Celebrate the holidays with Oregon State Parks (2015)
A life-sized, lit-up orca whale. A winter solstice nature walk. A historic house decked out in Victorian-era holiday decor. All this and more is in store at Oregon State Parks this month in celebration of the season. And all are put on in part — or completely — by dedicated volunteers. So why not come out and experience a wintery side of your local state park?
38th Annual Christmas Festival at Silver Falls State Park
When: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 12-13
Where: South Falls Day Use Area (park information and driving directions)
What: Visit Santa and enjoy live music, refreshments, roving bagpipes, bird box building, bird seed ornaments and other Christmas crafts. Enter a drawing for a wreath raffle and shop for gifts at the Nature Store.
Cost: $5 parking per vehicle; parking permits available for purchase at the park, or display a current Oregon State Parks campground receipt or a current state parks annual parking permit. No charge for most activities.
Information: Silver Falls Blog
Christmas in the Cookhouse and Collier Memorial State Park
When: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12
Where: Collier Memorial Logging Museum, 46000 Highway 97 N., Chiloquin (park information and driving directions)
What: An old-fashioned Christmas celebration with snacks, story corner, make-and-take ornaments and other activities for the young and young-at-heart.
Cost: Admission is free, but a canned or dry-packaged food donation for the local food pantry is appreciated.
Information: 541-783-2471, Ext 23.
Winter Solstice Celebration at Tryon Creek State Natural Area
When: 4-6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19
Where: 11321 SW. Terwilliger Blvd., Portland (park information and driving directions)
What: 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. Parents and adults: please accompany your children at all times.
Cost: Free; no registration is required.
Historic Hughes House Victorian Christmas and lighthouse tours at Cape Blanco State Park
When: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 19-20 and Dec. 26-28
Where: Hughes House and Cape Blanco Lighthouse, Cape Blanco Road, Port Orford (park information and driving directions)
What: The Cape Blanco Heritage Society opens the elegant 1898 Victorian farmhouse especially for the holidays. Heritage Society volunteers host the open house, which includes cider and cookies. The Victorian Shoppe at the Hughes House sells unique gifts.
The Cape Blanco Lighthouse workroom will also be open for tours both weekends, weather permitting. The tower is closed due to pending repairs.
Information: (541) 332-0521 or (541) 332-0248
Holiday Lights at Shore Acres State Park
When: 4-9:30 p.m. through Dec. 31 (park information and driving directions)
Where: 89039 Cape Arago Highway, Coos Bay
What: Walk through an outdoor holiday light display of 325,000-plus lights and “light sculptures” of pelicans, puffins, jellyfish, a life-size leaping orca whale, butterflies, sea lions, leaping frogs and much more. Shop in the volunteer-run gift shop and visit the historic Garden House for hot cider, punch, coffee and cookies.
Cost: $5 parking per vehicle; parking permits available for purchase at the park, or display a current Oregon State Parks campground receipt, a state parks annual parking permit, or a coastal passport. No charge for lights viewing.
Information: Friends of Shore Acres