All three of my pumpkins fright easily. Spooky sounds and creepy creatures send shivers down their spines. However, when Lowry Park Zoo provided my family with passes to explore the park after dark for Zoo Boo they put on their brave faces.
We began the evening at Wallaroo Station where a chatty pumpkin greeted us to help ease my little ones’ spirits. There, my two older children and I ventured into the Little Beasties Bungalow, but my nine year old had second thoughts when she saw the walls lined with skulls and skeletons like a Day of the Dead celebration.
Although the Little Beaties Bungalow haunted house was marked with only one skull, the lights spooktacular scenes were sensory overload for my little princess and she quickly reversed back through the front entrance. Little Lion Man clutched onto daddy and refused to enter leaving the Mad Hatter and I to explore Little Beaties Bungalow alone.
After the Wallroo Station not-so-spooky spookfest, we ventured over to the Spooky Fun Fair to try our luck at the Ghoulish Games and Kiddie Slides. I investigated into the Tangled Terror alone while my kids and dad jumped into the Spooky Fun Fair.
“Take one for the team, Mom”, my oldest told me, “and give us a full report as to how scary it is.”
Darkness and carnivorous plants festooned the walls and paths of this dark seven skull haunted house. Long vines dangled from the ceilings rafters to touch me while humanoid plants hid behind structures in an attempt to startle me. A definitely creepy haunted house, but I didn’t find it too scary. The element of unknown that unfolded before me as I ambled through the house filled me with only a small fraction of fear.
When I shared my findings to my family, I explained it was nothing like a traditional haunted house, however, darkness and the element of the unknown made it more frightening. That was all my kids needed to hear! They refused to enter in any more haunted houses without me investigating each one first.
Before I ventured into anymore haunted houses, we visited the manatees but they were sleepy and tucked into for the night. However, the Diamond Rattlesnake seemed very excited to have guests for dinner as he slithered around his glass home.
I resumed my role as a ghostly guinea pig by investigating the French Quarter Phantoms next. A dark curtain shadowed the house making it appear spookier. Once I entered the house, bright lights lit up the Big Easy beasts. As I meandered through this haunted mansion, I uncovered the sinister side of New Orleans. Court jesters, merry minstrels, a laughing skull and a weeping angel (a big scare for a Whovian) created playfully frightening atmosphere.
Once again, I shared a full haunted house report with my family and this time, my Mad Hatter felt brave enough to enter the haunted house with dad. Upon her return, she said it was creepy and worthy of its three skull rating.
“They’re all creepy!” shouted my nine year old. “Forget skulls! They should have ratings like this!” she exclaimed as she covered her eyes.
“The other house should have a houses with ratings like one face covered and one eye peeking out!” chimed in her older sister.
Enjoy a ghoulish good time with your beastly family at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo Boo for only TWO MORE WEEKENDS!On October 23-26 and October 30-31 AND Nov. 1, dare to creep through Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo Boo spooktacular attractions and explore the six haunted houses (with skulls ratings starting at one skull suitable for all ages to seven skulls scary to the extreme!) Ticket prices are $18 for adults and $14 for children (ages 3-11). Zoo Pass holders receive discounted admission with valid I.D. at ticket windows. Hours are 7-11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 7-10 p.m. Find updates at www.LowryParkZoo.org/ZooBoo and follow ZooBoo on Facebook.