Cleveland's Boo at the Zoo kicks off 23rd season

Spooky, not scary, family event

CLEVELAND - The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo "Boo at the Zoo" kicked off its 23rd Halloween season Thursday night.

Billed as spooky, not scary, the family event runs Thursday through Sunday this weekend and next. Tickets are $8 and this Saturday, Oct. 20 is already sold out.

(Submit a picture of your child in their Halloween costume for a chance to win tickets. Enter here .)

Treat stations, where children can get candy and snacks, are scattered throughout the park. Just off the main entrance plaza, performers on stilts entertain children while just a few yards away a hay maze challenges youngsters.

One young man dressed as a cow stood in awe watching hippos graze in their habitat bathed in a gentle blue light.

"Some of the animals, especially the ones that prefer colder weather, are more active at night," said Cleveland Metroparks Zoo's Joe Yachanin.

The Haunting of the High Seas pirate show features zoo animals co-starring with actors.

As Boo at the Zoo enters its 23rd year, zoo officials are seeing the event mature.

"We're starting to see the second generation of people coming back where we're having young families bringing their little kids and they remember coming here when they were kids," Yachanin said.

Hours for each night of Boo at the Zoo are from 6 p.m. to 9.p.m. and tickets are available at the zoo's box office or at

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