Halloween Trip to the Bronx Zoo
One of the seasonal events we most enjoy in NYC is Boo at the Zoo! This is where the Bronx Zoo transform the grounds with a Halloween theme, put on pumpkin carving displays and have costume parades.
Ssss – Boo at the Zoo 2018
The celebration is only on for the month of October and always incredibly popular, especially as we near October 31st.
A good tip – we learned the hard way – is if you are driving, get to the park before noon or else you won’t get into the zoo car park. Try to get there as early as you can if only to avoid the crowds.
The kids love the many decorations spread throughout the park. I don’t know how long it takes the staff but I admire the effort they put in.
Harry hams it up for the camera
A good tip is to look up and around as you walk through the zoo as some decorations – like scary, giant spiders – are positioned on top of buildings and in the trees.
Harry particularly likes to point out spiders to me despite sharing my phobia 😀
Step into my parlour, said the spider to the fly
There’s several photo spots built into the paths where you can jump on to hay bales and pose with skeletons and other gruesome (but don’t worry, not terrifying) ghouls.
Harry and Roger look for danger
We took part in the new interactive exhibit, Nature Trek. You need to queue up as they only let several people go at a time (wise safety move) but the queue moves fast.
Crossing the high bridges
The kids ran ahead, we took things a little more carefully
In this exhibit you climb up rope ladders, cross rope bridges and weave your way above a section of the zoo. There are interesting things to spot while up high and exploring / creative crafts when you’re back on the ground.
None shall pass!
We built a shelter! Well, Yi did most of the work 😉
The kids really loved this exhibit and I have to say Alister and I enjoyed it too. Even when I kept shaking the bridges to try and make Alister motion sick
The zoo also provides a really sweet kids hay maze (a very manageable size for parents) as well as a hay ride through the back ground of the zoo and a taller corn maze.
Top tip: if you let your kids go ahead of you, you can shove your hands through the corn stalks, screaming and grabbing at them. They LOVE this / will be terrified ;-).
The hay ride’s former victims
Whilst most of the aforementioned hay ride is fun, there’s a real chilling moment with a human monster (no spoilers) that had us giggling nervously for a few minutes. Who doesn’t love a good scare at Halloween?
Being pursued by a killer
There’s also the Haunted Forest for 12 year olds and up but we didn’t do this as we’re too young and / or big chickens, a candy trail for the kids and kids crafts so plenty to do.
Don’t forget to swing by the amazing pumpkin carving team.
They do speed carving (sure, I can carve a wolf’s head in 1o minutes too, whatever) and create unbelievable sculptures over 2-3 days:
Finally, make sure to catch and ideally participate in the timed costume parade.
The zoo welcomes visitors in costume and encourages you to take part along with their cast members who are dressed in wonderfully creative outfits. March along to the drumbeat or simply stand and admire the monsters and superheroes stomping by.
For the grown-ups, there’s also Bootoberfest – food and beer! What? Sign us up.
Located at Astor Court you can buy a ticket into Bootoberfest and relax on the grass with live music and games for the kids.
The food trucks there are not – surprisingly – wholly objectionable in terms of quality and price either though I always recommend you take a packed lunch to any event like this as food is always overpriced and limited.
Harry loved the slide
Roger flying down the slide
Oh and yeah, it’s Halloween but don’t forget you can actually see a whole host of animals as this is a zoo 😉
Harry the meerkat
A few extra photos of our day out:
Harry, Roger, Emma, Julia and Yixin getting ready to take the hay ride
Emma enjoyed water art
I photobomb Harry and Roger
Kids ready to tackle the zoo
Mummy and Emma
Harry loved the decorations at the zoo
Must have been a good day out if the kids are exhausted