We skipped ZooLights last year, but we were so excited to attend last night because it’s one of my 5-year old’s favorite holiday traditions, and based on my two-year old’s expression during the train ride, it has turned into a favorite tradition for him, too.
The very first thing we did upon arriving at 4:30 is to select train tickets for the first train ride at 4:45. This new system of using timed tickets makes the train a lot more fun, because once you have your ticket, the only line you wait in is to board the train and you know that you will get on the train at a certain time. No more of the long waiting like in years past.
The train ride will thrill your little ones, but older kids may complain that it was too short. It was perfect for my kids at age 2 and 5. However, the only negative is that the train goes through a short tunnel at the very end and the steam from the train filtered back to the train cars making everyone cough. If you have asthma like I do, cover your mouth and nose when you enter the tunnel and don’t forget your inhaler!
While the main focus of ZooLights is not the live animals, we did see bats, fish and elephants. We were lucky that it didn’t rain on us during most of our visit, but it was in the low 40s and cold so I was glad I dressed the kids in multiple layers and brought their mittens and hats.
Be sure to dress in layers! But if you need to take a break to eat or drink, not only can you find coffee and hot chocolate, you can also find food carts, including PokPok and Pip’s Donuts! There are a few picnic tables under a covered area near the Elephant Ears food cart and that’s where we enjoyed our donuts.
I highly recommend taking a stroller for the youngest kids as you will do a lot of walking to see all of the lights (but don’t worry, there’s stroller parking at the train) and even the bigger kids (and adults) will be tired by the end.
ZooLights was a fun way to change gears from Thanksgiving to Christmas and I’m definitely now in the mood for Christmas music and hot cocoa. For more information, check out the Oregon Zoo’s ZooLights page.
But wait, you can win tickets! Just comment on this previous post by 9pm tonight, or visit one of these other local bloggers’ sites to find out how to win tickets from them!
*Disclaimer: I received complimentary zoo tickets to ZooLights for my family as part of media appreciation nights at the zoo. All opinions expressed are my own.