Silverton Christmas Market & Oregon Garden Resort Package Review

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Looking for the perfect family-friendly activity to immerse yourself in the holiday spirit? The Silverton Christmas Market at the Oregon Garden Resort will give your family a magical holiday experience. I visited this holiday event solo, and I can’t wait to return with my family! 

@dinkumtribe Silverton, Oregon really does Christmas right! Here’s a few of the fun activities available throughout the holiday season. Check the linked videos for some of these ideas! @dinkumtribe @dinkumtribe @dinkumtribe #adhdfamilytravel #familytravelcreator #oregonfamily #pnwfamily #pnwfamilies #oregonfamilies #familytravelvlog #familytravelblog #familytravelinfluencer #travelwithkids #oregonchristmas #oregonchristmaslights #oregonchristmasgarden #silvertonoregon #ilovesilverton #salemismopo ♬ Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee

Updated October 24, 2023 to reflect new information for the 2023-2024 season. Originally posted January 16, 2022.

Silverton Christmas Market sign at the Oregon Garden Resort.

(This is a non-sponsored review, and the Oregon Garden Resort was not notified that we would be reviewing the Market or the Resort. As always, all opinions are our own.)

Christmas in the Garden Oregon

You may not have heard of the Silverton Christmas Market before, because it was formerly known as Christmas in the Garden. This annual event used to be held in the Rediscovery Forest at the Oregon Garden.

In 2021, due to management changes at the Oregon Garden, the event was moved next door to the grounds of the Oregon Garden Resort and renamed the Silverton Christmas Market.

@dinkumtribe Clip from the Silverton Christmas Market during a snowfall. #familytravelblogger #familytravelcreator #familytraveltiktoker #familytravelblog #familytravelinfluencer #familytravelvlog #silvertonoregon #silvertonor #christmaslightsaremyfavoritecolor #oregongardenresort #oregonmoms #oregonfamilyouting #oregonfamily #christmaslightdisplay #familychristmas2021 #oregonchristmas #christmasmarket2021 #germanchristmasmarket #pnwchristmas ♬ Main Theme (From Walt Disney’s “A Christmas Carol”) – Dominik Hauser

I’ve been hearing about the Oregon Garden lights for years from friends in our (previous) Portland community. The Silverton Christmas Market is an easy hour’s drive from Portland.

Last December I visited after a recent snowfall, and even though some activities were canceled due to weather challenges, the holiday lights were still stunning!

All about the Silverton Christmas Market

millions of Christmas lights on display at the Silverton Christmas Market.

The Silverton Christmas Market is famous for the dazzling display of holiday lights, as well as for its traditional German Christmas Market.

The beer garden, festive music by live bands, and holiday activities like the snowless tubing hill make this a fantastic outdoor event for families during the holiday season. It’s well-known throughout the Willamette Valley and a holiday tradition for many Silverton residents.

A snowy trail at the Silverton Christmas Market (aka Christmas in the Garden Oregon)

My Experience- In Need of Rest

The holiday season was stressful and difficult for our family on a lot of levels. I was feeling worn out and needed a break, so my loving husband booked me a two-night stay at the Oregon Garden Resort for December 26 and 27. 

A Surprise Snowfall

Snow covered house and front garden
Our house on Boxing Day, with snow!

The morning I planned to go in, we had 2-3 inches of snow. This wouldn’t be a big deal in other parts of the country, but Oregonians do not generally know how to drive in snow conditions. Thankfully, the road crew cleared the roads before I had to leave.

I drove up the long winding driveway to the Oregon Garden Resort, passing the Frank Lloyd Wright “Gordon House” and the Oregon Garden entrance. The snow-covered grounds around were beautiful and peaceful after the busy Christmas season, and I felt my weariness begin to fade. 

Check-in and Room

When I checked in at the front desk I made a delightful discovery. I didn’t realize that all hotel guests at this time of year receive free admission to the Market with their overnight stay! 

The 103-room hotel is organized into a dozen separate cottage-type buildings. If you have mobility issues, you’ll want to know that the Oregon Garden Resort is built into the hills. Wheelchair-accessible paved paths meander through the grounds and Resort gardens, but you’ll definitely be doing some walking. 

Guest room cottages at The Oregon Garden Resort in Silverton.
Guest room cottages

I found my room in the H (Holly) cottage and settled in. The in-room gas fireplace was burning cheerily, providing welcoming warmth on this frosty day. My window had a valley view with snow-covered treetops.

in-room fireplace at The Oregon Garden Resort in Silverton
In-room gas fireplace

The snow-covered private patio overlooked part of the Resort garden and Christmas lights. I stepped outside for a few minutes to take pictures of the winter wonderland.

back patio outside a room at The Oregon Garden Resort in Silverton
Back patio of my room

Things to See and Do at the Silverton Christmas Market

Just after sunset, view from patio at The Oregon Garden Resort building H. The Silverton Christmas Market lights can be seen over the tops of the other cottages.
View from my room patio just after sunset – the Silverton Christmas Market lights are seen over the tops of the other Resort cottages.

After enjoying a few quiet hours in my room, I bundled up and started toward the Christmas Market kiosk. I knew that due to the snow, it would be less crowded that night.

Light Displays

Snowy lighted path at The Oregon Garden Resort in Silverton
Pretty lights under the snow during the day

I had noticed that the Christmas lights on the Resort grounds remained on during the daytime. Colored lights peeked out from a blanket of snow on various bushes and lighted sculptures. It was pretty even in the daylight, so I was excited to see it at night!

Entry kiosks at the Silverton Christmas Market (aka Christmas in the Garden Oregon)
Entry kiosks

After scanning my bracelet at the entry kiosk, I started along the Christmas light trail. It was beautiful, and especially sparkly with the snow everywhere reflecting the lights. The website claims that there are over a million lights, and looking around I could believe it! 

Christmas light flowers at The Silverton Christmas Market (aka Christmas in the Garden Oregon)

First Light Trail

The immersive paths wind through themed areas with wood cutouts and lights in creative shapes and arrangements. There are multiple areas set up for photo ops. I ambled along, enchanted with the light snowfall, bright colors, and festive music being played along the path. 

I loved the variety of light displays! The Peanuts gang was there, complete with Snoopy’s lighted doghouse.

Snoopy and his doghouse at the Silverton Christmas Market hosted at The Oregon Garden Resort.

Santa and the reindeer were joined by polar bears and penguins at the North Pole. There were even tropical Christmas displays and Pacific Northwest mushrooms and deer. 

Reindeer cutouts and Christmas lights at the Silverton Christmas Market (aka Christmas in the Garden Oregon)

I skipped past the Krampus hut because it was so popular. The rainbow tunnel and Candy cane tunnel are bright and sparkly.

Candy Cane light tunnel at the Silverton Christmas Market, hosted by The Oregon Garden Resort.
Candy cane tunnel

Of course, you have to get a picture by the Silverton Postcard sign!

Within about ten minutes, my hands were freezing. Cozy fire pits were placed in a few locations, but not too near the lights.

@dinkumtribe Here’s what you need for outdoor activities (Christmas light displays, holiday parades, hiking) in the winter in Oregon or Northern California. @dinkumtribe @dinkumtribe @dinkumtribe #baselayers #christmaslights #holidaylights #adhdfamilytravel #familytravelcreator #oregonfamily #pnwfamily #pnwfamilies #oregonfamilies #familytravelvlog #familytravelblog #familytravelinfluencer #travelwithkids #traveloregon #youroregon #californiaadventure #redwoodscalifornia #redwoodnationalpark #redwoodsnationalandstateparks ♬ original sound – DinkumTribe ADHD family travel

My hands were painfully cold and numb by the time I got to the first one. If you’re bringing kids, dress warmly with base layers and bring hand warmers.

Authentic German Christmas Market

Some of the thousands of lights on display at the Silverton Christmas Market (aka Christmas in the Garden Oregon)

After the first light trail, I entered the artisan vendor market. Most of the kiosks were closed the night I visited due to snow conditions. That’s pretty standard— Oregonians try to stay home if there’s more than an inch of snow. Stop laughing, Midwesterners! 

The open vendor booths had beautiful German ornaments and other artisan crafts available. Several local crafters and artisans set up booths each year, so check the website for the most current list. It’s a great way to support small businesses for the holiday season.

Beer Garden and Food Options

Beer Garden tables

Due to the snowy weather, the beer garden was not open the night I visited. However, I look forward to enjoying a local brew from one of our many local Salem area breweries when we return. 

I finally reached the food, drink, and live bands tent — the only one open that night! The live music was so-so, but it was warm in the tent and I was freezing, so I stepped inside. I ordered the sausage and some gluhwein (German mulled wine), hoping to warm up enough to see the second light trail.

Christmas light path at the Silverton Christmas Market

The gluhwein’s only redeeming quality was that it was hot (apologies to my German ancestors). It reminded me of cough syrup, but that’s probably just me.

Thankfully there are other holiday beverages for sale each year, so next time I’ll have the spiked hot cocoa. 

Traditional German food such as sausage and pretzels are standard fare at the Silverton Christmas Market each year. I was super sad that there was no one selling pretzels the night I visited, but again, the snow kept vendors away that night.

Other Activities

Snowless tubing hill at the Silverton Christmas Market
Snowless tubing – with actual snow, ironically enough!

After I warmed up a while, I headed towards the second light trail. I took a few minutes to look at the snowless tubing hill. If you’ve never seen one before, a snowless tubing hill is like a giant carnival slide. As far as I could tell, the kids who were sliding loved it!

For 2023, Santa Claus will be present every night from 5:00-8:30 pm from November 17th to December 23rd. Santa goes back to the North Pole on Christmas Eve of course, and won’t return until Christmas 2024.

Walking through the light displays at the Silverton Christmas Market (aka Christmas in the Garden Oregon).

In previous years, Christmas at the Garden included an ice skating rink, live reindeer, or pony rides. Although these activities are not listed for 2023, check back again in the future because each year has different options.

Wrapping up the Evening

The second light trail ran through the garden between buildings, under the cottages’ patios.

Grinch Christmas light display at the Silverton Christmas Market hosted at the Oregon Garden Resort.
The Grinch

I walked through Whoville and spotted the Grinch and Cindy Lou. Giant Christmas ornaments, as well as rocking horses and flowers, were dotted throughout. It’s hard to imagine a more magical holiday light experience!

Planning Your Visit to the Silverton Christmas Market

The Silverton Christmas Market runs from November 17-December 31, 2023. It’s closed on November 22-23 (Thursday and Friday of Thanksgiving Weekend) and on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The final day is New Year’s Eve.

Tickets are now available for purchase. For 2023, no tickets will be sold at the gate. Entry tickets and snowless tubing tickets will be pre sold online, and entry ticket sales will close at 3 pm each day for that evening’s activities.

In 2023, entry tickets will be set at specific times (5 PM, 5:30 PM, 6 PM, 7 PM). You may not enter before your assigned entry time.

Children under 5 are free; price range for ages 6 and up varies by age and day of the week ($5-$20). There’s a discount for Silverton residents (with proof of residency).

You can also book a resort package that will include Market admission during your stay.

Whoville Christmas light scene at the Silverton Christmas Market hosted by The Oregon Garden Resort.
Whoville

Parking, Pets, Shuttle, and Cashless Pay

If you’re not staying at the Resort, there is no free parking at the Market. You can pay $20 online in advance for VIP parking.

Otherwise, take the free shuttle that runs between the city of Silverton and the Market. The off-site parking is at Silverton school parking lots, check the Market Website for specific details. No pets are permitted on the free shuttle.

Everything at the Silverton Christmas Market is cashless, so plan to pay with a credit/debit card.

The Oregon Garden Resort Package

King bed at The Oregon Garden Resort in Silverton
King-sized bed

The best thing about staying at the Oregon Garden Resort during the Silverton Christmas Market is that there’s no hassle!

When I was done looking around, I headed back to my room and tumbled straight into my comfortable bed. No parking issues, no buckling any kids in, and a nice fireplace to warm me up!

Looking downhill toward The Oregon Garden from the Oregon Garden Resort Lodge building.
Looking downhill from the main Lodge building toward The Oregon Garden

I bundled up the next morning to enjoy the complimentary breakfast in the on-site Garden View Restaurant. The buffet-style breakfast was good.

Later, I enjoyed an excellent lunch at the Garden View Restaurant as well. I ordered iced tea and a blue cheese and bacon burger, medium-rare. After a short wait, my meal arrived, scalding hot and perfectly cooked. I enjoyed every bite! 

Bleu cheese and bacon burger at the Garden View Restaurant at The Oregon Garden Resort.
SO GOOD!

For dinner, you can also enjoy good food and live music (depending on the night) in the Fireside Lounge. I didn’t visit the Lounge because I was at the Market, of course! 

Note: if you’d like to dine somewhere else locally, Silverton has dozens of fantastic eateries only minutes from The Oregon Garden Resort. We’ve reviewed several of our favorite restaurants individually.

Relax at the Moonstone Spa

As part of my getaway, I scheduled a massage at the onsite Moonstone Spa. The Moonstone Spa is for massage and facial treatments only. There is no hot tub or sauna or other “spa destination”-type amenities.

I arrived a little bit early to fill out paperwork, but check the website for current COVID protocols.

Woman with face mask and Moonstone Spa robe at The Oregon Garden Resort in Silverton
Ready for my massage!

I could feel the tension melting away as I sat in the dimly lit relaxation room — quiet music, hot tea or lemon water, and no phone notifications. The Moonstone signature massage was professional and effective.

I tend to have tension headaches and stiff shoulders, but after the massage, everything felt relaxed. The hot stones were a nice additional touch.

Relaxation Room at Moonstone Spa at The Oregon Garden Resort in Silverton
Relaxation room at the Moonstone Spa

Deals and final notes

My stay at the Oregon Garden Resort was exactly what I needed in terms of rest and recuperation. Every staff member I interacted with was attentive and helpful. I definitely recommend the Oregon Garden Resort for a restful getaway!

Now is the time to find great deals for your Silverton Christmas Market visit. Please note that Oregon Garden admission is not included in the Oregon Garden Resort packages. The Oregon Garden Resort also offers package deals during the spring to coincide with the TulipFEST in nearby Woodburn.

The package deal on the website is good, but check Groupon or other discount sites, because they often run deals there as well.

Visiting the Oregon Garden

The Oregon Garden is just a few steps away from the Oregon Garden Resort. This pet-friendly botanical garden features multiple themed areas and is gorgeous year-round.

The Children’s Garden is one of our favorite places for imaginative play. It’s also a great place to take a quiet walk with your significant other, or on your own.

@dinkumtribe Playing in the hobbit house at the Oregon Garden. The Children’s Garden is one of several themed sections. #familytravelblogger #familytravelcreator #familytraveltiktoker #familytravelblog #familytravelinfluencer #familytravelvlog #silvertonoregon #silvertonor #oregonmoms #oregonfamilyouting #oregonfamily #pnwfamily #pnwfamilies #pnwadventuretime #adhdfamilytravel #childrensgarden ♬ Concerning Hobbits – Howard Shore

Staying in Silverton, Oregon

Even if you aren’t staying at the Oregon Garden Resort, historic Silverton has lots to offer families year-round. Unique shops, beautiful murals, and excellent restaurants such as the Magnolia Grill and the Noble Fox make Silverton a popular stop on the way to or from Silver Falls State Park.

December is particularly special, with a huge tree lighting right downtown, and the North Pole mailbox next to the Santa Claus mural. Local volunteers respond to letters placed in the box (from Mrs. Claus or an elf) so come take part in a fun Silverton tradition! 

Before Christmas in the Garden (Oregon) was a thing, this mailbox to Santa and the mural were active in Silverton!

Way more than just Christmas in the Garden Oregon!

For an unforgettable holiday experience, add the Silverton Christmas Market to your calendar! Then enjoy exploring all that Silverton has to offer in December— don’t forget to check the Silverton Chamber of Commerce Calendar for even more fun events. 

And if you’re in the area, check out the Christmas lights in Salem Oregon and Portland area Christmas light displays!

Have you visited the Silverton Christmas Market (or its former location, Christmas in the garden Oregon)? Let me know what you thought in the comments!

© Copyright 2022-2023 Jenn D. Warren. UPDATED: October 24, 2023. All rights reserved.

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About the author

I’m Jenn Warren, Co-Founder and Content Creator for Dinkum Tribe. I'm a Third Culture Kid (TCK) from Jamaica and California, married to my college sweetheart. I've been a missionary kid, pastor’s kid and (former) pastor’s wife. My husband and I traveled as pastors for 12 years throughout the United States and Canada before becoming travel content creators.

I love living in Oregon and exploring new places with my family. We’ve road tripped over 30,000 miles across the United States and Western Canada with our six children since their infancy. Prior to our marriage, I also lived in Spain for a summer and spent another summer in Mexico.

I’ve homeschooled our six children for over 10 years, and served on the board of a homeschool co-op for 4 years. Several members of our family are neurodivergent (gifted, ADHD, cPTSD), and I’ve spent 5+ years learning how to accommodate neurodivergent needs as well as supporting the resultant mental health challenges (anxiety, depression).

I’ve also served as a support group leader and co-director of Pure Life Alliance, a nonprofit organization that supports families struggling with sexual addiction.

I write about family travel and road trips, millennial marriage, general parenting, homeschooling, parenting neurodivergent children, grief, and abuse recovery.

Comments

  1. It’s so important to getaway for some rr when you have a chance. It looks like a really cool place to visit- happy you enjoyed your stay!

  2. I’ve wanted to escape by myself but never had the nerve to do it! I’m so happy you got a chance to get away, recharge and relax. Looks like a wonderful place!

  3. Such a lovely place to enjoy Xmas vibes! I hope the beer garden and more market kiosks will be opened when you return this year <3

  4. I adore Christmas markets. This definitely looks like one I’ll have to visit next Christmas. Thanks for the recommendation.

  5. This looks lovely! I might have to drive down and experience this for myself this holiday season! Thanks for sharing, I love finding festive PNW events!

  6. I love visiting Christmas Markets in winter! I didn’t know Oregon offered such a gem! Thanks for sharing it! I hope I can spend some time there in the future with that nice atmosphere! If you like to visit the markets and you happen to be in Europe don’t miss Riga and Tallinn Christmas Markets! You won’t be disappointed

  7. I’ve always wanted to visit a Christmas Market! This one looks so spectacular. I love all the charming lights. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Oh wow! This all looks so magical, especially with the snow. Absolutely love it. Thank you for all the information you’ve shared – very helpful! 🙂

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