Oklahoma City Zoo hosts 26th annual Haunt the Zoo for Halloween 

By now, parents have probably heard endless spiels about Halloween from their kids, especially when the subject of candy or costumes is on their minds. This year, the beloved holiday arrives a few days early at the Oklahoma City Zoo, 2101 N.E. 50th, for the 26th annual Haunt the Zoo for Halloween.

This event is an entertaining, safe environment for trick-or-treaters of any age, and now parents don't have to worry about creepy neighbors or unwrapped candy.

Zoo mascot characters will meet all the kids at the Global Plaza each night. A marked path designates the various booths where the tiny tots can then venture off to find delicious treats. Each booth has a different theme and is elaborately decorated without the typical horrific Halloween images.

"The traditions and the groups keep growing, and the only thing scary about this event are the lines," said Candice Rennels, zoo spokeswoman. "The props are amazing, they bring the whole event to life."

Last year, more than 40,000 people haunted the zoo, and Rennels said the suspense and mystery of visiting the park at night keeps locals excited about the event year after year. Many of the zoo's nocturnal animals stay awake for the fun, but even if visitors can't spot them, they can always smell them, she said with a laugh.

"It's a fun, safe, unique way to celebrate Halloween with your children," Rennels said.

Along with the booths, which are sponsored by various community organizations and companies, the zoo's carousel and concession stands will be open to all guests.

"There's definitely a tent to fill everybody's sweet tooth," Rennels said.

Haunt the Zoo is held 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. today through Halloween. Tickets are $6 per child in advance and $7 per child at the zoo gate. Admission includes a treat bag and is free for all accompanying adults.

For more information, call 424-3344.

"Paige Lawler

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