Trick-or-Treat at the Zoo in Syracuse!

Rosamond Gifford Zoo invites kids to trick-or-treat with the animals at Zoo Boo October 20-21, 27-28

The Rosamond Gifford Zoo will once again transform into a Halloween haven where children can trick-or-treat with the animals at its annual Zoo Boo days the last two weekends of October.

This year’s event, sponsored by Dr. Margaret Madonian Children’s Dentistry, features special entertainment including Bubble Man Doug Rougeaux the first weekend and potion demonstrations by the American Chemical Society the second.

The popular pre-Halloween event offers 10 treat stations throughout the zoo, Halloween games and activities as well as animal encounters with some of the zoo’s creepier creatures. Treat stations will offer candy as well as non-candy alternatives like toys, vampire teeth, stickers and temporary tattoos.

Zoo Boo takes place Saturdays and Sundays October 20, 21, 27 and 28 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., rain or shine. The cost is $8 per child in addition to zoo admission (which is free to zoo members).

Children and their accompanying adults are encouraged to wear costumes and bring treat bags, or purchase a reusable Halloween treat bag for $1 each at the zoo. The event attracts many families that go all out with creative costumes, said Janet Agostini, President of the Friends of the Zoo, which organizes the event as a zoo fundraiser.

“A lot of people really get into the spirit of Zoo Boo,” Agostini said. “We see entire families dressing in costumes with a theme to take their kids around the zoo. We’ve had families of super heroes, gnomes, animals – people get very imaginative and it really adds to the fun of this event.”

Zoo Boo Activities Include:

  • Trick-or-Treat Stations throughout the zoo
  • Visit the Fortune-teller
  • Haunted Hillside at Goblin’s Gulch, a section of the Wildlife Trail that’s new this year
  • Pose with the Pumpkin of Pachyderm Proportions (over 1,200 pounds!)
  • Bubble Man Doug Rougeaux roves the zoo October 20 and 21, with a show at 2:15 p.m.
  • Magical potions demonstrations by the American Chemical Society October 27 and 28
  • Syracuse Crunch mascot Crunchman will be at Zoo Boo both Saturdays
  • Creepy Crawly Animal Encounters and Keeper Talks
  • Cider & Donuts - for purchase
  • Halloween Games and activities
  • Much More!

Agostini said the zoo has some construction going on to build a new walkway and enlarge and enhance its elephant, white-lipped deer and red wolf habitats, so the Wildlife Trail will be is a horseshoe rather than a loop during Zoo Boo.

“We are arranging our treat stations to make it worth people’s while to go up one fork, turn around and go up the other,” she said. “We are adding a Haunted Hillside attraction on the left fork where some of our dinosaurs lived over the summer. And we know that some of our young construction fans will enjoy seeing the heavy equipment that’s building the new walkway.”

Advance tickets to Zoo Boo are available to Rosamond Gifford Zoo members only at The general public can buy tickets at the door the day of the Zoo Boo events.

For more information on Zoo Boo and other zoo events, please visit


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