Must Do Zoo Boos: Spend Halloween on the Wild Side

What’s more fun than being a kid and dressing up like your favorite animal or superhero? Ok, being a kid is optional, because who doesn’t like wearing spandex and a cape every once in a while?

Make the most of this special season by taking the family out for a special Halloween-themed event at the zoo. Your kids can see the animals, participate in some spooky games, eat a few treats and even participate in a costume contest! Bring the whole crew along, because unlike trick or treating, you can choose your own level of scare. Plus, you can even squeeze in a little education in there to boot. Talk about a win-win-win.

Here are some of America’s zoos that know how to celebrate Halloween the right way:

The National Zoo

The Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington, DC

The National Zoo, also known as the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute, is among one of the oldest zoos in the country. There are more than four hundred animal species there so you may see some creatures you’ve never even heard of. During their annual Halloween event, Boo at the Zoo, kids and their families can roam around to over 40 treat stations to fill-up on all sorts of goodies! Learn about some creepy, slimy and hair-raising animals with after-hours access to certain exhibits!

Event details: October 19, 2018 – October 21, 2018

The Louisville Zoo

Picture of the Louisville Zoo sign

Louisville, home of Churchill Downs and…the world’s largest Halloween party? Whether or not this is true, the Louisville Zoo does not mess around when it comes to throwing a bash to remember. Last year the park was full of costumed characters and plenty of trick-or-treaters for those 11 years old and younger. They also had a giant talking pumpkin, photo-ops, a silly tea party, superheroes, Toyland and a guided spider tour. What’s a spider tour? I don’t know and I’m not going to stick around to find out!

Event details: October 4, 2018 – October 28, 2018

The Phoenix Zoo

In front of the Phoenix Zoo

It may be hot in the desert but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing cool going on! During Howl-o-Ween at the Phoenix Zoo, people of all ages can participate in activities such as trick-or-treating, the mad science lab, creepy animal encounters, a monster dance party, pictures with a mermaid, play with life-sized toys and even catch the red carpet of princesses, superheroes and Star Wars characters! You definitely don’t want to miss this action-packed event, just make sure you stay hydrated and maybe skip the giant fuzzy bear costume unless you’re looking to become a personal sauna.

Event details: October 26, 2018 – October 27, 2018

The Brookfield Zoo

Brookfield Zoo horse statue and sign

One of the best times to visit Brookfield Zoo is during the last two weeks in October, during their Boo! At the Zoo event. This family-friendly celebration in Chicago features trick-or-treating, Halloween photo-ops, a pumpkin smashing show, haunted hayride and more! The costume contest has multiple categories including best group costume, best animal, most original, scariest and weirdest costume. There will also be presentations about some very spooky animals so you might want to skip this one if you’re squeamish! Kids and adults in the Chicagoland area and neighboring cities should definitely head out to this spooktacular event.

Event details: October 13, 2018 – October 28, 2018

The San Diego Zoo

Outside the San Diego Zoo

The San Diego Zoo is one of the most well-known zoos in the world. The enormous property includes a diverse selection of species, large enclosures and lots of interactive exhibits. Every year this tourist hotspot hosts a seriously spooky Halloween party, like 2017’s Halgloween, which featured glow-in-the-dark festivities. In 2018, you can expect to find plenty of costumes, cool music, dancing and themed activities along with several scheduled events. More information is coming, but Californians can anticipate a night to remember!

Event dates and details are TBD

Who would have thought you could have so much bone-chilling fun at a zoo? Even if you’re not a fan of creatures that go bump in the night or anything scary, celebrating Halloween at the zoo has something up everyone’s alley. So, check out your nearby zoo if the aforementioned places are far away and you’ll surely find a fang-tastic event!