Christmas in the Garden

    I love this time of year. I mean, Thanksgiving dinner isn’t even digested before I’m busting out my Christmas sweaters and my Christmas tunes. My love of the yule tide is well documented here and it only increases with age.

    From the goodies, to the music, to the time with family, to the parties and food, Christmas to me is the most wonderful time of the year. But, for me, it’s all about the lights.

    Portland, Oregon and its surrounding areas are rich with areas for festive holiday displays. From the historic Peacock Lane, to King’s Mountain in Tigard, to several neighborhoods in Gladstone, to the Christmas village at Alpenrose Dairy, if you’re a Christmas light buff, Portland, Oregon is the place to be.

    And now, I need to add to my busy holiday light viewing schedule, Oregon Garden in Silverton.

    Silverton, Oregon, one of my favorite quaint little towns just south of Salem, is known for its sprawling farmlands and jaw dropping valley views. It’s also known for Oregon Garden. More than just a garden, Silverton’s pride and joy is also home to one of the great outdoor concert venues in the Northwest. And, it turns out, to one of the best light displays in the region as well.

    Just barely an hour south of Portland, we hopped in the family car for our first light display excursion of the season. We drove down I-5 and into the quaint small, farm towns that make up the bulk of Oregon. The sun set as we made our way through Silverton’s grand farm houses and ma and pa shops before making it to the Oregon Garden.

    Christmas in the Garden, as it is called, is a delightful, European style event featuring snowless tubing, ice skating, an artisan vendor market, live music and, of course, photos with Santa. We knew going in that it would not be free. But, only twenty bucks for an all-inclusive pass, we knew it would be worth it. Snowless tubing was surprisingly fun. We bought some hand-crafted goods and other unique Christmas gifts before warming up with some hot food and a hot chocolate in front of the outdoor fire pit.

    After seeing Santa (and, success! Not one screaming child) we wandered through the grounds and viewed the more than 600,000 lights. Oregon Garden is always beautiful but, Christmas in the Garden, takes it to a whole other level.

    It may not be free, but it’s well worth the price of admission and it’ s definitely an event that you will want to add to your list of holiday musts now and going forward.

    Oregon Garden is located at 879 Main Street in Silverton, Oregon. For more information, visit their website at www.oregongarden.org.

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