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We were invited to attend the media preview night at Creatures of the Night at ZooTampa on Wednesday night, where we got the opportunity to check out the attractions, entertainment, and treats before it opens to the public on October 5th. The theme for this year is the Legend of Medusa and for our snake-loving boys, it was perfect! Since this is a family event, we brought all three kids with us and they had a blast!
Below, I’ll share some of the highlights of our visit along with a fun video so you can catch a sneak peek before it opens! You can also find the show schedule and the full Halloween menu, along with where to find each treat- so you can plan your visit!
Watch our Creatures of the Night 2018 Video here:
We arrived at 6:15pm and were escorted to the area where they were sampling Hors d’oeuvres and specialty drinks. The boys wanted to try to get their faces painted, so while we went over to that area, we missed the food (my favorite part! haha) but don’t worry, the menu will be below for you!
The boys and I had a Shirley Temple and Drew had some kind of crazy concoction called Poison that was served in a souvenir skull cup with lights.
After that, it was time to explore Medusa’s Stone Cold Cave over in the manatee area. What a nice, cool escape from the hot sun! We enjoyed dessert shooters (the boys and I chose dirt worm pie–my favorite!), some snakes, statues that came to life, a pirate, and Medusa herself! Eek! The boys were a little freaked out by her, but it was the perfect amount for them (4 and 6 years old) and Avalynn waved back at her!
That was just chocolate on Aidan’s face. haha
Next, we went to check out a fun show called Pigpimples School of Mystery & Mayhem Animal Show at ZooVentures Theater. This was a fun show filled with magic, audience participation, and a few creatures that your kids are sure to enjoy….especially if they are Harry Potter fans!
Next on the schedule was the Fairy Frightful Forrest…intended for older kids, teens, and adults if you’re in the mood for a scare or two by some trolls! We did not check this part out since our kids are little, but it did sound like fun!
We headed over to check out the Mummy Boogie performance and some fun Egyptian exhibits which included a fun tour through a neon, glowing tomb, meeting Cleopatra and Anubis, and more surprises that I won’t reveal. The kids had a great time!
ZooTampa did such an awesome job decorating the property with all kinds of spooky decor, awesome lighting and music, and–the kids’ favorite–fog and smoke everywhere! It was also really neat to be in the Zoo after hours and see some of the animals a bit differently. We saw the wolf come out of his den and run around as well as several other animals that are awake at night time.
The Wallaroo area was transformed into Pumpkin Palooza with friendly scarecrows and kid-friendly fun!
To see even more from our visit, and check out some of the awesome dance performers, watch the video!
I highly recommend this for families with kids of all ages, especially younger kids! We had a great time and our kids did, too! It’s so nice to be able to attend something like this as a family and know that everything is age appropriate and has all the fun and spookiness of Halloween without the gore. All of the costume characters were friendly and made interactions with our kids feel safe and fun.
If you do go, check out the show schedule and menu below to plan your trip a bit so that you can maximize your time and try your favorite treats! Definitely pick up a map as well so you can easily find where you’re going!
Creatures of the Night 2018 at ZooTampa opens to the public on October 5th and will run Friday and Saturday nights through October 27th. This event is included with any zoo membership and non-members can purchase tickets starting at $24.95 online here.
- Pigpimples School of Mystery & Mayhem: 5:30pm & 7pm at ZooVentures Theater
- Pirate Storytelling: 6:30pm, 8, & 9pm in Haunted Key West
- Warewolf Howl and Hangout Performance: 5pm, 6, 7, 8, and 9 at Wolf Haven
- Mummy Boogie Performance: 5:30pm, 6:30, 7:30, 8:30, and 9:15 in Scarab Point
Keep in mind, your tickets are good for 4pm and after and there are a variety of animal experiences available from 4pm until 8:45pm taking place all over the zoo.
Halloween Menu: Ssscary and Deliciousss Treatsss:
Here are some of the great menu items you can eat and where each of them will be located. Sorry, I do not have pricing at this time.
Beast Burger (this looks yummmmm-azing!) located at Garden Grille
Black Ice Cream Tombstone (this is crazy, but I’d totally try it!) located at Sweet Shoppe
Pumpkin Parfait (yes, please!) located at Garden Grille
Garden Grille: at main entrance– Revenge of the Beast Burger, Fresh Angus Cheeseburger, Grilled Chicken Club, Loaded Nachos and more!
Wolf Haven Bar: at Wolf Haven Village– For goblins 21+ (includes drinks like Apple Pie Moonshine, Vampire Blood, and Poison)
Starbucks: at Zoo Blvd. West- Pumpkin Spice Latte, Salted Caramel Mocham Hot Toddy, Hot Chocolate, and Halloween donuts
Creepy Carousel Dogs at Carousel of Creeps
Sweets Shoppe: Carousel of Creeps– Spooky ice cream, sweets & treats
Monster Munch Popcorn: Carousel of Creeps
Boomer’s Café: at Pumpkin Palooza– Pumpkin parfait, pumpkin seeds, classic cheesesteak sandwich, buffalo chicken cheesesteak sandwich, chicken tenders, personal pizza, cheeseburger, and cold beverage
Joe’s Diner: at Roaring Springs– Blood orange wings, bat hot wings, classic wings, coney cheese fries, spicy buffalo fries, loaded bacon cheese fries, and cold beverages
Haunted Parrot: at Roaring Springs– Ice & Rum drinks for adults
Beer & Wine Garden: at Scarab Point– Skeleton pretzel with beer cheese, meat & cheese tray, chips with salsa and guacamole, craft & domestic beers on tap, plus cold beverages
Tamani’s Oasis: at Scarab Point– Ribs, Beef & Lamb kabob, Pesto chicken kabob, watermelon skewer, popcorn & cold beverages
International Bistro: at Scarab Point at Savanna Oasis- Mac & Cheese stuffed garlic bread, pizza, salads, hot dogs & cold beverages, plus a full bar for goblins 21+
LEARN MORE// GET TICKETS:
For more info or to buy your tickets, visit: www.zootampa.org/events/creatures
Are you going to Creatures of the Night this year?
Let me know in the comments!
Owner and operator of Paperclips & Pacis, a motherhood + lifestyle blog sharing all the best of #momlife. Wife to Drew, Mommy to Andrew (age 7), Aidan (age 5), and Avalynn (age 2). Lover of Disney World, office supplies, subscription boxes, and social media. Instagram: @paperclipsandpacis