What to Do in Oregon in November


Spooky season is slithering away like a foul ghostly apparition—or maybe that’s just the morning fog. Yes, now the cold weather comes to blanket the Pacific Northwest and we all retreat into our houses with a warm fire and even warmer soups. But wait! There are still plenty of activities around the state for the month of November—runs, festivals, film screenings, and more. Here’s what we’re keeping our eye on. 

Oregon King Tides

November 5—7, anywhere along the Oregon Coast, free

It’s king tide season on Oregon’s coast, and the Oregon King Tides Project, a citizen-science effort organized by CoastWatch and the Oregon Coastal Management Program, is kicking off its 12th year. During the year’s highest tide sequence (November 5–7, December 3–5, and January 1–3, 2022), the Oregon King Tides Project asks for help documenting high tide events (or king tides) in an effort to understand the effects rising sea levels have on coastal communities. Participation in the project is open to anyone willing and able to venture out to the coast and operate a camera: during high tide is fine, but any time during the winter is also recommended. If you want to learn more about king tides and the yearly project, register for an online presentation by the Cape Perpetua Collaborative on Saturday, November 6, at 10 a.m. 

Día de los Muertos at Zenger Farm

November 6, 11741 SE Foster Rd, $5–100 sliding scale

Don’t put away that ofrenda just yet. Zenger Farm, the 24-acre urban farm and wetland in east Portland, is hosting a special Open Farm Day Día de los Muertos event with activities such as face painting, paper flower creating, scavenger hunts, and altar decorations. (Learn more about altars and their importance here.) Come hungry because the event will also feature local chef Paula Hernandez, who will share tamales, champurrado, and other traditional foods. Masks are required. 

Who’s on Top? film screening

November 6, 4122 NE Sandy Blvd, $8–10

This documentary, which premiered at this year’s Portland International Film Festival, chronicles a group of local LGBTQ climbers as they prepare to summit Mt Hood. What’s more, this moving documentary about age, adventure, identity, and representation, is narrated by George Takei. On November 6, Oregon Wild is presenting a special screening of the film at Portland’s historic Hollywood Theater. Stay after the full-length documentary for a live Q&A with director Devin Tau, plus the subjects represented in the film. Proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test and masks are required.


November 19–21, Oregon Convention Center, 777 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, $10–15

Gear for the winter season at this year’s Snowvana, an annual celebration of the Northwest winter, featuring ski and snowboarding films at the Mt. Hood Film Festival, live music, craft bear and high-quality spirits from local makers, gear from area retailers, contests, and more. It’s also a place to check in with Oregon resorts and get special deals on lift tickets and season passes. This year’s three-day festival at the Oregon Convention Center promises up to 70 percent discounts on winter gear, kids sled dog rides, artist galleries, fitness evaluations, and more. And if you’re driving around a Toyota, show your keys at the door for a two-for-one discount on entry. Proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test and masks are required. 

Zoo Lights

November 19 through January 2022, 4001 SW Canyon Rd, prices vary

Bust out the dusty windbreaker from the coat closet, we’re going to the Oregon Zoo for its annual ZooLights, when the whole place is decked out in gorgeous animal-themed lights. Take your partner for a romantic evening at the Adult Night Out (November 19 & 20), get a special preview if you’re an Oregon Zoo member (November 22 & 23), or walk or drive through the zoo throughout the holiday season until January 9. 

Run to Stay Warm

November 21, EWEB Plaza, 4200 Roosevelt Blvd, Eugene, OR, $35–85

Start at new pre-Thanksgiving tradition in Eugene at the annual Run to Stay Warm race. With free kid runs, 5Ks, 10Ks, and half marathons, the whole family can put in a good workout before gorging themselves on Thanksgiving. Race through Eugene’s Alton Baker Park to Ruth Bascom River Path, all on smooth, flat paths, for an easy and fun morning run (or you can participate virtually if you can’t make it out to Eugene), the benefits of which go toward EWEB’s Customer Care program. Don’t forget to stick around after the run for a post-hike pint and other goodies. 

Portland Audubon’s Wild Arts Festival 

November 20 & 21, Viking Pavilion, 930 SW Hall St, $10

The 41st annual Wild Arts Festival, hosted by Portland Audubon, is back to in-person fun this year at Portland State University’s Viking Pavilion. Saturday and Sunday, see 65 artists and authors who work focuses on nature, wildlife, environment, sustainability, and more. Dozens of artists will be on site selling jewelry, paintings, prints, sculptures, glass works, and more, and don’t forget to meet with regional authors on both days at 4 p.m. Proof of vaccination or recent negative COVID-19 test and masks are required. 

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