Boo at the Bronx Zoo: Halloween Activities

Boo at the Bronx Zoo

Angel Madison / Flickr

With 265 acres of wildlife habitats and attractions, the award-winning Bronx Zoo in New York City is the country's biggest metropolitan zoo as well as one of the world's largest zoos. If you're planning a visit to NYC in or near October, make sure you carve out some time for the beloved annual event called Boo at the Zoo. This Halloween celebration has become a tradition for New Yorkers, and rightly so. On weekends from late September into early November, families can enjoy a variety of Halloween-themed activities. Boo at the Zoo is a great time to enjoy a weekend outdoors while the weather is still fairly warm; the event also allows visitors an extra chance to have fun wearing their Halloween costumes.

Boo at the Zoo Event Highlights

In addition to visiting the zoo's creepy critters such as bats, spiders, rats, and owls, there are many Halloween activities for the family to participate in. Check out the musical performances, haunted forest, hayrides, corn maze, spooky stories, face painting, magic shows, pumpkin carving, crafts, and costume parade. There's also an eerie graveyard of extinct animals—may they rest in peace—and a dinosaur safari for all ages. Select areas of the zoo are also available for trick-or-treating. 

Those 21 and older will appreciate a chance to try some new beers, eat some local food, and enjoy live acoustic bands at Bootoberfest from noon to 4 p.m. The zoo also has an after-hours Spooktacular Night Walk on October 5, 11, 18, and 26, 2019; the adults-only version of the walk is October 12, 2019. During this ticketed event, costumes are encouraged, and you'll go on a guided night walk to see what happens after everyone leaves each day.

About the Bronx Zoo

The Bronx Zoo, which opened in 1899, is home to over 4,000 animals that fall into more than 650 species found in both indoor and outdoor areas. The zoo has more than 2 million visitors a year.

Featured animals include sea lions, penguins, polar bears, butterflies, lions, tigers, zebras, giraffes, gorillas, and reptiles. Popular exhibits include Congo Gorilla Forest, Himalayan Highlands, Tiger Mountain, World of Reptiles, and JungleWorld. There's also a seasonal children's zoo typically open in the spring (weather-dependent) where kids can pet the goats, sheep, and donkeys in a farmyard. Plus the little ones will have a chance to greet unique animals like the Linne's two-toed sloths, giant anteaters, and alpacas.

Location Details

The zoo is located within Bronx Park in the Bronx borough of NYC, and has two main parking lots as well as alternative parking at Fordham University nearby. The Bronx Zoo is accessible by mass transit from NYC, including directly via the subway to the Bronx and express bus from Manhattan.

If you are meeting people, you'll want to plan ahead as the zoo has three main gates. The Asia Gate has a pedestrian entry at Boston Road and Bronx Park South. The Bronx River Gate is for pedestrians and vehicles (take Exit 6 off Bronx River Parkway). For the Southern Boulevard Gate, pedestrians may enter at Southern Boulevard and 185th Street, and vehicles can enter at Southern Boulevard and 183rd Street.

Admission Information

When you pay zoo admission, most Boo at the Zoo activities are included. Admission is free for zoo members and children 2 and younger. Military and undergraduate college student discounts are available for NYC college undergraduates or NYC residents attending non-NYC college.