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Portland Winter Light Festival -Travel with Children

Portland Winter Light Festival -Travel with Children

Animated Lighting Tower-ZGF Architects with Uncorked Studios

Overcast skies are perfect for viewing light sculptures early enough for children to enjoy them, though a quarter of an inch of rain in the hour and half we were at the Portland Winter Light Festival was a bit more than we anticipated!

Along the banks of the Wilamette river, the Portland Winter Light Festival was designed to celebrate the spirit of winter and warmth of community.  There was everything from sculptures made completely of light, to sculptures of fire, glass and metal.

Fleeting-Jen Fuller


Lights played across Fleeting by Jen Fuller and the rain, making the 100 glass “paper” planes really look as if they were about to take off over the river.






Hypnotron by Axiom Custom Products lived up to its name with a series of light sculptures representative of Portland with spinning colors behind.  It was all I could do to pull the children onto the next exhibit!




One of the great things about the Festival was that the sculptures kept changing.  We wandered back and forth along the river watching how the carefully chosen plays of light made everything look so different.

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Many of the artists chose the spot where their pieces were shown and incorporated the surrounding architecture into their works.  The artists were available to chat and were great at describing what had inspired them and how they had made their pieces.  It was fascinating.

This was definitely a whatever the weather type of adventure though the pouring rain certainly didn’t keep the crowds away! Even completely soaked, the Portland Winter Light Festival is already on our schedule for next year.

Find out what's going on in the places you're planning on visiting

  • Many cities/states have a monthly/weekly magazine listing upcoming events. You can frequently find their event calendars online.  They’re great places to start your search.
  • Look at the Facebook pages of places you’re planning on visiting. Often the Facebook page will highlight upcoming events and may be easier to navigate then some websites.
  • Set up a Twitter list following the places you’d like to visit while you’re in town. Most places start talking about upcoming events they’re having a few weeks out and Twitter is also also great for locating events the day of.


  1. Wow this looks so beautiful. It’s such a shame about the rain, but still, it looks so incredible! What a spectacle. Thank you so much for sharing your adventures with #whatevertheweather x

  2. This looks amazing! I love that the light keeps changing so they look different as you walk past again. Fantastic ideas, the giant sunflower type sculpture looks brilliant. Glad the weather didn’t put anyone off, sometimes it’s easier in the dark with rain as you can’t see it so well, some it doesn’t put as much of a dampener on it. Thanks so much for linking up to #Whatevertheweather 🙂 x

    • It was so much fun!

  3. It looks beautiful. There is something magical about lights isn’t there? Thanks for linking up with #MondayEscapes

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