As promised I wanted to share more about our experience at the San Antonio ZOO BOO! and give some tips. Since we had our daughter we have gone to Zoo Boo 2 of the 3 years. The first year she was about 10 months and this year she is 3. What a major difference their age makes. Since I went at completely different times I really gained insight on the best times to go, I think. I also did a vlog on our day there so if you’re not a reader feel free to scroll down and watch the video 🙂
#1 When to go!
The first year we did Zoo Boo we went on a weekday after work. Everyone had the same idea. The line was extremely long, not even kidding, we probably waited at least 35-45 minutes to buy our tickets and get in. Parking was so difficult to find so my family and I were spread out all over the area. This year we went on a Saturday afternoon and though you’d think it would be insane it really wasn’t. Our wait time to get in was about 10 minutes, if that. Parking was pretty full, but we easily found a decent spot. I would definitely say when we went in the evening the first year it was far more crowded than a Saturday. Due to the price I’d suggest really trying to get the most for your money, so if you do not go to the zoo often you should make a day of it rather than just going for an hour or two to trick or treat. It was nice because we were able to see the animals in the daylight which was a lot easier than trying to find the animals in the dark. The only you really have to put up with is the heat. I’d also say go before Halloween not on it. You spend money, time, or both on those costumes so get some wears in!
#2 Free Activities
Yes for free activities! Aside from checking out all the animals and exhibits there are free things for you and your kiddos to do. That includes petting zoo, hay maze and playground, a costume contest, a play put on by the Magik Theatre, and of course trick or treating! From what we came across these were additional things to do that did not cost extra. This is why I think you can make Zoo Boo a full day thing. These things are spread out throughout the zoo and there are schedules available everywhere. Olive loved brushing the goats, leading the way in the maze, and she took part in the costume contest. Which by the way they have several, I think 2 or 3 throughout the day. It’s a great way to show off that homemade costume or just encourage your little to be brave and get up on the stage. Olive has come out of her shell so much so it was so stinkin cute to see her in the contest.
#3 Paid Activities
If you’ve been to the San Antonio Zoo you’ll still find your favorite paid activities like feeding the birds at Lory Landing or the giraffes, the carousel, and face painting. In addition, you’ll find a small pumpkin patch where you can pick one out and decorate it for about $7 and there is a photo op in a hay-globe for a fee. Olive wanted her face painted which we were happy to do, but thought how long will it really last with this heat and humidity. Thankfully they offer free touch ups all day so I think it’s really worth your money if your littles want one. One of my favorite things I noticed this year from our last was that the Mold-O-Rama’s now take credit card. If you’re from San Antonio you probably collected one of these every time you went! I was very excited about this, haha. They even added Halloween molds for the season!
#4 Avoiding the Crowds
So one I will say is that the event and areas within it can get pretty crowded. As I mentioned above we loved that we went and made this a full day event rather than getting there for only the trick or treating which is very busy. Check out the outdoor animals first. I know it’s hot, humid, or both but it’s far more enjoyable because you are not constantly bumping into people in the smaller spaces like the aquarium, bird exhibits, or reptile room. We focused on the outdoor animals and just as the trick or treating started (4-6pm) we went indoors to cool down and check out everything else without the floods of people. The photo below was taken at the entrance with the famous lion statues and the Zoo Boo sign. It’s very popular and most people try to snag the perfect photo when they make their way in, but I advise you to wait. We were able to not only get a photo without a ton of other kids/families in our photo, but the statue was also not blistering hot because we took our photo right about 5:30pm as we were leaving the zoo.
#5 What to bring or do before hand!
We ended up starting our day about 1 or 2 in the afternoon. We made it a point to feed ourselves before going in because eating inside any zoo or theme park can add up very quick. I would advise that you pack some snacks, especially for your kiddos. We of course didn’t pack anything, we are sometimes so unprepared haha. I saw many parents handing their children zip lock bags of cheerios, grapes, and chips. Oh and one last thing, if you have a stroller bring it. Even with Olive being a 3 year old it was so useful, especially when she decided to take a nap. Toddlers are heavy y’all! Plus if you bring your own you save on the cost of renting a stroller at the zoo.
Alright, now that all the tips are out of the way what’s this going to cost you. Well for a family of 3 (with a paid child admission) we spent about $53 to get in. Since we didn’t eat a full meal there and just snacked I would say we spent at least about $30 and then $10-$15 on the face painting.
The San Antonio Zoo Boo is a must because it’s just all around a good time and can be an all day event. Don’t forget to check out my Zoo Boo Vlog on my YouTube channel.