One of our favorite annual traditions is going to Brookfield Zoo’s Boo! at the Zoo. It’s a chance to wear our costumes, go trick-or-treating and seeing our favorite animals. What’s not to love? The fun event, sponsored by Ferrara Candy, includes plenty of spooktacular Halloween fun including five trick-or-treat stations throughout the zoo, Halloween decor, pumpkins, animal chats, a spooky carousel, hayride, and more. And yes, there’s still time to enjoy – there is one weekend left!
Here are some tips to arm yourself for a fun day out at Boo! at the Zoo.
Tips to enjoy Boo! at the Zoo:
- Wear your costumes! You are trick-or-treating, after all.
- Look for the trick or treat stations! There are five trick-or-treat stations located throughout the zoo. And believe me, they don’t skimp on the treats. It was fun going around the zoo on a “scavenger hunt” and looking for the special Ferrara Candy tents. This year, they had a special tent with a spin the wheel. (It also happened to have the longest line.)
- Bring your camera. Each station also has photo cutouts to take photos. Plus, there are other picture-worthy spots…including running through the graveyard.
- Bring food. To save a little $$, we always pack a lunch (sandwiches, hot dogs, and chips are easy to make beforehand.) If you feel like buying food this year you can enjoy specials like tamales, a buffalo chicken empanadas, BOO! sliced caramel apples with whipped cream, and so much more!
- Learn a tip or two about carving pumpkins from pro pumpkin carver Steve Dahlke. Hecreates masterpieces out of gigantic pumpkins that weigh more than 1,000 pounds!
- Strut your stuff. We’ve participated in the Costume Parade and it’s great fun. At 1 p.m., head to the front of the Discovery Center. The parade ends on the West Mall. After the parade, enter the Costume Contest at 1:30 p.m. Following the parade at 1:30 p.m., zoogoers can show off their Halloween attire and enter the Costume Contest. Judges will select winners in four categories: best animal theme, most original, best group theme, and weirdly awesome, in honor of Ferrara Candy Company’s weirdly awesome Trolli candy brand.
- Smash Pumpkins. Watch the Pumpkin Smasher pulverize pumpkins into pieces every hour starting at 11:00 a.m. at the West Mall.
- Learn more about the animals. Learn fun facts about the zoo’s friends at special Zoo Chats scheduled throughout the day. At 11:30 a.m., hang out at Australia House for a little banter about bats before wandering over to Regenstein Wolf Woods to hear about Mexican wolves at noon. Head to Hamill Family Play Zoo at 12:30 p.m. to learn about the Goliath bird-eating spider, and at 1:00 p.m. discover wise facts about owls. Scorpions will take the stage at the Play Zoo at 2:00 p.m., followed by large snakes at 2:30 p.m. and finally ravens at 3:00 p.m.
- Watch the animals get treats too. Pumpkins will be given to some animals to play with or eat.
- October 27 at 10:15 a.m., gray seals and gray seals, California sea lions, and dolphins
- October 28 at 11:00 a.m., goats, reindeer, and lemurs
- Enjoy other fun activities. After trick-or-treating, you can go through the Crazed Maize Corn Maze, take a spin on the Creepy Cowboy Carousel, or snag a seat aboard a Haunted Hayride.
Did you know?
- Ferrara Candy Company, the awesome company that sponsors Boo! at the Zoo, is sharing the goodness with the community by sponsoring 600+ neighbors with complimentary admission and transportation to Boo! at the Zoo. They are also donating more than 10,000 lbs. of candy and providing more than 400 volunteers to make this Halloween super special and spooktacular for the community.
WHAT: Boo! at the Zoo at Brookfield Zoo
WHEN: Saturday and Sunday, October 27-28 from 10 – 4 p.m.
WHERE: Brookfield Zoo, 3300 Golf Road, Brookfield, IL 60513
COST: General zoo admission is $21.95 for adults and $15.95 for children 3-11 and seniors 65 and over. Children 2 and under are free. Parking is $14. (Additional fees apply to some Boo! at the Zoo activities.)