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!"