Detroit Zoo kicks off Halloween season with nine nights of ‘spooktacular’ fun

The Detroit Zoo’s annual “merry-not-scary” Zoo Boo celebration returns this Halloween season, featuring a festively decorated half-mile trick-or-treat trail through the front of the Zoo. Presented by the Michigan Education Savings Program, Zoo Boo will take place rain or shine the evenings of Oct. 11-13, 18-20 and 25-27, 2013, 6 to 8 p.m. on Fridays and 5 to 8 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

Elaborate pumpkin displays will line the treat trail, where greeters will pass out goodies to costume-clad children at treat stations along the route. A trail of eerie fog will lead through a spooky graveyard to the Haunted Reptile House, sponsored by Flagstar Bank, where friendly witches, vampires and other monsters will take up residence for the Halloween season.

The live mini-musical “Zoo Boo Revue” will be performed in the Events Pavilion. The Ghouly Games Tent, sponsored by Blue Care Network of Michigan, will offer Halloween-themed games, prizes, arts and crafts and a hay maze. The Zombie Zone, sponsored by Tim Hortons Café & Bake Shop, will feature ghastly games, spooky activities and pumpkin-carving demonstrations.

Zoo Boo guests can follow the yellow brick road to the Wild Adventure Zone – located in the Ford Education Center – for a 15-minute version of “The Wizard of Oz” at the 4-D Theater, or take a ride on the wild side with “Happy Feet: Mumble’s Wild Ride” at the Simulator Ride. Each experience is an additional $5 per person per ride, or a Beastly Bundle price of $7 for both; children under 2 are free.

The Carousel, located near the Arctic Café, will also be open and costs an additional $2 per person; children under 3 or 42 inches ride free with a paying adult.

Advance tickets for Zoo Boo can be purchased at Booth One at the front of the Detroit Zoo or online at Tickets are $8 per person ages 2 and up. Time slots for Zoo Boo are 6 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and 5 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 6 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Gates close for entry at 8 p.m. If a date and time slot is not sold out, a limited number of tickets may be available at the gate that day after 5 p.m. for $11.