Boo at the Zoo, sponsored by Mars Chocolate

October 21 – 23, 2016: 5:30 – 8:30PM


With more than 40 treat stations, animal demonstrations, keeper chats, and decorated trails, this frightfully fun evening is a treat for the whole family.

New this year will be an entertainment stage with magicians, jugglers, and a DJ spinning Halloween favorites. Also, don't miss a themed hay maze and scarecrow field.

Ticket Information

This event has passed.

Thirty-minute, Private Behind-the-Scenes Group Tour. Choices include the Small Mammal House (5:45 p.m. or 6 p.m.), Cheetah Conservation Station (5 p.m.), and Reptile Discovery Center (6 p.m.) on event dates. A Great Cats tour is available on Saturday morning October 31 and November 7.

MARS Chocolate North America is the lead sponsor of Boo at the Zoo and will provide Snickers, Milky Ways, M&Ms, Starbursts, Skittles and more goodies. Whole Foods Market® will provide delicious apples. Other treats include Newman's Own popcorn, Goetze's Cow Tales, Herr potato chips, Utz pretzels, and many more!

New this year: look for special treat stops that are also education stations. Learn fun facts about animals, from tip to tail.

Sloth Bears

Get the scoop! See how sloth bears use their paws like scoops to find their favorite treats—ants and termites.

Asia Trail/Giant Panda

Use your senses to learn how animals solve problems and adapt to their environments.

Cheetah Conservation Station

What's on the menu? Get a close-up look at animal skulls and teeth to help put your predator and prey knowledge to the test in this activity about diet adaptations.

American Trail

Come learn about the creatures of the night: bats, owls, frogs, and insects! Nocturnal creatures are more active while we're asleep.


Fun and games! See if you can match the poop to the animal that produced it. It's a game changer.

Great Cats

Interpreters will have hands-on objects throughout the evening. Each night at 7:00 p.m. visitors can meet a Great Cat keeper and learn about lions and tigers and how keepers care for them here at the Zoo.

Kids' Farm

Interpreters will have hands-on objects throughout the evening. Each night at 7:30 p.m. visitors can meet a Kids' Farm keeper and learn how staff care for the Zoo's farm animals.

Calling all spooky artists and ghoulish decorators! FONZ is hosting its first-ever pumpkin decorating competition! The winner in each category will receive a family four-pack of tickets and one parking pass to Boo at the Zoo. All entries will be on display in our moonlit pumpkin patch during Boo at the Zoo!

The deadline for submitting entries has passed.


Only the Connecticut Avenue gates will be open for vehicles.

Event parking rates:
FONZ Members: $10
Non-members: $20
Saturday parking is SOLD OUT


Two pedestrian entrances will be open: Connecticut Ave at the top of the Zoo on Olmstead Walk and Harvard Street Bridge at the bottom of the Zoo.

Taking Metro?

You can catch a ride from the Woodley Park/Zoo Metro Station (Red Line) on all three nights on a double decker bus shuttle provided by Big Bus Tours. The shuttle will run continual loops between 5 – 9 p.m. from the metro to the Bus Lot.

Can I see animals at the event?

Yes, some of our animals may be sleeping, but most of the animal exhibits will be open including: Bird House, Elephant Community Center, Small Mammal House, Great Apes, Reptile Discovery Center, Think Tank, Great Cats and Kids' Farm.

*The Panda House will remain closed while our team and Mei Xiang care for the newborn cub.

What age range is appropriate for this event?

We recommend Boo at the Zoo for children ages 4 through 12.

Who needs to purchase a ticket?

All guests 2 years old and older, and all adults must purchase a ticket.

What time should I arrive?

The entire Zoo will be closed to all guests by 4pm on each night of Boo at the Zoo. Each of the registration points will start allowing ticket holders into the zoo at 5:30 p.m.

If I am driving to the Zoo, where can I enter?

Only the Connecticut Avenue entrance will be open for vehicles. The entrances from Rock Creek Parkway and Harvard Street will be CLOSED.

Please note, only guests with a parking pass will be permitted to enter the Zoo with their vehicle.

Is there a charge for parking?

Limited parking is available for a fee and needs to be purchased with event tickets.

Event parking rates:
FONZ Members: $10
Non-members: $20

Is there a shuttle from the Metro

Enjoy a complimentary shuttle ride, generously provided by Big Bus Tours, from the Woodley Park Metro Station to the Zoo between 5 – 9 p.m. Look for the red double-decker buses that will be running every 20 minutes.

If I am walking, where can I enter?

The Connecticut Avenue and Harvard Street entrance will be open. However, the Harvard Street Bridge is open to pedestrians ONLY.

Will food be available?

Meals will be available for purchase at Zoo restaurants throughout the event site. Our adult trick-or-treaters can purchase adult beverages from any of the open food stations as well as the kiosk across from the Small Mammal House entrance.

Will the carousel be operating?

Yes, the carousel will be running. Rides are $3 and tickets can be purchased at the carousel.

Can I receive a refund?

No, ticket sales are final. No refunds or exchanges. The event will be held rain or shine. Tickets will be accepted only on the date for which they are purchased. For example, Friday night tickets will not be valid on Saturday night.

Where is the Event Located in the Zoo?

More than 40 treat stations will be located throughout the Zoo.

Contact Information

For questions or more information about the event, please email FONZ Events. Tickets for press must be approved in advance. Press passes are limited. Media will not receive entry without prior approval. Contact Courtney Smith to request a press pass.


Lead sponsor

Mars Chocolate North America Logo

Thank you to our generous sponsors

Big 100 FM Logo Big Bus Tours Washington Post Logo