The 24th Annual “Boo at the Zoo” at Santa Fe College

Families make their way through the Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo during the annual Boo at the Zoo event on Tuesday Oct. 31, 2017 in Gainesville, FL. Zoo faculty, staff and students dress in costumes and pass out candy to trick-or-treaters. (photo by Matt Stamey/Santa Fe College)
Boo at the Zoo will be Wednesday, October 31, at the SF Teaching Zoo.

October 3, 2018 – The Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo will be holding its annual “Boo at the Zoo” event Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018, from 3 – 7:30 p.m.

The zoo will be closed earlier in the day so it can undergo its transformation into a family-friendly Halloween wonderland. Admission to “Boo at the Zoo” is one canned good per person. The collected canned goods will be donated to Catholic Charities and Gainesville Harvest food banks to help students and families in need. Last year, almost 6,000 cans were collected from families that attended “Boo at the Zoo.”

Visitors can come in costume and walk the quarter mile long trail transformed by the SF Teaching Zoo’s students and staff. The zoo is also wheelchair and stroller accessible.

Trick-or-treaters need to make sure they have a bag or bucket to collect all of the candy at Boo at the Zoo. More than 150,000 pieces of candy are distributed during the event, but it’s not just any candy. The zoo will only give out candy from companies that promote the sustainable use of palm oil. Palm oil comes from the African oil palm tree, which, when planted, destroys the habitat of wild gibbons. By using companies that promote sustainable use, they help protect the future of gibbons.

In addition to the candy and Halloween themed trail, there will be plenty of entertainment provided in part by Danscompany of Gainesville. Their performance of Thriller has long been a fan favorite. There will also be an interactive KidZone, courtesy of Fun 4 Gator Kids, and Dominos will be at the zoo, providing pizza and refreshments for a small fee.

There are a few things you need to remember if you plan on coming to Boo at the Zoo:

  • Please do not feed the animals, or the people dressed like animals.
  • Although you can dress up like your pet if you want to, pets are not permitted at the zoo.
  • Please stay on the pathways and respect any barriers even if you can fly or are a ghost that cannot be restrained by this dimension.
  • If you are coming to the zoo at 6 p.m. or later, it is recommended that you bring a flashlight with you to help navigate the trails.
  • Please keep all wigs, tails, ears, wings, capes, fins, eyes and other costume accessories on at all times.
  • And please, place all litter (that includes candy wrappers) in the proper trash receptacles.