The spooky season is almost here! Kids can go trick-or-treating at the wildest spot in town during Boo at the Zoo. Celebrate Halloween early with more than 40 treat stations, a dance party and kids' karaoke. This frightfully fun evening is a magical time for the whole family.
Tickets go on sale to FONZ members Thursday, Sept. 5, and to non-members Thursday, Sept. 12. Join now to receive early access to purchase tickets, ticket discounts, and more!
Saturday is sold out.
- Event Details
- Parking & Transportation
- Accessibility Information
- Sensory-Friendly Tips
- Treat Station Donors
- Additional Details
Superheroes, zombies and princesses will all enjoy:
- A commemorative Boo at the Zoo trick-or-treat bag
- 40+ treat stations
- A dance party and kids' karaoke
- The chance to meet Count Pandula
- Join Count Pandula on Sunday for the Mascot Dance Party, sponsored by GEICO, where kids can dance with the Count and his friends between 6:15 and 6:30 p.m. and 7:15 and 7:30 p.m.
- After-hours access to animal houses and exhibits, including:
- Small Mammal House
- Reptile Discovery Center
- Think Tank
- Great Cats Circle
- Elephant Community Center
- Kids' Farm
- Asia Trail (David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat will be closed)
- Zoo education stations
- Rides on the Speedwell Conservation Carousel (additional charge)
- A sensory space in the Think Tank classroom for guests with sensory processing disabilities to take a quiet break from trick-or-treating
FONZ members: $20
Boo at the Zoo is perfect for kids ages 4 to 12. All guests ages 2 and older must have a ticket.
Tickets go on sale to FONZ members Thursday, Sept. 5, and to non-members Thursday, Sept. 12.
Saturday is sold out.
Only the Connecticut Avenue entrance will be open for vehicles. Please note, only guests with a parking pass will be permitted to enter the Zoo gates with their vehicle.
Parking for all three nights is sold out.
MetroThe Zoo is accessible via the Red Line to the Woodley Park-Zoo or Cleveland Park metro station. The Zoo entrance lies halfway between these stops, and both are a short walk from the Zoo.
Big Bus Tours Shuttle — Saturday OnlyThroughout the evening on Saturday, free Big Bus Tours will transport guests from the Woodley Park Metro Station to the Panda Plaza Bus Lot on a continuous loop from 5-9 p.m.
Designated accessible parking spaces are located in Parking Lots A, B and D on a first-come, first-served basis. For information on how to purchase reserved parking, see the parking & transportation tab.
Wheelchair and Electronic Vehicle Rental
All Zoo pathways are wheelchair accessible. Please note that the Zoo’s main pathway is located on a hill with a significant decline from top to bottom.
Wheelchairs and electronic vehicles are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Manual wheelchairs are available from the information booths at the Visitor Center (parking lot A and metro riders), Panda Plaza (parking lots A and B) and Lion-Tiger Hill (parking lot D).
Electronic convenience vehicles are available for rent from the information booths at the Visitor Center (parking lot A and metro riders), Panda Plaza (parking lots A and B) and Lion-Tiger Hill (parking lot D). Please note: A state-issued driver's license or ID card is required to rent and operate an electronic convenience vehicle. Guests must be at least 16 years old to operate an electronic vehicle and those under 18 years old must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Cost: $25 for members, $30 for non-members
Restrooms are located at the Visitor Center, Panda Plaza, Elephant Outpost and Conservation Pavilion. All restrooms throughout the Zoo are accessible. The Visitor Center’s restrooms, water fountains and Asia Trail gift shop are accessible via wheelchair lift.
Family restrooms are located in the Visitor Center, Elephant Outpost and Conservation Pavilion. All restrooms at the Zoo have automatic flushing mechanisms.
Aira Services for Blind/Low-Vision
Access to free Aira services are available while visiting the Zoo through use of the Aira app. More information about Aira.
Crowds & Lines:
- This is a very popular event and large crowds are expected, especially if the weather is pleasant. Lines should be expected at registration points and occasionally at treat stations.
- Traditionally, Saturday evening is the busiest night for this event. Crowds are lighter later in the day on Sunday, or just when the event opens on Friday.
- Sensory-friendly kits are available free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis. Guests can check out kits at the information booths at Panda Plaza and Lion/Tiger Hill.
- Guests must provide a valid ID, which will be held until the kit is returned.
- Each kit includes noise reducing headphones, earplugs, small fidget toys, and a weighted comfort item.
Sensory Take a Break Spaces:
- Sensory Take a Break spaces are available in the Visitor Center and Think Tank classrooms during Boo at the Zoo.
- Each space will have items such as a weighted blanket, fidget toys (cubes, weighted items, things that vibrate, etc.), and headphones available for use within the room. We kindly ask that all sensory items remain in the room, so that other families may use them while visiting this space.
- Throughout the event, thematic lights (ghosts, bats, etc.) will flash and rotate on the walkway and buildings.
- Inflatable air dancing characters and thematic Halloween displays (skeletons, ghosts, etc.) are present throughout the event.
- Volunteers in exhibits and at the Asia Trail table may have animal skulls, pelts, or feathers on display.
- Costumed mascots may be present.
- The event space may be loud.
- Recorded sounds or music are part of many of the Halloween displays.
- Live music will be played on the Great Meadow stage. Kids will also be able to participate in karaoke.
- Radio Station sponsors are located near Lemur Island and will play music at their booth.
- The Speedwell Conservation Carousel plays music.
- Exhibits may be staffed with volunteers, who can share animal objects for guests to touch and explore.
- On Asia Trail near the sloth bear exhibit, guests can create their own art using paint.
- Crowds and lines are common throughout the event.
- Guests can take part in the Kids Fashion Show photo-op near the Carousel; the dance party with kids’ karaoke on the Great Meadow (including costumed mascots on Sunday evening); and, for an additional fee, ride the Carousel or the Zoo Tube.
- Mars Wrigley
- Bada Bean Bada Boom
- Balti Virtual
- Cabot creamery Co-operative
- Charles Products, Inc.
- FedEx Express
- Goetze's Candy Company
- Herr Foods, Inc.
- HUD Office of Lead Hazard Control & Healthy Homes
- iHeartMedia (BIG100, HOT 99.5, 97.1 WASH-FM, 98.7 WMZQ)
- KIND Snacks
- Massanutten Resort
- Pepco, An Exelon Company
- PM Pediatrics
- The Washington Post
- The Whiting-Turner Contracting Co.
- UTZ Quality Foods, LLC
- Washington Parent
- Zolli Candy
In the interest of safety, the following items are prohibited:
- Fully covered adult face masks
- Weapons, and weapon-like items (hatchets, swords, baseball bats, etc.)
Smoking is not permitted on Zoo grounds.
Boo at the Zoo is held rain or shine.
Ticket sales are final. No refunds. Tickets will be accepted only on the date for which they are purchased.
Food Services Open during the event:
- Mane Restaurant
- Sbarro at Panda Overlook
- Auntie Anne’s at Panda Plaza
Treats may contain nuts or dairy. Non-food treats are also available at a few booths.