For those Space Coast residents seeking a spooktacular evening filled with music, creepy crafts, terror-rific entertainment, and themed areas with fun Halloween activities for all ages – the answer is right in their own back yard. Brevard Zoo, well-known for innovative family-oriented activities, will host it’s annual Boo at the Zoo in October. This year marks the 20th year for this popular event. Boo at the Zoo will be held for a total of eight nights this year: Friday – Sunday, October 09 – 11, 16 – 18 and Friday & Saturday, October 23 and 24. Hours are 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights and 5:30 to 8 p.m.on Sunday nights. The last admission on Friday and Saturday is 8 p.m.
Guests can enjoy live entertainment each night with the Magic Man. For the younger set, there will be Ooz Draverb (Brevard Zoo spelled backwards), a carnival-like play area with dancing too. The event features a themed Boo Choo train ride for everyone, animal demonstrations, keeper chats, a costume contest, witch’s lair, and trick-or-treating at more than 30 treat stations sponsored by local businesses and organizations. Andrea Hill, Brevard Zoo Marketing Director has announced that this year’s activities will feature a mix of returning favorites and brand-new experiences. New this year are activities for toddlers and a haunted house for preteens. This frightfully fun evening is a treat for the whole family.
A nightly costume contest, which begins every night at 6:30 p.m., will have winners in each of five categories: ages two and under, ages three to Kindergarten, grades one to three, grades four to six, and family-themed. Prizes will be awarded for winners and those placing. A seasoned-veteran and mother of four previous costume contest winners shared a tip with this writer: original costumes are favored over store-bought costumes. Time for parents to put their thinking caps on and get into creative mode!
Parking & Tickets
Parking will be available at the zoo for all of Boo at the Zoo. Tickets are on sale at the zoo, on their website, or any PNC Bank branch. The first weekend, admission will be $8-$10 per person. The remaining two weekends admission will be $12-$14 per person. Children under two are free and zoo members receive a discount on all admissions. Interested parties are urged to purchase tickets as soon as possible as this event sells out quickly. This year the zoo anticipates an estimated 13,000 guests. “Buying tickets ahead of time means you won’t have to wait in a long line prior to the event,” said Andrea Hill, the Zoo’s marketing and communications director. “Saturdays are generally the busiest, so we encourage families to come on Friday or Sunday for smaller crowds.”
Local businesses are encouraged to sponsor a treat station. Those choosing to do so are welcome to pass out brochures and other promotional materials as well as treats supplied by the zoo. Of course it is hoped that sponsors will get in the spirit of Halloween by decorating their booths and dressing up in costume.
For more information, call the zoo at 321-254-9453. Live, friendly entertainment awaits your costume-clad little ones. Happy haunting!