Halloween Otter

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

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.

Bronx Zoo Halloween

Tricks and Treats in New York

The Bronx Zoo's annual Boo at the Zoo celebration is back this year, complete with a spooky hayride, craft workshops and a seasonal favorite, a walk-through called The Haunting at Habitat Mansion. At the children's theater, a musical puppet performance stars animal tricksters who outsmart their villainous rivals, and the Extinct Animal Graveyard will teach kids about species that have (or may soon) vanish from the planet.

Mascots, Myths and Munchies for the Animals

In Indiana, the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo is incorporating local sports mascots and even a Star Wars enthusiast club into its Wild Zoo Halloween. (Children have the chance to pose for pictures with both groups.) Classes of costumes even get their own themed days: October 27 is Princess Day and October 28 is Magic Day. Treats include kid-sized pumpkins from the zoo's pumpkin patch and candy manufactured by companies committed to protecting the rain forest habitats that are home to many orangutans.