*This post is sponsored by the Oregon Zoo. My family received complimentary admission. All opinions are my own.

Every year, we set aside a night in December to bundle up and check out the lights at the Oregon Zoo. Zoolights quickly became a cherished family tradition -and an event all six of us eagerly anticipate each year. Zoolights is the perfect PDX date, an incredible holiday family night, and is fun for ALL ages!

Stroll through the grounds, marveling at the amazing light displays. Check out the carousel made of lights, the gingerbread house, and the lawn full of some of your favorite light animals. Everywhere you look, beautiful lights glow with holiday spirit. The Oregon Zoo is already beautiful – but the lights transform something wonderful into something downright magical. Zoolights is a can’t miss experience for Portland area couples and families. Trust me- you’ve never seen anything quite like Zoolights.


Of course, no trip to the zoo would be complete without animals! While the animals on display during Zoolights are limited, you’ll definitely want to go check on adorable Lily the elephant, and see how she’s grown. Make sure to swing bypenguins the penguins, and take the nearly obligatory “Zoo Penguin Picture.” While you may not be as excited to check out the tarantula over at the Insect Zoo, you’ll love the amazing nautical light mural right behind it! Perfect photo opp!

As you walk through the zoo, you’ll be greeted by several characters that are happy to give a hug or high-five and pose for a picture. You can purchase a variety of beverages and food items. I highly recommend the elephant ears and holiday ginger snaps! The chilly temps may have you reaching for a cup of hot cocoa too!

The highlight of Zoolights for our family is the train ride. Our four year old is OBSESSED with trains, and was over the moon to ride on a seemingly magical Christmas train. We enjoyed the exciting blue tunnel, and loved the “animals” you can see from the train. The Zoolights train is an experience like no other, and something you don’t want to miss.

Zoolights Schedule:

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.


Members: Freealice

Adults (12-64) $10

Seniors (65+) $9

Children (3-11) $7

2 and under: Free


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