Brighter later: Zoo extends drive-thru ZooLights hours

December 10, 2020 - 2:12pm
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Zoo's winter light display will stay open an extra hour following new OHA guidelines

The Oregon Zoo will be keeping the lights on later starting tonight.

Following updated guidance from the Oregon Health Authority, ZooLights will remain open for an extra hour beginning Thursday, Dec. 10, with additional time slots at 9:20, 9:40 and 10 p.m. 

ZooLights, presented by U.S. Bank, offers a drive-through winter wonderland of more than 1.5 million brightly colored lights, and it's been an especially hot ticket this year. Reservations have been selling out nightly since the light display's Nov. 22 opening.

The fate of ZooLights — a walk-through experience in previous years — was initially uncertain following last month's statewide "freeze" to help slow the spread of COVID-19. But with guidance from Gov. Kate Brown's office the zoo was able 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," Simmons said. "Like most people, 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."

To help ensure a safe experience for all, the following measures are 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 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.

Daytime operations remain suspended, and the zoo is closed to walk-through visitors. Learn more about ZooLights.