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Sep 13, 2013

Beware In Boo Orleans at ZooBoo, Spooking Soon at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo

Prompted by Friday the 13th, the countdown is on for the 15th year of fun and fear at ZooBoo, Tampa’s largest family Halloween event. Starting on this superstitious date, tickets for ZooBoo are on sale online and at the Zoo’s front gate for the thrills, chills and family frights opening September 27-28 with Shriek Peek Preview Weekend.

Purchase Tickets Online Starting Friday the 13th

TAMPA, Fla. (September 13, 2013) — Prompted by Friday the 13th, the countdown is on for the 15th year of fun and fear at ZooBoo, Tampa’s largest family Halloween event. Starting on this superstitious date, tickets for ZooBoo are on sale online and at the Zoo’s front gate for the thrills, chills and family frights opening September 27-28 with Shriek Peek Preview Weekend.

The ZooBoo experience includes five hair-raising haunts, seasonal displays and lights, mysterious music, a specialty gift shop, night rides and eerie adventures for “monsters” of all ages. The newest haunt, “French Quarter Phantoms 3D,” explores the secret and sinister side of one of one of the “most haunted cities in America” -- the Big Easy.

The haunted attractions at ZooBoo are designed to provide a frightening experience for those who choose to participate without depicting violence or gore. Extensive decorations, animatronics, lights, sound effects, and costumed character actors (volunteers) in designated haunts, scare up a good time.


A “skull” rating system is assigned to each attraction to clearly indicate the scare factor. Seven is the most intense and is intended for mature audiences. One skull is family-friendly for little boys and “ghouls.” Because of their outdoor settings, Wake The Dead, Tangled Terror and Fright Theater 3D do not open until dusk.

  • NEW! French Quarter Phantoms 3D (3 skulls): Haunted by phantoms and the city’s notorious past, New Orleans has been called “the most haunted city in America.” Explore the secret and sinister side of the Big Easy and discover where the spirits still dwell. Enter through a mysterious mansion, cross the dark waters of the bayou, and escape the foreboding French Quarter, if you can.
  • Wake the Dead (6 skulls): Tampa Bay has many scary legends… and this year one of the most terrifying is unearthed! Meet your ghost host in person and listen carefully as he warns you of the perils to come as you venture into the graveyard darkness with the un-dead. Zombies and giant ghostly apparitions do their best to keep you as one of their permanent residents.
  • Tangled Terror (7 skulls): A hybridization experiment with carnivorous plants fails. The subject plants all die…but come back to life! Ravenous, they begin their terrifying hunt for food. But only one thing will devour their undying hunger…revenge on their mad scientist creators. Don’t get tangled up in their path or you might become dinner.
  • Pharaoh’s Tomb of Revenge (6 skulls): Far from the burial ground discovered in an Egyptian desert, a tomb full of findings, purchased and relocated by an eccentric tycoon, is being reassembled for display by all. Everything seems well, until unsettled spirits attached to the artifacts come alive and unleash the curse of the Pharaoh.
  • Fright Theater 3D: Trapped in Time (3 skulls) A famous movie palace called “The Lowry,” once located on the banks of the Hillsborough River, has mysteriously reappeared. The films from the 1950s are still burning up the screen in the now dilapidated theater. Enter the movie screen itself and become part of the films shown long ago.

FAMILY FAVORITES (All rated 1 skull)

Zoo Boo is designed to appeal to the entire family. Each attraction is developed with a specific age group in mind.

  • Little Beasties Bungalow: Walk into a world of dazzling lights and friendly Halloween scenes, smiling monsters and not-so-scary characters.
  • Flying Fox / Bat House: Fly by the Zoo’s Bat House, featuring a group of “Flying Fox,” the largest bats in the world.
  • Spooky Fun Fair: A frightfully fun inflatables area with NEW Dora/Diego Adventure Bounce and games of skill like Monster Basketball, Pumpkin Pitch and more.
  • Fun and Free Rides: Shake, rattle and roll for free! Take a spin on our one of the Zoo’s wild rides, re-named for the occasion: NEW Batty Bumper Boats, Pumpkin Patch Express (kiddie train), Roarin’ Roller-Ghoster (family coaster), Flyin’ Boo-nanas (kiddie flying bananas ride), Flume of Fear (water flume ride), and Scary-Go-Round (carousel).

Children (ages 11 and under) are invited to come to ZooBoo in their most spooktacular attire. Toy weapons of any sort will not be permitted. For the comfort and safety of all guests, adults (ages 12 and older) are prohibited from wearing masks, wigs, face paint or costumes of any kind.

The Zoo’s signature spooktacular event takes place September 27-28 (Shriek Peek Preview Weekend) and continues October 4-5, 11-13, 18-20 and 24-27. Hours are 7-11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 7-10 p.m. on other select nights. Purchase tickets online at or at the Zoo’s front gate. Also find ZooBoo on Facebook.

Admission for Shriek Peek Preview Weekend (Sept. 27-28 only) - a soft opening for haunt operations and set up adjustments - is reduced to $12 per person ages 3 and up. General admission for all other nights is $18 for adults, $14 for children ages 3-11, and free for children age 2 and under. Annual Zoo Pass holders receive discounted admission on all nights. Parking is free. Admission includes rides.

ZooBoo is a fundraiser for Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo, a nonprofit organization, with proceeds benefiting animal care and education programs. The Zoo gratefully acknowledges the sponsors and partners who make the event possible: Wawa, MetroPCS, Bright House Networks, Edy’s, Shapes Total Fitness, Lindsay Olives, Papa John’s and Yelp.

Zoo School Halloween Happenings

The Zoo School at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo is also getting into the Halloween spirit with spooktacular seasonal programs: a ZooBoo Family Sleepover is scheduled for Saturday, October 12; and Halloween-themed birthday parties with ZooBoo admission are available from 5:30-7 p.m. on select ZooBoo nights; Registration for education programs is required no less than one week in advance, and is available online. Space is limited.

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Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo is operated by the Lowry Park Zoological Society, an independent 501(c)(3) charitable organization committed to excellence in education, conservation and research. The Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and is featured among the “Top 25 Zoos in the U.S” by TripAdvisor (2015) and “10 Best Zoos in the U.S.” by Trekaroo (2015). The Zoo is located at 1101 W. Sligh Avenue in Tampa, one mile west of I-275 (exit 48) and is open seven days a week, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. 

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