Something tells me it's all happening at the Portland Oregon Zoo...I do believe it...I do believe it's true! Excuse me, but I truly love that song...although I changed it a bit ;)
A visit to Portland would never be complete without a day wandering through the Oregon Zoo. I remember many grade school field trips up to Washington Park and the zoo. My favorite creatures to visit with have always been the monkeys and the penguins. They still are.
The history of the Portland Zoo started in 1887, when a local wealthy local pharmacist named Richard Knight made a gift of various animals from his personal collection to the city.
Since that time, the zoo has grown by leaps and bounds, housing species from all over the world. It has also morphed into not only a place to bring the family and see some of the coolest animals on the planet, but also a top-notch research facility. Teaching conservation and providing near-perfect habitats for all the animals is very important here at the zoo.
Visitors can come and learn all about what makes each animal tick and how to best take care of the world around us so that these beautiful creatures stick around for a long time to come.
The Portland Oregon Zoo has the most successful Asian elephant program in the country. Packy, our very well-known elephant, was born here in 1962 and was the first elephant born in the US in 44 years. Our pachyderm pal still celebrates his birthday with a specially-prepared cake every year. We also have elephants that are terrific artists that really know how to spice up a canvas.
Animal-wise, we're cream of the crop, but that's not all you will find at the Portland zoo. We have some very special events that go on all throughout the year, but there are a few that we are especially known for.
Once July hits, the Oregon Zoo Summer Concerts begin. Big name artists and bands from around the country come to entertain on the lawns of the zoo grounds. It's a groovy time to spend a day with the animals, grab dinner at one of many places to feast inside the Portland Oregon Zoo and then ease on into the evening with some great music. Click here for more information about the Oregon Zoo Summer Concerts.
In October, come and be spooked at the Halloween at the Zoo event.
ZooLights in Portland Oregon is a huge draw during the Christmas season for visitors to the park. You can take peaceful walks around the zoo, oohing and ahhing over the million and one sparkling lights. The Zoo Train is dressed up for the festivities and is a fun way to take the 1-mile loop around the zoo or the 4-mile trip up and around Washington Park.
School children are catered to by way of wonderful educational and day camp programs offered to them. Volunteer opportunities abound at the zoo. In fact, we have the largest zoo volunteer program in the US. That says a lot about the caring people here, in my opinion.
Parking can be a problem during big event and the summertime, so you may consider taking a bus or our MAX light rail up to Washington Park (get $1.50 off your admission if you ride MAX and present your ticket at the gate). It will make for a lot less stress if the lots are full and you'll be awfully glad you did.
If you do choose to drive, you will find signs to the Portland Oregon Zoo from Hwy 26. Parking is only a couple bucks. Avoid the parking fee and get your discount on admission when you choose to take MAX...I'd say those are two very good reasons to do it that way. Use TriMet's Trip Planner to make your trip to the zoo easier.
The Portland Oregon Zoo is open every day of the year except for Christmas Day.
If you are able to get to the zoo on the 2nd Tuesday of the month, admission is only $4 (children 2 and under are always free). I'll let you hop over to the Oregon Zoo web site for admission prices, times, dates and other awesome stuff, including tons of video goodies...it really is a fun and educational site!
The Oregon Zoo is located at 4001 SW Canyon Rd, Portland, OR.
Pack the kids in the car and take a trip up to the Oregon Zoo for a day of fun. Be sure to say hi to the monkeys for me! ;)