Start a Family Tradition of Kindness with The Giving Manger
Winston Churchill said it himself that “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life out of what we give.” This is something I want to remember and also instill in my children not just around the holidays but year round.
Starting this year and hopefully, from here on out, we are starting a new tradition with “The Giving Manger” to purposefully seek out opportunities to give and do other good deeds throughout the month of December. Of course, it’s the task we are aiming to have it become a habit so we’ll be reminded to look for those opportunities and seek to help others year round.
Christmas Papercrafting: Holiday Cards, Gift Tags, and More is a wonderful collection that captures the joy, festiveness, and fun that the season has to offer. Inside there are greeting cards, mini cards, gift tags, bookmarks, envelope templates, frameable art, and a plethora scrapbook paper. Whether well seasoned in this craft or a complete beginner, I feel strongly there’s something inside for everyone.
Traditions spent with family and friends goes hand in hand especially during the month of December. One of my favorite annual adventures is to visit the ZooLights at the Oregon Zoo together. It’s truly something not to miss out on in seeing such a magical transformation year after year. Not limited to just families, ZooLights is an experience for everyone to enjoy!
The Zoo Train is running this year! My kids age 6 and 3 had been talking and asking about riding it non-stop since they knew we’d be visiting again. They were not disappointed in the least bit even though it was a shorter ride. The Zoo is still having construction to extend to Elephant exhibit so the option to ride to the typical destination of Washington Park was not available. But the train was enjoyed and loved, none the less! The huffing, puffing, the sounds of the horn, the various light decor, and my children’s excited conversation is a memory I won’t soon forget. I happened to get most of the ride on video too!
Throughout the Zoo there are so many lights to see! The colors were all bright and super vibrant! Some of our favorites were the Alice and Wonderland themes, the lights that moved from shapes like a worm into a butterfly, the merry go round, the tunnels of lights, the animal shapes, the trees, and many more. There’s really too many to talk about! It’s clearly something that must be seen for yourself.
A few of the animal exhibits were still open to be seen such as the Elephants, Penguins, Mountain Goats, Tigers/Leopards, Bats, & Fragile Forest. It was a welcome delight for the kids to be able to visit the zoo at night and still be able to see a few of their favorite animals. There were staff members around that were happy to answer any questions too.
There are food vendors open during this time so if you plan on visiting and grabbing something to eat, you can! I heard there’s Hot Cocoa you won’t want to miss out on. I would totally recommend something warm because it can get pretty chilly at night. Be sure to bundle up tight!
Overall, I would highly recommend Zoo Lights to anyone looking for something fun to enjoy with family and friends during this time of the year.
** This year there’s a scavenger hunt that if you find all six lighted Butterflies throughout the zoo, you can enter to win a 4′ plush Penguin!**
-If you are member you can also use your member benefits and get 10% off any Zoo Merchandise.-
Interested in going? ZooLights runs from November 28, 2014 to January 4, 2015.
-Need to Know Details-
Adults (12–64): $10
Seniors (65 and up): $9
Children (3–11): $7
2 and under: Free
Group Discounts available.
Sunday – Thursday: gates open 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Friday – Saturday: gates open 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Grounds remain open an hour after gates close.
ZooLights is closed December 10, 24 and 25.
Know before you go
Find out about what’s new, special offers, parking and how to make the most of your ZooLights experience.Read the FAQs.
Dinner, treats and drinks
From gourmet sandwiches to Elephant Ears and hot cocoa, there’s something delicious for everyone at ZooLights. Learn more about dining and treat options.
DISCLAIMER: Through the Cascadia Connect group of bloggers I became aware of this event and was given free tickets for my family to go. Thanks to the zoo and others involved for this opportunity. My thoughts are mine and my family’s own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for this promotion.