Bright lights, big savings: Zoo welcomes Second Tuesday guests to ZooLights, Dec. 13

December 12, 2011 - 8:00am

Visitors who take MAX to zoo get additional discount with proof of ridership

The Oregon Zoo is looking to make your holidays a lot brighter without making your wallet a lot lighter. Visitors to ZooLights, the popular holiday light display, can enjoy big savings Dec. 13 – especially if they MAX it to the zoo.

“All year long, the zoo’s Second Tuesday discount provides our community with an inexpensive way to experience the zoo and learn about wildlife conservation,” said Kim Smith, zoo director. “And we want to let everyone to know this discount is good during ZooLights too.”

The zoo’s popular Second Tuesday admission-discount program, sponsored by the Walmart Foundation with support from The Standard, offers a reduced admission price of $4 on the second Tuesday of each month, a discount of nearly 65 percent from regular zoo admission. As always, children 2 and younger are admitted free.

In addition, visitors who ride MAX or the bus to the zoo will receive $1.50 off ZooLights admission and are not required to pay the $2 per vehicle parking fee. Discounts require proof of ridership.

ZooLights has delighted visitors for more than two decades with its dazzling life-size animal silhouettes, moving sculptures, forests of lighted trees and light-bedecked train. Covered in holiday finery, the famous Oregon steam engine takes guests on an express jaunt around the zoo to see light displays visible only from the train. Presented by Fred Meyer with support from The Boeing Company, the traditional holidaylight show runs through Jan. 1 at the zoo.

New to ZooLights this winter are strings of lights that depict cascading snow. Visitors should also keep an eye out for silhouettes of gnomes: The fantastical garden-dwellers are part of a scavenger hunt that can win sharp-eyed visitors a prize at the Zoo Store.

In keeping with the zoo’s commitment to sustainability, most of the lights displayed are light-emitting diodes (LEDs), which use only about 1 percent of the power of standard holiday lights, and about 10 percent of the power in mini-lights. LEDs don’t burn out the way traditional bulbs do, ensuring a long-lasting, eco-friendly ZooLights experience.

Costumed animal mascots and elves will provide entertainment as well as fun photo opportunities, and sounds of the season will resound throughout the Elephant Plaza, with more than 100 groups performing holiday musical selections. The Tualatin Valley Model Railroad Club is continuing its popular model train exhibit in the Lilah Callen Holden Elephant Museum.

Animals are often visible at night as well. Guests may see sea otters, polar bears, penguins, mountain goats, leopards, tigers, some primates and elephants.