ZooLights is on! Display will open as a drive-thru experience

November 18, 2020 - 1:22pm

Oregon Zoo's winter light display returns with a new way to illuminate the season

A lot will be different this holiday season, but one Northwest tradition is still a go: ZooLights, presented by U.S. Bank, opens Nov. 22 at the Oregon Zoo, showcasing a winter wonderland of more than 1.5 million brightly colored lights.

The fate of the annual light display was uncertain following last week's announcement of new statewide measures to slow the spread of COVID-19. But after receiving additional guidance from Gov. Kate Brown's office this week, the zoo is ready to move forward with a drive-through experience that lets visitors see ZooLights from their cars.

"Everything's been a little different in 2020, and ZooLights is no exception," zoo events manager Nikki Simmons said. "Like most of this community, our biggest concern right now is protecting everyone's health and safety. We're just thankful we could come up a good way for the community to enjoy this holiday tradition."

The zoo has suspended daytime operations and is closed to walk-through visitors as of today (Nov. 18). Tickets for the new drive-through ZooLights will be available via the Oregon Zoo website starting Nov. 19 at 10 a.m.

To help ensure a safe experience for all, the following measures will be in place during this year's ZooLights:

  • Timed ticketing/limited attendance: All guests, including members, must reserve their ZooLights tickets in advance via the zoo website. Tickets are only available up to one week in advance of the visit date.
  • Masks/face coverings: Drive-through guests do not need to wear masks while enjoying the lights from inside their vehicle. Masks are required, however, during check-in and other interactions with ZooLights staff.

The Oregon Zoo Foundation is leading efforts to fund critical needs of the zoo during its reduced-capacity reopening. To contribute, go to oregonzoo.org/donate. Members, donors and corporate and foundation partners help the zoo make a difference across the region and around the world.