Cheap & Easy

The Best Bang for Your Buck Events in Portland This Weekend: Dec 16-18, 2022

Peacock Lane, Portland's Public Menorah, and More Cheap & Easy Events Under $15
December 16, 2022
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Peacock Lane will have car-free nights on Friday and Saturday. (Peacock Lane)
'Twas the weekend before Christmas, and all through Portland there were plenty of cheap and easy events, from Peacock Lane to Portland Bazaar and from Printed Material Art Book Fair to Portland’s Public Menorah. (They don't all have 'P' names, we promise.)


Venues may have health guidelines in place—we advise directly checking the specific protocols for an event before heading out.


Jump to: Friday | Saturday | Sunday | Multi-Day


FRIDAY

FOOD & DRINK

Oyster Pop-Up Bar with Gigantic Brewing Add to a List
Gulp briny bivalves from Hama Hama Oysters served with lemon, hot sauce, and white wine mignonette, paired with crisp IPAs from Gigantic Brewing.
(Chill N Fill, North Portland)

LIVE MUSIC

Johnny Franco, The Pine Hearts, and Kendall Lujan Add to a List
Portland-via-SĂŁo Paulo troubadour Johnny Franco, who recently dropped a new single called "Cucumber Vodka," will bring his timeless Brazilian-inspired folk and psychedelic rock tunes to the long-running bar alongside experimental folk trio The Pine Hearts and country-jazz vocalist Kendall Lujan.
(Kelly's Olympian, Downtown, $7-$10)

PARTIES & NIGHTLIFE

Boogie Buffet Add to a List
Pull up in your sparkliest attire for this dance party complete with feel-good international disco bops from DJs Zsa Zsa and Queen Amygdala. This is the perfect opportunity to show off your finest hustle, funky chicken, electric slide, and other disco dance moves.
(The Spare Room, Cully, $10)

Violet Hex presents Batman Returns Add to a List
Hosted by "trans femme drag enigma" Violet Hex, this weirdly wonderful holiday screening of Tim Burton's gothic, high-body-count Batman installment will include broody pre-screening drag performances from Chatty Cathyter, Mona Chrome, and Phantom X, plus a costume contest. 
(Clinton Street Theater, Hosford-Abernethy, $15)

READINGS & TALKS

Fantasy Sam x Live Rock Double Feature Comic Release Add to a List
Comix lovers and DIY weirdos, don't miss this double feature release from Secret Room Press co-founder Ross Jackson and experimental artist Amanda Berlind. The two visionaries will present their new publications, Live Rock and Fantasy Sam, for an evening of art partying that kicks off with an experimental sound performance by Brendan Nagle. Jackson will offer a reading from Live Rock set to a live score, and Berlind will perform a "micro-musical" complete with toy instruments and papier-mâché garb. Best of all? Floating World Comics, the preeminent indie publication lair newly relocated to Lloyd Center, will play host, so you can go get a Cinnabon and watch ice skaters afterward. This is what Portland's all about.
(Floating World Comics, Lloyd District, free)

SHOPPING

OJA | Portland Market Add to a List
Founded by genre-bending musical duo MadgesdiqCEG, this pop-up market and gathering space aims to represent the depth of Portland's diverse communities through art, culture, food, and music. Get some of your holiday shopping out of the way while enjoying local tunes, tasty grub, and non-alcoholic winter elixirs.
(OJA | Portland Market, Pearl District, Free)

VISUAL ART

Manu Torres Add to a List
Floral visionary Manu Torres continues to explore maximalism, artifice, and ornamentation in this installation at new studio/showroom Landdd. The opening party for Torres's installation will include mezcal sips, bachata tunes, and tactile new works by Oaxacan design studio rrres, so come prepared to indulge all of your senses.
(Landdd, Pearl District, free; opening)

SATURDAY

COMEDY

Boy Smooches Add to a List
This long-form improv troupe may be all fun and games, but they also take their craft seriously—audiences can expect stellar storytelling, character-building, and scene-setting from the Minnesotan gang. Boy Smooches' fast-paced show is informed by audience suggestions, so bring your best prompts to get the party started.
(Siren Theater, Old Town-Chinatown, $10-$15)

FILM

Psychotronic After School Christmas Special Add to a List
Local film archivist and programmer Greg Hamilton will present another mind-bending 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 raucous holiday mash-up of vintage commercials, aliens, for-hire Santas, and other hard-to-find festive footage. (Wanna learn more about the man behind the madness? Check out this profile on Hamilton.)
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, $8-$10)

FOOD & DRINK

Las Posadas at the Portland Mercado Add to a List
Enjoy Latinx music, piñata painting, food from nine different Latin American countries, wares from over 10 BIPOC vendors, and other festivities at this family-friendly event. The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace will be present with bilingual, bicultural staff to field questions about affordable health coverage and help guests enroll.
(Portland Mercado, Mount Scott-Arleta, free)

PARTIES & NIGHTLIFE

Laffy Taffy Add to a List
Resident DJ BNick will be joined by Madd Chill and DJ Jack for an evening of booty-busting twerk, trap, R&B, dancehall, and reggaeton to get you twerking all night long in "all ass-sorted flavors."
(Holocene, Buckman, $10)

SHOPPING

Last Call Social Market Add to a List
Procrastinated on your holiday shopping? Instead of lining Jeff Bezos' pockets, head to this market for last-minute gifts from local makers. Bonus: after working up an appetite from shopping, you can refuel with a wide selection of cuisine from some of the city's favorite food carts.
(CORE, Lents, free)

The Makers Fair Holiday Market Add to a List
Hammer & Stitch Brewing Co. and ASSEMBLAGE (formerly Makers Union PDX) are teaming up for three shopping events that will showcase 10 different local artisans over three Saturdays leading up to Christmas. After crossing names off your shopping list, reward yourself with the brewery's pub fare and craft beer.
(Hammer & Stitch Brewing Co., Northwest District, free)

Mall Rats Art Market Add to a List
Artsy locals hawking too-cool prints, paintings, ceramics, and other goodies will post up at the newly rejuvenated Lloyd Center for this all-day market. Stop by for offerings from Outlet PDX, Secret Room Press, Worn Path, Molly Mendoza, and others, then grab yourself a well-deserved pretzel.
(Lloyd Center, Lloyd District, free)

VISUAL ART

Portland Art Picnic Add to a List
This trendy edition of the city's recurring art picnic pop-ups will be set in the courtyard of Outlet PDX, illustrator/educator Kate Bingaman-Burt's risograph print shop and zine library. (While you're at the picnic, stop inside the shop to warm up and check out their annual holiday pop-up Add to a List .) Visitors to the outdoor gallery and art sale will find interactive art displays, live art creation, and plenty of handmade giftables.
(Outlet PDX, Kerns, free)

SUNDAY

FILM

Animated Christmas 10 Add to a List
Unwrap the Christmases of yesteryear at the 10th edition of Portland archivist Greg Hamilton and The Phantom Hillbilly's Animated Christmas, a curated selection of family-friendly vintage cartoons that will include Bugs Bunny’s Looney Christmas Tales, The Snowman, Max’s Christmas, and more this year.
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, $7)

Church of Film: The Feather Fairy Add to a List
Church of Film will return to the Red Fox tonight for a free screening of snowy flick The Feather Fairy, Juraj Jakubisko's magical '85 adaptation of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale Mother Hulda. (Fun fact—Jakubisko was deemed "the Slovakian Fellini," and he leaned into the role, going so far as to cast Fellini's wife Giulietta Masina in this film.)
(The Red Fox, Humboldt, free)

Fargo Add to a List
Oh, geez. Crime comes to the Midwest in the Coen brothers' beloved Minnesotan dramedy, which follows a bumbling car salesman (William H. Macy) and an astute cop (Frances McDormand). To know Fargo is to love Fargo, so head to this screening for nostalgia's sake or to create a new holiday tradition.
(Clinton Street Theater, Hosford-Abernethy, $8)

FOOD & DRINK

Christmas Gospel Brunch Add to a List
Portland is famous for how seriously it takes its brunch, so there's no shortage of places to take your loved ones this holiday season. However, there aren't too many other brunch choices where you’re serenaded with some soulful gospel tunes (courtesy of Eldon T Jones, Tyrone Hendrix, and Christopher Turner) while chowing down on a banana waffle.
(Alberta Street Pub, King, $15)

Hanukkah Food Fair Add to a List
Kick off Hanukkah and procure provisions for your celebrations at this food fair, which will feature wares from vendors like Jacob & Sons, Stone Griffon Vineyard, Leikam Brewing, Sindyanna Peace Oil, Henry Higgins Boiled Bagels, ManJa Creations Artisan Food Company.
(Eastside Jewish Commons, Kerns, free)

Holiday Market Add to a List
At this market hosted by Cafe Olli, you can sip wine, browse vintage clothing, shop for handmade gifts like ceramics and panettone, and even get your bangs freshened up for all your upcoming holiday soirées.
(Cafe Olli, King, free)

PERFORMANCE

Piano Queen Add to a List
Portland's only live-singing, piano-playing drag queen Saint Syndrome will bring you an evening filled with classic covers, comedy, original songs, and holiday staples, all with her signature grace and vintage elegance.
(Star Theater, Old Town-Chinatown, $12)

SHOPPING

Printed Material Art Book Fair Add to a List
Fairgoers will discover experimental publications, DIY comics, and more at this chic celebration of printed matter. Staged at Landdd, a new showroom and studio in NW Portland, Printed Material will feature forward-thinking local bookshops, brands, and artists like Floating World Comics, Passages Bookshop, FISK Projects, and Container Corps, plus ceramics and a brilliant floral installation by Manu Torres.
(Landdd, Pearl District, free)

Portland Market of The Beast Add to a List
Dabble in the dark arts for all the witchy weirdos on your Christmas list this year. An extensive lineup of local vendors at Market of the Beast will shell out occult wares and obscure oddities, from pins and prints to taxidermy and apothecary items.
(The Redd on Salmon, Buckman, $3)

WINTER HOLIDAYS

Portland’s Public Menorah Add to a List
In honor of the first of eight days of Hanukkah, Pioneer Courthouse Square will jangle to life on the 18th with latkes, live klezmer music, and fire juggling(!). Don't miss the public menorah lighting, which will be led by Ukrainian refugees this year.
(Pioneer Courthouse Square, Downtown, free)

MULTI-DAY

COMEDY

Talk of the Town Add to a List
As the nights get shorter, the skies get gloomier, and we all stare down a solid eight months of rain, living in the City of Roses might have you feeling a little glum. Talk of the Town has your back. The recurring improv show will hit the stage every third weekend of the month with rotating guests sharing what makes Portland great—good art, great food, and hilarious, off-the-cuff conversation. Each guest will inspire a ragtag team of improv experts to create fresh scenes and characters on the spot. (Just don't bring your umbrella—it's gauche.)
(Curious Comedy Theater, King, $15, Friday-Saturday)

FILM

Black Christmas Add to a List
Black Christmas is an underrated holiday gem, and 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.) 
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, $8-$10, Saturday-Sunday)

Bones and All Add to a List
Road trip!! Directed by Luca Guadagnino (Call Me By Your Name), this cannibalistic thriller stars Taylor Russell and Timothée Chalamet as blood-thirsty lovers traveling 3,000 miles through the backroads of the United States. IndieWire reports that the film "would have Chekhov himself weeping," so prepare to feel at least mildly devastated.
(Cinema 21, Nob Hill, $8-$11, Friday-Sunday)

Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio Add to a List
If anything can be said of Guillermo del Toro, it's that he knows his way around a weird puppet, so his interpretation of Pinocchio just makes sense. Predictably, del Toro's alchemical twist on the classic tale is a dark cabinet of curiosities—see for yourself at this magical screening.
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, $8-$10, Friday-Sunday)

Holy Spider Add to a List
Based on the true story of serial killer Saeed Hanaei, this thriller by lauded writer-director Ali Abbasi follows a female journalist who arrives in the Iranian holy city of Mashhad in search of an elusive murderer targeting sex workers. 
(Cinema 21, Nob Hill, $8-$11, Friday-Sunday)

LIVE MUSIC

Holiday Performances at the Square Add to a List
Some of Portland's finest bands and musicians will flock to the Square with a series of free festive concerts all December long. This weekend, don't miss performances from jazz trumpeter Pablo Rivarola, yuletide ensemble The Blueprint Carolers, Reynolds High School Choir, vintage vocal trio Peppermint Patties, and pianist Megan McGeorge, and more.
(Pioneer Courthouse Square, Downtown, free, Friday-Sunday)

PERFORMANCE

Nutcracker Cracked Family Puppet Show Add to a 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 38-minute show is short enough to keep even the wiggliest kid enchanted.
(Portland Puppet Museum, Sellwood-Moreland, $15, Saturday-Sunday)

SHOPPING

Chinese Art Studio Holiday Market Add to a List
The Portland Chinatown Museum’s first-ever holiday market, held in their side gallery during standard open hours, will include everything from books and tees to curated vintage and collectibles. While you're there, don't miss current exhibition Illuminating Time Add to a List . 
(Portland Chinatown Museum, Old Town-Chinatown, free, Saturday-Sunday)

Cracked Pots Holiday Pop-Up Shop Add to a List
Climate change is real, so why not buy holiday gifts made of at least 80% recycled materials?! Waste reduction nonprofit Cracked Pots and salvage group ReClaim It will make it easy at this buzzy pop-up, which will feature everything from recycled and reclaimed garden art to locally made toys and jewelry.
(500 NW 14th Ave, Pearl District, free, Friday-Sunday)

Mike Bennett's Snow Day Add to a List
Starting on Black Friday, professional joy bringer Mike Bennett will set up shop at The Cleaners with a snowy wonderland of seasonal goodies—think wrapping paper and tree ornaments, plus lawn decorations, greeting cards, and other brand-new holiday merch. (Does this dude ever sleep?)
(The Cleaners at the Ace Hotel, West End, free, Friday-Sunday)

Portland Bazaar Add to a List
Now in its 12th year, this highly curated holiday market (by the same producers as the Portland Flea) features the cream of the crop of Portland’s maker scene. This year, expect over 160 vendors, custom gift wrapping from March Goods, and refreshments from Dear Sandy and Radiant Coffee x Oatly.
(Premier Gear & Machine Works Building, Slabtown, free, Saturday-Sunday)

VISUAL ART

Charlie Salas-Humara: Carts Behind the Jewel Osco Add to a List
Self-taught painter and musician Charlie Salas-Humara channels liminal spaces in Carts Behind the Jewel Osco, a solo exhibition of thickly impastoed works. With titles like Hidden Alleyway and In the Denny’s Parking Lot, Salas-Humara reflects on washed-out, forgotten, and ignored spaces, creating densely layered surfaces that evoke a landlord's hasty paint job in a new rental. (In a good way.) The show prompts an engaging question—just what is happening under the surface? 
(Nationale, Buckman, free, Friday-Sunday)

Rainen Knecht: Total Catastrophe Living Add to a List
Rainen Knecht's characteristically abstracted, witchy figures take on new heights in this exhibition of energetic large-scale paintings. Total Catastrophe Living continues to push the artist's themes, looking closely at motherhood in a dread-inducing, destructive, and occasionally delightful world. Knecht's dark humor peeks through in curious self-portraits and subtle pop and folk references.
(Melanie Flood Projects, Southwest Portland, free, Friday-Saturday; closing)

Resilience — A Sansei Sense of Legacy Add to a List
Centering eight artists' reflections on the traumatic legacy of Executive Order 9066, Resilience — A Sansei Sense of Legacy incorporates traditional Japanese techniques like boro stitching and kintsugi alongside deconstructed kimonos, photography, and mixed media collage. Featured artists include Lydia Nakashima Degarrod, Tom Nakashima, Na Omi Judy Shintani, and others.
(Japanese American Museum of Oregon, Old Town-Chinatown, Friday-Sunday)

WINTER HOLIDAYS

Christmas Ships Parade Add to a List
Setting sail for its 68th year, the delightfully gaudy Christmas Ship fleet will once again truck up and down the Willamette for a nightly parade throughout December (weather permitting). Grab a thermos of hot cocoa and head to the riverfront, where crowds will gather to scope out the ships in all their sparkly glory. 
(Various locations, free, Friday-Sunday)

Clackamas County Winter Fair Add to a List
For those ISO wholesome holiday vibes, the Clackamas County Winter Fair has returned this year with an extra-sparkly light tunnel, a half-hour "Christmas tree show," and (natch) visits with Santa. Visitors can warm up with hot cocoa and sugary delights while perusing the fair's first-ever holiday market, which will feature over 25 crafty vendors.
(Clackamas County Fairgrounds, Canby, Friday-Saturday)

2022 Gingerbread Masterpiece Add to a List
The Benson Hotel invites you to gawk at an elaborate gingerbread facsimile of Multnomah Falls, which was created by gingerbread architect and pastry chef David Diffendorfer using over 150 pounds of homemade gingerbread, 50 pounds of marzipan, 20 pounds of chocolate, 10 pounds of Rice Krispies Treats, and buckets upon buckets of royal icing. While you're there, learn more about the hotel's founder and namesake Simon Benson with a "mini-museum" featuring over 160 photos and stories of Portland and its historic landmark buildings.
(The Benson Hotel, Downtown, free, Friday-Sunday)

Peacock Lane Add to a List
Since 1926, Portland's very own "Christmas street" has gone all out with holiday decor. These days, visitors can expect to see dazzling twinkle lights and nostalgic characters (Rudolph, R2D2, and the Peanuts gang are known to make appearances). Stroll down Peacock Lane to admire the festive Tudor homes up close, or stay toasty in the car and drive down the lane on select dates. (Rumor has it that new residents will be bringing their A game this year, so expect a "holiday unicorn or two.")
(Peacock Lane, Sunnyside, free, Friday-Sunday)

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