The bounty of our region is never more evident than in the fall. As you drive, bike or hike through Albany and the surrounding countryside, you’ll see a wild beauty through raindrops. And as late November arrives, it’s almost as if people are holding their breath for holiday adventures and celebrations.
We thought it might be fun to go out to eat or maybe sip some of our award winning regional wines. And if you enjoy helping others, there are many community free dinners taking place, and we have included them.
Wherever you choose to spend the day, may it be a very warm and wonderful time filled with good memories! (*Please telephone the venue if you plan on attending, as times and dates may be subject to change.)
Elmer’s Restaurant will be open all day on Thanksgiving. 2802 Santiam Hwy,, Albany, OR. Tele: 541-928-4227.
Cascade Grill will be open on the holiday from 11:30 to 3:00 p.m. for Thanksgiving dinner. Reservations are available for parties of seven or more. 110 Opal St NE, Albany, Tele: 541-926-3388.
Sweetwater’s Restaurant is open all day on Thanksgiving. 2390 Santiam Hwy., Albany, OR. Tele: 541-812-9222.
Sybaris Bistro is hosting their annual ABC House Thanksgiving benefit dinner. However, the latest word said that the dinner has sold out. You might want to check with them about their hours on the holiday weekend. Sybaris is located at 442 First Ave, Albany, OR. Tele: 541-928-8157.
Willamette Valley Vineyards at 8800 Enchanted Way, Turner, OR will have wine tasting, appetizers and entertainment. Hours: 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Tele: 503-588-9463
Tyee Cellars at 26335 Geenberry Rd in Corvallis will do wine tasting from noon until 5:00 p.m. Tele: 541-753-8754.
Marks Ridge Winery, at 29255 Berlin Rd in Sweethome, will host an open house with tastings and appetizers. Hours are from noon until 5:00 p.m. Tele: 541-974-4557.
Spring Hill Cellars, at 2920 NW Scenic Drive, in Albany, will host wine tasting from 12:30 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. Tele: 541-928-1009.
Spindrift Cellars, at 810 Applegate, in Philomath, will be serving light food and hosting wine tasting from noon until 5:00 p.m. Tele: 541-929-6555.
For those without family or in need of a hot holiday meal, please check the following list:
St. Mary’s Soup Kitchen: 822 S Ellsworth hosts a Thanksgiving meal during their normal hours on Wednesday, November 23rd. (The day BEFORE the holiday.) Tele: 541-926-8562.
American Legion Post 10, Albany: Invites all veterans and their families to enjoy a Thanksgiving Day meal at the hall, 1215 Pacific Blvd SE. The dinner is served from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. Tele: 541-926-0127.
Albany Helping Hands: at 619 SE 9th Ave will host Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday the 24th from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. Tele: 541-926-4036.
Lebanon’s First United Methodist Church: will play host for a dinner on Thanksgiving Day from 11:30 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Free coats and blankets will also be available during the event. The church is located at 1890 S 2nd St, tele: 541-258-7819.
The Point Restaurant and Sweet Home Elks Lodge: Located at 440 Osage St, are providing Thanksgiving dinner to those in need on November 24th, from noon until 3:00 p.m. Tele: 541-367-1560.
Although we have several ways for you to view our upcoming events, including Featured Events and the full calendar, you might like to print this handy PDF of our 2016 Holiday Events for November and December. If you don’t have a printer, no fear! Stop on in to the AVA office and we will be happy to give you one… or, give us a call at 541-928-0911 and we’l mail you one.
The menu features All-You-Can-Eat pancakes, scrambled eggs, ham, and beverage.
Adult tickets are $7; children under 12 and also military and scouts in uniform pay $4.
The Albany Optimist Club is sponsoring this event for the 21st year to raise funds for youth activities and services in our community. For more information and updates, visit the Veterans Day Breakfast Facebook page.
After the breakfast, make sure to head on over for prime viewing of the 65th Annual Veterans Day Parade.
Spam? No Ma’am! Our Albany Visitors Association e-newsletter is full of great ideas for visitors, new residents, and terrific events and places for family outings. We’ve got you covered, no matter the season. And, we’ll never sell your email address to anyone.
Special November Subscription contest
For e-news subscribers who sign up during the month of November, your name will be entered into a drawing for a free Holiday Nosh Tour ticket (Value $45.00) Wind your way through an Albany evening on a delicious tour of culinary delights aboard the Trolley. The Nosh Tour is scheduled for Saturday, December 17th, and we’re holding a ticket for one lucky new subscriber.
Springtime in Oregon can be tricky. Sunshine tempts you one minute, showers soak you the next. No matter what the weather is, true Oregonians celebrate the imminent return of the sun pretty much non-stop in March, April and May. Read on to find our top picks for spring and Easter events in and around Albany, Oregon:
If you have a kiddo in your life who would love to get a picture taken with a friendly, fuzzy bunny, visit the Easter Bunny at Heritage Mall between March 12th-13th and 17th-26th 2016, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., Sundays 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Nothing says spring like the combination of kids + baskets + their favorite furry friend. Join in on the fun at the Easter Bunny for Breakfast.
Team INSPIRE, Albany Parks & Recreation and the Albany Downtown Association are partnering to bring the 6th Annual Easter Egg Hunt at Monteith Park. On-site registration for children ages 0-12 will begin at 10:00 a.m. with the egg hunt beginning at 10:30 a.m. The fee is $5 per participant for the egg hunt.
For $10, you will also get your picture taken with the Easter Bunny and have lunch (hot dog, a side, and a drink). For more information about the event contact Ashley Custis or call 541-990-2194.
There will also be an old-fashioned egg roll for kids 3-12 beginning at 10:45 a.m. It’s amazing what fun you can have with a wooden egg, a paint stick, and duct tape! The top winner in each age group (3-5, 6-9, 10-12) will receive a ribbon and a prize. All participants will get a filled plastic egg. All money raised from the event goes to the American Cancer Society through Albany Relay For Life Team INSPIRE who is pairing up with the Albany Gems Dance Team to raise the funds.
Fun for the entire family! See an illusionist, join in on the Easter egg hunt, play dress up and have your picture taken. There will also be crafts, a virtual train ride and you can play I SPY. Plus don’t miss the movie. “Night at the Museum” will be shown. For members and non-members alike.
Admission and refreshments are FREE!! For more information call 541.967.7122.
I Run for Kids is an annual fundraiser for the Albany Public Schools Foundation classroom grants program. Each year, teachers apply for grants for innovative projects in their classrooms. Funded projects have ranged from electronics, robotics, music instruments, as well as materials for art, school gardens, theatrical performances, and more.
$35-$45 Race Entry. For more information or to register for the race visit www.albanypsf.org or call 541-979-2773.
Practice your “Hoo-hooting” and enjoy an evening of feathered fun at Silver Falls Old Ranch. There will be fun hands-on owl activities and a dusk hike where you can try your luck at calling owls in the forest surrounding the Old Ranch. The event is free, but the usual $5 day-use parking fee applies. Visit their blog for more information or call (503) 874-0201
View race cars displayed throughout the mall all weekend long.
Learn from 200 Fly Tyers, see 50 exhibitors and observe casting demos. Plus, attend free daily fly fishing classes. Linn County Expo Center. $10.00 general admission.
If you’re planning a trip to Albany this spring or have family coming in to town for Easter, check out our listings of hotels, motels, and B&Bs! Some are offering special rates for Easter. Call the Albany Visitors Association staff at 541-928-0911, or e-mail email@example.com, and we’ll help you plan a spring trip to Albany, Oregon.
It’s time to welcome 2016! Whether you’re looking to ring in the New Year with a cowboy party, a decadent multi-course meal, or something in between, you’ll find a fun celebration in Albany, Oregon this New Year’s Eve.
Don’t forget to make your plans for a place to stay after the party. Take a cab to one of Albany’s comfortable hotels for a safe and relaxing end to your evening. Best Western Prairie Plus Inn, Comfort Suites, and Holiday Inn Express are all offering discounts and special rates during the holiday season.
Keep reading for details on New Year’s Eve in Albany, and some ideas for what to do the first day of 2016 as well.
Albany 2015 New Year’s Eve Celebrations
New Years Cocktail Celebration | 7 p.m. Dec. 31, 2015. Enjoy live music, creative cocktails, appetizers and a dessert bar. The New Year’s Eve Cocktail Celebration is held at the Boys & Girls Club of Albany, 1215 Hill Street, and proceeds help support the club. Tickets may be purchased the day of the event. 21 and over only. Info: 541-905-4713
Hoof N Holler Bull Riding and Cowboy Party | 6 p.m. Dec. 31, 2015. Celebrate New Year’s Eve with bull riding and a cowboy party at the Linn County Fair and Expo Center on, Dec. 31 2015. Gates open at 6 p.m., bull riding starts at 7:30. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door. Info: 503-589-2999 or www.hoofnholler.com
New Year’s Eve Casino & Cocktails at Boulder Falls Inn | 8 p.m., Dec. 31, 2015. Dance the night away at the new Boulder Falls Inn in Lebanon. Enjoy live music from Fate 55, dancing, casino games, spectacular raffle prizes, specialty cocktails, plus mouthwatering appetizers and desserts. Tickets: Boulder Falls Inn New Year’s Eve
Cellar Cat New Year’s Eve | 1 p.m.-close, Dec. 31, 2015. Special bar menu beginning at 1 p.m., New Year’s Eve dinner from 5-midnight, with or without wine pairings; live music from 9-midnight. Info: 541-704-0304 or www.cellarcat.com
Vault 244 Bistro | Lounge New Year’s Eve | 4 p.m.-close, Dec. 31, 2015. Four-course dinner featuring tapas, salad, entree and dessert, including sparkling Spanish cava or sparkling French cider. Info: 541-791-9511 or www.vault244.com
Novak’s Hungarian Restaurant New Year’s Eve Buffet | Dec. 31, 2015. Experience Novak’s authentic Hungarian recipes at their New Year’s Eve Buffet Extravaganza; reservations strongly encouraged. Call: 541-967-9488 or www.novakshungarian.com
Sweet Red Bistro Masquerade Banquet | Dec. 31, 2015. Ring in the New Year with a multi-course masquerade banquet at Sweet Red Bistro. Call: (541)704-0510
The Day After: New Year’s Day options in Albany
First Day Hikes | Jan. 1, 2016. Start the new year off like a true Oregonian: with a hike. Oregon State Parks is offering free guided First Day Hikes at 28 parks on Jan. 1, 2016, including seven different locations in the Willamette Valley. Click for details: First Day Hikes
We’ll add to this list as we learn of more! If you know of a public New Year’s dinner, event, or party to add to our guide, send details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo: Vault 244 by W Design
For families with kids at home, it’s officially Christmas vacation! If you’re looking for fun things to do in the final few days before December 25, here are details of holiday events this week in Albany. PLUS: looking for delicious Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinners in Albany? Keep reading for details!
Here are our top picks for the fourth week of the holiday season, Dec. 21-26, 2015. For even more things to do in Albany, Oregon, visit our full event calendar.
Calapooia Brewing Holiday Ale Sale | Dec. 18-24, 2015. Calapooia Brewing’s annual Holiday Ale Sale is going on now–pick up a full case of 22-ounce bottles for $20/case, incuding their popular holiday seasonal, Kringle Krack. Details: Calapooia Brewing
Sweet Red Winter Solstice Dinner Party | 4:48 p.m. Monday, Dec. 21 2015. Celebrate the darkest day of the year with a flambe-themed dinner party. Cocktails start at sunset, 4:48 p.m. Details: Sweet Red Bistro
Storytime with Santa | 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015. Visit Heritage Mall and sit with Santa while his helper reads a holiday story to get you in the Christmas spirit. Details: Storytime with Santa
Visits with Santa | daily, until 6 p.m. Dec. 24, 2015. If the little ones in your life haven’t had a chance to meet Santa Claus yet this year, he’ll be at Heritage Mall every day until Christmas Eve for visit and photos. Details: Heritage Mall
Whitespires Christmas Eve Sing-a-Long | 7 p.m. Dec. 24, 2015. Gather at the beautiful, historic Whitespires Church (510 SW 5th Ave.) in downtown Albany to sing all your favorite Christmas carols. Details: Christmas Sing-a-Long
Christmas Meals in Albany
Christmas Eve Dinner at Frankie’s | Dec. 24, 2015. Frankie’s is open and taking reservations for Christmas Eve Dinner. The regular menu will be available, plus the chef is preparing Anderson Valley Rack of Lamb and Roasted Duck. Reservations recommended. Details: Frankie’s Restaurant
Christmas Day Dinner at Cellar Cat | 4-8 p.m., Dec. 25, 2015. Cellar Cat will be open Christmas Day, and offering a special menu that can be enjoyed a la carte or in a four course prix fixe. Optional wine pairings are also available. Reservations recommended. Details: Cellar Cat
Christmas Day Dinner at Elmer’s Restaurant | 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Dec. 25, 2015. Elmer’s is open Christmas Day and will be serving a ham dinner, turkey dinner, or combination ham and turkey plate. Prime Rib dinner will be served starting at 11 a.m. No reservations. Details: Elmer’s Restaurant
Still to come: stay tuned later this week for details of New Year’s Eve celebrations in Albany, Oregon!
The Albany Visitors Association is proud to announce the winners of The 2015 Night Time Magic Holiday Light & Decorating Contest! And the winners are …
Best Dressed Historic Home: 222 Fourth Avenue SE, Albany OR 97321. The J. Meyers House is a Queen Anne Cottage with East Lake elements (circa 1898). Many white lights highlight the architectural details of this house beautifully and bring a nostalgic feeling with classic red & green trim throughout their decorations.
Memories of Christmas Past (Candy Cane Comeback): 1000 Lincoln St SW, Albany OR 97321. Remember those glowing candy canes that adorned the poles on Pacific Blvd in Albany? Well, a few of them still shine bright during the holidays, thanks to folks like these who bring them out to share this special time of year. This beautiful light display has been shining each year for the past 15 and we absolutely agree it is award worthy!
Family Traditions from One Generation to the Next: 2905 Lawnridge St SW, Albany OR 97321. So much to see. There is really no photo that could do this display justice, so you’ll just have to drive by to see for yourself. Every bush, building and pole, lit up to create a bright and awe-inspiring display. So much flair for the younger generation continuing the family tradition. They certainly have the knack for sharing that holiday spirit.
Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow! –Sid Stevens Jewelers, 140 First Avenue West, Albany, Oregon 97321. We whole-heartedly agree because everything is more magical when it snows! Every year residents and visitors are welcomed into the downtown shopping district by the warm glow of the c. 1925 Bikman Block dressed in style with lights and garland. Sid Steven’s gorgeous windows serve as an enticement to slow down, perhaps even stop and browse for a while in the not-so-hectic pace of Historic Downtown Albany, Oregon. (photo coming soon)
Map to award winners: click image to the left for a larger view, or click link to download a PDF: map to 2015 award winners
Even more lights: Check out these past award winners, which are still gorgeously decorated and fun to visit!
Previous Holiday Light Award winners
1. 627 Broadalbin SW, Albany OR 97321
2. 4160 Evergreen Street SE, Albany OR 97322
3. 2110 Geary Street SE, Albany OR 97322
4. 2670 Kingston Way NW, Albany OR 97321
5. Washington Street houses, block 600
1. 514 NE 13th Ave.
2. Santa on the rooftop view from bridge & Water Ave.
3. 5th Avenue SW, block 800
4. 630 Seventh Avenue SW
1. 1001 Washington SW
2. 1830 12th Avenue SW
3. 3407 Pacific Blvd SW
4. 6127 Piedmont Pl. SW
5. 4295 Clay Place SE
1. 730 Washington SW
2. 425 6th Ave SW
3. 2893 E Mountain View Dr SE
4. 1340 NE Mayview Dr.
Multi-time repeat nominees that are always well worth a drive: Christmas Village at the Piedmont Neighborhood. This neighborhood pulls out all the stops! A delightful way to pass the time while waiting for the big day. Once through is just not enough.
Directions from Albany Visitors Association (110 3rd Avenue SE) to the Piedmont Neighborhood:
1. Head west on SE 3rd Ave. toward Ellsworth St. SW 50 ft.
2. Take second left onto US-20 W/? Ellsworth St. SW 50 ft
3. Turn right onto Pacific Blvd SW 0.5 mi
4. Turn right onto Belmont Ave. SW 2.9mi
5. Turn right onto Piedmont Pl. SW. 0.4mi
Prizes: 2015 Winners will receive a Winner Photo Award Certificate and a $50 gift card to Albany’s downtown first-run movie house: The Pix Theatre. Photos of the winning homes will be on display at the Pix Theatre and on the Albany Visitors Association website along with a list of locations to see. Winners will also be entitled to bragging rights for the entire year! (Thank you to all the homeowners who participate in this program. Without your efforts this wonderful community tradition would not be possible!)
Judging: The winners of the Night Time Magic Program are determined by a panel of judges who conduct individual random drive-by sightings between December 7 and 13. Homes must be nominated to win.
History: This is the 28th year that the Albany Visitors Association has been helping to make the holidays bright with the Annual Night Time Magic Holiday Light Program. All nominations receive recognition for participation in Albany’s Night Time Magic program. The reward for participation: Your holiday spirits will be lifted, your home brightened, your neighborhood enlightened and your community enlivened. If you are interested in being a part of Historic Albany’s “Magic,” contact the Albany Visitors Association, 110 3rd Ave SE, or call (541) 928-0911 to receive future announcements. People wishing to look at the participating locations can pick up a list of winners and directions at the Albany Visitors Association or find it online at albanyvisitors.com. A special thanks to Burcham’s Metals for helping to make the season bright.
Make some holiday memories in Albany, Oregon this week! It’s the final week of Christmas Storybook Land for 2015, plus a visit from Santa’s reindeer, a chance to ride the Candy Cane Express, and still 10 more days of holiday shopping before Christmas. Keep reading to find out what’s happening in Albany this week.
Here are our top picks for the third week of the holiday season, Dec. 14-20, 2015. For even more things to do in Albany, Oregon, visit our full event calendar.
Final week of Christmas Storybook Land 2015 | 5-8:30 p.m. Dec. 14-17, 1-8:30 p.m. Dec. 18, 2015. If you haven’t done it already, this week is the last week of 2015 to take your kids to this magical Albany tradition. Walk through a winter wonderland of storybook scenes, Christmas trees, model trains and dollhouses, including a chance to visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Details: Christmas Storybook Land
Holiday Light Winners announcement | Dec. 15, 2015. Winners of the 2015 Night Time Magic Holiday Light Contest will be announced this week. Stay tuned for the winners and then plan an evening outing to visit Albany’s favorite Christmas light displays.
Hoodoo Ski & Recreation Opens | 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 18, 2015. Hoodoo Ski & Recreation kicks off its 2015/16 season on Friday, Dec. 18, and will remain open until at least 4 p.m. every day through Jan. 4. Check the official website for updates and mountain status: Ski Hoodoo
Holiday Nosh Tour | 4-7 p.m. Dec. 19, 2015. Ride on a vintage trolley and taste your way through town, enjoying tasty bites from half-a-dozen chefs at stops along the way. UPDATE: Regular tickets are sold out for this event, but until Dec. 15 new subscribers to Albany Visitors Association’s e-newsletter are entered to win the final pair of tickets. Click to subscribe to the newsletter and be entered to win: E-newsletter sign-up
Willamette Valley Concert Band Christmas Concert | 2-4 p.m. Dec. 19, 2015. Treat your ears to a festive celebration featuring traditional and popular Christmas songs, at the Russell Tripp Performance Center at Linn-Benton Community College. Details: Willamette Valley Concert Band
Christmas Caroling Wagon | 5-8 p.m. Dec. 20, 2015. Ride through Albany’s historic districts in a horse-drawn wagon, singing Christmas carols along the way. Tours every 45 minutes between 5-8 p.m.; by reservation only. UPDATE: Spots on these tours are full; names are being added to a waiting list. 541-928-0911.
Shopping: Find unique gifts for the folks on your list when you visit Albany! Browse through charming shops in downtown Albany, and find great seasonal specials at Heritage Mall throughout December.
Photo: Christmas Storybook Land by Ann Kinkley
Need a place to stay in Albany for the holidays? Have friends and family coming to town? Check out Albany’s hotels, B&Bs, and RV Parks for holiday rates.
Albany is the perfect place to celebrate an Oregon Christmas. This friendly little town goes all-out during the holiday season, with historic homes decked in lights, great seasonal boutiques, community parades, and plenty of ways to experience the spirit of an old-fashioned Christmas.
Here are our top picks for the first week of the holiday season, Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2015. For even more things to do in Albany, Oregon, visit our full event calendar.
Holiday Light Contest: Do you go all-out when it comes to Christmas decorating? Do you know someone who does? Nominate yourself (or your friends or neighbors) for a prize in our annual Night-Time Magic Holiday Light Contest. Nomination deadline: Dec. 7, 2015. Details: 2015 Albany Holiday Light Contest.
Christmas Storybook Land opens: This beloved holiday tradition transports visitors to a winter wonderland full of Christmas trees, toy trains, fairy tale scenes, and a chance to visit with Santa Claus himself. Storybook Land runs from Dec. 4-18, 2015.
Pioneer Christmas Party: Bring your kids to the Monteith House and celebrate like it’s 1859. Kids will learn what a pioneer Christmas in Albany would have been like, and will have a chance to ride in a horse-drawn wagon in the Downtown Twice Around Christmas Parade at 5 p.m. Party starts at 3 p.m. and costs $15/child ($10 for additional siblings); call the Albany Visitors Association at 541-928-0911 to reserve your child’s spot.
Downtown Twice Around Christmas Parade: Anyone can join in this zany Christmas parade, which circles downtown Albany twice. Expect to see horse-drawn wagons, holiday lights, an umbrella-twirling brigade, and more. The only rule: the parade has just one Santa Claus, arriving at the end of the procession! Parade starts at 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015. Details: Downtown Twice Around Christmas Parade.
Albany Community Tree Lighting: Immediately after the Christmas parade, gather in the parking lot at Two Rivers Mall (corner of second and Ferry) to sing carols and light the community Christmas tree. (Approximately 6 p.m., Dec. 6, 2015).
Shopping: Get your holiday shopping off to a good start this week with the Town & Country Christmas Bazaar, Dec. 4-6; Christmas at the Roost, Dec. 4-5 and 11-12, Pumpkin Hollow Christmas at the Mill, weekends through Dec. 20; charming shops in downtown Albany, and great seasonal specials at Heritage Mall throughout December.
Visits with Santa: The big guy in red will be at Heritage Mall every day throughout the holiday season for visits with children and Christmas photos. Special dates this week include kids’ storytimes with Santa Dec. 1 and pet photos with Santa Dec. 6 & 13.
Still to come: 36th Annual Christmas Parlour Tour on Dec. 13, the Holiday Nosh Tour Dec. 19, and more! Check back for next week’s events and check our full event calendar for additional holiday happenings.
Need a place to stay in Albany for the holidays? Have friends and family coming to town? Check out Albany’s hotels, B&Bs, and RV Parks for holiday rates.