Zoo offers expanded hours, programs as Oregon re-opens

July 8, 2021 - 4:01pm

Keeper talks, train ride, Insect Zoo are back — plus new evening hours on weekends

As people begin returning to their favorite pre-pandemic pastimes, the Oregon Zoo is ready, with longer hours and a host of seasonal activities.

On Fridays and Saturdays, guests can come late and spend an idyllic summer evening at the zoo. Last reservations are at 6:30 p.m., with grounds remaining open until 8 p.m. The zoo's food outlets will be staying open late as well and offering a selection of local beer and wines for adults.

Along with more time to see the animals, zoo visitors will be treated to a summer chock full of keeper talks, animal activities and other happenings.

Starting this week, guests can once again ride the rails on the zoo train, which resumes operation Friday, July 9, after more than a year out of service. Also opening: the nearby Insect Zoo, where visitors can see insects, spiders and millipedes, and learn about their role as nature's tiny recycling crew.

Keeper talks and animal activities include the following (daily except where noted):

  • 9:45 a.m. – mountain goat/black bear keeper talk
  • 10:30 a.m. – condor keeper talk
  • 10:30 a.m. – crocodile feeding (Sundays only)
  • 10:45 a.m. – Family Farm keeper talk
  • 11:15 a.m. – sea otter snack time
  • 1 p.m. – chimpanzee keeper talk
  • 1:15 p.m. – elephant keeper talk
  • 1:45 p.m. – polar bear keeper talk
  • 2 p.m. – penguin keeper talk
  • 2:15 p.m. – giraffe keeper talk
  • 2:45 p.m. – orangutan/gibbon keeper talk
  • 3 p.m. – bat feeding
  • 3:15 p.m. – river otter play time

On Thursdays at 11 a.m., guests can stop by the zoo's Family Farm for "Ask a Vet," presented by Banfield Pet Hospital, where zoo and Banfield veterinary staff answer questions about caring for animals both wild and domestic.

The zoo opens at 9 a.m. daily. Masks are not required, but capacity is limited and all guests, including zoo members, are encouraged to reserve their tickets online in advance. Learn more about what to expect when visiting