You have until January 10 to drive through the Oregon Zoos popular ZooLights display! Keep reading for more COVID-safe holiday spectacles and activities.
You have until January 10 to drive through the Oregon Zoo's popular ZooLights display! Keep reading for more COVID-safe holiday spectacles and activities. Oregon Zoo via Facebook

EverOut is The Mercury's new website devoted to things to do in Portland and across the Pacific Northwest. It has all the same things you're used to seeing from Mercury EverOut, just in a new spot!

If COVID has put the kibosh on your holiday plans, you're most definitely not alone. And while we're sure nothing beats a flight back to your hometown, there are still plenty of ways to zhuzh up your Christmas, Kwanzaa, and New Year's celebrations here in Portland, whether you want to get outside or do something fun indoors. See all our picks through the new year below—including non-holiday-related options—from places to get champagne for New Year's Eve (like Pix Patisserie's Bar Vivant) to free state park admission for your First Day Hike, and from Jupiter's Holiday Movie Sleepover with Movie Madness to Gather:Make:Shelter's Community Weaving Project. For even more options, read our guides to the best online events through January 3.

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FOOD & DRINK
Try some of the year's most noteworthy restaurants. Opening a restaurant is a truly impressive feat even during the best of times. Despite the fact that this year was unbelievably challenging for the restaurant industry, many bold restaurant owners found creative new ways to survive or even did the unthinkable and opened a restaurant in the midst of a pandemic. As you're reflecting on the year, why not take a chance to celebrate some of these unlikely additions to the Portland food scene? The plant-based pop-ups Mirisata and Mama Dút, which both cropped up during the pandemic this year, were both such big hits that they each spawned permanent locations. Plus, the wildly popular Hawaiian food cart GrindWitTryz became a full-fledged brick-and-mortar restaurant, and the bar Tropicale brought Mexican, Caribbean, and South American cuisine and piña coladas served in pineapples. Some Portland favorites came up with savvy quarantine-friendly concepts: Gado Gado opened the Indonesian takeout spot Oma's Takeaway, and Naomi Pomeroy's acclaimed Beast closed and was replaced by the community market Ripe Cooperative. Pick one or a few to try and raise a glass to these small businesses' admirable fortitude in the face of adversity.

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