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Creatures of the Night invades ZooTampa

by Susan and Simon Veness

Halloween is on its way, and so is Creatures of the Night, the family-friend annual event at ZooTampa, which runs through the end of October, 2022 on 11 select nights, and this year’s lineup includes four new not-too-creepy experiences.

creatures of the night gator grove
Photos courtesy of ZooTampa

Members can enjoy a free members-only night when they visit ZooTampa on Sept. 30, and the event is open to the public on Oct 1, 7-8, 14-16, 21-22, 28-30. Creatures of the Night takes place from 4 p.m.-10.pm. and capacity is limited.

Creatures of the Night new experiences

Swamp Witch Way – The zoo’s new Florida Wilds area is the place to find the Swamp Witch, also known as “Blackwater Mattie.” She’s a newcomer to the Creatures of the Night event, but she’s been known to spend her nights mixing up all manner of potions and conjuring up spells alongside her alligator friends. Do you dare enter her swampy domain? If so, bring something with you to trade, because Blackwater Mattie does love to bargain.

HooDoo Hall – It’s Mardi Gras time as Ituri Pass transforms into a “party for eternity” staffed by colorful skeletons.

creatures of the night dance party

New Neverland: Forever – The Lost Boys, with Peter Pan as their leader, are playing a game of hide-and-seek along Zoo Boulevard and guests are welcome to join in.

Spooky Safari – Your two safari guides may be long-dead, but they’re still willing to share stories from their African safari adventures.

Returning experiences

Twisted Tales – Manatee Circle welcomes the zoo’s youngest guests for a villains-inspired storytime with the Fairy Godmother.

Clown Carousel – Clowns can be friendly or frightful, but this bunch are only interested in playing pranks on passers-by and smashing lots of pumpkins.

Scarecrow Junction – It’s a kid-friendly dance party as a scarecrow team in the Wallaroo children’s area welcomes little ghosts and goblins to their celebration. The open-air HaHa Haybale Maze is located here, too, and new this year is the Scarecrow bar, where ages 21 and up can grab a drink.

creatures of the night scarecrow junction

More Halloween fun

The Realm of the Spider Queen – Dance the night away with Arachne, the Spider Queen, in the Africa Circle area of the zoo.

The Voodoo Bar – Adults can take the edge off at this New Orleans-themed bar located in the Beer and Wine Garden.

Junkyard of Broken Dreams – Not for the faint of heart, this haunted house is filled with scary dreams and urban legends come to life.

junkyard of broken dreams

Ages 12 and under are welcome (but not required) to wear their Halloween costumes. Toy weapons are prohibited.

Admission to Creatures of the Night is free for members, and general admission tickets are $34.95. Tickets are date and time specific, and reservations are strongly encouraged.

Purchase tickets online at ZooTampa.org.

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