmas '80s dance night! Expect to hear underrated new wave bangers and dark '80s classics.
The Lombard Pub, Arbor Lodge (free)

MadgesdiqCEG & The Everyday Mystics Past Event List
Enjoy cozy classic covers this Christmas Eve with MadgesdiqCEG & The Everyday Mystics as well as an opening set from Side Moves.
Alberta Street Pub, King ($10)



Bar Bar Holiday Disco with DJ Orographic Past Event List
Join Bar Bar on Christmas Day for another edition of Holiday Disco, this time with DJ Orographic!
Bar Bar, Boise (free)

BLOWPONY Christ-Mess Past Event List
Join BLOWPONY for their annual Christ-Mess celebration! Enjoy holiday performances by Diva Dott, Violet Hex, Jo, Phantom X, Glucose Dott Bowery, and Angelica D'vil with a long list of fabulous DJs!
Bossanova Ballroom, Buckman ($13)



Ninth Annual Screening: Dakota 38 Past Event List
Portlanders might remember seeing the words "Dakota 38" painted on the podium of Portland's Abraham Lincoln statue during the city's October 2020 protests against anti-BIPOC police violence, which meant to call attention to Lincoln's suppression of the 1862 Dakota Uprising that saw 38 Dakota hanged on the same day. Created "in line with Native healing practices," this film traces the history of the event and its impacts on the present-day Dakota community.
Clinton Street Theater, Hosford-Abernethy (free)


60th Annual Concert-At-Christmas Past Event List
Make the holiday weekend last with the Portland Youth Philharmonic's 60th annual Christmas concert with pieces including Edvard Grieg: Arabian Dance from Peer Gynt Suite No. 2, Carlos Chávez: Sinfonia India, and Farhad Poupel: Childhood Memories (World Premiere).
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Downtown ($10+)



Scott Pemberton O Theory Past Event List
Scott Pemberton O Theory, or SPOT, is a Portland-based trio that uniquely blends jazz, blues, and psychedelic rock. Join them for their final night at Alberta Street Pub where they've been playing every Monday of December.
Alberta Street Pub, King (free)

A Space for Black American Music: A Series of Jazz Talks by Darrell Grant Past Event List
After a successful first installment in October, the Darrell Grant Quartet's Soul Restoration Project (a residency program meant to "uplift the Black American experience" with invitation-only performances) presents a live discussion series moderated by Grant himself. The events will also include curated video and audio samples "that exemplify the significance of Black American music."
Alberta Arts Salon, Northeast ($8-$15)


Kwanzaa - Black Queer Social featuring Roulette Delgato Past Event List
The second night of Kwanzaa brings a Black- and queer-centered dance party featuring Rose City rapper Roulette Delgato and the CDS drag crew.
Eagle, Piedmont (free) 



Non-Binary Girlfriend & Folian Past Event List
Bliss out to bedroom grooves from the members of Cry Babe that now comprise Non-Binary Girlfriend, plus a little doom-pop from Folian for good measure.
The Six, Sunnyside ($10)


Kwanzaa - Drag Show & Community Celebration Past Event List
Learn about the history and traditions of Kwanzaa in the most fun way possible: from a talented pool of Portland drag queens.
CC Slaughters, Old Town-Chinatown ($5)

People Person + Dream House Past Event List
Lydia House and Josie Benedetti will debut their solo plays on the same night, starting with Benedetti's interactive People Person (descibed by the organizers as "an honest and absurd reflection of one woman's desperate need and inability to connect with those around her") and closing out with House's Dream House, a "playful exploration of escapism and intergalactic space travel."
Siren Theater, Old Town-Chinatown ($15)



Pussyfoot Past Event List
If you're not into going out on New Year's Eve, get your kicks the night before at this stand-up showcase with Sean Jordan, Kirsten Kuppenbender, Milan Patel, Shelley McLendon, Julia Corral, and Belinda Carroll.
Siren Theater, Old Town-Chinatown ($12)


Band Called LoveJoy Past Event List
Portland rock duo Band Called LoveJoy, who just released their debut EP High Lonesome, will bring you catchy classic rock-inspired melodies.
Alberta Street Pub, Boise ($7)

ICEBREAKER '21 Past Event List
The all-ages lineup, sound crew, and audience at this dance night will put your typical end-of-the-year party to shame. Come through to see Roosevelt High School alum Ascxnsion, 11-year-old phenom J Prodigy, up-and-coming MC Sotaé, and others.
Holocene, Buckman ($10-$15)

LUCII Past Event List
Be transported to another planet with dubstep producer and DJ Emily Rose, AKA LUCII, who creates unique music that she coined "Space Bass".
45 East, Buckman ($10-$15)

Sweet N' Juicy, Bomba Trio, and Tetsuo's Electric Izakaya Past Event List
Sweet N' Juicy are a group known for playing upbeat music inspired by funk and new wave. They do this while wearing fruit shaped costumes, hinting to their name. Also on the lineup are Bomba Trio and Tetsuo's Electric Izakaya.
No Fun, Buckman ($8)

System Sessions 001: Hobi, Spaces, Katahdin, and More! Past Event List
System Sessions 001 is a new event series that focuses on showcasing PNW talent with high-fidelity sounds. Anticipate hearing a wide range of electronic music from dubstep to west coast bass. This week will present music from Hobi, Spaces, Katahdin, and glasseye and visuals from Rob Tichinel & Yert Yert.
Mighty Moe's Tanker, Hawthorne (free)

Ten-Speed Music (Duo), Michael Gerard, Kennon Christel, and Domenico Franco Past Event List
Ten-Speed Music Duo will bring danceable post-punk joined by locals Kennon Christel, Michael Gerard, and Domenico Franco.
No Fun, Buckman ($8)

Wilclone: A Wilco Tribute Band Past Event List
Sing along to your favorite indie-rock hits with Wilclone, Portland's own Wilco cover band! Wilclone will be accompanied by Drunken Angel.
Mississippi Pizza, Boise ($10)



The Druthers Past Event List
Join The Druthers for an evening of folk-pop tunes with infectious harmonies.
Alberta Street Pub, King ($10)

It's About Time - The official PDX new years day celebration! Past Event List
No matter how you're feeling as 2022 shows itself in, you're invited to "gather," "reflect," and "rejoice" with a wholesome day of music and dancing with local artists like Frida K, Dangerkid, DJ spitfire, Saylinds, and others.
The Big Legrowlski, Pearl District ($5-$15)

Lunch & Soul with Tyrone Hendrix Past Event List
Tyrone Hendrix is a Portland-based drummer, composer, and producer who finds inspiration in classic soul favorites such as Prince and Steve Wonder.
Alberta Street Pub, King (free)

Yawa, Kingsley, Kisskadee Past Event List
What better way to start the New Year than with a free show? On New Year’s Day, singer/songwriter/producer/performance artist Yawa (FKA Amenta Abioto) will headline a show at Kelly’s Olympian, and hopefully continue her tradition of playing some improvised music for part of her set, as well as soulful tracks like “Wade in the Water,” and the beautifully epic “Revolution.” Pop singer-songwriter Kingsley will help back up the bill, playing songs from her recent project Crying on Holidays, and LA artist Kisskadee is also there offering solid support. JENNI MOORE
Kelly's Olympian, Downtown (free)

Yesterday's Youth with Laundry and Billy & the Kids Past Event List
Enjoy this lineup of local Portland rock bands including Yesterday's Youth, Laundry, and Billy and the Kids.
Dante's, Old Town-Chinatown ($8-$10)



Andrew Oliver and His Buddies Past Event List
Portland-based pianist Andrew Oliver will be playing old-style jazz with a rotating group of musicians.
Alberta Street Pub, King ($10)

The Catnip Brothers Past Event List
Enjoy an afternoon of roots and country music with The Catnip Brothers.
Alberta Street Pub, King ($10)

Ed Haynes at Artichoke Cafe Past Event List
Singer-songwriter Ed Haynes is back bringing songs and stories to Artichoke Cafe.
Artichoke Music, Richmond ($10)

Honey-D and Dead Steady Sound Past Event List
DJs Honey-D and Dead Steady Sound will bring you an evening of deep dub and punky reggae!
No Fun, Buckman (free)


The Witching Hour Drag Show Past Event List
Portland drag queens Honey Hart and Nikki Ontolodge Monet will reveal their darkest spells for all the witches out there.
Mississippi Pizza, Boise ($10)



The Big Lebowski Past Event List
It's a Cohen Brothers cult classic about a dude and his bowling alley. And his robe. And his affinity for White Russians.
Clinton Street Theater, Hosford-Abernethy ($10-$12)
(Through Sun Dec 26)

Licorice Pizza in 70mm Past Event List
It's 1973 in the San Fernando Valley when cocky teen actor Gary Valentine (Philip Seymour Hoffman's son Cooper) and Alana Kane (first-time actor Alana Haim... from HAIM) cross paths at a photoshoot for child stars, where Kane, ambling in her 20s, earns a living. Valentine lays on his corny-yet-charming courtship tactics despite their age difference, and thus ensues Paul Thomas Anderson's latest film: a tale of first love dotted with absurd adventures (including a scene where Kane drives a gasless stick-shift down a winding hill to escape the wrath of Barbra Streisand's unhinged boyfriend). This 70mm screening will take the '70s vibe to the next level.
Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District ($15)
(Dec 24-30)


Alberta Street Gallery Holiday Gift Show  Past Event List
Thirty local artists will sell their fresh slate of ceramics, paintings, photography, fabric art, woodwork, and more for your art-loving gift recipients. 
Alberta Street Gallery, Concordia (free)
(Through Fri Dec 24)

MESO Market Past Event List
Hosted by nonprofit Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon, this market will showcase 14 BIPOC entrepreneurs and is open all season long for your shopping convenience. There will also be food vendors and live entertainment.
1237 NE Alberta St. (free)
(Through Fri Dec 24)

A Vintage Christmas Show 2021 Past Event List
Charm the socks off your gift recipients or housemates by picking up antique Christmas bits and baubles. 
Monticello Antique Marketplace, Montavilla (free)
(Through Jan 2)


Indigenous Art Exhibit Past Event List
Portland Indigenous Marketplace has partnered with the Architectural Heritage Center for this continually evolving exhibit celebrating the indigenous community. Featured work by indigenous artists include a wood carving of a Mayan goddess by Astrid Furstner and an oil on canvas diptych by a.c.ramírez de arellaño.
Architectural Heritage Center, Buckman (free)
(Through Fri Dec 24)

WATER:NFS | Natalie Ball with collaborator Annelia Hillman pue‑leek‑la’ Past Event List
As the first exhibition in Oregon Contemporary's new large-scale program Site, this show will replace the gallery's 2021 Biennial. It's a collaboration between Natalie Ball (a Betty Bowen Award winner who makes sculptures out of found objects, cloth, and other unusual materials, refashioning perceptions of Native American history) and Annelia Hillman pue-leek-la', who have created a space that highlights water wars, drought, and land rights across Oregon and California.
Oregon Contemporary, Kenton (free)
(Through Jan 2)


The Benson Hotel's 50th Annual Gingerbread Display Past Event List
For 50 years running, the historic hotel has baked and constructed a gingerbread showstopper that could earn a handshake from Paul Hollywood. The theme for this year's four-foot by eight-foot masterpiece is "Polar Express" and comes complete with a working toy train.
The Benson, Downtown (free)
(Through Sun Dec 26)

Clackamas County Winter Fair Past Event List
Escape from reality and into a brief quarter-mile wonderland in the form of a walk-through sparkly light tunnel. Visits from socially distanced Santa and a Christmas tree show will sweeten the deal.
Clackamas County Fairgrounds, Canby ($15)
(Through Fri Dec 24)

Pittock Mansion Christmas: Critters Make Merry Past Event List
The historic mansion's annual Christmas display will turn to the whimsical creatures of the season this year, transforming its many rooms into havens for reindeer, polar bears, lions, and cute little mice. 
Pittock Mansion, Northwest ($13)
(Through Tues Jan 4)

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