The Oregon Zoo’s special holiday attraction lets you walk on the wild side of a winter wonderland. ZooLights features more than 1.5 million lights and gives visitors a whole new zoo experience.
This year, you’ll have two ways to experience one of Portland’s best holiday light displays.
2021 Oregon ZooLights
The 2021 ZooLights event is taking place at the Oregon Zoo from November 19 through January 9 (closed on Christmas). The event will have walk-through and drive-through experiences.
Oregon ZooLights walk-through nights are back! Choose an evening to stroll through the many walkways and see the dazzling lights and animated displays.
Walk-through nights are taking place on select days from November 19-January 9. Here’s the schedule:
- November 19-20 (21+ only nights)
- November 26-29
- December 3-6
- December 10-24
- December 26-January 3
- January 7-9
Snacks and drinks will be available for purchase at ZooLights, including food from local food carts, sandwiches, elephant ears, hot cocoa and mini hot donuts, and Oregon beer and wine.
Drive-through nights let you cruise by all your favorite ZooLights displays inside the Oregon Zoo from the comfort and safety of your car. You’ll see many of the same displays from past years, including animated animals, immersive tunnels of lights and whimsical displays.
Drive-through nights are taking place on select days from November 24-January 6. Here’s the schedule:
- November 24-25
- November 30-December 2
- December 7-9
- January 4-6
Guests will continue through the display at a slow pace and remain in their vehicles at all times. Masks are required during check-in and any additional interactions with ZooLights staff.
You’ll have the option to pre-order snacks when purchasing your tickets, which will be available for pick-up when you check in. Treat and beverage options include:
- Hot cocoa
- Humdinger kettle corn
- Elephant ears
- Cotton candy
All guests must reserve Oregon ZooLights tickets online in advance. There will not be tickets for sale onsite.
You will reserve a time for your visit during checkout. Take note of the specific arrival times. During walk-through nights, you must arrive within 10 minutes of your scheduled entry. Parking can take some time so plan to arrive early.
For drive-through nights, you’re asked to arrive 25 minutes before your scheduled entry. When you arrive at the zoo, you’ll join a queue to check-in curbside, then proceed to the drive-through entrance. Average wait time to enter ZooLights is 25-30 minutes.
Tickets for the walk-through nights range from $21 – $29 for adults and $16 – $24 for kids ages 2-11. Tickets are more expensive on weekends and the weeks closest to Christmas. If you can, plan on attending early this holiday season.
Tickets for the drive-through nights are $65 per car.
Attendance is highest on weekends and the weeks surrounding December 25. To avoid the crowds, plan on attending early and during a week night.
Masks are required outdoors and indoors at all times for all guests ages 5+. For more information about this event and to purchase tickets, visit the ZooLights web page.
If you are looking to view beautiful holiday light displays for free, check out Christmas on the Campground. You can also see holiday lights glittering off our lovely rivers during the Portland Christmas Ships Parade.
For cheaper light displays, consider the Clackamas County Winter Fair Holiday Light Display.
The Oregon Zoo offers discounted ZooLights walk-through nights admission to Oregon and Washington individuals and families who qualify for income assistance programs.
Eligible programs include:
- Oregon Trail card
- Washington Quest card
- WIC – eWIC card
- TANF, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
If you qualify, discounted tickets can be purchased at this Oregon Zoo link.
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