off hours cake
Image: Penfelt

ALL MONTH

Engineer your own holiday-season economic stimulus as five vacant downtown storefronts become POP-UP SHOPS, showcasing everything from 75 Crafty Wonderland vendors to the local clothing designers of Portland Fashion Synergy to the artists of the Pacific Northwest Sculptors Guild.

December 4

Oregon and Oregon State fight THE CIVIL WAR, the nation’s seventh-oldest gridiron rivalry, vying for both the prestigious Platypus Trophy (so valued, it was lost in a closet for more than 40 years) and some bowl-season momentum.

December 8

Montreal’s elegant elder statesman of world-weary pop, LEONARD COHEN, brings his instantly legendary world tour to the Theater of the Clouds. Just knowing the man who wrote “So Long, Marianne” is nearby makes us feel, at once, sager, sadder, and sexier. rosequarter.com

All Month

People of all faiths (or none) can see the light in the 500,000 bulbs illuminating the THE GROTTO’S CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS. More than 150 choral ensembles from all over the metro area provide a daily serenade all month, except Christmas Day.

December 1-5

Escape the rain and the darkness with the thousands of tipplers who gather for Pioneer Courthouse Square’s HOLIDAY ALE FESTIVAL. Last year, Belgium’s Brasserie Dubuisson poured a “strong ale” that clocked in at 13 percent ABV. Sacre bleu—wake us for New Year’s!