Pioneer Place

    Like most kids around this time of year, my kids come down with Chirstmas giddyness. You know the symptoms, constant smiles with intermittent bouts of giggling, wide eyes, exceedingly good behavior and, of course, lots and lots of hinting.

    Fortunately, by December 26th the symptoms have abated and the kids are back to being their normal, kid-like selves, but December brings out the best in them.

    And, they still love Santa. Even though they are getting a little older and the skepticism is beginning to mount, in the words of Ralphie from A Christmas Story, “It did not pay to take chances.” So, every year, we pile up the family, including our labradoodle and leave our suburban, Cedar Hills abode for Pioneer Place in Downtown Portland for a visit with jolly Old Saint Nick.

    While the Santa at Macy’s may be the classic choice to divulge your wishes too, my family and I have always enjoyed visiting with St. Nick in the rotunda of Pioneer Place Mall, if for no other reason than the fact that this Santa, like many residents of Portland, is a dog lover and invites pictures with your canine family member.

    And that would be enough, but it is certainly not all. The Santa at Pioneer Place resides in the snow. While actual snowfall is glorious yet rare in Portland, Oregon, the atrium at Pioneer Place has snowfall all the time. Run through the white flakes and feel the serenity and beauty that comes from gentle December snow.

    After sitting with Santa and dishing their desires, after posing with the pup and obtaining the obligatory candy cane, the kids also enjoy the Rudolph activity center, which, upon completion, is signed by Santa Claus himself. It’s a one stop shop for all things Santa related… and it’s an excellent halfway point between the Christmas boats, between Peacock Lane and between the Zoo Lights. Visiting Santa and Pioneer Place is a must for every child with a wish list for Santa.

    Pioneer Place is located at 700 SW 5th Ave, Portland, Oregon and Santa is available every day of the week, with varying hours.

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