Just in time for Halloween, Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo is transforming into an eerie, immersive family adventure starting October 7 with the new Creatures of the Night experience.
On Fridays and Saturdays from October 7-29, Lowry Park Zoo will stay open late, and animals will lurk in the night until 10 p.m. with a wide-range of Halloween-themed activities. Event admission is included with a one-day ticket on event dates (valid for full day 9:30 a.m.-10 p.m.) or guests can purchase a discounted “after 4 p.m.” ticket for only $19.95. Creatures of the Night is free for Annual Zoo Members and “pay for a day, come back all year” ticket holders.
“Our seasonal event series offers Zoo guests new and engaging encounters throughout the year, and new ways to make unforgettable connections,” said CEO Joe Couceiro. “This October, Creatures of the Night will provide eerie frights for the whole family with a wide-range of Halloween experiences designed for youngsters to early teens, and adults too. There is no telling what peculiar encounters you will find in the Zoo after dark as you are surrounded with startling surprises and wildlife all around.”
As the sun goes down, guests can get a glimpse into the nighttime habits of animal residents and discover which nocturnal creatures are most active. New this year, animals have been carefully and safely acclimated so that habitats in the Asian and African realms of the zoo, along with Primate World, are illuminated for night viewing.
Creatures and characters of a different variety emerge at dusk. Hang out in Wolf Haven village, home to where the werewolves roam, or slither through a swamp and creep past the carousel to explore a ghostly graveyard. Wander through the critter canal inspired by creatures that creep, crawl and swoop. Encounter an Egyptian tomb and mingle with mummies, or party the night away at a ghoulish dance party. There’s a special sanctuary set aside for little “boos” and “ghouls” when Wallaroo Station transforms into a festive fall harvest complete with pumpkin patch, scarecrows and farm animals. Up-close animal interactions and fall photo opportunities will be offered.
Specialty dining will also be available featuring seasonal flavors and a variety of refreshments including beer, wine, frozen drinks and Coca-Cola products. The Zoo’s new Beer & Wine Garden will be open.
This Halloween experience includes themed areas with decorations, lights, fog, mysterious music and sound effects, but no horror or gore. A cast of theatrical character actors and performers will mingle with guests and provide atmospheric entertainment.
Creatures of the Night is every Friday and Saturday evening, October 7-29, until 10 p.m. A variety of event admission options are available online or at the Zoo’s front gate:
· Free and unlimited entry for Annual Zoo Members;
· Free and unlimited entry for “pay for a day, come back all year” ticket holders;
· Purchase a one-day ticket on an event dates (valid for full day including event);
· Purchase a special “after 4 pm” ticket on event days for $19.95 (ages 3 and up).
Children (11 and under) are invited to arrive in costume. For the comfort and safety of all guests, adults (ages 12 and up) may not wear masks, wigs, face paint or costumes of any kind. Toy weapons are prohibited.
Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo is located at 1101 W. Sligh Avenue in Tampa, one mile west of I-275 (exit 48) and is open seven days a week from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. with extended hours for special events. Parking is free. For more, visit LowryParkZoo.org or call (813) 935-8552. For a look at Lowry Park Zoo’s former Halloween event, watch this video of their 2013 ZooBoo: