First Look: Creatures of the Night at ZooTampa

Creatures of the Night returns to ZooTampa at Lowry Park starting tonight, and runs each Friday and Saturday evening through October. We had the opportunity to see what the event is all about last week at a media preview.

The event is billed as fun for the whole family, with both cute and creepy Halloween themed decorations and entertainment throughout the zoo. The focus is on spooky rather than scary – you won’t find anything considered horror or gore at Creatures of the Night.

The fun starts just inside the gates at Wolf Haven Village, where we found a group of energetic werewolf performers posing for pictures, singing, dancing, and having fun with guests.

Down the main path, you’ll come to Carousel of Creeps. Take a spin on the merry-go-round and enjoy the sights, sounds, and tastes with the special culinary options around it.

Wallaroo becomes Pumpkin Palooza, with friendly scarecrows greeting guests. You’ll find lots of pumpkins and hay bales here, and the kiddie rides are open during the event. This space will be the go to place for kids who don’t like frights of any kind, as its all fun here.

For a little bit creepier time, head through Critter Canal towards the Africa section of the zoo. Don’t worry, the critters here aren’t real, so no worries about them crawling up to you!

Exiting the tunnel brings you to Scarab Point, which features an Egyptian theme. We found dancing mummies and a photo-op with Cleopatra in the main courtyard.

Look for a dance party inside Savanna Oasis, and just outside you’ll find a short Egyptian tomb themed maze.

If you head in the Florida area, be sure to hop on a ride on the new Roaring Springs, which looks beautiful in the setting sun.

Further up the path in Manatee Cove, Medusa’s Stone Cold Cave is a dimly lit scare zone where you might run into the mythological creature herself! And beware the others who have turned into stone – not all statues are what they seem.

Just outside the cave, you’ll find Haunted Key West. Look out for the headless pirates and listen to some pirate tales.

Back near the front of the park, Fairy Frightful Forest is the second new scare zone. Guests start out in a relatively tame, but maybe a little creepy area with fairies, who aren’t all that frightening. From there, guests can choose to exit, or continue on down the troll path, where you may encounter some scarier creatures.

Be sure to pick up a map and times guide that shows you other things to see and experience, like a brand new show, animal encounters, culinary creations, and more. For more details on what Creatures of the Night at ZooTampa has to offer, check our recent article.

If You Go…

Creatures of the Night
at ZooTampa at Lowry Park
Fridays & Saturdays in October
4 to 10 p.m.
Included with regular admission & passes, or special after 4 p.m. tickets

Special thanks to photographer Matt Hopkins for many of the pictures in this article.

For the latest on ZooTampa and other attractions, theme parks and more across the region, be sure to follow Touring Central Florida on twitter @TourCentralFL@androckb@Emmet_TCF, @JacobTouringCe1, and give our facebook page a like.

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