What are your favorite holiday traditions? My little family have begun traditions over the past few years that I hope will last our lifetime and possibly end up as traditions my kids keep with their kids someday. One of my favorite holiday traditions that we try to do every year is visiting Oregon Zoo’s Zoo Lights. This year the whole family attended and I got to share my joy of holiday lights and zoo animals with two very excited little guys! Read on to see my tips for an enjoyable #ZooLightsPDX experience, cute photos of kiddos, and a chance to win a package of 4 tickets to this year’s Zoo Lights!
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If you were following my Instastories or Snapchat last week you might have seen my very, very excited posts about Zoo Lights. I just can’t help it. I LOVE the feeling that this season brings and the twinkly lights just push it over the moon for me. Don’t even get me started on how I feel about Santa and snow this season. Heart eyes all day long.
Plan your trip— Zoo Lights this year has some pretty great hours and fun extra opportunities. Plan your trip to make the most of your budget and experience. ZooLights is open 5 PM to 8 PM on Value Nights and 5PM to 9PM all other nights. ZooLights is open 7 days a week until January 1st with the exception of December 24th and 25th. Zoo Members get discounts on food purchases, gift store purchases, the carousel, and train.
Tip: Take public transportation! While we had no problems with parking on a Thursday night and found that the parking fee was reasonable… I do recommend taking public transportation. Public transportation can drop you right off at the zoo and will give you a discount for your tickets. If the parking lot is full there is a parking shuttle from the overflow parking area, but it can mean some waiting in the cold. Might as well do a park and ride and make your trip less of a hassle.
Dress appropriately— It is Oregon in winter. It often rains and up where the zoo is located is often cooler than other areas of Portland. Dress for cold weather. We have gone to zoo lights for nearly 5 years now and I think this was the first year that we REALLY dressed for it. We had many layers on, a blanket for the kiddo in his stroller, and outerwear that was rain resistant. Thankfully we barely got a drizzle while there, but I was glad that we were prepared.
Get tickets for the Zoo Train— Maybe it is just because I have two little boys who love trains… but, this was my favorite part of the whole trip. The trains are decorated and drive through the zoo where you get to see the lights all while in a comfortable little cart. I had been waiting for huge lines at the train, but was pleasantly surprised to find that they gave us tickets for certain times which meant that when we went to the train we had a less than 5 minute wait!
Get your family photo in the tunnel of lights! There are so many great photo opportunities at Zoo Lights, but this is my favorite. I am so glad that it is a staple in the zoo light decorations and comes back year after year.
Must be 18+ years of age or older, and a US resident to enter to win. Winner will be notified via email, so please leave a valid email address within your comment on with Rafflecopter. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to winning email to claim their prize. If they do not respond a new winner will be chosen. Upon confirmation, tickets will be placed in will call at the zoo under the winner’s name. Tickets are valid for one-time use from completion of contest through the last night of ZooLights (January 1, 2017). Visit the Zoo Website for more information about ZooLights. Value of four tickets is $59.80. No cash value. Non-transferrable.
Winter is one of my favorite seasons. I love warm drinks and sparkly lights. I love the holiday parties. I love the fashion of Winter—layers, scarves, boots, coats, and tights make me happy.
But, in the cold of my bathroom on winter mornings and evenings I have absolutely no desire to do my normal beauty routine. I don’t want to take the time to shave, just to step out of my warm shower to chilly air that bristles the hair on my legs all over again. Washing my face at night seems tedious. The call of my cozy bed and layers of blankets seems so much more appealing than taking the time to rub lotion all over me.
Of course, during the winter I need the extra beauty routines the most, heaters and layers of clothing dry my skin up terribly. By mid-winter I am an itchy mess if I don’t take the time to moisturize. Icy wind chaps my lips in an instant. My face breaks out more than ever due to a combination of holiday eating and dry skin.
Lately I’ve been trying to simplify my beauty routine so it isn’t such a pain to do during the winter.
All of that looks like A LOT. But, really, it all takes about 15 minutes max. If I choose to blow dry my hair (some days I let it air dry) then I add another 8 or so minutes to the routine.
I don’t have time to do a lot of beauty maintenance during the day. But, there are a few items I carry in my purse in case of touch-ups and such.
Other than the items listed below I try my best to exercise, eat a nutritious diet, drink water, and take vitamins. I’m not the best at keeping up good habits unfortunately. But, I always go back to them.