October 13, 2021
by Zoey Moore & the Holiday Hooligans
This weekend my friends and I went to Boo at the Zoo at the Columbus Zoo. We dressed in costumes and visited treat stations throughout the park. The event is for children of all ages. I saw many teenagers and younger kids alike enjoying this event. There was a treat station near the tiger enclosure where they offered little plastic Halloween-themed toys for kids who can’t have candy, and at one of the stations near the entrance two employees dressed as elves handed out bags for the kids to put their treats in.
We arrived on a rainy afternoon. We hadn’t prepared for wet weather but to our luck, they sold ponchos and umbrellas in the gift shop. (The ponchos are behind the checkout counter in case you need some.) After buying ponchos, we visited the stingray exhibit where you could touch stingrays and feed them raw fish. Many kids were lined up, excited to touch the stingrays.
We continued to Jack Hannah’s Animal Encounters Village where we saw capybaras and sand cats, though the rats in the rat exhibit were nowhere to be seen. We then headed to the penguin exhibit, but to our dismay, it was closed off.
To wait out more rain, we visited the zoo’s aquarium, where there was an abundance of different sea creatures including tropical fish and manatees. The gift shop was decorated for Halloween including a mermaid skeleton on display.
We rode the carousel but other attractions like the Lorikeet exhibit and the Dinosaur Island Boat Ride were closed. The lady at the ticket counter said that the boat ride doesn’t operate if it rains.
One of the stops we made was the reptile house, where there were lizards, snakes and turtles from all over world. We even had the opportunity to pet a snake.
Afterwards, we visited Asia Quest which had been transformed into “Frogwarts” which was perfect for people who enjoy the Harry Potter series. The stone lions lining the entrance wore sorting hats and a trio of singing jack-o-lanterns serenaded visitors as explored a room filled with carved pumpkins.
Before we left, we stopped at one of the food stands in the park to get dinner. We ended up getting pretzels and Dippin’ Dots, which we ate at a picnic table.
Boo at the Zoo is only open weekends through the end of October, so if you want to see it you should come quick! The zoo hours are 10 am to 9 pm Friday but the special Boo at the Zoo activities do not begin until 5 pm. Saturday and Sunday Boo at the Zoo treat stations will be available from open until close (Saturday hours 10 am to 9 pm, Sunday hours 10 am to 5 pm).
Although the zoo was supposed to be open until 9 pm, we left at 7:00 pm because almost everything seemed to be closing including North America and the Heart of Africa.
The zoo encourages all kids to dress up, but adults cannot wear costumes unless they are accompanied by a child under the age of 13. Clothing or costumes “that may be deemed inappropriate for a family environment” are prohibited as are any weapons real or pretend.
If you’re looking for appropriate costumes, there are many different options. When we went, there were many kids dressed as superheroes such as Spider-Man, while others went in more generic costumes, such as skeletons and witches.
Daily passes for the zoo are available on the Columbus Zoo’s website. For children ages three to nine tickets and senior citizens 60 and older the tickets are $16.99. The price for an adult ticket is $21.99 while children under the age of three are welcome at no cost..
If you enjoy going to the zoo and you love Halloween, this is the event for you!