‘Boo At The Zoo’ Serves Up Chills, Thrills

By  //  October 19, 2012

Runs Through Oct. 28

BREVARD COUNTY • VIERA, FLORIDA – For the next few weekends, the Brevard Zoo will be a scary but popular place as the facility will be putting on its annual Boo at the Zoo spectacular.

Interpretive guide Ron Falkenstein tries out his scary face at Kayak Beach in the Brevard Zoo in preparation for the upcoming Boo at the Zoo weekends. (Image by Robert Hughes)

Sixteen-thousand visitors attended last year’s event over nine nights, and the zoo’s event organizer Lauren Heckerson said, “We’re hoping to get even more this year.”

The event will be held from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights on Oct. 19 to 22 and Oct. 26 to 28. The latest admission each night will be 8 p.m.

Ticket prices vary according to the night attended, with the Friday and Sunday costing $10 per person and each Saturday costs $12 to enter.  Members will be able to get in for $5 on Fridays only.

The tickets are on sale online at brevardzoo.org, and – because of the event’s huge popularity — that’s apparently a good way to go, and only partly because there’s a discount offered that way.

Event master gardeners will be available to explain the hows and whys of the harmful plants they have on display at Professor Wormwood’s Poison Garden during then upcoming Boo At The Zoo at the Brevard Zoo. (Image by Robert Hughes)

“The most important part, I’d say, is to get your tickets before you come,” zoo lead interpretive guide Cheryl Caldwell said. “Sometimes the line to get tickets here is very long.”

Once inside the zoo, Caldwell said, “I think the train is the best part because of the story that’s told all along the way. Parts of it are scary, but not too much because it’s for the kids.”

Kids of all ages can ride the “Boo-choo” train as much as they want, as it runs constantly “as long as there’s a line going,” Caldwell said.

Even the scarlet macaws are looking a bit leery about some of the props set up at the Brevard Zoo for Boo at the Zoo. (Image by Robert Hughes)

The Haunted Trail, however, comes with a different level of scariness, as its age limit of 10 years and older attests.

For interpretive guide Ron Falkenstein,   it’s the most interesting part of “Boo.”

“It’s pretty good: There will be kids who will come out screaming,” he said. “There’s no fee for it, so people will go around and around, doing it again and again. Especially the teenagers.”

Caldwell pointed out that the Trail “is a really good deal because some places charge $20-30 for their haunted trails. And it is really cool – and not for the faint of heart. It’s a lot of fun.”

The café will be open for the event, but there will be special food, drink – including alcohol — and treat stations in various places around the zoo, including lots of goodies for the kids with 25 stations where their trick-or-treating will be rewarded.

Caldwell reiterated the perpetual zoo request of “Please do not feed the animals,” however, because kids can sometimes be separated from their treats. And there will be some animals on display, though many will be home in bed, out of sight of the spooked and spooky humans.

There will be many more activities, including live acts on a stage and a special play area with crafts and games, a costume contest and a witch’s lair. Brand new this year is a special exhibit, Professor Wormwood’s Poison Garden, with some real, live  plants known for inflicting their own scary harm.

For more information about the event, visit http://brevardzoo.org/.