Cheap & Easy

The Best Bang for Your Buck Events in Portland This Weekend: Dec 2-4, 2022

Christmas Ships Parade, MAITA, and More Cheap & Easy Events Under $15
December 2, 2022
For the better part of December, you can watch a bevy of bedazzled boats sail down two rivers at the annual Christmas Ships Parade. (Christmas Ships)
This weekend is full of events that are holly and jolly and cheap and easy, from the Christmas Ships Parade to MAITA with The Fourth Wall and Phone Voice, plus a whole haul of holiday markets, including Nuestra Navidad JUNTOS, Unique Markets: Portland Holiday Market, Wellspent Market Holiday Bazaar, and WoodWorker Holiday Market. Looking for more ideas for this weekend and beyond? Get a glance at the month ahead with our complete guide to December events.

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

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Oyster Pop-Up Bar with Boneyard Beer 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 Boneyard Beer.
(Chill N Fill, North Portland)


MAITA with The Fourth Wall and Phone Voice Add to a List
MAITA, the indie rock project of Portland-based singer-songwriter Maria Maita-Keppeler, has moved many people with the angelic beauty of her voice and vulnerable lyricism, including Kill Rock Stars' founder Slim Moon, who revived the label to sign her. She will play tracks from her new album, I Just Want To Be Wild For You, after opening sets from noise rock quartet The Fourth Wall and bedroom pop project Phone Voice.
(Mississippi Studios, Boise, $15)


The Pickle Jar Anniversary Party Add to a List
The Portland Pickles' team store is celebrating its one-year anniversary with a special performance from The Spooky Boys, plus beer, wine, and (of course) pickles. You'll probably also get to see the team's mascot Dillon in his natural habitat.
(The Pickle Jar, Downtown, free)


Krampusnacht Add to a List
In Central European folklore, Krampus is Santa's demonic, goat-like counterpart, who punishes naughty children for misdeeds committed over the previous year. You'll get a chance to participate in a raffle and hobnob with the spooky figure himself at this event, which will offer a photo booth and Polaroids, with proceeds going to Feed the Mass. And if you want to earn extra raffle tickets (not to mention spare yourself from Krampus's wrath), you can bring along cold weather items for a donation box supporting Portland Mutual Aid.
(Dots Cafe, Hosford-Abernethy)



Bridge City Improv Add to a List
Bridge City Improv returns with an ad-libbed performance by five uber-funny women comics. The evening of laughs will include impromptu scenes and off-the-cuff laughs from local faves in the improv scene.
(Performance Works NorthWest, Foster-Powell, $15)


FriendsPDX + Freeland Spirits Benefit Day Add to a List
Get into the holiday spirit—literally—with this boozy fundraiser, which will offer a variety of bottles, mixers, drink kits, glassware, and more for all your gift-giving needs, plus a happy hour. Freeland Spirits' Slabtown and Lake Oswego locations will both donate 5% of their proceeds for the day to Friends of the Children, a mentoring program that aims to help youth overcome generational cycles of poverty.
(Freeland Spirits, Northwest Distrct)


Holiday Hip-Hop Party Add to a List
The hip-hop genre has given us some of the best holiday tunes in existence—think classics like Run-D.M.C.'s "Christmas In Hollis," Eazy-E's "Merry Muthafuckin' Xmas," and DMX’s “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” For this festive concert and toy drive, allow local rappers Candid Ramblings, Dub Dynamite, KnowSee, Prod Avery, Seven Da Pantha, Alana Rich, Refugio, Wayne Grey, DDwili, Kmar Woods, Rob the Universe, Jahdi, Jai Baby, and Silas the Wolf to cheer you with infectious jingles that will ring in the holiday spirit.
(Alberta Abbey, King, $10)

ISing Choir Presents: Yearning For Christmas Add to a List
Local ensemble ISing Choir will be joined by members of the Big Horn Brass Ensemble to celebrate "Christmas of old" with yuletide tunes such as “Joy to the World,” “Angels We Have Heard on High,” and “The Snow Lay on the Ground."
(Patricia Reser Center for the Arts, Beaverton, $14)

Jockstrap with Luis Ortiz Add to a List
British pop duo Jockstrap will support their debut album, I Love You Jennifer B, which earned Pitchfork'scoveted Best New Music title. The website hailed it as a "virtuosic display of theatrical mayhem, dazzling production, and surprisingly lustrous pop music." New York-based experimental artist Ernest Rareberrg will get things started.
(Mississippi Studios, Boise, $15)

Pigeon Milk Presents: Angel's Egg Add to a List
Billed as "Portland's only live film score band," psychedelic synth trio Pigeon Milk will perform their out-of-this-world musical interpretation of the 1985 anime masterpiece Angel's Egg while it plays on a large projector.
(The 4th Wall PDX, Buckman, $10)

Portland Lesbian Choir: Be A Light Add to a List
The Portland Lesbian Choir will return to the stage for a cozy seasonal concert that aims to get you out of your winter slump to embrace the "beauty, power, and gift of light."
(Parkrose High School, Parkrose, pay what you can)


Dance Craze: The Strictly '60s Soul Edition Add to a List
Beloved all-vinyl DJ Action Slacks will serve up a jolly ol' mix of strictly '60s rarities, familiar favorites, and a few festive holiday tunes that will have you craving your grandmother's fruit cake. Vintage holiday-inspired garb is highly encouraged!
(The World Famous Kenton Club, Kenton, $10)


Dropped Notes: An Outrageous Musical Revue Add to a List
The cast of Dropped Notes knows no more about what the evening will bring than the audience does—the musical revue promises to be a hilarious mash-up of song, dance, and storytelling entirely determined by audience suggestions. Each night they'll tackle new themes, so submit yours for a chance to see it translated on stage.
(Curious Comedy Theater, King, $15 - $20)


Portfolio Program Reading Series Add to a List
Current participants in IPRC's innovative portfolio program, a yearlong course that centers studies in creative writing, print processes, and more, will read excerpts of their works in progress.
(IPRC, Buckman, free)


Nuestra Navidad JUNTOS Add to a List
The Latinx community organization JUNTOSpdx is hosting its inaugural Christmas market, giving shoppers the chance to connect with over 20 Latin American vendors who will be sharing their craft. A mystery tattoo artist will be at the market inking Christmas tats, and JUNTOS promises attendees three special gifts, music, and entertainment.
(Lolo Pass, Buckman, $5 or free with culture-specific food donation)

Wellspent Market Holiday Bazaar Add to a List
Give Jeff Bezos the boot this holiday season and stock up on gifts from local makers at this market, while also enjoying some satisfying snacks and beverages. Choose from wares like vintage clothing, linens, ceramics, handcrafted wooden cutting boards, and other delights.
(Wellspent Market, Kerns)

WoodWorker Holiday Market Add to a List
Taking inspiration from a natural material integral to the craft of beer brewing, Baerlic’s celebration of wood pays homage to artisan makers who use it to craft furniture, housewares, and of course, the aged oak barrels that store their brews. Enjoy one of Baerlic’s barrel-aged beers with pizza from Ranch PDX while you shop vendors like Hew Woodworking, Shwood, and Xylem Jewelry. 
(Baerlic Brewing Company, Hosford-Abernethy, free)



Sunday School Add to a List
This long-form showcase spotlights true devotees to improvisational craft, so buckle in for off-the-cuff comedy and inventive skits unlike anything you've seen before. At Sunday School, you'll find a melting pot of hilarious comedy teams from Curious Comedy Theater, plus student teams, special guests, and featured performers from Portland and beyond. 
(Curious Comedy Theater, King, $5 suggested donation)


Holiday Cheer: 53rd Annual Celebration of Oregon Authors Add to a List
This annual celebration of Oregon writers will return after a two-year hiatus with a signed book sale and chats with local literary talents. Stop by to sip on hot cocoa and select perfect reads for everyone on your list; acapella quartet The Dickens Carolers will provide the holiday tunes, and nearly 70 wordsmiths will be onsite.
(Oregon Historical Society, South Park Blocks, free)


Guitar Festival Add to a List
Whether you prefer to pick, pluck, twang, rip or shred, this festival is where you need to be! Some of the area's best vendors, makers, and musicians will fill the coliseum with new and used guitars, amps, pedals, mandolins, banjos, and other gear that's on your holiday wishlist. 
(Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Lloyd District, $15)

Hanukkah Pop Up Fair Add to a List
If you're in search of gelt, don't miss this one-stop shop for Hanukkah supplies and artsy gifts, which will feature works for sale by ORA: NW Jewish Artists members, live klezmer music, and an all-ages Chanukah movement session.
(Eastside Jewish Commons, Kerns, free)

NW Marine Art Works Open Studios + Holiday Market Add to a List
Seize the chance to see where artistic magic happens as NW Marine Art Works welcomes you into their studios for an open house and holiday market. Over 50 local artists and artisans will be set up around NWMAW's industrial space (organizers suggest bundling up and warm drinks will be available) with a selection of jewelry and accessories, apparel, paintings and prints, photography, ceramics, sculpture, and housewares. Plus, head across the street to Staver Locomotive to check out model steam trains in action.
(NW Marine Art Works, Northwest Industrial, free)



Do-It-Yourself / Do-It-Ourselves: PNCA's 2022 Graduate Symposium Add to a List
Exploring the fascinating history of DIY culture in counterpublics and Pacific Northwest communities, this three-day symposium will include an art exhibition, a zine fair, workshops, and keynote lectures with Mohawk multimedia artist Skawennati and Navajo transdisciplinary artist Demian DinéYazhi’. Themes will include Indigenous knowledge, queer and trans DIY, anti-capitalism, and more, with investigations of DIY aesthetics, politics, archives, and possible futures.
(PNCA, Pearl District, free, Friday-Saturday)

75th Anniversary Model Railroad Show Add to a List
For a weekend activity that Joe Pera would love, chugga-chugga over to the Columbia Gorge Model Railroad Club to witness their 75th annual model railroad show in all its tiny train glory. The club sets up the largest model train layouts in the Pacific Northwest, complete with teensy, detailed Columbia River Gorge sights like Multnomah Falls and Portland's Union Station.
(Columbia Gorge Model Railroad Club, Eliot, $0-$10, Saturday-Sunday)

Portland's Biggest Cat Show Add to a List
Hey all you cool cats and kittens, get a case of the zoomies and head over to the Northwest's biggest cat show to watch fabulous felines compete for best in show. In addition to the competition, there'll be a cat costume contest, people food, and vendors—plus, Cat Adoption Team will be onsite with adoptable furriends.
(Doubletree Hotel, Lloyd District, $12-$50, Saturday-Sunday)


Christmas in Connecticut Add to a List
Starring Barbara Stanwyck, Christmas in Connecticut follows a Martha Stewart type whose cozy newspaper column is secretly all a ruse. When her biggest fan stops by for an in-person visit, she must hide her city-slicking life and attempt to find a husband, farm, and baby overnight. (Couldn't be us!) The '54 screwball comedy was a major hit when it was released, and it's widely regarded as one of Stanwyck's best performances.
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, $0-$7, Saturday-Sunday)


The Portland Mercury's Holiday Drink Week Add to a List
Ready to get your nog on? 'Tis the season for wintry libations, and Jim Beam presents the Portland Mercury's Holiday Drink Week has you covered with $7 holiday-themed drink specials at participating bars and restaurants. One thing's for sure: these won't be your ordinary cups of cheer.
(Various locations, Friday-Sunday)


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, $15, Saturday-Sunday)


Good Market Add to a List
Support the next generation of graphic designers at this holiday pop-up, which will share original works created by Portland State University graphic design students. All proceeds will go to the artists, so stop by for stickers, zines, buttons, prints, and more. (Can't get enough of DIY design? Head to Floating World Comics afterward—the laid-back indie mainstay recently relocated to Lloyd Center.)
(Lloyd Center, Lloyd District, free, Friday-Saturday)

Holiday Market Add to a List
At this holiday market, Earth Space PDX will cultivate their characteristically chill vibes with tea, cacao, chair massages, and live tunes. Unique vendors will be onsite hawking giftable goods; visitors can also check out the space's new art exhibit, Transmutation Add to a List (and peep the chickens in the backyard)!
(Earth Space, Creston-Kenilworth, free, Saturday-Sunday)

Multnomah Arts Center Association Winter Arts and Crafts Sale Add to a List
Multnomah Arts Center's upcoming arts and crafts sale showcases textiles, ceramics, jewelry, and other work by artists who take classes or are employed at the Center. Stop by to snag an intriguing gift for the art lovers on your list, and support a good cause—proceeds from the sale will go to the artists and support MAC's diverse creative programming.
(Multnomah Arts Center, Multnomah Village, free, Friday-Saturday)

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, Friday-Sunday)

Portland Night Market Add to a List
The quarterly night market returns for its winter edition, promising outdoor food vendors and plenty of booths to peruse. Once you've made your list and checked it twice, check out live ice sculpting, send Santa your wishlist at the holiday postcard mailing station, and build a holiday citrus garland or wreath.
(100 SE Alder, Central Eastside, free, Friday-Sunday)

Unique Markets: Portland Holiday Market Add to a List
In addition to hunting down the perfect gifts amongst over 160 local designers, artists and small businesses, wrap said gifts at the market's DIY gift wrapping station, hit the photobooth to get a holiday portrait taken, and enjoy free refreshments all under one roof. Shoppers who are 21+ can also level up their market experience with a VIP ticket that adds on a couple of complimentary Straightaway Cocktails, plus some fun freebies.
(Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Lloyd District, $10-$40, Saturday-Sunday)

Workshop Vintage Krampus Pop-Up Add to a List
Named after Krampus, a goatly Central European folk demon who punishes naughties at Christmastime, this delightfully dark holiday pop-up will include cocktails, kombucha, jewelry, tarot, a photo booth, and appearances by the spooky guy himself. (Have you been good this year?)
(Workshop Vintage, North Portland, free, Saturday-Sunday)


a useless task it seems Add to a List
Reflecting on the "cyclical nature of repression, resilience, and resignation," internationally exhibited design duo Midgray (Kris Blackmore and Simon Boas) will present new investigations in textiles, artificial intelligence, and interactive media for a useless task it seems. The duo will explore zeitgeist-driven topics of mass media, violence, and our post-Roe society.
(Carnation Contemporary, Kenton, free, Saturday-Sunday; opening)

The Art of Food: From the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation Add to a List
Ah, food. Is there anything more worthy of artistic interpretation? We don't think so. In this wide-reaching showcase of 20th- and 21st-century artists, food is celebrated in drawings, paintings, sculptures, and other mediums. You might spy some ultra-famous aesthetics you recognize—John Baldessari, Alison Saar, Andy Warhol, and other art stars are included in the exhibition, as well as prominent Oregon-based artists Katherine Ace, Chris Antemann, Malia Jensen, and Sherrie Wolf.
(Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, South Park Blocks, free, Friday-Saturday; closing)

Chris Burnett: Colibri Add to a List
LA-based artist Chris Burnett, a tastemaker who's designed for heavy hitters like Kendrick Lamar, Odd Future, and Baby Keem, presents a series of glossy mixed-media collages for this solo exhibition. One surprising inspiration? Hummingbirds—Burnett has felt a strange affinity for the fluttering buddies over the last few years, and they show up as a recurring motif throughout the ultra-contemporary show.
(Fisk, North Portland, free, Friday-Sunday; closing)

Kris Hargis: There Are No Roads Here Add to a List
Created while living in an "off-grid cabin in the Oregon coastal range," Kris Hargis's There Are No Roads Here explores a new sense of stillness and quietude in the artist's process. Meditating on the life cycle with softness and a sense of calm, Hargis's paintings contain a subtle sadness expressed through thoughtful human faces and bundles of flowers. 
(Froelick Gallery, Pearl District, free, Friday-Saturday)

Mujer: cortney morentin Add to a List
Curated by arts writer Luiza Lukova, LA-based photographer cortney morentin's Mujer spotlights subtle moments of femininity that often go overlooked—softness, fluidity, and grace are elevated to center stage through empowering imagery of bodies swimming, holding each other, and at rest.
(Well Well, Kenton, free, Saturday-Sunday; opening)


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-Saturday)

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