Boo at the Zoo is a festive way to kick off the Halloween season in Washington, D.C. Every year The National Zoo puts together a weekend of after-hour activities for families. Our Kids recommends purchasing tickets to this event well in advance as the tickets sell out quickly.
We had tickets for Saturday evening where the Zoo was open from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The easiest way to get to The National Zoo is by metro as to avoid trying to find parking around the Zoo. If you need to drive, there are several lots and street parking that can serve as options. We recommend purchasing a parking pass that will allow you to park at the Connecticut Avenue entrance.
As you enter the Zoo, you will be gifted with a commemorative Boo at the Zoo treat bag so do not plan on bringing your own. This bag will come in handy as you and your family stop by over 40 treat stations scattered around the Zoo. Being at the Zoo after-hours gives you access to several exhibits to include: Reptile Discovery Center, the Small Mammal House, Elephant Community Center, Asia Trail and Great Cats.
It was such a unique adventure being able to explore the Zoo in the evening! As you walk through the Zoo, stopping at the treat stations or exhibits isn’t the only thing that will catch your senses. There is a jammin’ kids scary-oke tent featuring tunes from a DJ, more treat stations and some stellar dance moves! Be sure to stop by that tent to let your little ones wiggle.
Throughout the Zoo, there are several concessions open to include hot dogs, fries, ice cream and child and adult beverages. One of our favorite stops was the pumpkin-carving station! The Speedwell Conservation Carousel is also open but for an additional charge. For guests with sensory processing disabilities, there is a Think Tank classroom that allows guests to take a break from the bustling activities offered at the Zoo.
Our children ages 4, 6, and 8 could not get enough of the evening! Dressed in their costumes, they scampered from one station to the next, squealing with delight. We are already looking forward to coming back next year!
Things to Note
- General admission is $20 for members and $30 for non-members. Join FONZ now and not only support the Zoo, but enjoy special benefits, one of which is discounted tickets to Boo at the Zoo.
- Parking passes are $11 for members and $22 for non-members if you purchase in advance. The cost increases at the gate.
- If you have a member in your group who is allergic to nuts or peanuts, several of the stations DO hand out products with peanuts and some of the giveaways are processed in a tree nut facility.
- Bring glow stick bracelets or necklaces for your children. This will help, as the Zoo is very dark at night.
- Strollers are a great option for those bringing children who tire easily.
- Bathrooms are open by the main concession area.
- Wear your costumes but leave the props at home! Hands will be used for exploring, collecting and eating treats.
Photos courtesy of Marcy Fisher.