Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Treats and Treats and Fun, Too.

Halloween isn't what it was when we were kids. Where we were allowed to roam the neighborhood (and other neighborhoods) with little to no parental supervision, times
have changed. Today we're more concerned about danger and are more discouraging of childhood pranks. And fewer families are participating in the door-to-door tradition of Trick-Or-Treating.

But there's no reason to completely ditch the tradition. Instead, it's been adapted into a great, fun event everyone can enjoy at the Little Rock Zoo.

Boo at the Zoo is the annual Halloween event the Zoo puts on each year. For a whole week or more each year, the Zoo opens up at night to entertain young folks with rides, games, and stands where kids can trade tickets for candy.

It's a great way to spend an evening, and a chance to
wear that great Halloween costume -- without having the worry of dodging cars and walking through the neighbor's yard.

This year's event runs October 24-31. The Zoo gates open at 5 p.m. For $5
($4 for members) each person gets a goodie bag and a strip of candy tickets. Candy here is well monitored -- different companies and groups run each of the candy stations, offering all sorts of goodies.

The tickets ensure that
everyone receives a similar amount of candy -- and helps parents keep track of how much candy their child has brought in.

Along the way, there are all sorts of games for the kids to play --
and activities to enjoy.

There's a Haunted House, and the Haunted Train Ride, and more.

There are also carnival rides -- these are an additional charge, but there are booths where you can purchase tickets to ride the Ferris Wheel, enjoy the Fun House, and get Scrambled.

There are also concessions with autumn favorites like funnel cakes, corn dogs, and popcorn -- especially popular for folks who missed out on the State Fair.

And then there's Cafe Africa, the renovated old Cat House that's now a spectacular function space with a concessionary. You can grab dinner and get off your feet for a bit before heading out for more fun.

Of course, there's a place to have your picture taken. And this year, you can ride Over the Jumps, the fabulously restored carousel that's recently reopened on Zoo grounds.

For those of us who rode as a kid, it's a real treat.

If that wasn't enough, kids have a chance to meet a real zoo celebrity this year. On Halloween night, October 31st, Jack Hanna will be on-hand to sign copies of his new book at 8 p.m. -- and then will tape a TV show at the Civitan Amphitheater on the Zoo grounds. The Zoo's staying open late that night -- until 10 p.m.

It's a lot of fun, it's safe, and you don't have to worry about what might come home in your kid's candy sack. For more information on Boo at the Zoo, call (501) 661-7208 or check out the Little Rock Zoo website.

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