What a Gourdgeous Weekend for ZooBoo!

ZooBoo is this weekend! Whether you’re a ZooBoo first-timer or pro, here are a few things you should know about this safe family-friendly, two-day spectacle.


ZooBoo is Saturday, October 23 and Sunday, October 24, from 9 am to 5 pm. To keep you and your herd safe, advanced reservations and timed ticketing are required to limit lines and discourage gatherings. You must enter within your one-hour timeframe or risk losing your reservation. Once you enter the Zoo, you may stay as long as you’d like.


There’s no better time to wear a mask than ZooBoo! Masks or face coverings are required to be worn by all visitors when within six feet of other groups and inside of Zoo buildings: the African Village Cafe, Gift Shop, Membership Office, Zoo restrooms, the World of Reptiles and Friends and while on the Zoo Train.


Yes! Come dressed to impress for our three costume contests:

• 12 PM – ages 4 and under

• 12:30 PM – ages 5 and up

• 1 PM – Group + Family

Can’t make the contest? Look for a festive scene around the Zoo for a perfect backdrop or strike a post in front of your favorite exhibit. Be sure to tag your photos with @virginiazoo on Instagram and we’ll share our favorite costumes of the weekend!

Enough already, will there be candy?

All children ages 2-12 will receive a sanitized, pre-made treat bag filled with small toys and a variety of candy (palm-oil free or made from sustainably harvested palm oil). These bags are available for attendees ages 2 to 12, and can only be picked up after you scan your admission tickets. Please note: some candy may have nuts, milk or soy.


All your favorite ZooBoo traditions will still be available: Pumpkin Enrichment for the animals, Animal Ambassador appearances, Frankenstein’s Dance Floor with fun, contactless entertainment and activities and Train Rides (weather permitting, $2 admission and masks required).

small owl sits on woman's hand


Head to the Formal Garden for the Pick-Your-Own mini pumpkin patch. All pumpkins will be sanitized throughout the day, and are available while supplies last. An interactive, virtual scavenger hunt will also be on-going with the chance to catch a new “animal” sighted on Zoo grounds – see the virtual Zoo map for instructions.

In Flora Point, listen to ghost stories from the Ghostbusters then check out some of the cool equipment used to keep the Zoo looking beautiful. On Saturday, at the Run Wild! Nature Discovery Zone, check out the WHRO STEM bus! And, don’t forget to pop over to the Bubble Zone at the Event Pavilion (available both days)!


Said every child, ever. But don’t worry – we have you covered! The African Village Cafe will be open all day. Adult beverages will be available for purchase at the Event Pavilion. Gluten-free options are also available. Please, no outside food.

Mothers needing to nurse their children can now sit back and relax in the new Mother’s Nursing Area sponsored by IKEA, located in the World of Reptiles classroom.


To prevent gatherings we are not publishing a schedule of pumpkin enrichment or animal appearances. However, no matter the time of your reservation there is sure to be lively animal action! We ask that you please maintain physical distancing guidelines when around animal exhibits to avoid crowding. Please wear a mask when near others not in your group. At this time, there will be no one-on-one interactions with the animals, but feel free to ask questions about the animals with a Zoo Keeper or a Trail Hosts!

Are you ready? TICKETS, please!

Tickets for this year’s two-day event are still available! Advanced reservations and tickets are required and can be purchased here. The cost is $6 for Virginia Zoo members and $18 for non-members (under 2 is free).

Please note: ZooBoo is rain or shine. Only ZooBoo tickets and passes will be accepted; no other tickets, coupons, passes vouchers, membership swaps or discounts can be used. Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable between days.