Zoo set to illuminate holidays at annual ZooLights

November 17, 2015 - 11:24am

Popular display opens Nov. 27 with more than 1.6 million colorful lights

A holiday tradition is back. For the 28th year, the Oregon Zoo invites visitors to brighten their nights at ZooLights, where more than 1.6 million brightly colored lights transform the zoo into a walk-through winter wonderland. Presented by the Oregon College Savings Plan and Banfield Pet Hospital, the popular holiday light experience begins Friday, Nov. 27, and runs through Jan. 3 at the zoo.

A visit to ZooLights has become a cherished holiday tradition over the decades. Last year, a record 214,000 visitors came to stroll through forests of lighted trees, be dazzled by life-size illuminated animal silhouettes, and ride the light-bedecked zoo train.

Visitors this year should also be on the lookout for some bright new brolleys: six umbrella silhouettes have been placed around the zoo — part of a scavenger hunt that can win sharp-eyed guests a prize at the zoo gift shop.

Also new this year: The zoo is offering Value Nights on Mondays through Thursdays, from Nov. 30 through Dec. 17, to encourage more visitors to experience ZooLights at times that are traditionally not as crowded. Attendance typically peaks on weekends and the weeks when school is out of session, filling all available parking lots and increasing lines throughout the park.

The new reduced admission option offers guests an opportunity to save money while visiting on nights that are less busy. Admission on Value Nights is $9.95 for adults, $7.95 for seniors, $4.95 for children, and free for children 2 and under. Hours on these nights are 5-8 p.m.

Regular ZooLights admission is $14.95 for adults, $12.95 for seniors, $9.95 for children and free for children 2 and under. Hours are hours are 5-9 p.m. To help alleviate parking congestion, visitors who take MAX on regular ZooLights nights will receive an additional $5 off general admission with proof of ridership.