As residents of Ann Arbor, we are fortunate to have TWO wonderful zoos within an hour drive of our city: The Detroit Zoo and The Toledo Zoo. Both of these impressive zoos offer festive, fall events leading up to Halloween. Check it out!
Detroit Zoo Boo: The Detroit Zoo’s annual ‘Zoo Boo’ celebration features a festively decorated trick-or-treat trail through the front of the Zoo! In addition, live entertainment awaits your costume-clad little ones, including dazzling and daring acrobatics, magic acts, jugglers and extreme pumpkin carving demonstrations, as well as “altogether ooky” movies. New this year: plan to stop by the Haunted Reptile House and visit the ghosts and goblins that have made the Holden Reptile Conservation Center their home for the season. Make friends with other haunted creatures and enjoy the fabulous pumpkin displays along the “unlucky” 13-station trick-or-treat trail. Help a zoo scientist with research at the Spooky Science Laboratory tent or color your favorite Zoo animals on our 16-foot mural!
This event takes place the weekends of Oct. 6 – 8, Oct. 13 – 15, and Oct. 20 – 22, from 5 PM to 8 PM, rain or shine. Although advance ticket purchase is encouraged, walk-up tickets will only be sold between 6:45 PM and 7:45 PM. Tickets costs are $9\10 per person, ages 2 and older. Pre-sale time slots are 5:00 PM, 5:30 PM, 6 PM, 6:30 PM, and 7 PM, while the 7:30 PM tickets will be available for purchase at the gates. In addition, there is a $6 parking fee for all Zoo Members and guests.
We took the boys the past three years (last year they were 3 and 1/2 years old), and we have always loved this zoo experience! We walked the trick-or-treat trail, with the boys, in the wagon. The zoo is decorated with many Halloween displays (i.e. pumpkins painted and stacked to make zoo animals, like giraffes and monkeys!) as well as workers dressed in costumes, handing out treats (candy, bags of chips, drinks too!). We chose an earlier time slot to avoid the crowds and back-up of trick-or-treaters on the trail. Last year, the boys walked most of the trail, and were excited to fill their pumpkins with treats!
They DO NOT provide bags for trick-or-treaters, so plan to bring your own! There is also a tent with spooky science experiments and a LARGE mural, for all the kids to color! My boys really enjoyed coloring the mural last year!
Little Boo at the Toledo Zoo: On Thursday October 19th and Friday October 20th, the Toledo Zoo hosts a Halloween Party, ideal for preschoolers! Admission to the party is $7.00 for members and $16.00 (general admission cost) for nonmembers. This includes general admission to the zoo as well. Children under 2 are FREE! From 10 AM to 3 PM, your little ones will have the opportunity to trick or treat along the Strolling Magic, photo opportunities (Moana and Doc McStuffins on Thursday; Elena of Avalor and Princess Poppy on Friday), play ghoulish games, watch puppet shows (noon, 1 PM, and 2 PM), Halloween Story Train Rides (additional $2.50 per a rider), puppet shows at noon, 1, and 2 PM, and visit the spooktacular play area! Staying green, you are asked to bring your own bag or plastic pumpkin, for trick-or-treating!
The Toledo Zoo is located 4 miles south of downtown Toledo on OH 25 (Anthony Wayne Trail) between South Avenue and Woodsdale Ave/Harvard Blvd. From Ann Arbor, you basically take US-23 most of the way there.
Pumpkin Path at the Toledo Zoo: On Saturday, October 21st and Sunday, October 22nd, the Toledo Zoo puts on the Pumpkin Path for children of all ages! Admission is the same as the Little Boo, and costumes are encouraged as well! From 10 AM to 4 PM, you can visit the trick or treat stations located around the zoo, partake in ghoulish games ($1 each), bounce in the inflatable play space, see a mystifying magic show (11 AM, noon, 1 PM, and 2 PM), watch artistic pumpkin-carving demonstrations from 11 to 2 PM, photo opportunities with popular princess, Star Wars characters, and much more! See above for directions on getting to the Toledo zoo. Again, admission is $7 for members and $16 for non-members (above age 2). Again, please bring your own plastic bag or pumpkin, for gathering treats!