Halloween Nights

Halloween Nights are a naturally spooky time at Dallas Zoo

_MG_0048-Halloween Nights 2014 CBDallas Zoo’s Halloween Nights, presented by Texas Instruments, offers spellbinding entertainment for little ghouls and goblins during four special evenings this week. The zoo gates will screech open after-hours from 5-8 p.m. on Oct. 22-25.

The zoo closes at 4 p.m. and reopens at 5 p.m. for this naturally spooky – but not too scary! – event in ZooNorth.

Dress your children in Halloween costumes and trick-or-treat at 14 themed treat stations. Catch “SOARing the 7 Seas” pirate-themed animal shows at the Wildlife Amphitheater at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m., and watch a Booooty Pageant show every half hour at the Macy’s Star Stage on Cat Green.

Travel the Yellow Brick Road through the breezeway to Emerald City for a photo opp. At Pirate Cove-themed Picnic Ridge, ride the mini-train and meet a pirate magician. Then venture through the Wilds of Africa tunnel to play carnival games, touch and learn about marine biofacts, and visit the African penguins.

_MG_9822-Halloween Nights 2014 CBMingle with stilt-walkers, costumed characters and meet Zoohilda the friendly witch in ZooNorth. Stop by Cat Green to enjoy bounce houses and an interactive bubble experience. And reconnect with nature by making Ghost Eyes to plant in your yard — mold clay balls filled with soil and seeds that’ll grow into native wildflowers.

The Lacerte Family Children’s Zoo will be full of mystery, with activities, games, frequent animal encounters and more. Guests will find creepy-crawly critters like serpents, newts, and toads at the Reptile Building, then end the night with a backwards spin on the Haunted Carousel.

Admission is $10 per person for ages 3 and older and includes six candy coupons for each paid admission. Ages 2 and under are free, and Dallas Zoo members receive a discount of $2 per ticket. Additional candy coupons are available for $5 for another six coupons. Parking is $5 per vehicle, or take the DART Red Line to the Zoo’s door.

The Prime Meridian restaurant will be open, plus food and drink carts will be scattered throughout. Tickets are sold at the door or online at www.dallaszoo.com/halloweennights.

See all the Halloween Nights spooktacular fun below!

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Halloween creepy-crawlers not so creepy

Tim Brys

Tim Brys

 

Admit it, there are a few creatures that make your skin crawl, or maybe make you squeal, jump on top of a table, or run like the wind. In honor of the spookiest time of year, we’ve compiled a list of the scariest creatures at the Dallas Zoo. But we’re not trying to intensify your phobias — zookeeper Tim Brys tells why our top five “scariest” animals are simply misunderstood.

1. Texas brown tarantula: They freak out arachnophobes, but they’re usually fairly docile, often kept as pets. They’re more likely to flick itchy hairs from their bodies to keep you away than to attack you. Their bite is like a bee sting, but they’ll warn you first by rearing up with their front legs raised. They’re a great pest control for many insects found around your home.

2. Snakes: Let’s start off with this: snakes are shiny, not slimy! And they’re not out to bite you, even the venomous ones. In fact, they’d rather not bite, because it risks damaging their teeth and wastes venom they need to catch food. Snakes would rather just crawl away and hide somewhere, so let them be.

Texas Brown Tarantula

Texas Brown Tarantula

3. Rats: Rodents have instilled fear in humans since the time of plagues. Like any animal, they can spread disease when populations are too high… which is why we have natural controls for them, such as snakes! (See how that works?) If you take a closer look at rats, though, they’re highly intelligent. They can be trained like a household pet and bond well with humans. Plus, they’re furry – and who doesn’t like cute and fuzzy?

4. Madagascar hissing cockroaches: It’s hard for me to look at these insects as scary. I got one as a Christmas present when they were first available in pet stores. They do hiss, but that sound is actually from air being squeezed through holes (spiracles) on the sides of their bodies. They do this when touched, because they don’t know if it’s a predator. They’re nature’s recyclers – they break down organic material, which gives plants access to previously trapped nutrients. Their feet may be a little prickly, but they’re harmless.

5. American alligator: These scaly guys aren’t normally aggressive, but they can become that way when people feed them. If a bite occurs, it usually happens when a person is doing something foolish, in an area that maybe they shouldn’t be (like swimming where alligators have been fed by people), or if there isn’t enough food to go around (often because of overpopulation and habitat loss). They’re incredible creatures that can survive over a year without eating and have some of the strongest stomach acids known to animals.

American Alligator

American Alligator

So put aside your fears and come see for yourself during Halloween Nights why these creepy crawlers aren’t so creepy. Meet the dedicated zookeepers who care for them during this naturally spooky – but not too scary! – event in ZooNorth. For four evenings Oct. 23-26, our gates will creak open from 5-8 p.m. Costumed kiddos can trick-or-treat at 16 themed treat stations, meet Zoo Hilda the friendly witch and other costumed characters, catch an animal show and stage shows by Monster Mash and Peter and the Wolf, and more. Tickets are $10 per person (children 2 and under free). More info: bit.ly/HWN14DZ

 

Categories: Events, Halloween Nights, Reptiles and Amphibians, Zookeepers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Brought to you by the Dallas Zoo