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Boo at the Zoo Oct 20-22

October 20, 2017 @ 5:30 am PDT


  • 20+ Treat Stations, Elaborate Decorations, Creepy Crawly Animal Encounters, Haunted Cemetery, Hilltop Dance Party, Boo Choo-Choo Train, and Scare Zone for Older Kids
  • New! (Haunted) Polynesian Island with Spunky Princess and Funny Demigod in Zoo Courtyard, Visitors from a “Universe Far Far Away,” Costumed Stilt Walkers Each Night
  • Largest Halloween Event in Tri-counties with 6,000+ Expected for 3 Nights
  • Advance Tickets Recommended: Online Sales Available

More than 6,000 costumed kids and their parents will trick or treat throughout a specially decorated Santa Barbara Zoo over three nights this Halloween season at the Zoo’s annual “Boo at the Zoo.” More than 20 treat tables await, hosted by community partners, for this safe, traffic-free event, which is the largest Halloween activity in the tri-counties.

Boo at the Zoo hours are Friday October 20, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Saturday, October 21, from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.; and Sunday, October 22, from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $17 adults ($15 for SB Zoo Members), $11 children aged 2 to 12 ($10 for SB Zoo Members). Santa Barbara Zoo Members receive $2 off. Tickets are on sale now, both online at www.sbzoo.org and at the Zoo’s front gate.

Children must be accompanied by an adult. For the safety of visitors, no guest over the age of 12 with masks or painted faces will be permitted into the Zoo, and no realistic weapons are allowed.

Boo Choo Choo tickets are sold separately, on the night of the event only, first-come, first-served, at the train station from 5:30 p.m. until sold out. They are $6 for adults, $4 for kids, and free for ages 2 and younger.

For the three days of Boo at the Zoo, general admission ticket sales at the Zoo end at 2:30 p.m.; Member admissions end at 3 p.m.; and the Zoo closes at 3:30 p.m.

“We love bringing Boo at the Zoo to the community,” says Zoo CEO Rich Block. It’s a safe place for kids to get treats, meet some familiar characters, and maybe have a bit of a scare, if they want that. We make sure it isn’t too spooky, and that it is a whole lot of fun.”

Costumed kids aged 2 to 12 and their families will make their way up the Trick-or-Treat Trail through the Zoo, and visit themed locations including a haunted cemetery, country carnival, mining camp, and princess pavilion.

New this year is a haunted Polynesian island inspired by a recent popular animated film, including its spunky princess and comedic demigod.

“We’ve renamed our toco toucans as ‘tiki toucans’ in honor of this addition,” said Block.

Also making their debut are visitors from a “universe far, far away,” known as the Southern California 501st Legion. More than 70 other characters are professionally costumed and made-up, including stilt walkers and aerialists.

This year, the Boo Choo Choo train travels to Neverland, where pirates and Captain Hook await. The Zoo’s hilltop features mazes and games, a dance party with live DJ, and much more. Older kids can brave the Scare Zone (recommended for ages 10+) and younger ones enjoy spooky storytelling with Mother Goose. The Zoo’s popular dinosaur puppets, including Duncan the T. rex, make appearances and live creepy-crawly animal encounters are offered nightly.

Sustainable Candy Choices Can Help Save Elephants

Candy distributed at Boo at the Zoo is either palm oil-free, or contains sustainably produced palm oil. Guides for buying sustainable palm oil candy are available at the event and online at www.sbzoo.org/boo-zoo

Wild Asian elephants, gibbons, and rhinoceros hornbills – species all found at the Santa Barbara Zoo – can be helped by purchasing treats either without palm oil or produced by sustainable practices. 

The majority of palm oil is produced in Borneo and Sumatra, where it has had a major impact on orangutan habitat. Animal habitats are destroyed to make way for palm oil plantations, and the palm oil trade is expanding into Africa and South America.

Nearly all of Tootsie Roll Industries’ products are made without palm oil, including popular candies like Tootsie Pops and Tootsie Rolls, Sugar Babies and Sugar Daddies, and Dubble Bubble gum. Nestle, Mars, Hershey, Kellogg and Pepsi Co. have made a commitment to use palm oil that is grown sustainably, and to help support the local people in areas where palm oil is farmed.


October 20, 2017
5:30 am PDT


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