Make a Day of It: A day of running and a night of play in Alberta and the Portland Playhouse

Run Oregon loves running – that’s no surprise. But we also love the Pacific Northwest and all that it has to offer. Running is a part of us, but it does not fully define us. In our new “Make a Day of It” feature, we aim to showcase some great local non-running events and highlight where to run and how to make the most of your experience!

The next installment of this series is A Christmas Carol at Portland Playhouse!

First the running:

The Portland Playhouse is located in the Alberta District of Portland, just east of MLK on Prescott (I highly recommend you read the story of how the Playhouse came to be). Matt, Joe and Robin have run one of the area’s main local races, the MLK Dream Run, which features an amazingly local and unique route through some classic areas.

Unfortunately, running these streets without course monitors can certainly prove a challenge, though it’s not impossible. There are a few parks you can work your way through to avoid solely running on city streets, such as Alberta Park to the NE, Irving City Park to the South, and Wilshire Park to the East. Shoot, you can add in Woodlawn City Park to the North and King Park a block away and have a sweet little 5 park, 6.5 mile loop (check out my Google Map here)!

The Alberta Arts District has so many great local stores, shops, restaurants, and bars, that it’s impossible to nail down the options too much. Being a brewery guy, I’d say you can hit up a variety of sweet breweries in the area:

  • Old Town Brewery
  • Mash Tun (Soon to be the brand new Great Notion Brewing)
  • Hopworks Bike Bar
  • Lompoc Brewing at Fifth Quadrant

This is just the tip of the iceburg, as there are so many great local areas to explore in this neighborhood.

Now to the details to the experience itself:

A Christmas Carol is a classic – no bones about it. When I was growing up in Utah, one of my fondest Christmas memories was going to the local theater each Christmas to watch the performance. I have been away from Utah for 12 years now, and have sadly not been to see Ebeneezer Scrooge’s “painful past, cruel present, and redemptive future” since then.

Luckily, the Portland Playhouse has allowed Run Oregon to attend, and I couldn’t be more excited. I highly recommend checking out their Playbill for much more detail, but a passage from Director Cristi Miles really put things into perspective:

Why is it so important for us to experience Dickens’ A Christmas Carol year after year? As I try to answer this question I realize that I am living the answer. Because I forget. I forget its lesson. With the fast, exciting pace of my modern, busy life, I forget to simply breathe and be. I forget to slow down, I forget that I am not alone on this journey, and that there is more to living than achieving and accumulating. I forget that, as Fred says, “there are many things from which I have derived good by which I have not profited.” Year after year, I crave to hear or read or see Dickens’ story because I need to remember. I need to remember that no matter how Scrooge-like I become, I can still change for the better.

This production won 3 Drammy Awards in 2013/2014 including:

  • Best Production of a Play
  • Best Ensemble
  • Best Director

There are tons of rave reviews already about their early shows and I can’t wait to go back to my roots and check this out. I’m getting chills already just thinking about it!

Remaining 2015 Event Dates:

  • December 9-24, 2015


  • Tuesday – Friday at 7 pm
  • Saturdays at 2 and 7pm
  • Sundays at 2 and 5pm
  • Additional showtimes from Dec 22-24

Cost: Purchase tickets here:

  • Weekday (Wednesday/Thursday): $32.00
  • Weekend (Fri/Sat/Sun Mat): $36.00
  • Preview: $20.00
  • Under 35: $25.00

In addition to the Christmas Carol, there are two more performances remaining this year: You for Me for You and Peter and the Starcatcher.

About Author

Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching hockey, going to as many breweries (618) and wineries (152) as he can, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010.

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