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3 nights you HAVE to take transit to ZooLights

November 4, 2017

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3 nights you HAVE to take transit to ZooLights


These are the 3 nights you should SKIP driving!


It takes about 1,604,832 little bulbs to make ZooLights each season -- but you might only be seeing red if you drive on some ZooLights nights!


No other place gets in on the holiday fun like the Oregon Zoo, with its next-level light display that can't be found anywhere else in the northwest.  According to the Oregon Zoo, nearly 200,000 people visited in 2014 for the annual ZooLights event, and the numbers continue to be steady. And we can tell... We've seen EVERY ZooLights since 2013, so we know a thing or two about how to avoid the parking woes, save some dough, and make sure the kiddos go home happy.

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1. Dec 16th, the Saturday before winter break.

Why it's on our list: 
he Saturday before school gets out for winter break can be trouble if you try and drive. Bet on both the overflow and main parking lots being full by 5:00pm.
What to do about it:
Your best bet is to park at a TriMet Light Rail park and ride lot, like Sunset Transit Center, Beaver Creek, or 10th and Yamhill Smart Park downtown.

2. Dec 22nd, the Friday before Christmas.

Why it's on our list: 
Many folks think they can snag a parking space on the Friday before Christmas if they arrive early enough. If you try, get ready to see that yellow blinking sign on Highway 26 as you come up to the Zoo! It tells you when parking is full.

What to do about it:

A family of 4 can save $20 on Zoo admission when they take TriMet MAX Light Rail to the Zoo. That's huge! Plus the MAX stops right outside the Zoo gates. Do yourself a favor and skip the parking woes -- start your trip on MAX.

3. Dec 23rd, the day before Christmas Eve.

Why it's on our list: 
The day before Christmas Eve always sees the largest lines of traffic, clogged off-ramps (it gets so bad sometimes, Portland Police will close the ramp!). Most folks that try and drive on this night and arrive after 5:30 don't even get parking in the overflow lots because it's so full.

What to do about it:

Start your journey on TriMet MAX. You'll be guaranteed to get in to the Zoo without any hassle of trying to park.

PRO TIP: Avoid parking issues and come on TriMet MAX!


1. Park at a Park & Ride along the Red and Blue MAX lines, like at Beaver Creek, Sunset Transit Center, or 10th and Yamhill downtown.


2. When you take MAX, you get $5 off EACH admission every weekend. That's $20 off admission for a family of 4!


3. If you do drive on these nights, BE READY ... pack super warm clothes, arrive as early as you can to avoid waiting.

For more info on getting to ZooLights, click here.


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