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I remember attending my first ZooBoo over a decade ago. It was chill. Easy to absorb the atmosphere. Then a year or two later they changed it up to be a bit more “scary”…yes I jumped out of my skin in a haunted house and I accidentally kicked someone who jumped out at me! Since then I had refrained from going as I myself am not fond of being scared. Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, FL took the memo that parents desired a kid friendly event rather than all the spooky things going on and they have met the needs in the area by starting their new ZooBoo Kids event as of this year.
With a new event there are sure to be some bumps along the way as they find their groove. I really enjoyed how they handed out a map and made icons so you could easily locate things. The back of the park and Wallaroo Station have become the Halloween Pumpkin Patch area for the kids. They had samples being given away by sponsors, games and cookie decorating you could pay an additional fee for, and multiple trick-or-treat stations the kids could stop by at. You also were given a bag at the front of the park to collect your goodies in.
My son was beyond thrilled to see the candy stations handing out some of his favorite lollipops. He stopped in his tracks to get one in his mouth and him and a goat almost duked it out over who the lollipop belonged to!
We had our neighbors and my son’s best friend tag along with us to experience opening night. A few things that are highly promoted are the pet parade, the monster mash dance party at the end of the day, and the animal/costume parade. I was left a bit disappointed at the animal/costume parade due to there being a total of perhaps (4) animals and then just the three dressed up characters.
The children and families are encouraged to join the parade but since this is new, I don’t think it caught on very well the first night. I loved seeing the horses dressed up but of course they moved a little too fast to capture a photo. The kids had fun with the rides being open and walking around. The Wallaroo Station water area is still open as is the petting zoo.
ZooBoo is now geared towards children ages 3-11, both the boys are just under 2 and did enjoy themselves. I was a bit sad that I did not realize that most of the animal exhibits would be closed early so we didn’t get to take the boys to see a few animals that were on my wish list but we also only attended from 4pm-7pm. The activities start at 1pm on select days. Unlike prior ZooBoo events, your admission is included in either your annual membership or your daily admission cost.
One of the perks was the Tru Moo station giving out lots of cold chocolate milk for the whole family. The DJ at the front of the park kept the kids entertained with dancing and singing. Overall, we had a great time with our toddlers. I’m sure as our boys get a little older they will be enjoying it more and running around a bit. It was a bit crowded for opening night but since the admission is included in a normal day ticket that is to be expected. My biggest suggestion would be to make a day out of it and enjoy the zoo and the event! I’m sure this year is a big stepping stone to see how they want to move forward and Lowry Park Zoo has always been willing to change with the times and always put kids and parents first!
Dates that ZooBoo will be operating with daily admission.
- Saturday, October 10th
- Sunday, October 11th
- Saturday, October 17th
- Sunday, October 18th
- Friday, October 23rd
- Saturday, October 24th
- Sunday, October 25th
- Monday, October 26th
- Friday, October 30th
- Saturday, October 31st
- Sunday, November 1st
You can Buy Tickets Online or at the box office upon arrival.
Author: Nichole Arnold
I’m the owner of Mommy Needs a Bottle . I’m a 30- something wine enthusiast that resides in Tampa, FL. I love family traditions, traveling, cooking, baking, reading, fashion, tattoos, beauty products, and being a Mommy! I have a background in marketing, public relations, copywriting, and sales.