ZooTampa at Lowry Park is bringing back its nighttime Halloween party, Creatures of the Night, adding this year some new scare zones for older kids, animal shows and some devilish food.
On Fridays and Saturdays from Oct. 5 to Oct. 27, the zoo at 1101 W Sligh Ave. in Tampa will stay open until 10 p.m. Heavily themed areas will be turned spooky with decorations, lights, fog, mysterious music and sound effects. A colorful cast of character actors and performers will mingle with the crowd and special fearsome-looking zoo animals will be brought out for educational purposes.
"The family-safe event has no horror or gore, just an impressive lineup of endless scares and startles for one and all," a zoo news release said.
New this year is Medusa’s Stone Cold Cave, a scare zone located in the manatee encounter starring the serpent-headed queen, and zoo educators will be on-hand to talk the importance of snakes.
Also new this year is Fairy Frightful Forest, a diversion for older kids, pre-teens and adults. A seemingly enchanted woodland will be filled with overgrown flowers, huge mushrooms and whimsical fairies, but visitors will also come face-to-face with trolls and menacing trees that have come to life.
The new Pigpimples School of Mystery and Mayhem will put on multiple family-friendly shows nightly.
Returning favorites include a pumpkin patch for little ones, scarecrows and friendly farm animals. Up-close animal interactions and fall photo opportunities are also abundant.
Some of the devilish culinary offerings include a new Tombscone, "a sinfully delicious black ice cream," and the returing Beast Burger, bigger and spicier than last year. There will also be a variety of seasonal beer, wine, cocktails and Coca-Cola products.
The event is included with admission: $34.95 and $25.95 for ages 3-11, which is "pay for a day" and allows entry for the rest of the calendar year. Or you can get an after-4 p.m. ticket for $24.95.
Only children 11 and younger are allowed to come in costume. Toy weapons are prohibited.
See zootampa.org or call (813) 935-8552 for information.
Contact Sharon Kennedy Wynne at [email protected] Follow @SharonKWn.