By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – The 35th annual Haunt the Zoo OKC extravaganza will be held from October 20 through 28 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, presented by Bob Moore Subaru.
The 2018 Haunt the Zoo returns to the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden with 27 treat stations, a decorated trail, “super” special sea lion presentations and opportunities to learn about some seriously spooky animals.
After a successful introduction of daytime hours last year, Haunt the Zoo’s will again allow guests to explore the Zoo and the trick-or-treat trail at their own pace.
From the entry plaza, families will stroll down the Haunt the Zoo event trail trick-or-treating along the way at 27 party booths with eye-popping props that are “delightful not frightful,” hosted by festive Zoo volunteers. Costumes are encouraged but not required. Adults may wear costumes, too, but nothing scary.
The Zoo’s marine mammal animal caretakers have created a festive superhero-themed Halloween sea lion presentation for Haunt the Zoo. Sea lion presentations can be seen daily at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. at the Noble Aquatic Center. Superhero-themed sea lion presentations will be Sat, Oct. 20; Sunday, Oct. 21; Sat, Oct. 27; and Sun, Oct. 28.
Admission is $4 per person and children two and under are free. General admission tickets to the Zoo are $11 for ages 12-64, seniors 65+ and children ages 3-11 cost $8, and children under 3 are free. Guests can also purchase trick-or-treat bags for $7 per person, or $6 for ZOOfriends members.
The Zoo will also offer Boo-It-All passes (all of the Zoo-It-All benefits plus trick-or-treating) priced at $29 for kids/seniors, $33 for adults, or $22 for ZOOfriends’ members. Haunt the Zoo tickets are available for purchase at the Zoo’s ticket windows on event days.
New this year, the OKC Zoo will host a party exclusively for adults – Haunt the Zoo: All Grown Up, presented by COOP Ale Works at the recently renovated picnic grounds by Zoo Lake.
On Friday, Oct. 26 from 7 p.m. until 12 a.m., adults 21-and-up are invited for an evening that will feature food trucks, including Mutts Amazing Hot Dogs and Burgers. COOP Ale Works will have their award-winning, local brews available for purchase. Other festive libations will also be served. Costumes are encouraged, but not required.
There will be grown-up versions of classic games, including Wall of Weird, Tinker Federal Credit Union Fishin’ for Treasures, and COOP Ring Toss. Guests will enjoy tunes by an on-site DJ, prizes, an epic take-home trick-or-treat bag and more.
“For 35 years, Haunt the Zoo has been a beloved Halloween tradition in Oklahoma City and we take great pride in providing a safe, family-friendly environment for this annual celebration,” said Greg Heanue, chief marketing officer.
“This year, we wanted to create something for people who grew up trick-or-treating at the Zoo and who now, as adults, want to recreate a portion of that experience, plus a little something extra. That was the genesis of Haunt the Zoo: All Grown Up.”
Tickets for Haunt the Zoo: All Grown Up are available online okczoo.org for $24 per person. Net proceeds from the event will fund the OKC Zoo’s ongoing education and conservation programs.
Both Haunt the Zoo and Haunt the Zoo: All Grown Up will offer candy that is palm-oil free or made with sustainable palm oil in support of orangutan conservation. Deforestation due to non-sustainable, palm-oil production is threatening populations of already-endangered orangutans in Indonesia and Malaysia.
Haunt the Zoo sponsor/partners include: American Red Cross, Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages, Dean McGee Eye Institute, Dr. Pepper, First Security Bank, Frito-Lay, KOCO-TV, Oklahoma Zoological Society, Orion Dental, Sam’s Club, The Oklahoman, Tinker Federal Credit Union and Tyler Media.
To learn more, call 405-424-3344 or visit okczoo.org.