Boo at the Zoo: A Special Event at the Oakland Zoo - 510 Families
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Boo at the Zoo: A Special Event at the Oakland Zoo

The Oakland Zoo is setting up for its annual Boo at the Zoo event! This seasonal scavenger hunt invites families to traipse around the Zoo in their costumes, locating trick-or-treating animals. Designed for kids of all ages, Boo at the Zoo takes place during regular Zoo hours and does not require separate admission fees.

Boo at the Zoo runs many more days this year (woohoo!), October 1 – 29, 10 am – 4 pm. Reserve your tickets early as this is a popular event! Tickets become available at 9 am, 28 days prior to the date you would like to visit.

child in halloween costume
Find the animal x-rays throughout the zoo in the scavenger hunt | Photo: Maureen Burke

What is Boo At The Zoo?

From 10 am to 4 pm, Oakland Zoo visitors can enjoy a kid-friendly Halloween- and animal-themed event with a self-guided scavenger hunt and treats.

New this year – navigate through a 500-bale hay maze, encounter larger-than-life Halloween decorations, and follow the clues on a self-guided scavenger hunt to find the animal x-rays throughout the Zoo! The scavenger hunt adds a fun twist to the visit and encourages kids to keep moving. My second grader was especially interested in decoding the Halloween message. Make sure to grab your event guide and candy bar as you enter the Zoo to participate in all the fun activities!

Daughter and dad in hay maze
Weave through the kid-friendly hay maze at Oakland’s Boo at the Zoo | Photo: Maureen Burke

The program will allow you to follow the clues on the self-guided scavenger hunt to find all the trick-or-treating animals hiding throughout the Zoo. Winners of a social media costume contest (tag @oaklandzoo with your photos) will receive tickets to Glowfari later this year. Website to buy advance tickets >

Social Media Costume Contest Themed Weeks

‍10/1-10/7: Twinning – Parents suit up! It’s time to twin with your mini in your favorite Halloween costumes.
‍10/8-10/14: Monster Squad – Ghouls & monsters of the night, it’s your time to shine for a Halloween fright. Dress up in your classic monster squad members.
10/15-10/21: Favorite Animal Friends – Furry or scaley, feathers or slimy, it’s up to you! Pick your favorite animal to sport around the Zoo.
10/22-10/29: Wild Card – Your choice! Dress up as your favorite superhero, princess, pirate – the possibilities are endless!

oakland zoo
Tag #OaklandZoo to enter their annual costume contest | Photo: Julie Herson

Is there a costume contest at Boo At The Zoo?

You betcha! The Oakland Style Costume Contest presented by Visit Oakland, is an in-person costume contest, which will be held on Friday, 10/20 from 12:30pm to 1:30pm. Winners will be chosen by a panel of Zoo Ghouls who will award three winners a variety of Town and Oakland Zoo-themed prizes. To enter, please arrive by 12:15pm at the Clorox Wildlife Theater in the Wayne and Gladys Valley Children’s Zoo. Categories will be split into groups and children. Good luck!

family with witch hat
Parents can get in on the fun too! | Photo: Julie Herson

Boo At the Zoo Details

When: October 1 – 29, 10 am – 4 pm

Cost: Regular zoo admission pricing($20-$24) Free for members and kids under 2!

How: Tickets become available at 9am, 28 days prior to the date you would like to visit. Reserve your tickets here>>

See all the East Bay Halloween Events for Families >

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