Boo at the Zoo gives costumed visitors a chance to see animals and collect candy

A new daytime Halloween event at the Sedgwick County Zoo will give visitors the treat of seeing more animals than they had during the zoo’s previous long-running nighttime Halloween event.

Boo at the Zoo, which happens during normal zoo hours this weekend, replaces Night of the Living Zoo, which had been the zoo’s special Halloween event since 1987. Night of the Living Zoo took place after normal zoo hours over three evenings.

While visitors loved dressing up in costume and collecting candy at the nighttime event, the zoo heard from many event-goers that they wanted to see more animals, said Jennica King, the zoo’s marketing and public relations manager.

“Ultimately we know people want to come to the zoo to see the animals. A lot of animals go inside for the night and especially in the cooler months,” King said. The reduced admission price for Night of the Living Zoo at $7 per person took into account that visitors saw fewer animals.

“Now you’ll do all the same activities you loved during Night of the Living Zoo but it’s during the day and you get to hang out with the animals,” King said.

Other factors led the zoo to revamp its Halloween event, as well. Parents expressed that the nighttime event meant staying out late for a family-friendly event, plus an after-hours event meant extra labor costs for the zoo. Attendance for the three nights averaged about 6,000 people total in the past few years, King said.

Boo at the Zoo activities will include candy stations, games like pumpkin bowling and bag toss, “Scaryoke” (a play on the word karaoke) on the main stage and photo opportunities with princesses. There will also be a pumpkin decorating station where visitors can purchase a $2 pumpkin to decorate.

Visitors are encouraged to dress in costume.

Boo at the Zoo

What: New daytime Halloween holiday event at the Sedgwick County Zoo that replaces the long-running Night at the Living Zoo.

When: 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 26 and 27

Where: Sedgwick County Zoo, 5555 W. Zoo Blvd., Wichita

Admission: Regular zoo admission of $15.95 for adults, $11.95 for seniors (62+) and children ages 3-11, free for children 2 and younger and for zoo members

More information: scz.org/event/boo-at-the-zoo