By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
The Oklahoma City Zoo offers one of the most magical Halloween parties in the state. The annual Haunt the Zoo celebration will provide holiday memories and Halloween trick-or-treating fun for the entire family.
The the 33rd annual Haunt the Zoo celebration, presented by Wiggle Safe by Kohl’s Cares, will take place each evening through Monday, October 31, from 6:30-8:30 p.m., rain or shine.
Fun abounds as children follow the pumpkin-lined pathway that ventures through 21 fantasy-themed booths sponsored by local businesses and organizations, to collect tasty treats from volunteers. Average time to walk the trail is approximately 45 minutes.
Costumes are encouraged but not required. Adults may wear costumes, too, but nothing scary.
Haunt the Zoo admission is $7 (trick-or-treater) and $4 (non-trick-or-treater). Tickets are required for all guests, age 2 and up, attending Haunt the Zoo. Trick-or-treater admission includes an official treat bag and is required for anyone wishing to collect treats. Tickets can be purchased online or at the Zoo.
All children must be accompanied by an adult companion 16 years of age or older.
“This fun-filled event is a community favorite every year and we look forward to welcoming families to their first Haunt the Zoo as well as those who have made it an annual tradition,” said Tara Henson, Director of Marketing/Public Relations.
“The event provides a welcoming environment that focuses upon a safe and light-hearted Halloween experience for younger children and families,” Henson added. “This helps the Zoo with its mission to provide quality entertainment and supports conservation and education. It’s a win-win.”
Friendly Zoo mascot characters will greet all participating trick-or-treaters before they head out on the Haunt the Zoo trail.
By supporting Haunt the Zoo, Oklahomans are helping the Zoo and the animals. The Zoo encourages Haunt the Zoo sponsors to provide candy that is palm-oil free or made with sustainable palm oil in support of orangutan conservation.
According to Henson, reforestation due to non-sustainable, palm-oil production is threatening populations of already-endangered orangutans in Indonesia and Malaysia.
Through the website and other educational programs, the Zoo encourages the support of companies that work to help save the species from extinction. To learn more, download the following “Wildlife Friendly Halloween Candy” shopping guide here.
The Zoo offers a 50 percent discount on general admission to all veterans, active duty, active reserves and retirees of the military, their spouse and up to five dependents.
Last year approximately nine hundred volunteers worked the holiday event. Almost 200 props, many created by the Zoo Graphics team, will be located throughout the Zoo, creating a spooky and festive atmosphere.
During Haunt the Zoo, the Zoo’s main parking lot will be open and parking is free. Over flow parking will be directed to either the Science Museum of Oklahoma or Remington Park.
The Zoo is a member of Oklahoma City’s Adventure District located at the crossroads of I-44 and I-35. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
Regular admission is $8 for adults, and $5 for children ages 3-11 and seniors ages 65 and over. Children two and under are admitted free.
For more information about Haunt the Zoo and other Zoo happenings, call 405-424-3344 or visit www.okczoo.com.