Get ready for Halloween fun in the daytime sun!

We had a fun-filled summer with our Dinosaur Invasion!, and now we’re planning fall fun with Zoo Boo!

This popular zoo event offers a Halloween party atmosphere on the two weekends before the holiday, with treat stations throughout the zoo, animal demonstrations and encounters with some of our creepier creatures, as well as ghostly games and other “kooky-not-spooky” activities in the spirit of the season.

Zoo Boo takes place Saturdays and Sundays, October 20, 21, 27 and 28 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., rain or shine. The cost is $8 per child in addition to zoo admission (which is free to zoo members). Our Zoo Boo sponsor this year is Dr. Margaret Madonian Children’s Dentistry – thank you Dr. Madonian!

Wear your costumes and bring your treat bags or buy a reusable dinosaur treat bag for $1. Make the rounds to treat stations for goodies including candy – but only brands that use sustainable palm oil so as not to harm any rainforests – or alternative “treats” such as Halloween toys, rubber duckies, tattoos, stickers, vampire teeth and even some dinosaur-themed toys left by our dinos.

We also have some great entertainment, with Bubble Man Doug Rougeux roving the zoo the first weekend and the American Chemical Society mixing magic potions the second weekend. Plus, the Crunchman will pay us a visit on Saturday mornings!

Rosamond Gifford Zoo members may buy advance-sale tickets for Zoo Boo good for any of the four days at Zoo Boo here. The general public can buy tickets at the door the day of Zoo Boo events.

One note: Our Wildlife Trail will be a horseshoe instead of a loop for the fall and winter while we build a new public walkway and expand our elephant preserve. It will give Zoo Boo visitors some views of heavy equipment at work, and we’ll be adding some special Halloween exhibits along the way.

My Best,

Janet Agostini
President + CEO
Friends of the Zoo

How to BEAT THE HEAT at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo

Syracuse Zoo Beat the Heat

CNY has been experiencing a heat wave during the zoo’s Dinosaur Invasion! exhibit — and since our huge prehistoric beasts are all outdoors, we want make sure visitors know how and where to cool off on zoo grounds. Here are some tips for staying cool at the zoo:

Misting stations – The zoo has installed extra misting stations around its Wildlife Trail due to the heat advisory. Tip: Take the left fork of the trail from the courtyard to encounter the first misting station. To conserve energy, walk the trail in the direction of Penguin Coast. That way, you complete the trail on the downslope as you head to the main building.

Water-spraying dino – The fan favorite of all the dinosaurs in Dinosaur Invasion! is Dilophosaurus, which roars and sprays water in the spirit of its venom-spitting Jurassic World counterpart. Find it on the Wildlife Trail for a thrilling way to cool off.

Made in the shade – The zoo many shady areas with benches around the grounds, especially at the Wildlife Trail dinosaur exhibits. The Wildlife Trail concession stand also will be open for refreshments next to the shaded shelter at Amur tiger.

Stay hydrated – Support the zoo’s conservation mission by bringing refillable water bottles, and drink water frequently through the day. Water bottle refill stations are located at the drinking fountain next to the Jungle Café and outside the restrooms at Andean Bear. Bottled water is available for sale at all food locations and at vending machines. The Courtyard Café also makes an amazingly refreshing lemonade slushie.

Soak up some A/C – The Jungle Café and its indoor seating area are always open and always air-conditioned throughout the summer. The café also sells Dippin’ Dots, ice cream treats and slushies as a sweet way to cool down. Continue to support the zoo’s conservation mission by shopping at the (nice cool) Curious Cub Gift Shop on your way out.

Mine some gems – The zoo plans to have its EarthWorks! Mining sluice open – and nearby mister operating – for the weekend, depending on the heat index for staff. The zoo has decided not to open the Octomaze bounce house this weekend due to the high temperatures.

Be prepared – Dress for the heat in lightweight, moisture-wicking clothing and consider bringing cooling wipes to wipe sweat away while leaving cooling moisture behind. Portable shade and a breeze – in the form of umbrellas and mini-fans – also are available for purchase at The Curious Cub gift shop.

Consider the animals — Don’t be disappointed if some of the animals are less active in the heat, or if they are inside cooling off in their indoor housing. For their health, some animals may not be on exhibit — but all the dinosaurs will be!

For more information on Dinosaur Invasion!, please visit The exhibit is open during zoo hours, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and is free to zoo members or with paid zoo admission.