Zoolights brightens the night, but it has some changes this year

PORTLAND, Ore. - This year there's more to see at Zoolights, according to the Oregon Zoo's Krista Swan.

"The traditional path of Zoolights that people have come to expect is still there, but now we've opened up this whole new section of the zoo, so the route is longer, there's new lights, there's some exciting new features," Swan explained.

That includes a kaleidoscope tunnel of lights and a stationary Zoo Train. The train will still be lit for family photos and viewing but no rides this year.

"It's taking a little hiatus while we lay some new tracks and prepare for our new elephant lands exhibit," Swan said.

The train will be back next year for Zoolights with a new route for improved views of the animals and the lights.

And what about seeing the animals themselves?

"A lot of people do come in the afternoon, have their full zoo experience with all the animals and then stay on into the evening," Swan said.

Of course, many people want to see those precious new babies, like the lions and the otter. The lion cubs are out during the day if the weather is nice, otherwise they're in with mom just like the new otter.

Lily the elephant is celebrating her first birthday opening weekend. You can see her and the other elephants during the day and during Zoolights.

Dinner and snacks are offered nightly at the Zoo's restaurants and carts throughout the grounds. Zoolights will not be open Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Check out the Oregon Zoo's website for a full schedule, admission and other information on Zoolights .