Despite the restrictions, the Oregon Zoo wants you to rest assured that this holiday season, you’ll still be able to enjoy its dazzling annual light display, ZooLights, a brilliant display of more than 1.5 million bright lights, albeit from the comfort of your car.
“A lot will be different this holiday season, but one Northwest tradition is still a go,” reads the Oregon Zoo’s release.
The zoo was forced to shut its doors yesterday, being among the businesses required to close amid the “freeze” announced by Governor Kate Brown last week. After talks with the governor’s office, though, the zoo managed to seal the deal and have the light display run as a drive-through experience.
“Everything’s been a little different in 2020, and ZooLights is no exception,” zoo events manager Nikki Simmons said. “Like most of this community, our biggest concern right now is protecting everyone’s health and safety. We’re just thankful we could come up with a good way for the community to enjoy this holiday tradition.”
ZooLights will follow some different measures this year for COVID-19: there will be timed ticketing and limited attendance (you must reserve tickets in advance through the zoo’s website, and can only do so up to one week in advance of the visit date), and though you won’t have to wear masks in your car, you’ll have to during check-in and other interactions with staff.
Oh, you can also pre-order treats and souvenirs when you purchase your ticket.
The drive-through route, which will take about 25-35 minutes to finish, will have you pressing the gas through everything from “animated animals to immersive tunnels of lights and whimsical displays,” plus some behind-the-scenes areas around the outside of Elephant Lands.
ZooLights will run from November 22 all the way to January 10, 2021, minus Christmas Day, of course. Depending on the date you visit, you’re looking at about $40 to $65 per car.