Haunt the Zoo with Littles: 7 Tips for an Unforgettable Experience
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7 Tips for an Unforgettable Experience at Haunt the Zoo

by Victoria Still

Reading Time: 4 minutes 

A day at the OKC Zoo plus trick-or-treating?  Name a better duo. I look forward to this event every year because it’s a great family activity and your children get to trick-or-treat in the daylight hours. Like any outing with little kids, preparation is key for a successful experience.  Just in time for the zoo’s 40th anniversary, I have compiled a list of tips for navigating Haunt the Zoo with little ones to make your time at the OKC Zoo one to remember:

  • Get some wheels! Bring a stroller or wagon because if your child is anything like mine, you’ll be left carrying their candy bag, jacket, fairy wand, cat ears, etc. after the first 30 minutes. They can also hop in and take a ride if their little legs get tired.  The zoo is a big place! Don’t worry if you don’t have one or forgot to bring yours; you can rent strollers and wagons from the OKC Zoo for under $15.
  • Suit up! This is absolutely the place to show off your costume. There will be many photo opportunities along the trick-or-treat path. Be mindful of how comfortable your costume is to walk in and bring a pair of comfy sneakers if your miniature Barbie insists on wearing her heels. The zoo does not allow full face masks or pretend weapons so leave those at home.
  • Pack your patience! You’re going to see some long trick-or-treat lines, but I promise you, as an experienced Haunt the Zoo veteran, they go quickly. Now, lean in and listen closely because this might be my best advice:  everyone stops and queues at the very first trick-or-treat station and the line can get very long.  You don’t have to visit them in order!  Skip ahead and visit a station in the middle of the path and begin your adventure there. You can revisit the first stop on your way out of the zoo.
  • Explore all the activities!  Your littles will have a great time on the trick-or-treat path with 13 candy stops. If you have extra energy to burn, Haunt the Zoo offers a Hay Maze, the Bewitched Elephant Express Tram ($6 per person), and Carousel rides ($3 per person). There are different Haunt the Zoo packages that you can choose from.  The basic package includes just trick-or-treating and the “Boo-It-All” package includes Lorikeet Feeding, Stingray Bay and the Carousel.  You can also choose to forgo the trick-or-treating experience with the “Zoo-It-All” option.
  • Eat beforehand. The OKC Zoo does have several dining options, which come in handy when you’re spending a long day animal-watching.  However, I predict it will be harder to pull little ones away from all the festivities to sit down and have a meal. Additionally, a full belly might minimize their appetite for candy.
  • A Food Allergy Strategy: There were many items that my daughter (who has several food allergies, including milk and peanuts) could enjoy that were provided on the trick-or-treat trail. There is no way to know what they will be offering ahead of time, so bring a few safe or non-food options and make your own trick-or-treat bag for them.  The zoo does allow you to bring in your own food, just be sure there are no glass containers.
  • Safety First! Always have a plan if your family gets separated. Bring your medical kit, especially if your child has diabetes, food allergies, etc. There will be a lot of candy around. You can bring glow sticks, AirTags, etc. to help spot your child, but no balloons  because those are not permitted in the zoo.

I hope you have a wonderful experience on this spooky-not-scary adventure. Setting proper expectations is important at big events and I hope I have fully prepared you to have the best time ever at Haunt the Zoo!

Haunt the Zoo Details:

Saturdays and Sundays, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. October 7th & 8th, October 14th & 15th, October 21st & 22nd, and October 28th & 29th

Kids under 14 must be accompanied by an adult.

Ticket prices range from $8-35.

Victoria Still is a content creator and mom of 2 based in OKC. She is also a food allergy parent and is passionate about promoting awareness and finding safe and delicious alternatives.  You can connect with her on Instagram at @victoriastillokc

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