December 10th, 2021

Tiny Travels December 2021: McMinnville’s Top Must-Do’s Traditions for Merry-Making

The Tiny Travelers sit atop a flat wooden ornament that says McMinnville on it.
The Tiny Travelers take a load off during this fun, full time of year.

Well the weather outside is—well, it’s Oregon. The best antidote to the approaching season is to make merry in McMinnville, one of the most magical holiday destinations around and the epitome of small-town delight at the holidays. As the season of light comes upon us, the Tiny Travelers are packing their bags and setting their calendar to fit in all of their favorite McMinnville traditions. 


Buying artisan

The Tinies set their watches by the opening of the McMinnville Holiday Market in the uber-chic Bindery Event Space on 4th. The maker and artisan market gets bigger and better every year (it’s now in its 7th incarnation) and this year should bring loads of twinkle, with 45 curated vendors from throughout the region. Type A Press is always one of our favorite vendors, with its nostalgic McMinnville tees. Look out for other great voices and creators in gift, clothing, art and consumables like House of Spain Olive Oil, Pollinate Flowers, De Lavenne Design, Momo Cocoa, and Bearded Oregon. Seriously, it’s like a giant grab bag of what Oregon does best.

Visiting Santa

If you missed the big guy in red making his annual appearance at the Santa’s Parade on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, you can still unburden your heart’s desires (or your kids can). Send letters to Santa at the McMinnville Public Library. After a year when he Zoomed in from the North Pole, Santa will be showing up every Tuesday through the holiday season at Hopscotch Toys on historic 3rd Street, a must-visit for the holiday season. You’ll have to make an appointment, though, but this Santa is vaccinated and will be wearing a mask.

Making room for munchies

You could clear your schedule to dine at any number of McMinnville’s award-winning restaurants, or you could just grab some goodies to go and pack your larder with snacks for your holiday guests. The Tiny Travelers like popping in for jam at Alchemist’s Jam, filling tubs of olives, fine cheese, salumi, and delicious deli darlings at Pierano & Daughters, stocking up on Moonstruck chocolate at Velvet Monkey Tea, and wouldn’t forget a bag of hazelnuts from NW Food & Gifts.

Nabbing some swag

Nothing lifts the spirits quite like a plush gnome for the mantle or just the right candle scent. Stop by La Bella Casa for the season’s best decor items and have a look around for every person on your list. It’s got all of the tools your favorite cook and homebody need for getting nesty this winter. Then get thee to Incahoots to pick up all of the trimmings, wreaths and greenery you’ll need to make it smell like a forest at home.

Toasting the season

Even the most stalwart of holiday revelers needs to take a break every once in a while. McMinnville has more than a dozen winery, beer and spirits outposts on or near 3rd Street where you can make merry, but for harnessing the spirit of the holidays, the Tiny Travelers love the convivial atmosphere at R. Stuart Tasting Room, the elegant vibe at Elena’s Wine Bar, the festive and fun (with room for a group) space at Elizabeth Chambers Cellar, and the regular evening events at Willamette Valley Vineyard’s McMinnville Tasting Room (reservations recommended).

From the Tiny Travelers, we wish you all of the best in this season of merry and wonderful, magical moments for you and yours throughout the year!

Illustration of writer, Emily Grosvenor

Emily Grosvenor is the Editor of Oregon Home magazine and sustainability coordinator for #mcminnvilledentist.