If you think the Bronx Zoo's Boo at the Zoo is only for kids, prepare to be pleasantly spooked.
By turns eerie, kid-friendly and educational, the zoo's annual not-so-scary Halloween celebration continues every weekend through Halloween.
Big kids can take their chances inside the Haunted Forest, the new walk-through experience featuring trees right out of a Tim Burton movie, the skeletons of animals we share the city with, and even a jump scare or two. (We won’t prepare you by detailing exactly how many.)
Looking for something more low-key? Take a hayride through a behind-the-scenes part of the zoo, then wander through a corn maze before hitting up the Candy Trail.
Speaking of birds, you can meet the stars of Halloween legends including vultures, owls and ravens (only on certain days), while the truly brave can experience the mind-bending skills of a mentalist.
While costumes are not required, why wouldn’t you get a little wild at the zoo? Show it off at the twice-a-day costume parade alongside larger-than-life characters brought to life by the Alice Farley Dance Company.
For the littlest visitors, find magic shows at the Grizzly Corner and puppet shows featuring the Very Hungry Caterpillar (Sundays only). They also get their own pint-size hay maze (with easy sight lines for the grown-ups) on the Butterfly Patio, plus a Halloween crafting activities.
Probably the scariest part of the experience, given the increasingly dire problem of global warming, is the Extinct Animal Graveyard on the Mouse House lawn. It’s a tough conversation to have, but kids are the ones inheriting the planet, and there’s no better time than right now to learn how to be responsible stewards of it.
When you need a break from the frightful fun, catch a live musical performance at Astor Court’s Bootoberfest, along with Oktoberfest-inspired food and cider, plus lawn games for all ages.
And since you're already up for some adventure, don't forget the new zipline and ropes courses that just opened at the zoo's new Treetop Adventure area.
Boo at the Zoo continues on weekends through Oct. 29. Tickets are $36.95 for adults and $26.95 for kids up to age 12.