By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – As temperature begin to cool, there are lots of activities available for the month of October at the Oklahoma City Zoo.
The annual OKC Zoo Pumpkin Drive will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 1 through Sunday, Oct. 5. Guests bringing a pumpkin larger than their heads to the Zoo will receive free same-day admission. The limit is one free admission per person. Pumpkins will be available for purchase in front of the Zoo at $7 each or 4 for $20. Donated pumpkins will be used to decorate Haunt the Zoo.
The OKC Metro Chapter of the OSU Alumni Association invites the public to don orange party clothes and celebrate Pistol Pete’s 96th Birthday on Sunday, Oct. 6, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Zoo. Pistol Pete will cut the birthday cake, serve cupcakes and have a special birthday gift for all of the kids in attendance. Activities will take place in the Zoo’s entry plaza, admission required to enter the Zoo.
On Monday, Oct. 14, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., Date Night will return to the Zoo. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. The Zoo will be open exclusively for adults 21-and-older to explore the Zoo, with activities including a special appearance by the Rickmobile, making its only Oklahoma City stop on the nationwide “Don’t Even Trip Road Trip” tour. Shaped like Rick and Morty’s mad scientist, Dr. Rick Sanchez, the Rickmobile contains a mobile merchandise shop, with t-shirts, figurines, toys and more from Rick and Morty and other classic Adult Swim series. Tickets are $25 and are on sale now.
Over fall break the OKC Zoo’s School’s Out Day Camps will be held on Monday, Oct 14; Friday, Oct. 18; and Monday, Oct. 21. Camps will offer Zoo tours, up-close animal visits, crafts and games. Snacks are provided, but campers must bring their lunch. Ages 4-11 welcome. Advanced registration and payment required. All campers are required to bring a copy of their immunizations. Camp runs 8:30 a.m. – 5:15 p.m. Drop-off at Education Center from 8 – 8:30 a.m. Cost per child per day is $40 (ZOOfriends members) or $45 (non-members). To learn more and register, click here.
On Friday, Oct. 18, World Okapi Day will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the OKC Zoo, sponsored locally by Bob Moore Subaru. Found in the dense forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Okapi is threatened by slash-and-burn agriculture, illegal mining and poaching. World Okapi Day invites wildlife fans of all ages to learn more about okapis and how to help protect them. Activities include conservation games, keeper chats, enrichment sessions, photo opportunities and more. This event is free with Zoo admission. Following the event, Okapi fans can visit OKC’s Vanessa House Brewery, a World Okapi Day partner, contributing a portion of sales from 12 noon – 11 p.m. to conserving the species and its habitat.
Friday, Oct. 18 will feature the Zoo’s annual Halloween celebration, Chomp & Stomp Pumpkin Enrichment Event, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Caretakers are preparing tasty pumpkin treats for the animals in keeping with this year’s theme: “Ghosts of the Forest.” These culinary creations are presented as part of the Zoo’s ongoing animal enrichment program, designed to stimulate the animal’s senses and encourage natural behaviors. These activities are free with Zoo admission.
Join the OKC Chapter of the American Association of Zoo Keepers at OKC’s Anthem Brewing Company, 908 SW 4th St., on Saturday, Oct. 19, from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. for Okto-Bear-Fest, benefiting wildlife conservation. The event includes raffle prizes and a silent auction. Twenty percent of all beer sales will benefit bear conservation efforts. All proceeds from this event will go to Vital Ground Foundation, an organization which secures land outside of federally protected areas for grizzly bear habitat. To learn more, click here.
The state’s premier Halloween event, Haunt the Zoo, returns for its 36th year on Saturday, Oct. 19 and 20; and Saturday, Oct. 26 and 27, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Guests of all ages can go trick-or-treating along the Haunt the Zoo trail. General admission or ZOOfriends membership is required for Zoo entry. Trick-or-treat bags can be purchased day-of at ticket windows on Haunt the Zoo days. Bags are $7 for non-members and $6 for members. The Zoo will also offer Boo-It-All passes (including admission, all rides and attractions, plus trick-or-treat bags) priced at $29 for kids/seniors, $33 for adults, or $22 for ZOOfriends members.
Haunt the Zoo: All Grown Up returns for its second year on Friday, Oct. 25 from 7 to 11 p.m. for OKC’s biggest 21+ only Halloween event. Food will be available for purchase at three outdoor grills and five food trucks including Let’s Do Greek, Oh My Gogi, Yum Pig, Mission In-Pasta-Bowl and Cookie Dough to Go. Area 51 VIP experience is presented by the Grand Casino Hotel & Resort. Tickets are $30.
The Zoo Amphitheatre will host KATTFEST 2019 on Saturday, Oct. 26. This year’s performers include Marilyn Manson, Bad Wolves, Filter, Candlebox, Saint Asonia, 10 Years and Blacktop Mojo. The show begins at 2 p.m. and doors open at 1 p.m. To learn more, visit thezooamphitheatre.com.
OKC Zoo hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Regular admission is $11 for adults and $8 for children ages 3-11 and seniors ages 65 and over. Children two and under are admitted free. To learn more about these and other happenings, call 405-424-3344 or visit okczoo.org.