Our 3-year old is a big fan of trains and he was thrilled to learn that the train was ready for ZooLights this year. Pro tip: get to the zoo at 4 p.m. when ZooLights opens and go directly to the line for the train. Even though the first train doesn’t leave until close to 5, your wait time will be dramatically decreased. We only waited 15 minutes for the train after arriving around 4:15. And yes, it’s dark enough by 5 to enjoy the full experience.
Don’t expect a long train ride, though. I heard a few teenagers complain, “I waited in line for that?!?” but I don’t think the train ride is geared for that age group. It’s a long enough ride for toddlers and parents, including parents carrying a very small baby in a baby carrier when it’s 20 degrees out.
It was really, really cold the night we visited and the indoor animal exhibits were a nice break from the chill. Even though most of the animals are hiding out of sight at this time of day, we were able to see elephants, monkeys, fish, turtles and bats. Even though you walk a lot to see all of the lights, bundle up! I had five layers on top and two on the bottom and I was still cold, even though I was carrying a baby. We opted to leave our stroller in the car (even though there is stroller parking for the time you’re on the train) and by the end of our visit, my husband was carrying our 3-year old, who had just had enough. Next time, I’ll bring the stroller.
Once again, the light tunnel was my favorite. The light exhibits are truly spectacular. I wish the artists that put together these exhibits would come visit and put lights on my house! It’s amazing how festive lights make me feel. And even though it was cold on the night we visited, it wasn’t raining! It’s the season of counting our blessings after all.
You have one more day (December 11) to enjoy a BOGO offer on ZooLights admission. Just ask for the deal at the gate by mentioning one of the sponsors: Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon, the Oregon College Savings Plan, or Banfield Pet Hospital.
*Disclaimer: I received complimentary zoo and train tickets for my family during media appreciation nights at the zoo. All opinions expressed are my own.