By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY – The OKC Zoo offers fall fun for the whole family. This month’s events include Haunt the Zoo, the Pumpkin Drive, Chomp & Stomp, new education programs and much more. October began with a ‘bang’ and continues with beloved activities – and old new – to celebrate the change of seasons and support safe and fun times for families.
Enjoy the fun of trick-or-treating through the Zoo while discovering wildlife during Oklahoma City Zoo’s 37th annual Haunt the Zoo. Featuring extended dates and new surprises, participants will experience new trick-or-treating methods in place to ensure a safe and memorable experience for all involved.
General Zoo admission or memberships plus, official Haunt the Zoo treat bags are required to trick-or-treat and must be purchased in advance at okczoo.org. The cost per treat bag is $7 (nonmembers) or $6 (members).
Event capacity is limited for social distancing. Haunt the Zoo will take place during four weekends: Oct. 10-11; Oct. 17-18; Oct. 24-25 and Oct. 31-Nov 1, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. To learn more about Haunt the Zoo, visit okczoo.org or call 405-425-0262.
The Oklahoma City Zoo recently hosted its annual Pumpkin Drive . It began Thursday, Oct. 1 and continued through Wednesday, Oct. 7. Guests bringing a pumpkin bigger than their heads to the Zoo received free same-day admission. Pumpkins were available for purchase in front of the Zoo at $10 each or 4 for $25. Donated pumpkins will be used to decorate Haunt the Zoo.
The League of Women Voters of Oklahoma City hosted a Voter Registration Drive in the Zoo’s Entry Plaza from Friday, Oct. 2 through Sunday, Oct. 4 encouraging residents to register to vote.
The voter register table was located in the Zoo’s Entry Plaza from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day. Visitors needed to provide an unexpired driver’s license or know the last four digits of their Social Security number to register to vote.
For more information on registering to vote, visit ok.gov/elections.
Parents night out began Friday Oct. 2 and will continue through Oct. 9.
For Parents Night Out, the Zoo’s education team offers parents a break while providing their children with an engaging experience. Program activities include a themed lesson, craft activity, pizza dinner, a nighttime Zoo tour and a movie.
Program capacity is limited to 15 kids to ensure safe social distancing. Ages: 4-11 years old. Program starts at 6 p.m. with pick up as late as 10 p.m. Prices are $30/child, $25/additional child (members) and $40/child, $35/additional child (nonmembers). Enroll kids today here.
S&B’s Burger Joint will present “Pay It Forward” Nights benefitting the Oklahoma Zoological Society and the OKC Zoo TONIGHT, Tuesday, Oct. 6 and continuing Oct. 13. A portion of the proceeds from each “Pay It Forward” night benefits the Oklahoma Zoological Society, and its programs including animal enrichment, conservation and education outreach in support of the OKC Zoo.
Attendees can participate in raffles and silent auctions at both host locations for an opportunity to take home some Zoo swag, memberships, animal art and more. The “Pay It Forward” event on Oct. 6 will be held at S&B’s 7640 NW Expressway location, and on Oct. 13 (S&B’s at 14020 N. May Avenue. Both events will take place from 5 to 10 p.m. each night. To learn more, call 405-425-0613.
On Saturday, Oct. 10, the Oklahoma City Zoo is inviting monarch fans and running enthusiasts to experience a virtual 5K with America’s Turkey Trot 2020, presented locally by Bob Moore Subaru and benefitting the Zoo. As part of the nation’s biggest virtual running event, participants can run their own race, indoors or outdoors, then post their final time online.
Participants also receive an official Turkey Trot swag bag with registration. The cost per runner is $40 (plus, $4.95 processing fee) and for every registration that comes through the OKC Zoo’s event page, the Zoo’s Monarch conservation program will receive $10! Registration begins Saturday, Oct. 10, at okczoo.org/turkeytrot2020.
Enrollment is now open for the Oklahoma City Zoo’s School’s Out Day Camps on Oct. 15, 16 and 19, as well as during the holiday months. The OKC Zoo’s education department offers daily themed camps that include educational activities, in-park exploration, up-close animal ambassador visits and more.
School’s Out Day Camps are available for children ages 4 to 11. The cost is $45 per camper (members) and $50 per camper (nonmembers) per day. Camps run from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with after-care provided from 4:30-5:30 p.m. for $10/day. at the OKC Zoo’s Rosser Conservation Education Center. Campers must bring their lunch and snacks. Space is limited and advance registration is required. To register, visit okczoo.org/schools-out or call 405-425-0218.
Mark your calendars for the OKC Zoo’s popular animal enrichment event, Chomp and Stomp, on Friday, Oct. 16 while watching animals devour pumpkins from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. According to the press release, in preparation for Chomp and Stomp, Zoo caretakers have been “busy slicing, dicing and carving pumpkins into festive treats for the animals that showcase this year’s theme: Orange You Scared?”
Chomp and Stomp is presented as part of the Zoo’s ongoing animal enrichment program, designed to stimulate their senses and encourage natural behaviors like foraging. An official event schedule will be posted on the Zoo’s website and social pages. This activity is free with Zoo admission.
The ongoing event, Art Gone Wild, features the Zoo’s collection of original animal paintings. Works from this year’s collection include paintings by elephants, giraffe, goats, ostrich, various reptiles, sea lions and tigers – all on display and available for purchase in the Zoo’s Guest Services office.
Prices for these wild works of art range from $35 to $300, depending on size. All net proceeds benefit one of the Zoo’s conservation initiatives. Art Gone Wild paintings are on display in the Zoo’s Guest Services office located in the Entry Plaza from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Masks are required for all guests 11 and older upon entry into Guest Services. For more information, call 405-425-0262.
To learn more about all events happening at the OKC Zoo, call 405-424-3344 or visit okczoo.org.