Thinking of traveling to Oregon with your canine BFF for the holidays? You’ve made the right choice! Dogs are already welcome in many places across the state all year round, and you can find even more activities to enjoy with your pup this 2021 holiday season. What are the top dog-friendly destinations in Oregon during this time of the year? Read on to find out!
#1. Downtown, Jacksonville
Celebrate the holidays the old-fashioned way in historic Jacksonville! This charming town in Southern Oregon is hosting Victorian Christmas events that you and your pup won’t want to miss.
- Start your Victorian Christmas experience with the Tree Lighting Ceremony at New City Hall. Happening on November 27th at 5 PM, this free event will also feature community caroling and a special guest!
- Watch the Victorian Christmas Parade on December 4th. Floats, performers, vintage cars, and more will start making their way down California Street at 10 AM.
- Head to the entrance of Beekman Bank, where your pooch can take pictures with Father Christmas on weekends between November 27th to December 19th, 11 AM to 4 PM. Make sure your phone is fully charged, as you’ll be snapping your own photos. Musical entertainment will also be present for holiday shoppers in the area during these dates.
- Need to take a break? Snag an outdoor table with Fido at The Mustard Seed Cafe. While this breakfast and lunch spot doesn’t have a doggie menu, patio seating is available for four-legged visitors when the weather is nice.
- Despite being a small town, Jacksonville offers many opportunities for active pups to burn off energy. Go for a leashed stroll around Doc Griffin Park, a short hike on the Sarah Zigler Interpretive Trail, or an off-leash romp at the Waggin’ Tails Dog Park.
#2. The Oregon Garden, Silverton
The Oregon Garden is a must-see when one is in or around Silverton. This beautiful botanical garden is extremely dog-friendly, welcoming “leashed pets of all kinds” throughout its entire 80 acres and in all buildings. Just remember to clean up after your furry pal!
- Wrap up your holiday shopping while supporting local vendors at the Holiday Craft Market, happening on December 18th and 19th, 10 AM to 3 PM, at the Garden’s Natural Resources Education Center. This event is free to the public, but garden admission is not included.
- Buy a ticket ($8 for adults) and explore the 20-plus themed gardens showcasing the botanical diversity of the Willamette Valley and the Pacific Northwest. Be sure to stop by the Pet-Friendly Garden, where you can learn which plants are safe and which are toxic to companion animals.
- Step inside the Little Leaf Cafe to rest your feet and paws. Enjoy seasonal handmade fare such as sandwiches and baked goods along with lovely views of the Garden.
- Tour the pawsome light display at the Silverton Christmas Market, just a stone’s throw from the Oregon Garden. From November 26th to January 9th, 5 PM to 9 PM, well-behaved pups on a leash can accompany their humans on the immersive light path, which will include one million lights! Tickets are $15 to $18 for adults and must be purchased online in advance.
- Does your pooch need to blow off some steam? Then make your way to the nearby Silverton Dog Park for leash-free play.
#3. Pioneer Courthouse Square, Portland
Located in the heart of downtown, Pioneer Courthouse Square hosts more than 340 events every year, thus earning the nickname “Portland’s living room.”
- The Portland Bazaar is popping up at the Square on November 27th from 11 AM to 4 PM. Peruse the 30-plus participating vendors with Fido in tow to find the pawfect holiday gifts for friends and family.
- Celebrate Hanukkah with menorah lighting ceremonies from November 28th to December 5th. The festival will kick off with live music, Chanukah foods, and more on the first night at 5 PM.
- Watch caroling groups have a “carol-off” for the Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition on December 4th, 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM. The grand prize winner will be determined by crowd applause, so get your hands and paws ready!
- Be entertained by the melodic sounds of big brass at the 30th Annual Tuba Christmas Concert. This seasonal event is free to the public, though it’s probably best to enjoy the show from the back of the crowd—150 tubas playing in unison might be too loud for your pooch!
- Grab a bite to eat from one of the food carts around the Square. There’s also a Starbucks where you can order a puppuccino for your canine companion.
- If your dog still has energy to burn, the nearby Waterfront Park Trail and South Park Blocks are both excellent spots for long leashed walks.
#4. Portland International Raceway, Portland
The Portland International Raceway is transforming its track into the largest light show in the Northwest once again this year. Two- and four-legged visitors alike are surely in for a treat!
- Winter Wonderland, the most puptacular drive-through light show in the region, is back for its 29th year. Enjoy hundreds of lighted set pieces and fully animated scenes as you and Fido cruise down the racetrack in your own vehicle. The show is taking place from November 26th to January 1st; hours are 5 PM to 10 PM from Monday to Thursday and 4:30 PM to 11 PM from Friday to Sunday and during the week of Christmas. Tickets are $35 to $46 per car and must be purchased in advance.
- If you prefer to tour Winter Wonderland by foot, make sure to get your tickets for the Lights and Leashes Dog Walk Night on November 30th. Take a festive stroll around the track with your canine pal and other pet parents and their dogs on this car-free evening. Tickets are $15 for adults, with two time slots: 4:15 PM to 7 PM and 7 PM to 9:30 PM.
- When it’s time to get away from all the holiday activity, grab your pupper’s leash and head over to the Columbia Children’s Arboretum or Broughton Beach, both of which are within a short driving distance.
#5. Old Mill District, Bend
The former hub of Bend’s timber industry, the Old Mill District is now one of the city’s most charming and vibrant neighborhoods. Shopping, dining, recreation, and entertainment paired with unparalleled views of the Deschutes River make this area a premier destination.
- Attend the annual menorah lighting at the Center Plaza on November 28th. Festivities will begin at 4 PM and the menorah will be lit at dusk. All faiths and denominations are welcome!
- Experience the unique Bend tradition that is the Holiday Lights Paddle Parade on December 10th. Paddling enthusiasts in holiday outfits and brightly decorated boats will paddle their way through the Old Mill District between 4:15 PM and 5:30 PM.
- Do some window shopping at the outdoor mall, which is surrounded by miles of paved and unpaved walking and trails, as well as furbulous views of the Deschutes River and the Cascades.
- Fill your tummy at one of the restaurants that offer dog-friendly outdoor seating, including Anthony’s at the Old Mill District and Strictly Organic Coffee Co.
- Take your pooch for a leash-free jaunt at the Riverbend Park Off-Leash Area. This scenic dog park not only has plenty of room for running around, but also provides year-round access to the Deschutes River. While dog swimming is allowed, remember to check the temperature of the water before you let Fido jump in. From Riverbend Park, you and your pup can also access the Deschutes River Trail for even more outdoor fun!
If your Oregon holiday destination doesn’t welcome four-legged visitors, you can book a dog sitter through Wag!. A qualified Pet Caregiver will check on your best friend in your home or hotel room while you’re away, making sure that they’re well taken care of!