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Boo! At The Zoo offers safe, not-too-scary fun

Event focuses on safe trick-or-treating with one-way trail
and new visual experiences

  boo at the zoo
Boo! at the Zoo display; image courtesy of Zoo Knoxville

KNOXVILLE - BOO! at the Zoo, Knoxville’s favorite Halloween event, continues with safe and not-too-scary fun. The event is set for Thursday through Sunday, Oct. 15-18 and Oct. 22-25, from 5:30-8:00 p.m. each evening.

A Halloween tradition for 34 years, this year’s BOO! at the Zoo has been re-designed for safe trick-or-treating. Changes attendees can expect to see include multiple queues and entries at the front gate to allow for physical distancing, a one-way trick-or-treating trail featuring 22 treat stations spaced throughout the entire zoo, and prepackaged treats distributed using masks and gloves.

This year’s event will also feature dramatic lighting and giant inflatables throughout the zoo and the traditional Monster Mash dance party will be replaced with the slightly scary Baba Yaga Haunted Forest. A limited number of costumed characters will be greeting guests from a safe distance in the Kids Cove Tent on select nights; this weekend features Princess Night on Thursday, Oct. 15 and Robin Hood on Saturday, Oct. 17 and Sunday, Oct. 18. Additional activities include the Scary-Go-Round and the BOO! Choo Train each evening, which will be wiped down with disinfectant after each ride. For a complete schedule of character appearances and entertainment, please visit the zoo’s Facebook event page or the zoo’s website at

All zoo staff and volunteers will be wearing masks and hand-sanitizing stations are located throughout the park. For guests attending BOO! at the Zoo, masks or cloth face coverings will be required for ages 12 and up to comply with Emergency Executive Order No. 19 issued by City of Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon. The mandates states masks must be worn inside City-owned buildings, which includes zoo public indoor areas such as restrooms, indoor viewing areas, restaurants and the Zoo Shop. Masks are NOT required for outdoor areas and guests are simply asked to show they have one in their possession for entry to the zoo. Event attendees are asked to help maintain a safe environment by maintaining proper physical distancing of 6 feet between groups and wearing a mask if they cannot do so, washing their hands and using hand sanitizer stations throughout the zoo frequently, and staying home if you are sick or in a high risk group

Boo! at the Zoo tickets are $10 per person for ages 4 and up. Children three and under are admitted free. Parking is free. Tickets are available online at, by phone at (865) 637-5331 and at the zoo’s ticket office during regular zoo hours. Zoo Knoxville annual passholders and Circle of Friends members receive a $1 discount on admission tickets. The Zoo strongly encourages online ticket purchases to ensure entry as the number of tickets available will be limited each evening.

Special thanks to event sponsors Bank of America, Chick-fil-A Knoxville, Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union, Kroger, Senior Benefit, Inc., ShoffnerKalthoff MES, Pepsi, and Knoxville Police Department.

Zoo Knoxville is a nonprofit entity situated on 53 wooded acres just east of downtown Knoxville. Zoo Knoxville features exhibits of wild animals in natural habitats and is world renowned for its efforts in conservation and species survival. Zoo Knoxville is nationally accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and is committed to the highest standards in animal care and well-being, ethics, conservation, and education. Knoxville’s largest attraction, the zoo is open every day except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Currently, the zoo is open Monday through Wednesday from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m., and Thursday through Sunday from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Admission and ticket sales stop one-hour before the zoo closes. For more information visit

Published October 15, 2020

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