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tried & tested

Boo at the Zoo - A Halloween event at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo


To kick off half term, we were invited to do a Tried and Tested review of Boo at The Zoo, ZSL Whipsnade Zoo’s Spooktacular event. 

Whipsnade Zoo is a ZSL conservation zoo, and is the largest zoo in the UK, covering more than 600 acres. There are 11,000 animals at the conservation zoo, many of which are threatened species in the wild and part of vital global breeding programmes. Whipsnade Zoo is a brilliant day out for people looking to connect with nature and help create a world where wildlife thrives.  

With this year’s theme of unseen animals, you can learn all about their animals who prefer night time with hair-raising animal talks, as well as getting stuck in with creepy crafts and Halloween fun!

This Halloween at Whipsnade Zoo's Boo at the Zoo, kids can:

  • Bust a move at the Halloween disco.
  • Enjoy a monstrous magic show.
  • Wear their most devilish disguises to the Zoo to take part in the costume contest.
  • Swing by for a spooky storytelling session.
  • Join a free ghoulish ghost tour.
  • Try out creepy crafts.
  • Paint a pumpkin with edible paints*
  • Take part in our ghostly trail on The Great Whipsnade Railway*
  • Get their face painted*
  • Tune in to terrifying animal talks about our animals who prefer night time.

We arrived around 10am and were very lucky to be able to take our car in to the zoo as part of our invitation, which we've not done before. I would highly recommend it to enable you to see as many parts of the zoo as possible, especially if any members of your party can't walk far (our lazy boys and my husband who's 5 weeks post foot op!). There's also a drive-only safari where you can see the park's deer, camels and other animals up close, which was also a new experience for us. If you're happy walking, then there is a free car park just across the road from the zoo and you can do your whole visit on foot.

We were a little early for the indoor Halloween events, so we headed to the farm area where the boys loved being able to get up close with the goats- they're so tame and don't mind being petted. We made our way round the farm area seeing rabbits, guinea pigs, llamas, pigs, chickens and all sorts of farmyard animals.

The boys then spotted the playground, which is huge! You could spend hours there, and they loved all the different equipment to explore and climb.

After having a play, we headed to The Learning Hub, which was decorated for Halloween and had just finished their first Halloween Disco. The staff gave everyone a really warm welcome and explained what activities there were and engaged with the children throughout, which was lovely. Next up was the magic show which the boys eagerly awaited and really enjoyed. Alongside the disco and magic show there were creepy crafts to do, which the boys really enjoyed and sat making and colouring in ghost, pumpkin and spider puppets. 

We then went through to The River room where the boys were able to choose a pumpkin to decorate with paint pens (this is a paid-for activity). They really enjoyed drawing on the pumpkins and it was great to be able to take them home (particularly as the car was just outside, so we didn't have to carry them round!)

Outside The Learning hub was an area where children could have their faces painted- another paid for activity. The little ones with painted faces looked amazing!

We sat in the covered picnic area to have our lunch and re-energise before we headed to see the animals throughout the zoo.

We drove around different parts of the zoo, hopping out to see the animals. The boys loved seeing the hippos wallowing in their waterhole, and the chimpanzees playing in their enclosure. There are so many different animals to see and in such a large zoo, it's great to see how large their enclosures are. It was a pretty wet afternoon, so we were in and out of the car, but we managed to see lots of the animals. We also did the drive-through safari, which we've never done before at Whipsnade as it was our first time taking the car in, and it was amazing to see the stags up close, along with the herd of deer. 

The safari led to the area of the zoo where we were due to pick up The Great Whipsnade Railway train ride, which is a paid-for activity on top of your entry fee. The whole station had been decorated with spooky things and the staff explained to the children to look out for 6 letters throughout the ride, which would be an anagram for a word that they could say on their return to get a sticker. Lasting approximately 15 minutes, the boys loved seeing more of the animals up close, including free-ranging Wallabies along the track. 

The Boo at the Zoo event will run throughout half term week (21-29 October) with certain activities extending until 31 October. All activities are free with Zoo entry unless marked with an asterisk above. Members and under 3s go free. Find more information and buy your tickets here.

We had a great time on our day out at Whipsnade Zoo. The boys loved the Halloween activities, the "epic play area" (quote from the 7 year old) and seeing so many animals. Let's be honest, it's not a cheap day out, but don't forget they have annual membership, which is well worth considering if you're want to go a number of times throughout the year- there's so much to see, you definitely won't get bored! Plus you'll have access to ZSL London Zoo too! Find out more about membership here.

Our tickets were kindly gifted by ZSL Whipsnade Zoo for us to review this event.


If you would like a Tried and Tested review for your attraction or event, please get in touch

Don't forget to check out all my other Tried and Tested reviews here.

You'll also find Reels from our various days out on my Instagram page here.

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