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

See all the Halloween Nights spooktacular fun below!

Categories: Events, Halloween Nights | Leave a comment

Forest Wildlife Weekend: Conservation action for forest animals

Children help plant and water trees during our Forest Wildlife Weekend event.

Children help plant and water trees during Dallas Zoo’s Forest Wildlife Weekend event.

Dean of Dallas Zoo’s Wild Earth Academy, Ben Jones, guest blogs on ZooHoo!

Thank you for an extraordinary Forest Wildlife Weekend filled with wild inspiration, family fun, and conservation action at the Dallas Zoo. Our animals inspired 3,613 new conservation commitments for wildlife here and around the globe. Couple those with the 4,074 pledges made over Endangered Species Weekend this summer, we’re in striking distance of making 10,000 personal pledges for wildlife conservation this year.

Thousands of guests enjoyed activities inspired by our amazing forest animals. They balanced like a gibbon, sniffed like an okapi, planted trees with the Zoo’s Green Team, and much more. Our three community partners: City of Dallas Office of Environmental Quality, The Texas Trees Foundation, and The Trinity Trust, highlighted Dallas’s own Great Trinity Forest. At 6,000 acres, it’s the largest, urban, bottomland, hardwood forest in North America._MG_2163

When it comes to saving animals from extinction, no strategy is complete without a focus on forests. Forests cover only about 30% of the world’s surface, yet they’re home to about half of all terrestrial biodiversity. Forests play a critical role in regulating the Earth’s climate; by removing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere, they form the world’s largest terrestrial store of atmospheric carbon. It’s hard to believe, but the destruction and degradation of the world’s forests accounts for a higher share of global CO2 emissions than the entire transportation sector.

_MG_2100Even if you didn’t make it out for Forest Wildlife Weekend, you can still make high-impact commitments at home to save our forests and the animals who call them home:

Action for Vultures

  • We’ll choose shade-grown coffee & tell 3 people why.
  • We’ll choose organic, fair-trade chocolates.

Action for Gorillas

  • We’ll extend the life of our mobile phones & recycle them.
  • We’ll reuse paper and buy sustainable forest products.

    Zoo staffers pledge to buy candy made with sustainably harvested palm oil.

    Zoo staffers pledge to buy candy made with sustainably harvested palm oil to save gibbons.

Action for Gibbons

  • We’ll make sure palm oil in our sweets is deforestation-free.
  • We’ll choose recycled paper products.

Action for Okapi

  • We’ll reuse and recycle paper products.
  • We’ll only buy gold certified from conflict-free zones.

Action for Turtles

  • We’ll pick up 10 pieces of plastic pollution every Tuesday.
  • We’ll make sure our reptile pets are captive-bred.
Making tree cookie necklaces with Texas Trees Foundation.

Making tree cookie necklaces with Texas Trees Foundation.

Action for Opossums

  • We’ll keep our trashcan lids on tight.
  • We’ll feed our pets inside.

Action for Wildlife

  • We’ll use reusable grocery bags.
  • We’ll pick up 10 pieces of litter pollution every week.

Action for Tigers

  • We’ll support companies committed to deforestation-free palm oil.
  • We’ll choose FSC certified wood products.


Action for Texas Forest Animals

Texas A&M Aggies pledge to protect forest wildlife.

Texas A&M Aggies pledge to protect forest wildlife.

  • We’ll plant a native tree this year.
  • We’ll care for our neighborhood trees.

Get ready to honor wildlife conservation with us again Nov. 21-22 for Savanna Wildlife Weekend. We’ll activate around animals like elephants, giraffes and African vultures, from grasslands, savannas, and prairies. We’ll even work to protect our own Blackland Prairie, which is the most endangered ecosystem in North America.

Together, we’re changing the world for wildlife!

Check out our Instagram hashtag #DallasZooWildlife to see photos from this past weekend’s event.

Categories: Conservation, Events | Tags: | Leave a comment

Heavy rain POSTPONES Safari Nights kickoff


SafariNights_ColorThe kickoff of the Dallas Zoo’s third annual Safari Nights summer concert series, scheduled for TOMORROW NIGHT, May 30, has been postponed. The record rainfall and last night’s storms have saturated Cat Green, where the outdoor concert series is held.

With the potential for more storms in the forecast and the safety of guests, animals and staff a priority, the zoo will reschedule Petty Theft (Tom Petty tribute band) and The Bird Dogs to a later date.

The Dallas Zoo is open for regular hours (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) today and tomorrow. However, due to storm cleanup in the Wildlife Amphitheater, the DinoSOAR wildlife show will not be held today or Saturday.

More info on Safari Nights:

Extended zoo hours and special evening keeper talks will give visitors a chance to mingle with some of the zoo’s wildest stars before the bands start to rock during Safari Nights. The concerts, which start at 7 p.m., will bring music to Texas’ largest zoo until 9 p.m. Food will be available for purchase, along with soft drinks, cold craft beer and wine.

The concert lineup, arranged through a partnership with The Kessler in Oak Cliff, includes:

POSTPONED – May 30: Petty Theft (Tom Petty tribute band) and The Bird Dogs

June 6: The Relatives (psychedelic gospel funk)

June 13: Escape (Journey tribute band)

June 20: Trout Fishing in America (eclectic folk/rock)

June 27: The Killdares (Celtic rock)

July 4: Live 80 (’80s tribute band)

July 11: A Hard Night’s Day (Beatles tribute band)

July 18: Sara Hickman (Texas singer/songwriter)

July 25: FastLane (Eagles tribute band)

August 1: The O’s (roots rock)

As the sun goes down, guests can get close to the stars of the zoo’s Animal Adventures outreach program and catch a special presentation of DinoSOAR, presented by Kimberly-Clark, the dynamic, interactive wildlife show featuring birds and mammals from all over the world.

The Safari Nights event schedule includes:

Lion Keeper Talk: 5 p.m.

Elephant Keeper Talk: 6 p.m.

DinoSOAR: 6 p.m.

Lacerte Family Children’s Zoo Keeper Encounters: 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Wild Encounters Stage animal presentations: Every half-hour until 6 p.m.

Animal Adventures: 6:30 p.m.

Concerts: 7 p.m.

Lacerte Family Children’s Zoo and Travis & Zach’s Birds Landing open until 7:30 p.m.

Giraffe Feeding, Koala Walkabout, and Lorikeet Landing open until 8 p.m.

Giants of the Jurassic exhibit and T-Rex Express mini train open until dark

Safari Nights is FREE with zoo admission, which for non-members is $15 for ages 12-64; $12 for ages 3-11 and seniors; and free for children under 2. Guests are encouraged to bring blankets or lawn chairs. Cabana rental packages will be available for purchase. Parking is $8 per vehicle (free for members), or visitors can take DART, the Zoo’s Official Transportation Provider; the Red Line drops guests off at the zoo’s entrance. iHeart Media is the Official Media Sponsor of Safari Nights.

Categories: Events, Exhibits and Experiences, Safari Nights, SOAR, A Festival of Flight presented by Kimberly-Clark | 2 Comments

Uniting to Save Animals From Extinction (SAFE)


Three days, six endangered species stations, 30 volunteers and 4,074 people who pledged to help save endangered animals — it IMG_9092 SAFE Endangered Species Penguin CS (800x533)was an extraordinary weekend for wildlife.

On the 10th anniversary of Endangered Species Day, we joined the Association of Zoos & IMG_9106 SAFE Endangered Species Penguin CS (533x800)Aquariums (AZA) for the launch of SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction. SAFE is an incredible nationwide effort uniting 228 AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums to raise awareness for species that desperately need our help.

We invited guests to discover how they could help save elephants, cheetahs, penguins, and gorillas in Africa, as well as the monarch butterfly here in Texas. And their response blew us away.

“We saw that people wanted to be more personally involved,” said Ben Jones, dean of Dallas Zoo’s Wild Earth Academy. “They were inspired by our animals, and they wanted to be invited to help. They just needed a little guidance.”IMG_9101 SAFE Endangered Species Penguin CS (533x800)

But we also learned that while many people know in a general sense that wildlife’s in trouble, they don’t know how severe the threat of extinction is that these animals face. So we’d like to share these green actions that start right at home. We hope to inspire more conversations, ignite a light to investigate, and become conservationists to help protect what we have now before it’s too late.

My Pledge to Protect Penguins:

  • I’ll buy sustainable seafood.
  • I’ll save energy. When not in use, I’ll turn off the juice.

My Pledge to Protect Elephants:

  • I’ll spread the word about ivory & never buy it.
  • I’ll respect & protect native wildlife.

My Pledge to Protect Gorillas:

  • I’ll extend the life of my mobile phone & recycle it.
  • I’ll buy sustainable forest products.

My Pledge to Protect Cheetahs:

  • I’ll respect & protect native wildlife.
  • I’ll restore wildlife habitat.

My Pledge to Protect Monarch Butterflys:

  • I’ll plant milkweed.
  • I’ll reduce or eliminate yard pesticides.

My Pledge to Protect Wildlife:

  • I’ll use reusable grocery bags.
  • I’ll pick up 10 pieces of litter pollution every week.

IMG_9169 SAFE Endangered Species Penguin CS (800x533)To view all of the photos from our Endangered Species Weekend, click HERE. And to see photos of how other AZA-accredited zoos/aquariums participated to inspire change, click HERE.

Categories: Cheetah, Conservation, Elephant, Events, Gorilla, Penguins | Leave a comment

Giant dinosaurs roar into Dallas Zoo this spring


The biggest zoo in Texas gets even BIGGER on April 1 with the opening of the Giants of the Jurassic exhibit, featuring more than 20 roaring, animatronic dinosaurs, plus the world-renowned, interactive theater puppet experience of Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo Live.

An 18-foot-tall, 43-foot-long Tyrannosaurus rex that moves and roars is one of more than 20 dinosaurs in our upcoming Giants of the Jurassic exhibit./Billings Productions Inc.

An 18-foot-tall, 43-foot-long Tyrannosaurus rex that moves and roars is one of more than 20 dinosaurs in our upcoming Giants of the Jurassic exhibit./Billings Productions Inc.

Our popular SOAR wildlife show also is being rethemed. The stars of the “DinoSOAR” show, presented by Kimberly-Clark, will highlight the connection between dinosaurs and modern-day animals.

As one of our continuing efforts to give back to the community, the $500,000 exhibit will be free with zoo admission, so guests pay no additional charge to explore the land before time. It runs from April 1 through Sept. 7.

“Who doesn’t love dinosaurs?” said Gregg Hudson, Dallas Zoo’s president and CEO. “All the way until Labor Day, our guests will not only see some of our era’s biggest animals, such as elephants, giraffes, lions and tigers, but also a T-rex, a Stegosaurus and much more.”

Massive Triceratop will joing the dinosaur lineup./Billings Productions Inc.

Massive Triceratop will joing the dinosaur lineup./Billings Productions Inc.

Dinosaurs will include Tyrannosaurus rex, Brachiosaurus, Stegosaurus and baby, Orinthomimus, Amargasaurus and baby, six Compsognathus, Baryonyx, Quetzalcoatlus, Dilophosaurus and baby, Parasaurolophus and its nest, Triceratops, Megalosaurus, Carnotaurus and Coelophysis.

In addition, zoogoers can explore raised “dig box” and fossil boxes, operate a robotic Dimetrodon, put together a large wooden dinosaur skeleton, and say “cheese” with a very photogenic Tyrannosaurus rex. The exhibit will be spread across the area of ZooNorth known as Picnic Ridge, but renamed Raptor Ridge for the summer.

“The Zoo’s newest attraction will be one of the most comprehensive dinosaur experiences in the country,” said Sean Greene, Dallas Zoo’s vice president of guest experiences. “We’ve talked about this for many years at the Zoo, and now guests can experience a variety of prehistoric-themed programs that will really set Giants of the Jurassic apart from other dinosaur exhibits.”

In the new DinoSOAR show, which runs several times a day Wednesdays-Sundays in the Wildlife Amphitheater, exotic animals help the zoo’s “paleontologist” search for fossils to complete a dinosaur skeleton. DinoSOAR includes unique birds, including an African crowned crane, hadada ibis, Harris hawk, trumpeter hornbill, Eurasian eagle owl, toco toucan and a bald eagle. And two new faces are Fred and Ginger, capybara siblings who weigh almost 100 pounds each. (Capybaras are the largest rodents in the world, and scientists believe they are distantly related to giant ground sloths that once grew to 20 feet long.) Another addition is Willow, an American beaver.

Dinosaurs also will be key elements of the zoo’s educational programs and summer camps, and special dinosaur-themed events and birthday parties will be available.

Brachiosaurus/Billings Productions Inc.

Brachiosaurus/Billings Productions Inc.

The special engagement of Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo Live will include special 30-minute shows four times a day, on Thursdays through Mondays. The immensely popular, international experiential theatre production features a large-scale cast of dinosaur puppets brought to life by sophisticated design and presentation and puppet mastery. The production, created in Australia, will feature an array of dinosaurs on a special stage, including the awesome Tyrannosaurus rex and the peaceful giant Triceratops, which was created by Erth uniquely for the North American tour. These lifelike recreations connect children to paleontology in a fun and informative setting, as guests meet a menagerie of insects, mammals and dinosaurs that once roamed the planet millions of years ago.

The North American tour of Dinosaur Zoo Live is produced by Red Tail Entertainment. Founded by Phillip Drayer, Red Tail produces live entertainment and a variety of live performances by headline entertainers throughout the United States. The company recently produced the national tour of Scooby Doo Live! Musical Mysteries, a live musical designed specifically for children, and A Night with Janis Joplin on Broadway in 2013-14. Its subsidiary company, 35 Concerts, presents concerts by notable entertainers such as Tony Bennett, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and many more at venues throughout the U.S.

WATCH the suspense in 30 seconds.

Categories: Conservation, Education, Events, Exhibits and Experiences, Giants of the Jurassic, Reptiles and Amphibians | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

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