Cheap & Easy

The Best Bang for Your Buck Events in Portland This Weekend: Dec 1-3, 2023

Fungi Film Fest, My People's Market, and More Cheap & Easy Events Under $15
December 1, 2023
Browse goods from BIPOC vendors at My People's Market 13 this weekend. (My People's Market)
If you're finding your wallet a little lighter after the one-two punch of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you're not alone. Luckily, there are plenty of economical yet delightful ways to entertain yourself this weekend. Get some holiday shopping done at My People's Market 13 or Elbow Room's Second Annual Holiday Sale, geek out over mushrooms at the Fungi Film Fest, or meet some unusual Nordic characters at Creatures of Christmas. For more ideas, check out our guide to the top events of the week.
Holiday hours may vary—please check venue websites directly for the most up-to-date information.

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The Broke Gravy Show Past Event List
The Broke Gravy dudes (Chris, Leon, and Eric) have forged a unique path in improv comedy, using the off-the-cuff medium to inspire deeper conversations on their perspectives as Black Americans. (They're also funny AF.) Fresh off their sold-out shows at The Turnout and Portland Mercury’s Undisputed Geniuses of Comedy, they'll head to Kickstand for an hour of "unfiltered conversation, idiosyncratic characters, and the joy of unknown possibilities." LC
(Kickstand Comedy Space, Ladd's Addition, $15 - $20)



Bridge City Improv: Holiday Bazaar Past Event List
If you've been reading EverOut's newsletters for a while, you may already know that I hold Christopher Guest's mockumentary oeuvre near and dear to my heart, particularly Waiting for GuffmanI'd be crazy not to recommend Bridge City Improv's upcoming evening of improv comedy, which'll be slapped together in the style of Best in Show and other Guest flicks. (RIP Busy Bee.) Their Holiday Bazaar won't offer up any knick-knacks for those on your Christmas list, but the show does promise that you'll "meet dedicated crafters who believe that the perfect craft is both art and love." Sound cheesy? That's the point. LC
(Chapel Theater, Hector Campbell, $15)


Found Footage Festival Volume 10 Past Event List
This year's Found Footage Festival is a VHS odyssey leading viewers into the murky terrain of '80s-era video dating services, a "questionably sexy striptease video" called Males In Motion, and mysterious New Age seminars. Joe Pickett (The Onion) and Nick Prueher (The Colbert Report) do the crate-digging for the fest, which is an ongoing project bringing forgotten gems to the big screen. LC
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, $15)


Video Dance Attack Presents: Beyonce vs Rihanna vs Lady Gaga Past Event List
Portland’s longest-running video dance night will honor the holy trinity that is Beyonce, Rihanna, and Lady Gaga. These queens are known for so many things, particularly their music videos. Queen Bey's pink wig in the "Check On It" video? Iconic. Riri's maid uniform in the "Umbrella" video? Revolutionary. Gaga hatching out of an egg in the "Bad Romance" video? Chef's kiss! VJ Kittyrox will play their greatest hits on a giant video screen while you put your middle fingers, umbrellas, and paws up. AV
(Mississippi Studios, Boise, $15)


Decemberville Past Event List
Decemberville is back! Eat, drink, shop, and "bee" local in Sellwood Moreland as they put on special holiday performances and activations throughout the neighborhood. You and the kiddos can meet Santa and his elves, the Grinch, and Krampus, as well as cuddle up to watch a festive film with hot cocoa, enjoy holiday carolers, and more. Stop by Smile Station for Hanukkah crafts, Portland Puppet Museum for a performance of "Nutcracker Cracked," or Pacific Dance Academy for free dance classes. SL
(Sellwood - Moreland, Sellwood - Moreland, free)


Black Christmas Past Event List
Black Christmas is an underrated holiday hunk of horror coal, and it's surprisingly freaky–just wait until you find out what's hidden in the attic. Decked out in twinkle lights, the '74 flick follows a group of sorority sisters who receive strange phone calls over winter break. (You guessed it, a serial killer is on the loose.) Black Christmas also spawned one of my favorite horror tropes: For the first time, the calls were coming from inside the house. LC
(Tomorrow Theater, Richmond, $16)

Winterfest & Wreath Sale Past Event List
Getting a whole tree for Christmas can be a lot of space, time, pine needles, sticky sap, watering, etc., so we're opting to get a delightful wreath this year instead! Leach Botanical Garden has quite a variety to choose from, including all the holiday activities you might find at a tree farm like warm beverages, snacks, a gift shop, and kids' crafts. You can even explore the garden and play a game of "I Spy" with their woodland creature shapes. SL
(Leach Botanical Garden, Pleasant Valley, free)


Films to Make You Feel Some Type of Way: Holiday Edition Past Event List
Southeast Portland's New Agey community center, the Breathe Building, will play host to a series of indoor, picnic-style film screenings (bring blankets or folding chairs) on Saturdays through December 9. You can bring your own snacks, or grab Burmese bites from Rangoon Bistro; the cinema selections focus on "fractured families," which feels like the perfect catharsis for the familial challenges that come along with this season. The series will continue on December 2 with Tokyo Godfathers, Satoshi Kon's 2003 tragicomic Christmas anime. LC
(The Breathe Building, Richmond)


Ralph Pugay Past Event List
The last time I wrote about Ralph Pugay's work was at the end of 2020, when his delightfully cartoonish cat posters (referencing '70s-era motivational posters) positioned humor and anxiety side-by-side. Pugay's simplified imagery and imaginative, open-ended statements felt like the perfect response to a year of pandemic isolation, and I expect that this solo show will feel similarly therapeutic. Adams and Ollman describes Pugay's new work as "absurdist and biting," so I wouldn't expect motivational cat posters this time around, but a collection of works that still feels playful and poignant. LC
(Adams and Ollman, Northwest Portland, free)



World Forestry Center Discovery Museum Free Sundays Past Event List
Thanks to a generous grant, the World Forestry Center is throwing open the doors to its wood-filled Discovery Museum for free on Sundays through December 17. Learn about the Northwest's forests and their role "as a habitat, a place for recreation and reflection, a critical resource, and more" through an engaging variety of exhibits and documentaries, including Obscurity: Life Inside the Smoke, in which six Portland-area artists explore wildfire smoke through new works. LC
(World Forestry Center & Discovery Museum, Southwest Portland, free)


Fungi Film Fest Past Event List
Perfect for the mycologically inclined, the world's only mushroom- and mold-centered film festival will head to Portland with 20 fungusy flicks from nine countries, including experimental cinema, documentaries, and fantasy narratives. (Opinel not included.) The November 30 premiere includes opportunities to chat mycology with filmmakers during an audience Q&A session and vote on the Audience Choice award for the year. Each film on the roster sounds more intriguing than the last, but director Anaís Córdova Páez's experimental flick Hematic Cultures, in which she coated the film itself "with menstrual blood and silver for catching light," after which it started to decompose and grow microfauna, is something I think I've gotta see. LC
(Cinema 21, Nob Hill, $13 - $15)

DRAW HARD: Die Hard and Drawing Night Past Event List
"Come out to the coast, we'll get together, have a few laughs." Or you could pop by the new Tomorrow Theater to battle some pesky German terrorists at this screening of Die Hard. Yippee ki-yay, am I right? It gets better, actually: the venue's new Art House Theater programming includes a pre-show drawing sesh with cartoonist Jack Kent and "themed snacking," so you can sketch out Hans Gruber and John McClane to your heart's content. LC
(Tomorrow Theater, Richmond, $15)


Big Horn Brass Presents: Annual Holiday Concert Past Event List
Portland's own Big Horn Brass will link up with St. Matthew's Exaltation Handbells for their annual Christmas concert, with sixteen-plus performers bringing your favorite holiday classics to life. This year's program features Anthony DeLorenzo’s  The Night Before Christmas with narration and video from the nostalgic Christmas story. There will also be brassy renditions of holiday classics like "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas," "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," and "Linus and Lucy." AV
(Patricia Reser Center for the Arts, $15)

Holiday Makers Market Past Event List
A place called "The Craft Factory" is guaranteed to have tons of top-quality creations at their makers market featuring local artists, live music, and more! You might even be inspired to come back for open mic on Monday, or any number of crafty classes and workshops. SL
(The Craft Factory, Humboldt, free)

Psychotronic After School Christmas Past Event List
Local film archivist and programmer Greg Hamilton will present another mind-liquifying 16mm screening this month, adding to the mix of psychedelic film compilations that've been popular in Portland lately. This Christmas edition of Psychotronic After School Special is a rowdy holiday mash-up of vintage commercials, aliens, for-hire Santas, and a 10-year-old Seth Green, plus other hard-to-find festive footage. (Wanna learn more about the man behind the madness? Check out this profile on Hamilton.) LC
(Clinton Street Theater, Hosford-Abernethy, $8)



Creatures of Christmas Past Event List
Mysterious creatures from Nordic lore will stop by Nordic Northwest this holiday season, including the 13 Icelandic Yule Lads (don't worry, they were banned from tormenting children in 1746), a Swedish Yule goat (cute and tied to ancient Pagan festivals), Danish and Norwegian nisse (gnome-like dudes with conical caps), and the Finnish Santa, Joulupukki, who looks a lot like the American one these days. While you're there, don't miss Ole Bolle, Thomas Dambo's own mythical creature (a giant troll made of recycled materials). LC (Nordic Northwest, Metzger, free, Friday-Sunday)


Dream Scenario Past Event List
Fans of last year's Everything Everywhere All at Once will likely dig Dream Scenario, which continues A24's recent propensity for gonzo dream sequences and madcap visuals with a fun plotline: Nicolas Cage stars as a typical dude whose life flip-flops when he begins appearing in millions of people's dreams. If that sounds familiar, you're not wrong—it seems likely that the film was inspired by This Man, who allegedly began appearing in dreams back in 2006. Does this mean we'll start to see more flicks based on old memes, guerilla marketing tactics, and internet hoaxes? I'm here for it. LC
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, $10 - $12, Friday-Sunday)

May December Past Event List
If I’m going to watch an ouroboros, I’ll take one helmed by someone as curious and literate as Todd Haynes. Though May December doesn’t rank with the director’s top-tier achievements—it lacks the sublimity of Carol, the mad invention of I’m Not There, the elemental force of Safe—its intelligence and staying power are tough to discredit. It really is one of the thorniest, most thought-provoking movies you’ll see this year. PORTLAND MERCURY CONTRIBUTOR CONNER REED
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, $10 - $12, Friday-Sunday)

Saltburn Past Event List
Emerald Fennell's latest film is nothing if not polarizing ("Saltburn is the sort of embarrassment you’ll put up with for 75 minutes. But not for 127," says the  New York Times), but as the world's preeminent Barry Keoghan stan, I have to at least entertain the idea that it has legs. Saltburn is billed as a "wicked tale of privilege and desire" (oOoOo) that sees an Oxford student attempt to infiltrate the aristocratic world of a classmate on an "eccentric family’s sprawling estate." (Has anything good ever happened at a "sprawling estate?") If you like Agatha Christie and drugs, this one might hit. LC
(Cinema 21, Nob Hill, $9 - $11, Friday-Sunday)

The Holdovers Past Event List
It's November. It's time to watch Paul Giamatti act his little heart out as a curmudgeonly educator at a New England prep school in the '60s, where a gaggle of students have been left behind on Christmas break. Honestly, though, have you ever heard a film premise that made you want to wear wool socks and drink apple cider more than this one? Plus, and perhaps most importantly, The Holdovers was directed by Alexander Payne, aka the guy who made Election and that movie about wine. It's going to be funny and charming!!! Enjoy. LC
(Cinema 21, Nob Hill, $9 - $11, Friday-Sunday)


2nd Annual Holiday Lights Wine Walk Past Event List
Traipse through picturesque Abbey Road Farm at night, illuminated by dazzling holiday lights. You'll get to grab a glass of wine before touring the goat barn, vineyard overlook, poultry pasture, toolshed, silo garden, and pig pasture, all decked out in their holiday best. Fertie's BBQ will sling succulent smoked meats for dinner, and the trailer will offer warm treats and candy canes. Plus, proceeds will be donated to a different charity each weekend. JB
(Abbey Road Farm, $5, Friday-Sunday)

Portland Night Market Past Event List
Stroll beneath twinkling lights while browsing over 175 vendor booths selling food, drink, clothing, accessories, flowers, home goods, beauty products, arts and crafts, and more. Hit up the bar and outdoor food carts for sustenance while you shop. JW
(100 SE Alder, Buckman, free, Friday-Sunday)

The Portland Mercury's Holiday Drink Week Past Event List
'Tis the season for warming wintry libations, from mulled wine to spiked cocoa. Ready to get your nog on? The Portland Mercury and EverOut have you covered with our Holiday Drink Week, a new annual tradition that debuted last year. And the best part? They’re only EIGHT BUCKS! For one week only, you'll find a variety of exclusive holiday-themed drink specials at participating bars and restaurants around town. Why not round up some friends, bundle up in your coziest attire, and head out on a self-guided booze tour? One thing's for certain: these won't be your ordinary cups of cheer. JB
(Various locations, Friday-Sunday)


Secret Room Work•Shop Pop-Up Past Event List
Risograph print studio and comics and art publisher Secret Room Press has joined the other lovably artsy weirdos at Lloyd Center and opened a sparkly new pop-up art gallery and print shop. The Secret Room Work•Shop is home to Life on Earth: A RISO Art Show, a "RISO art show showcasing over 25 cartoonists from the Pacific Northwest and beyond," plus weekly events and workshops and a curated selection of books, cassettes, vinyl, and VHS. Drop by the next time you're headed to Floating World Comics. LC
(Lloyd Center, Lloyd District, free, Friday-Sunday)


Converge 45 Contemporary Arts Biennial Past Event List
The free, citywide art exhibition Converge 45 is in full swing, with artists showcased across over 15 venues in Portland, including college campuses, the Portland Japanese Garden, and Pioneer Square. The biennial's theme, Social Forms: Art as Global Citizenship, takes on topics of Amazon deforestation, indigeneity, citizenship, and immigration, and aims to amplify the voices and experiences of people of color, so you're bound to find a cause you can get behind. I'm looking forward to local textile legend and Seneca Nation member Marie Watt's Chords to Other Chords (Relative) and Yishai Jusidman's history-driven cyanotypes in Prussian Blue. LC
(Various locations, free, Friday-Sunday)

Danny Aros-Aguilar: Sandunga Nunca Muere Past Event List
Colombian American non-binary artist Danny Aros-Aguilar reflects on cultural complexities and their gender queerness in Sandunga Nunca Muere, which spotlights the artist's commitment to "celebrating, highlighting, and leaving a print of brown queerness in history." The works in the exhibition were created in collaboration with Aros-Aguilar's Oaxaca-based friends, reflecting upon their conversations on Muxe culture and the marginalization of queer people in Oaxaca. I love Machete al Machote, in which Aros-Aguilar's subject wields a massive machete. LC
(Blue Sky Gallery, Pearl District, free, Friday-Saturday)

Orlando Almanza: Love Letter from A Shapeshifter Past Event List
Drawing from ethereal memories and myths, Froelick Gallery's newly signed painter Orlando Almanza constructs natural worlds in his works, with embedded narratives that feel pulled from his own mysterious folklore. Earlier this year, the gallery paved for the way for his first official solo show with a display of lithographs printed in Havana, Cuba. For this show, Almanza continues to showcase his "deep dedication to nature, and the unique way it connects with myths and storytelling across cultures" with portraits and vivid oil works overflowing with flora and fauna. LC
(Froelick Gallery, Pearl District, free, Friday-Saturday)


Christmas Festival of Lights 2023 Past Event List
Don your hat and gloves, gather your loved ones, and get excited for one of Portland's favorite holiday traditions. The Festival of Lights transforms the Grotto into a magical place where twinkling lights and joyful songs guide your way. The plaza tent will host puppet shows at the beginning of every hour, followed by the Grotto Carolers and their merry tunes. Don't miss the Chapel of Mary's "cathedral-like acoustics" with nightly performances from local choirs. SL
(The Grotto, Sumner, $5 - $18, Friday-Sunday)

Christmas Ships Parade Past Event List
You'll have the chance to see more than three ships come sailing in during the 69th annual Christmas Ships Parade this year. During chilly evenings in the first half of December, decorated ships will head up and down the Columbia and Willamette rivers, bringing holiday joy to the crowds gathered onshore. Grab a thermos of hot cocoa and make sure to check the schedule; we're aiming for nights when both fleets make an appearance in the same spot for maximum sparkly ship sightings. SL
(Willamette River, Portland Downtown, free, Friday-Sunday)

Omiyage Holiday Store Past Event List
The Japanese American Museum of Oregon’s pop-up holiday shop offers distinctive Japanese-inspired gifts created by local artisans, from origami objects to curated vintage and art. Head there to shop for that "person who has everything," and feel good about your purchases—proceeds benefit JAMO and help them on their mission to preserve and honor the history and culture of Japanese Americans in the Pacific Northwest. LC
(Japanese American Museum of Oregon, Old Town-Chinatown, free, Friday-Sunday)

Sleigh Love Past Event List
Sleigh the day with a menu of delightfully tacky holiday-inspired drinks and other nostalgic treats at the cocktail bar and restaurant Hey Love. The vibe is described as "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation but more, and located in a cocktail-soaked indoor jungle." Sample offerings include "Noggy by Nature" (an eggnog slushie) to "Toboggan Time" (Hey Love's signature frozen spin on Irish coffee, made with a Rumplemintz float, whipped cream, and candy cane sprinkles). DJs will add to the chaotic merriment starting at 9 pm on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. JB
(Hey Love, Buckman, free, Friday-Sunday)

The Makers Fair Holiday Market Past Event List
This 11-week market will feature 140 local craftspeople all under one roof, so consider your gift-giving list trounced. Vanquished. Utterly defeated. If you are the type of person who starts stressing about "the holidays" long before they're here (aka me), never fear: You'll find pretty much everything under Santa's sun, from woodturned decor to vintage goods, candles, and holiday treats, at the gargantuan pop-up. LC
(Rejuvenation, Buckman, free, Friday-Sunday)


Nutcracker Cracked Family Show Past Event List
Set to the music of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, the Portland Puppet Museum will present its idiosyncratic rendition of the magical Christmas tale again this year using over 84 "transforming rod puppets." The 45-minute show is short enough to keep even the wiggliest kid enchanted, and afterward, they can scope out the hundreds of puppets on site. LC
(Portland Puppet Museum, Sellwood - Moreland, $15, Saturday-Sunday)


My People's Market 13 Past Event List
Tuck into Himalayan dumplings and edible art while stocking up on salsa, hot sauce, and sambal at this holiday market that highlights BIPOC creators, makers, and culinary masters. There will be coffee and kombucha to keep your energy up as you shop from over 120 vendors and enjoy performances from live music to Mexican folk dance. The Numberz will also be broadcasting live from the market on Twitch and 96.7 FM if you can't make it out. Bring the kids for face painting, crafts, and a photo with Black Santa! SL
(Oregon Convention Center, Lloyd District, free, Saturday-Sunday)

Open Studios and Holiday Market Past Event List
Seize the chance to see where artistic magic happens as NW Marine Art Works throws open its cavernous studio doors for an open house and holiday market. Over 75 local artisans will set up throughout the NWMAW space with a selection of jewelry and accessories, apparel, paintings and prints, photography, ceramics, sculpture, and housewares. By the way, this is a big-ass industrial building. Bundle up! (Warm drinks will be available, too.) When you're done browsing artsy wares, pop by Staver Locomotive across the street to check out model steam trains in action. LC
(NW Marine Art Works, Northwest Industrial, free, Saturday-Sunday)

Elbow Room's Second Annual Holiday Sale Past Event List
The hardworking artists of Elbow Room, a local arts organization providing material support, mentorship, and studio space to artists experiencing intellectual and developmental disabilities, will show off their wares at this holiday sale. The three-day shindig kicks off on Friday night with live music, drinks, and raffle prizes, followed by a $5-$10 bargain table and Hot Kids, a show guest curated by Helen's Costume, throughout the weekend. It's where the cool people are getting their holiday prezzies, so you should be one of 'em. LC
(Elbow Room, Buckman, free, Friday-Sunday)

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