The 40th year of ZooBoo begins Oct. 6 and continues every Wednesday-Sunday through Oct. 31. The Zoo opens daily at 9am; event activities run from 2-7pm on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, and 2-9pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Zoo members can preview the event from 2-7pm Oct. 4-5.
Extended hours on the most popular evenings give guests a chance to enjoy the haunting ambiance of the Zoo after dark, while by day, the colorful autumn foliage provides a perfect backdrop for all the wild festivities. Cooler October temperatures also mean more active animals, and many even join in the Halloween fun with extra chats and themed enrichment activities, like the squash-splattering fun of the Elephant Pumpkin Smash.
Under the Bicentennial Pavilion, the magic of Halloween comes to life in Pumpkin Town, where Mayor Jack hosts lots of family-friendly activities and even a little hocus pocus. Little witches and wizards can meet Terra, the friendly witch, and watch wickedly cool science demonstrations with Professor Pumpkin at Pumpkin School. Rats, snakes and other spooky creatures scurry in Jack’s Barn, where Caretaker Kris also shows off a collection of spooky skulls. Also in Jack’s Barn, guests can meet black kittens that are available for adoption through Indiana Animal Care Services.
New, beautifully detailed fall decorations provide perfect family photo ops throughout the Zoo. Additionally, Broomstick Alley is back and challenges children to maneuver a jack o’ lantern through the obstacle course using a broom. Plus, the Zoo’s rides feature a wild twist, like the Round-Go-Merry — the carousel that moves in reverse.
Kids are encouraged to wear costumes and bring a reusable bag to collect goodies along the Trick-or-Treat Trail, now in a new location near the front of the Zoo. Five stations provide conservation-conscious treats that contain only certified sustainable palm oil. Allergy-friendly treat options are available upon request.
Spirits are also hiding throughout ZooBoo. The Adult Trick-or-Treat Trail offers free beer sampling for guests age 21 and older from 5-8pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Plus, craft beers and themed cocktails like the toxic tonic and poisoned pumpkin mule, presented by Hotel Tango, are available for purchase in Pumpkin Town.
A seasonal selection of ghoulish goodies will also be available for purchase at the Zoo’s eateries — from frightful feasts like zombie mac and skelly wings to spooktacular sweets like boo-reo’s and monster rice crispy treats.
ZooBoo is free for Zoo members and included with regular admission. Visit IndianapolisZoo.com for advance tickets and more information.