Beervana just got brighter: Brewlights at the Oregon Zoo

November 2, 2017 - 4:40pm
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UPDATE: THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT

What could be better than ZooLights, the Oregon Zoo's walk-through winter wonderland of more than 1.6 million brightly colored lights? How about ZooLights ... with beer?

On Nov. 29, the zoo will host its first-ever BrewLights: a one-night-only ZooLights experience just for the 21-and-over crowd. Visitors can sample local beers, wines and ciders while strolling among forests of brightly lit trees and dazzling 3-D light sculptures.

"It had to happen eventually here in Beervana," said zoo event coordinator Barbara Bennett-Heck. "While Oregon beer, wines and ciders are available at the zoo every day, this is a special night with more than 25 vendors. If you've ever wondered what ZooLights would be like without all the kids, this night is for you."

BrewLights admission includes a souvenir light-up cup and complimentary tastings throughout the zoo. Food will be available for purchase from some of the area's favorite food trucks, including Verde Cocina and the zoo's own signature elephant ears.

"It's the perfect way to kick off the holiday season, try something new and support a great cause," Bennett-Heck said. "Proceeds from BrewLights benefit the zoo's programs for conservation, education and animal welfare."

Zoo officials anticipate a lot of interest in this new event and are encouraging visitors to take MAX to the zoo rather than driving.

"We hate for people to show up and be disappointed when they can't park," said Ivan Ratcliff, the zoo's guest services manager. "And MAX is a great way to get to the zoo. You avoid traffic, don't have to worry about parking — and the Washington Park stop lets you off just in front of the zoo entrance."

Festivities begin at 5 p.m., and gates stay open until 9 p.m. Visitors may remain on zoo grounds until 10 p.m. BrewLights is exclusive to guests 21 and over. Valid photo ID must be presented for entry.

The zoo will close to regular visitors at 3 p.m. on Nov. 29 in preparation for BrewLights. Guests can remain on grounds until 4 p.m.