Who doesn’t adore Christmas? The bright lights, yummy treats and yes, even Christmas music. N*Sync’s Merry Christmas is always on standby this time of year. I do try to avoid anything Christmas related until December 1st. Trust me, it is a hard thing to do. Retailers seem ready to jump right into Christmas as soon as Halloween is over. Next thing I know I’m running around trying to make last minute plans happen. But one of my favorite things about Christmas? All of the Christmas themed events taking place for the next month and sometimes a little after. We all need a break from shopping to enjoy the holidays.
Now, I am always on the hunt for fun activities that do not cost an arm and a leg. As it is Christmas time and I’m already shelling out for gifts on top of my regular monthly expenses. So naturally we are being frugal while not being a Scrooge, I don’t need ghosts to tell me to live a little. Like many millennials, I love a good adventure.
Although I have been living in Portland for the last four years, unfortunately I have yet to participate in many of the local events. This year I was able to attend the Zoo lights! It was cold, and I mean super, freaking cold. Being that it is December in Portland you can expect nothing less. But holy cow! My partner and I bundled up in our winter gear and headed out. We saw some children wrapped in blankets, totally worth it side note. If you are bringing your kiddos out I would certainly recommend it.
Now parking was TERRIBLE! We drove around in circles for almost 30 minutes before finding a finding a spot. Kids are of course all over, no surprise there, so everyone should be very careful and drive slowly. The event starts after 4pm and if you hate the parking fight, get there early. We were lucky we had tickets already so we did not have to wait in line for purchase. We skipped to the ticket scanning then we were met with an oh so beautiful sight.
The lights were bright and the excitement was palpable. Kids were zipping back and forth, families laughing and enjoying the festive atmosphere. My partner and I do not have children so we were able to make quick-ish work through the zoo but with kiddos in tow plan on spending some time out there and having a lot of patience.
I’m sure many have gone to the zoo before but there is something about Elephant Ears, hot chocolate and Christmas lights that make your heart (and tummy) do a happy dance. They even offered “Elf Ears” which was really cute. If you do want to eat dinner on site before consuming treats the food carts and cafes are open as well.
My partner and I took tons of pictures and videos. We went on a Monday night so I was honestly surprised by how busy it was so I can imagine how it would be on the weekend. Also, we were lucky to get in for free since someone at my job was unable to attend, however tickets for adults are about $18 dollars for adults and about $13 dollars for children 3-11 years old.
However, if you are eligible for income assistance programs you qualify for Zoo for all. You can get each ticket for $5 dollars. The zoo offers a cool program basically, you can purchase a zoo membership and get into a different location (museums, Japanese Garden, the aquarium) each month for free. Something to keep in mind throughout the year as well. You can check out the zoo’s website for the list of programs. It was a fun night out and worth braving the cold.
My big recommendations for a night at the zoo: plan ahead, dress as warm as possible and have an amazing time! So what are you waiting for?!