boo at the zoo, 2013 edition

Boo At The Zoo kicked off at the Palm Beach Zoo today and Ethan and I were honored to be able to attend opening day! We unfortunately had to miss last year but the memories from two years ago are still some of my favorite -- I can always count on those photos to cheer me up whenever I need to smile. Ethan pondered what he would want to dress up as for a while before finally settling on a raccoon. This morning as we were getting ready to head up to the zoo, Ethan was expressing some hesitation. Turns out, he was a little nervous the animals would think he was a real raccoon. "Ethan not real raccoon. Not real." I can see how the animals might be confused, but I assured him not to worry.

With my favorite adorable little raccoon -- I mean, boy -- in tow, we began to make our way through the zoo which was decked out awesomely for Halloween. It was just the right level of spooky without being anything that could potentially scare off the little ones. On our drive home, I asked Ethan what his favorite part of the day was. After five solid hours at the zoo, I was curious as to which cool new animal would have been his favorite (I had my bets set on the giant anteater). He responded with "Halloween decorations. So spooky!" And there you have it. There were some great decorations all over the zoo!

The zoo staff and volunteers were making their rounds with buckets of candy and snacks. This is the first year Ethan is capable of getting the whole "trick or treat" thing so we practiced. Going into today's event, he decided that when he says "trick or treat," people put crackers into his bag. In typical Ethan fashion, he froze and just sat there clutching his trick or treat bag. The Palm Beach Zoo staff were so friendly and kind -- and still slipped him a treat or two even if he didn't get the words out.

In addition to the many trick or treat stations by the zoo staff members, there were also a bunch of great vendors passing out information and special treats. Vendors offered raffles for the grown-ups and some fun activities for the little ones, too. There was also a DJ playing music and a costume contest parade around the big splash pad! Ethan didn't enter the contest because after about twenty minutes he'd slobbered most of his face paint off, but he had fun sitting in his wagon and watching the kids go around the fountain -- which he later enjoyed playing in with one of his friends who joined us for some zoo Halloween fun later on, too!

There was also a pretty incredible face painting booth going on as well as a hay stack hunt ($1) and a decorate-your-own-pumpkin patch ($5). The funds from these fun Halloween events go back into programs and food for the well-loved zoo animals, which I thought was really cool. The zoo cafe stayed open during the event where Ethan happily gave his approval of the grilled cheese sandwich he basically inhaled in fifteen seconds. There were even some great wildlife shows going on as we walked through the zoo that I know older kids would get a kick out of.

After five hours of celebrating Halloween at the zoo, Ethan's eyes were just about closing. I was considering a zoo membership for a holiday gift this year but after tonight's event, I'm definitely prioritizing it. The Palm Beach Zoo is such an awesome zoo and these events -- Boo At The Zoo is also free for members to attend -- are just the icing on the cake. Ethan was totally engulfed in all the Halloween magic that today (and tonight!) had to offer, as well as in love with all of the animals. "What is that?" came out of his mouth every few minutes and he learned about a whole bunch of new animals today -- as well as his love for the zoo. "Ethan love zoo! Love it here!"

Boo At The Zoo will be running at Palm Beach Zoo Friday-Sunday October 18th-20th as well as Friday-Sunday October 25th-27th from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. On October 25th, there will also be a nighttime session offered from 5:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. The Palm Beach Zoo is located at 1301 Summit Boulevard in West Palm Beach and more information can be found at palmbeachzoo.org.

Ethan and I sure had a blast making memories today! Bring it on, Halloween!


  1. PB Zoo just FB.d your blog post :) great post! We were there last night and FYI... NOT free to members! Some how my cist was $5per kid and $3 per adult. I was super surprised! The only difference from safari nights was the decor and each kid got a ticket to the hat stack for "free" ... I.m not to pleased w. The zoo on this one! (I have been going to this zoo for 20plus years)

  2. Kim, they only charge the members extra for the Friday night hours, regular zoo hours were free for members. The other differences from Safari Nights were all the Halloween lights and the candy and treats being given out. On the other side of this coin, I felt pretty happy that they didn't charge extra for Safari Nights, considering the number of staff they had on hand to accommodate the hours. I thought Boo at the Zoo was pretty fantastic, and I'll never be without my Grandparent membership again. It's the best deal in town. I hope you get pleased with them again :). Loved your post, Lindsay!

  3. That looks like so much fun. My kids always loved visiting the zoo around Halloween.

  4. Lindsay @ youaretheroots.comOctober 20, 2013 at 11:05 PM

    Right? The zoo is always awesome, but somehow even more magical on Halloween! Thanks for the comment. <3

  5. Lindsay @ youaretheroots.comOctober 20, 2013 at 11:06 PM

    Thank you for stopping by and for your feedback! I believe regular zoo hours are still free for members, it's just the additional fee for nighttime I believe. Hopefully you guys have more fun next year!

  6. Lindsay @ youaretheroots.comOctober 20, 2013 at 11:06 PM

    Thank you, Joyce! I'm really impressed by all of their awesome membership options and can't wait to get one for Ethan for the holidays! So glad you had a good time, too!


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