Zoo extends hours for 'Sunset at the Zoo' festivities

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Four summer evenings at the zoo offer family fun and music with a festival flair

Over the course of four Wednesdays this summer, the Oregon Zoo is offering visitors a little something extra: Sunset at the Zoo, free with regular zoo admission, features extended evening hours packed with live music and entertainment, activities for kids and the chance to get to know animals active during twilight hours.

Sunset at the Zoo, presented by Banfield Pet Hospital, features live music and family activities all around the zoo's shady 64 acres. Visitors can enjoy the zoo after hours, meet animals from the zoo's popular Wildlife Live program presented by Portland General Electric, and visit the Family Farm for hands-on experiences with pygora goats and a variety of small animals.

The zoo's food outlets will be staying open late as well, and offering a selection of local beer and wines for the adults.

"As a mom, I seek out opportunities for dining al fresco on these perfect Portland summer evenings," said Krista Swan, event organizer. "Sunset at the Zoo offers families a chance to not only enjoy a meal together outside, but in a place where the kids can visit the animals and run around to expend some energy."

Banfield will also be bringing back its rousing "Howl and Meow" contest, where kids are invited to show off their best dog and cat impressions. Local Banfield veterinarians will judge the contest and hand out prizes to the winners.

Sunset at the Zoo takes place every other Wednesday in July and August (July 9 and 23; Aug. 6 and 20). Gates stay open until 8 p.m., and visitors may remain on zoo grounds until 8:30. Admission is free for zoo members, with regular zoo admission prices in effect for non-members.