Halloween takes on a life of its own — with little creepy crawlies alongside not-so-scary animals, and a whimsical village full of interactive experiences — at ZooBoo presented by Central Indiana Honda Dealers.
Returning to the Indianapolis Zoo for its 38th season, ZooBoo kicks off on Thursday, Oct. 3. The event will take place every Thursday to Sunday through Oct. 27. Activities run from 2 to 7 p.m. on Thursdays and Sundays, and 2 to 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, giving guests more time to stay and play on the most popular evenings.
The spooktacular ambiance of the Zoo after dark offers visitors a new way to experience this beloved fall tradition, while by day, the colorful autumn foliage provides a perfect backdrop for all the festivities.
Cooler October temperatures also mean active animals, and many even join in the Halloween fun with extra chats, including a new sloth chat, and themed enrichment created by ZooBoo guests. Plus, special activities, like the squash-splattering fun of the Elephant Pumpkin Smash, are always a crowd favorite.
Under a canopy of pumpkins in the Bicentennial Pavilion, the wildly popular Pumpkin Town is back this year, where Mayor Jack hosts lots of family festivities and even a little hocus pocus.
Inside the Candy Corn Factory mirror maze, thrills and smiles hide around every corner. A friendly witch offers popcorn “potions” inside her house, where she also fosters black cats. Jack’s Barn presented by State Farm holds even more animals, like rats and snakes, as well as new insects, like cockroaches and scorpions. Guests can also visit Pumpkin School to make enrichment for Zoo animals, try a few rolls of Pumpkin Bowling presented by Honda Manufacturing, see Jack’s collection of spooky skulls and guess the weight of the giant pumpkin for a chance to win an Animal Art Adventure.
There are also spirits hiding in Pumpkin Town, and adults can visit the ZooBoo Brews hut for craft beers as well as a special fall cocktail presented by Hotel Tango.
Farther into the Zoo, Broomstick Alley challenges little witches and wizards to maneuver a jack o’ lantern through the obstacle course using a broom. The Zoo’s rides also feature a wild twist, like the Spooktacular Train Ride and the Round-Go-Merry — the carousel that runs in reverse.
Children are encouraged to wear costumes and bring a reusable bag to gather goodies along the Trick-or-Treat Trail presented by Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at Ascension St. Vincent. Five stations around the Westside Café provide conservation-conscious treats that contain only certified sustainable palm oil. Allergy-friendly options are available upon request.
ZooBoo is free for Zoo members and included with regular admission. Discount tickets are available at area Donatos and Indiana Members Credit Union locations. Parking is $8 per car and free for members. On busy ZooBoo days from Oct. 17-27, additional parking is available in the Zoo’s new south lot off Harding Street.