Zoos Host Scary Fun for Halloween

Halloween Otter
Julie Larsen Maher © WCS
Tazo the sea otter poses with a pumpkin at the New York Aquarium's Halloween celebration last year.

As we creep closer and closer to the 31st, it's clear that humans aren't the only species getting into the Halloween spirit! From coast to coast, zoos and aquariums across the country are celebrating with spooktacular events this weekend. There are plenty of things going bump in the night, like elephant pumpkin smashes, costume contests, ghoulish games, haunted mazes and, of course, candy. Here's a roundup of our favorite Halloween events:

Denver Zoo Lion
Denver Zoo
Costumed visitors meet a lion at the Denver Zoo.

Creeping Close to Critters

The Denver Zoo's annual Boo at the Zoo event features magic shows, trick-or-treat stations, animal encounters and creepy crawly demonstrations. Kids will get the chance to get up close and personal with critters like spiders, reptiles and vampire bats — perfect species for Halloween!

It's a Pirate's Life for Me

Jetting over to the Big Apple, the New York Aquarium is throwing a pirate-themed party. Storytellers will spin tales of pirate adventure on the high seas, while little zoogoers explore their way through a Haunted Sea-fari and get their groove on with the Dancing Pirate Gypsies. And if you're interested in learning more about the aquarium's residents, an interactive workshop introduces "creatures of the creepy deep," like the vampire squid and the goblin shark.

Be Merry, Not Scary

In Detroit, the Zoo Boo promises no tricks, just lots of treats. A trick-or-treat trail leads visitors through pumpkin displays to a graveyard masked with a veil of eerie fog. From there, the tiny ghouls and goblins will hang out with the witches and vampires in the Haunted Reptile House, and then escape to the Zoo Boo Revue, a live mini-musical made just for the Halloween season.


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