Tag: Oregon Zoo

Zoolights at the Oregon Zoo #ZooLightsPDX


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-


Members: Free
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.

Howloween at the Oregon Zoo

P1160489 It’s not really Fall until we make a trip to the Portland Oregon Zoo. Over the weekend, my family of four took part in the Howl-O-Ween trick or treat scavenger hunt event. We had been last year and knew this year we definitely not want to miss out. The event ran from October 25th & 26th from 10am-3pm. I believe it always happens one weekend before Halloween. So if you are planning on participating in the future, keep that mind! Also, Howl-O-Ween is completely free with zoo admission which makes it an even sweeter deal if you are already a member too. Upon entering the zoo gates, the friendly staff told us about the event and gave both my kids a scavenger hunt paper each. On this paper, there were seven clues on where they would need to go to get the paper stamped and receive prizes. I believe children as young as 3 years old could probably guess some of the answers. My kids  age 3 and 6 knew the answer to most and only needed a bit of help from both my husband and I. The clues on this years scavenger hunt were:

  1. 1. Oregon Wild
  2. Halloween-colored cat who celebrates his birthday on October 31.
  3. Learn to see like a spider….if it doesn’t bug you too much!
  4. These huge scavenger birds are threatened by tiny pieces of trash!
  5. Dynamic redheads need your help to protect their homes. Their name means, “People of the forest”
  6. A group of these is called a “pride,” and Oregon’s pride just got bigger.
  7. Did you know? These long-necked animals have many different spot patterns?

2014-10-251The stations where children get their papers stamped were set up to offer an activity, a prize, and information about the corresponding animal. My kids were pretty excited about their prize whether a trinket, sticker, or candy. My 6 1/2 year old on the other hand was also pretty eager to ask about the animals from what they ate, where they lived, and a few other things. In fact, this is the first time we’d been to the zoo where she was following the map, locating where we were, and reading all the signs and information! I was very pleased that the Safe Kids Coalition made an appearance at this event. They had their own station with a volunteer from FedEx reminding children and adults to be safe and seen on Halloween. They handed out reflective treat bags, and slap on bracelets! My kids will be using these when we go out on Halloween trick-or-treating! The animals were all pretty lively and it was fun to see that the zoo’s enrichment team provided animals with holiday-themed treats like jack-o’-lanterns stuffed with snacks during this time of the month. I love visiting the zoo during the Fall, the weather isn’t too hot and even if there’s a little rain that’s nothing an umbrella, boots, and good rain jacket can’t remedy.2014-10-252 We plan on attending again next year as we’ve deemed it a must visit attraction for our Autumn family traditions. Also, though not required, lots of kids were in costumes as well as parents too. I think this event is also a great alternative if perhaps you don’t want to take your kids out trick-or-treating on Halloween around those late evening hours. This event is not only educational but a lot of fun as well! I highly recommend checking it out next year! P1160447 Though this event has passed there a birthday party for Amur tiger Mikhail, and a trick-or-treat party for tykes on October 31st at the zoo. For more details on that event click here (http://www.oregonzoo.org/events/tiger-birthday-trick-or-treat-party) Parking at the Zoo: $4.00 all day or 1.25 per hour. Get Connected with the Oregon Zoo: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Google+ | Flickr | http://www.oregonzoo.org/

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.