Disclosure: My family received free admission to Brookfield Zoo for the Boo at the Zoo event, and I am being compensated by Ferrara Candy Company for writing about our experiences.
I have long been an advocate of visiting Brookfield Zoo in the winter, and my daughter and I go there with friends at least once every summer. But this past Saturday was our first time visiting for the Halloween-themed Boo! at the Zoo event, and we had another wonderful time.
This year, Boo! at the Zoo is being held the last two weekends in October, so your family can still visit either Oct. 29 or Oct. 30. It’s included with general admission prices to the zoo, and special activities are offered between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
You can find a schedule of the special activities here. We didn’t get to all of them — for instance, the Hamill Family Play Zoo had a long line to enter, and there’s an extra admission cost there, so we skipped out on the Halloween craft and scarecrow building and bought our daughter a Spongebob Squarepants popsicle to make her stop whining about it. (True story.)
But we saw the Medieval-themed “Pumpkin Smasher” show, wound through the “Craized Maize Corn Maze,” watched the costume parade that marched around the zoo and saw the pack of Mexican gray wolves warily circle three pumpkins that had been placed in their enclosure for them to play with. They were still circling when we left about 15 minutes later!
We also made sure to hit up all the Ferrara Candy Company treat stations around the zoo, about five in all. Those stations are staffed with friendly volunteers provided by Ferrara, which is based just down the road from the zoo in Forest Park and which you might know as the maker of Atomic Fireballs, Boston Baked Beans, Brach’s, Now & Later, Black Forest Organic, and my personal favorite, Lemonheads!
As the presenter of Boo! at the Zoo, Ferrara Candy Company is sharing goodness with the community by sponsoring more than 400 neighbors with complimentary admission and transportation to the event. They are also donating more than 10,000 pounds of candy and providing more than 300 volunteers to make this Halloween super special and spooktacular for the community.
Now Saturday was a gorgeous day weather-wise, and so there were a lot of families at the zoo enjoying the event. Most kids and some adults were dressed in costume. But the zoo is so huge, there’s always a way to get away from the crowds if you wish. And because the weather wasn’t hot, the animals were extremely active — in addition to the circling wolves, we saw bison on the move, giraffes eating some leaves, a Bald Eagle about to eat a rat (nature isn’t always pretty!) and a Grizzly Bear snoozing right up against the glass.
We spent four hours at Boo! at the Zoo and would have stayed longer had I brought a picnic lunch. It was definitely a memorable addition to our Halloween-related activities this year. Here are some more photos from our day!