Tampa Bay’s No. 1 Family Fright Fest Celebrates Halloween Season with Safe Scares and More
As fall draws near, the critically acclaimed Creatures of the Night returns to ZooTampa at Lowry Park as a bigger and better event for ghouls and goblins of all ages. On Fridays and Saturdays from October 5-27, the Zoo stays open late and animals lurk in the night until 10 p.m. with a haunting array of eerie and immersive Halloween adventures for the whole family.
The Zoo Halloween experience includes heavily themed areas with extensive decorations, lights, fog, mysterious music and sound effects. A colorful cast of theatrical character actors and performers mingle with guests and provide atmospheric entertainment. Special zoo animals will also be out with animal ambassadors educating guests on the most fearsome looking but conservationally important species. The family-safe event has no horror or gore, just an impressive lineup of endless scares and startles for one and all.
Featured 2018 Creatures of the Night attractions:
• NEW! Medusa’s Stone Cold Cave – a new scare zone located in the manatee encounter. Here, guests can meet Medusa, the Serpent-headed Gorgon Queen, as she steps out of the pages of mythology and into the darkest shadows of the Zoo. Legend warns that those who look her in the eyes are so overwhelmed with fear, they turn to stone. Guests risk heeding the ancient warnings or becoming a permanent member of her chilling garden of statues! Despite Medusa’s scary appearance, snakes like those replacing her curly locks are critical to our local ecosystems and Zoo educators will be on-hand to share their importance to guests.
• NEW! Fairy Frightful Forest – the perfect dark and dense diversion for older kids, pre-teens and adults. This seemingly enchanted woodland is filled with overgrown flowers, huge mushrooms and whimsical fairies – until suddenly, everything takes a dastardly and diabolical turn! Guests who brave this ominous journey go face-to-face with frightening trolls and menacing trees that have come to life.
• NEW! Pigpimples School of Mystery and Mayhem, with multiple shows nightly where families and friends can enjoy a Halloween themed, animal show featuring our famous animal ambassadors and their natural behaviors as never seen before.
• Spooky surprises await in every area of the Zoo! Wolf Haven Village offers party-goers the perfect place to howl and hang with werewolves and mischievous ghosts invite guests to ride Carousel of Creeps surrounded by a ghostly graveyard. Adventurers can play with headless pirates or listen to pirate tales at Haunted Key West. Scarab Point is designed for brave little adventurers to explore an ancient Egyptian tomb and meet history’s most alluring queen, Cleopatra, along with her playful mummies.
• Pumpkin Palooza is the special sanctuary set aside for the littlest of “boos” and “ghouls” when Wallaroo Station transforms into a festive fall harvest complete with a pumpkin patch, scarecrows and friendly farm animals. Up-close animal interactions and fun fall photo opportunities will be abundant.
• Devilish Culinary delights abound once again and among the new and returning fan favorites – this year guests will enjoy a “Tombscone,” a sinfully delicious black ice cream. The foodie favorite, Beast Burger returns this year, bigger and spicier than last year as the “Curse of the Beast Burger” makes its debut. The Zoo will feature a variety of specialty seasonal flavors and refreshments including beer, wine, wicked cocktails and Coca-Cola products. The Zoo’s Beer & Wine Garden again provides an entertaining retreat for older goblins from the Halloween hoopla.
Away from the scares, guests will get a glimpse into the nighttime habits of various animals and discover what nocturnal creatures are most active. Animals have been carefully and safely acclimated so that select habitats around the zoo are illuminated for night viewing. NEW! Featured animal presentations will include some of the world’s most feared predators and guests will observe the unique hunting and feeding behaviors of Komodo dragons and African painted dogs with special carcass feedings at their habitats.
• The event is every Friday and Saturday evening, October 5-27, until 10 p.m. A variety of event admission options are available online or at the Zoo’s front gate including:
· Free and unlimited entry for Zoo Members
· Free entry for “pay for a day, come back all year” ticket holders on FRIDAY and before 4:00p.m. on SATURDAY
· Buy a daily admission ticket on event dates (valid for full day including event)
· Buy a special “after 4 pm” ticket starting at $24.95
· Thrill Passes starting at $5.00 provide priority access to Fairy Frightful Forest and Roaring Springs
Costume Note: Children (11 and under) are invited to arrive in their most spooktacular attire. For the comfort and safety and security of all guests, adults (ages 12 and up) may not wear masks, wigs, face paint or costumes of any kind. Toy weapons are prohibited.
Following Creatures of the Night, family traditions continue with the return of the Zoo’s winter festival known as Christmas in the Wild (select nights in November and December).
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About ZooTampa at Lowry Park
ZooTampa at Lowry Park is operated by the Lowry Park Zoological Society, an independent 501(c)(3) charitable organization committed to excellence in conservation, education, recreation and research. The Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and is featured among the “Top 25 Zoos in the U.S” by TripAdvisor (2015). The Zoo is located at 1101 W. Sligh Avenue in Tampa, and is open seven days a week, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. with extended hours for select events. Parking is free. For more, visit www.ZooTampa.org or call (813) 935-8552. Also, find the Zoo on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.