The Oregon Zoo’s annual display of holiday lights, Zoolights, starts this Friday, November 25 and lasts through the New Year. Strolling around the zoo with a cup of hot chocolate and seeing over a million lights is the perfect way to get into the Portland holiday spirit.
From the Oregon Zoo Website:
2011 Oregon Zoo Zoolights
Open November 25, 2011 – January 1, 2012
More Info: www.oregonzoo.org
The Oregon Zoo invites visitors to brighten their holiday nights at ZooLights, where sparkling lights and brilliant hues transform the zoo into a winter wonderland. Presented by Fred Meyer with support from Boeing Co., the traditional holiday light show begins Friday, Nov. 25, and runs through Jan. 1 at the zoo.
ZooLights has delighted visitors for more than two decades with its dazzling life-size animal silhouettes, moving sculptures, forests of lighted trees and light-bedecked train. Covered in holiday finery, the zoo’s famous “Oregon” steam engine takes guests on an express jaunt around the grounds to see light displays visible only from the train.
New to ZooLights this winter are strings of lights that depict cascading snow. Visitors should also keep an eye out for silhouettes of gnomes: The fantastical garden-dwellers are part of a scavenger hunt that can win sharp-eyed visitors a prize at the Zoo Store.
Much-loved displays from previous years make an encore appearance. Life-size 3-D beasts linger on the zoo's concert lawn, which is transformed into a 180-foot-long meandering river of light. Hippos graze near the water while crocodiles lie in wait, ready to snap their jaws on unsuspecting prey. Other returning favorites include leaping reindeer, trumpeting elephants, playful penguins and tobogganing polar bears.
In keeping with the zoo's commitment to sustainability, most of the lights displayed are light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, which use only about 1 percent of the power of standard holiday lights, and about 10 percent of the power in mini-lights. LEDs don't burn out the way traditional bulbs do, ensuring a long lasting, eco-friendly ZooLights experience.
Costumed animal mascots and elves will provide entertainment as well as fun photo opportunities, and sounds of the season will resound throughout the Elephant Plaza, with more than 100 groups performing holiday musical selections. The Tualatin Valley Model Railroad Club is continuing its popular model train exhibit in the Elephant Museum.
Some of the zoo's favorite animals will be visible at night as well. Guests can visit sea otters, polar bears, penguins, mountain goats, leopards, tigers, some primates and elephants.