Boo at the Zoo Returns Oct. 20, 21 and 22

It is no trick, only the sweetest treat: Boo at the Zoo, sponsored by Mars Wrigley Confectionery, is back at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute in Washington, D.C. On Oct. 20, 21 and 22 from 6 to 8:30 p.m., the Zoo will be brimming with festive displays and spook-tacular trick-or-treating for this special ticketed event. As an added treat, Smithsonian National Zoo members can enjoy early admission from 5 to 6 p.m. all three nights. Boo at the Zoo offers families a safe atmosphere to trick-or-treat while enjoying festive Halloween decorations in the wild and not-so-spooky setting of the Zoo.

Tickets include after-hours access to popular Zoo exhibits, including the Small Mammal House, Elephant Community Center and Reptile Discovery Center. Guests can feast their eyes on spellbinding habitats decorated with jack-o'-lanterns, spooky enrichment and tasty treats for the animals. Each trick-or-treater will receive one recyclable bag to fill up with sweets, snacks and other fun surprises at around 30 booths stationed throughout the park. Fiendishly fun vignettes featuring frolicking skeletons and fantastical creatures will liven up the Zoo’s main pathway, Olmsted Walk.

Tickets go on sale to non-members Thursday, Sept. 14, for $35. Zoo member tickets are $25. Each attendee, including any children over the age of 2, will need a ticket. In addition to early access to the event, Zoo member benefits include discounted parking, which is available for pre-purchase online at $20 per vehicle for Zoo members and $30 per vehicle for non-members. Only guests with a parking pass will be permitted to enter the Zoo’s Connecticut Avenue entrance with their vehicle.

Guests using ride share vehicles will be dropped off and picked up at the designated ride share zones near the Connecticut Avenue and Harvard Street entrances. Zoo staff will scan tickets at both the Connecticut Avenue entrance and lower entrance near the Kids’ Farm. Metro Bus (L1 and L2) and Metro Rail (Woodley Park-Zoo and Cleveland Park) have stops within walking distance of the Zoo’s main pedestrian entrance on Connecticut Avenue.  

Guests of all ages are invited to dress up in creative costumes. Adult guests are not permitted to wear masks that fully cover the face or obstruct the wearer’s vision. Additionally, costumes may not contain any props or accessories that resemble or could easily be mistaken for an actual weapon.

Boo at the Zoo is an extremely popular event with Washington Area families who celebrate Halloween. Due to limited capacity, tickets and parking passes tend to sell out quickly. Guests are encouraged to plan ahead and purchase both tickets and parking passes early. All proceeds from Boo at the Zoo support animal care and conservation science at the Zoo. This event will be held rain or shine. For more information, visit the Zoo’s website.     

# # #

Photo caption: Boo at the Zoo returns Oct. 20, 21 and 22 at Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute.

Photo credit: Juan-Carlos Briceno, Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute

Image Gallery