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ZooBoo at the Indianapolis Zoo starts Wednesday

ZooBoo returns to the Indianapolis Zoo

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — ZooBoo at the Indianapolis Zoo begins on Wednesday! The annual Halloween celebration encourages young ghosts and goblins to visit animals and have some spooky fall fun.

Activities run from 2-7 p.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, and from 2-9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Halloween hours are 9 a.m.-7 p.m.

ZooBoo offers fun Halloween-themed activities, spooky characters, a unique seasonal menu, trick-or-treating, and, of course, animals!

There are no reservations required to attend ZooBoo. The fall event is free for members and included in your regular zoo admission ticket. It’s the perfect opportunity to get into the spirit of Halloween with the whole family.

Kids are encouraged to wear costumes and bring a reusable bag to collect goodies along the Trick-or-Treat Trail, which is located in the Plains. The zoo says seven stations will provide conservation-conscious treats that contain only certified sustainable palm oil. Allergy-friendly treat options will be available upon request.

The zoo will close at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 7, for Brewfari. The adults-only event will include samplings from 22 craft breweries, cideries, and distilleries. The zoo will also have Halloween-themed activities, animal chats and demonstrations, psychic readings, and live entertainment.

Highlights of ZooBoo 2023:

  • Under the Bicentennial Pavilion in Pumpkin Town, young witches and wizards can meet the Leeward Sisters, Terra, Wisp, and Bubbles, and their wicked Aunty Guzzle as they conjure up spells and potions.
  • Professor Pumpkin will perform magic tricks at the Creepy Crafts Building.
  • Not-so-scary animals at Jack’s Barn will include black kittens available for adoption through Indiana Animal Care Services.
  • The Mirror Maze will return.
  • In the White River Gardens, Bat Alley will feature a new character: Myotis, the “batty” cousin of the Leeward Sisters.
  • The Elephant Pumpkin Smash will return.
  • The Scarecrow Photo Safari, a “spooky guided adventure” through the Forests and Gator Pirate Bayou, will feature “a crew of shipwrecked pirates” and games of skill.
  • Special foods include the Bigfoot burger, the chilling chili cheese taters, and Chupacabra churros.
  • The Adult Trick-or-Treat Trail will offer free beer sampling and “creepy cocktails” for guests 21 and older from 5-8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Tips & tricks from the Indianapolis Zoo to make the most of ZooBoo:

  • Plan to arrive early
    • Although ZooBoo festivities begin at 2 p.m., the Indianapolis Zoo recommends that guests arrive early prior to the start of the event.
    • Make sure to look if any other events are happening in the Indianapolis area to plan your commute to the zoo.
  • Visit the animals first
    • Fall means cooler weather, which also means the animals are becoming more active.
    • If you want to visit your favorite animals before ZooBoo begins, the Zoo recommends arriving early.
    • All animals will be on exhibit until dusk throughout the duration of ZooBoo.
  • Dress accordingly
    • Indiana in the fall can be unpredictable. Be sure to look at the weather for the day you plan to visit ZooBoo.
    • Costumes are encouraged for the whole family. Full-face makeup or costume masks are only allowed for guests ages 12 and under.
  • Bring a reusable bag
    • This year at ZooBoo, there will be 8 stations to collect all kinds of candy and other goodies. The zoo encourages kids to bring a reusable bag from home for the trick-or-treat trail.
  • Bring your appetite
    • Every year, the Indianapolis Zoo creates all kinds of creepy eats specifically for ZooBoo.
  • Check out the Animal Chats
    • If you want to take a break from all the tricks and treats of ZooBoo, you can check out all the different animal chats during ZooBoo.
    • Even the animals get into the spirit of Halloween as well, especially the Elephant herd. At 4:30 p.m. every night during ZooBoo, go to the Plains to watch the Elephant Pumpkin Smash! Keep in mind, the trick-or-treat trail runs through the Plains exhibit. If you want to get a good spot for the pumpkin smash, the Zoo recommends getting to the Elephant yard approximately 15 minutes before the event starts.
  • Save the Trick-Or-Treat Trail for last
    • The trick-or-treat trail is in the Plains exhibit, which is in the back of the Zoo. Guests will be making their way to the Trick-Or-Treat Trail at the beginning of ZooBoo. Start at the front of the Zoo and end your night at the Trick-or-Treat Trail.
    • For ghouls 21 and over, there’s the Adult Trick-or-Treat trail presented by Zink Distributing Company on Fridays and Saturdays from 5-8 p.m.

Click here for more information on ZooBoo and to purchase tickets.

Costumed adults on either side of a spooky cauldron. ZooBoo is back at the Indianapolis Zoo for 2023!(Provided Photo/The Indianapolis Zoo)
Costumed adults on either side of a spooky cauldron. (Provided Photo/The Indianapolis Zoo)