Mt. Hood National Forest guide
Jarrod Lyman | 10/18/2021 | Christmas Trees, Sandy

Feeling Festive In Sandy

Please Note: This article was written in 2021. Information for 2022 events will be updated when they become available.

There's just something special about the way a small town does Christmas. Sandy is no exception, making it the perfect place to visit during the holidays. Bonus: Sandy has teamed up with Estacada for the Holiday Shopping Passport Adventure, where you can win prizes for shopping local. Learn more here or read on below. 


1. Breakfast with Santa

What better way to celebrate the start of the holiday season than breakfast with Santa? The annual event happens the first Saturday each December. Everyone can enjoy a hot breakfast with pancakes eggs and sausage before meeting the big guy himself and sharing their Christmas wish list. The cost is $5 for adults and $3 for kids 12 and under. 

2. Sandy Christmas Tree Lighting
Kids smiling in front of a Christmas tree in Sandy for Christmas tree lighting

Nothing kicks off the season like a Christmas tree lighting. The first Friday of every December, Sandy residents gather around the town's tree for a fun evening of lights and other festivities. This year's lighting happened on Dec. 3. Already missed it? No worries! Come visit the tree and perhaps get some inspiration on how to decorate your own this year. 

3. U-cut Christmas Trees

It's one thing to find the perfect tree in a parking lot. It's a whole other experience walking in a field of gorgeous trees and seeing the one that will fit just right in your home. There are a number of tree farms near Sandy where you're sure to find that wonderfully fragrant evergreen to spruce (See what we did there?) your home. Head out to Donahue Farm, Dutchers Farm or Hamburg 4D Tree Farm in nearby Boring, or head east to Harrison Tree Farm just east of Sandy with beautiful views and fields filled with Noble and Grand firs. 

4. Find the Perfect Christmas Tree in the Mt. Hood National Forest

There's something special about finding that perfect tree that will adorn your house for nearly a month... or more depending on how early you put it up or late you take it down. One fun way to find that tree is go to the Mt. Hood National Forest. The permit allows for trees up to 15 feet to be harvested from the forest, making a gorgeous addition to your home's decorations. Permits cost $5 when purchased in person or $7.50 when purchased online from recreation.gov. 

5. Catch a Christmas Play at Sandy Actors Theatre

The talented performers of Sandy Actors Theatre are putting on a rousing rendition of Miracle on 34th Street - A Radio Play, with performances running Nov 26–Dec 19. The best part is, you'll have a dozen chances to catch the show. The timeless tale of a little girl who just knows her beloved friend Kris is the real Santa Claus, and the legal battle to prove it is brought to life in all of its heartwarming charm, and it's the perfect way to get yourself into the holiday spirit this year. Masks and proof of vaccination or negative COVID test are currently required to attend. 

6. Crepes at Le Happy

Whatever holiday activity you partake in, be sure to add to the indulgences and stop at Le Happy. Trust us, you'll be, well, le happy you did! Le Happy specializes in some of the most amazing crepes you've ever seen. With both sweet and savory varieties, you'll have options for dinner and dessert! They're simply stunning and almost too beautiful to eat. Almost. Top it off with one of their craft cocktails that make pretty much any day feel festive. 

7. Sweet Treats and Beautiful Ornaments at Tollgate Inn

Always a fun stop in Sandy, the Tollgate Inn Bakery has the best blueberry muffins on the planet. It's an undisputed fact. Their general store area is always filled with fun collectibles and home décor items, which takes on a decidedly Christmas theme this time of year. You'll find all sorts of fun, unique ornaments and other decorations to give your home that warm, Christmassy feel, direct from Mt. Hood Territory. 

8. Shop Small at Sandy Historical Museum

Thoughtful gifts sourced from local artists and vendors are always appreciated, even in years that the supply chains aren't more stressed than Santa during an elf labor shortage. That's where the Sandy Historical Museum comes in. In addition to informative exhibits detailing the history of the region, the museum's gift shop is brimming with gifts made by local artisans. You'll find jewelry. woodcrafts, lotions and potions and all sorts of other items that will make wonderful presents for friends and family. 

9. Warm Up at AntFarm Café and Bakery

While it's fun to explore the winter wonderland, it's also fun to get back indoors with some soul-filling food and drinks, all while giving back to the community. Stop by AntFarm Café and Bakery, a nonprofit with the mission to provide lifechanging learning experiences for young people, which create and connect a healthy, purposeful, and compassionate community. If you're there for the morning, start your day with the biscuits and gravy or a breakfast sandwich. Lunch time calls for a bowl of the soup of the day or a warm sandwich. Complete the warming with a hot cup of tea or decadent hot chocolate. Perhaps the most heartwarming of all, the proceeds from your sale go to support youth and community services performed by AntFarm

10. Heated Patio at Boring Brewing

Founded in the nearby town of Boring, Boring Brewing Company moved a bit up the hill in to Sandy a few years ago and has been continuing their tradition of crafting quality brews.  They've also recently upgraded their tasting area with a heated, covered patio with fire pits. It's the perfect spot to enjoy a seasonal craft creation while watching the winter weather do it's Oregonian thing.

11. Festive Meats at Timberline Meat

There was a time that people went to a local shop that specialized in meat rather than getting it (and everything else) at one shop. What we gained in convenience we lost in experience. Timberline Meat harkens back to the old days of the butcher shop, with all sorts of cuts of only the highest quality. And there's no better time for a top choice cut of beef, turkey, pork or just about anything else than when you're prepping a delicious holiday dinner. Whether to take home or to your vacation rental, stop here for the main course of what will be an amazing Christmas (or just festive) dinner. 


Shopping local is always important during the holiday season, and perhaps even more so these past few years. The Sandy and Estacada Area Chambers of Commerce have teamed up to add a little fun to your shopping experience and, better yet, give you the chance to end up with a gift for yourself. The Holiday Passport Program has more than 50 participating businesses in the two communities and in the Villages of Mt. Hood and Government Camp. When you spend money at participating locations, you get a stamp for the amount you've spent. The more stamps on your passport, the better chance you have to win prizes, including a grilling package with a new grill, stays on Mt. Hood and more. Go to the passport website to learn more, and to get yours. 

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