13 Tips to Make Coming to ZooBoo Less Scary

ZooBoo is this weekend! Whether you’re a ZooBoo first-timer or pro, here are a few things you should know, especially since we’ve re-vamped the event for this year’s two-day spectacle!

1. don’t be alarmed

Tickets for one-day admission to this event are $6 for members, $15 for non-members and free for children under 2. Your ticket includes admission to the Zoo and access to educational activities and crafts, viewing of exhibits and animal pumpkin enrichment, ZooLive! Stage presentations, a trip through the candy trail, entry into the costume contest and parking. Train rides, bounce houses, items from the Gift Shop as well as food and beverages from our food service areas are not included in the price of your ticket and do have extra fees.

2. use the magic maps

The Virginia Zoo is now paperless, so the best course of action to find your way around the event would be to use the maps on grounds or to download it onto your phone HERE.

3. Sugar, Spice and Everything Nice

Throughout the event, the Zoo provides more than 145,000 pieces of candy, as well as toys and non-candy treats, to the 40 community partners at ZooBoo’s trick-or-treat trail. Vendors range from corporations to local non-profits with coupons and promo materials.

4. Friendly and Sustainable

Don’t forget your reZoosable Halloween bag for all of your candy, which you can buy for only $1 from the Zoo’s Gift Shop or Gift Shop remote locations. Plus, you can reuse it for your next Trick-or-Treating adventure, year after year. All of the candy you receive uses sustainable palm oil or is palm-oil free. Deforestation from non-sustainable palm oil plantations is destroying habitats for orangutans and other species. When shopping for your own candy, be sure to do your part and look for this on the label. Click here to learn which candy you should or shouldn’t be purchasing.

5. Hop Til’ You Drop

It’s all fun and games with entertaining yard toys including giant Checkers, ring toss, corn hole, take-home crafts and even bounce houses! Get more bang for your buck and purchase the unlimited Bounce House jump pass for just $5. With all the extra sugar, it’s a great way to run and play throughout the day.

6. Sweet Gourd

More than 200 pumpkins were donated from Harris Teeter for decorating and for the animal enrichment throughout the day. More than a dozen animals will get to enjoy the orange fruit starting at 10:45 am. Check the schedules posted around the Zoo (and on the website) for specifics and be sure to arrive early as large crowds gather early.

7. Thomas the Tank Engine (AND FRIENDS!)

The ZooBoo ChooChoo, otherwise known as Thomas, features a not-so-scary story of the Zoo’s mysterious ZooSquatch. Be on the lookout for any possible creature sightings – this ride is sure to be fun for all ages. Train rides are $3 each and leave from the Beazley Station every 15 minutes.

8. The Fairest of Them All

ZooBoo features THREE costume contests. Contestants will win from a variety of prizes, but everyone receives a super sticker for participation. Comfy costumes are encouraged if you plan to be enjoying the day’s festivities. There are three different categories for both days: ages 4 and under at Noon, ages 5 and up and 12:30 pm, and family groups at 1 pm.

9. eerie education

Activities happen throughout the entire day, so make a game plan and give your group plenty of time to arrive, park and play. Be sure to stop by the ZooLive! Stage to see what animal ambassadors will make an appearance during our three presentations. Learn about Creepy Crawlies at 11 am, all things Slimy and Slithery at 1:30 pm, and hear a few Spooky Superstitions at 3:30 pm each day. Don’t forget to arrive early for the best seating!

10. Spooktacular Fun

Get educated at the Mummy’s Tomb and Dig Site located in the Event Pavilion, or check out the Mad Scientist’s Lab in our newly re-opened World of Reptiles and Friends! These unique scenes offer an academic accent to the day to spark the interest of the inner conservationist.

11. No Trespassers

The Australia Yard will be closed to visitors during the event. Your costumes and treats are too appetizing, so for our animals’ safety, you’ll just have to admire them from afar.

12. The Early Bird Gets the Worm

Be sure to get your tickets in advance. You’ll beat any lines at the gate and have a head start on the rest of the guests. Getting thousands of fun-loving ZooBoo goers in and out of the Zoo as smooth as possible is our goal, so you will notice a change in the parking structure this year. Please pay attention to the directional signage and parking attendants when you arrive at the Zoo.

13. no transfers or refunds

ZooBoo tickets are only valid for the date purchased, which means tickets are non-transferrable between days. ZooBoo is also rain or shine, meaning tickets are non-refundable. There is no rain date, but staff created a rain plan so event attendees can still enjoy all ZooBoo has to offer, of course with a little patience and understanding from our visitors! Pick the day that suits you best before buying tickets. Here’s the schedule for each day: