Review: Howloween at the Oregon Zoo

Enjoy costumed fun at the Oregon Zoo’s annual Howloween scavenger hunt!

I haven’t met a kid who doesn’t love a scavenger hunt, and Howloween at the Oregon Zoo doesn’t disappoint. The hunting adds another layer of excitement (and education) to the already thrilling trick-or-treat experience. And of course, you will have the entire zoo to explore, too!

At Howloween, kids bounce from station to station throughout the zoo (the tables are easy to spot), learning about animals and receiving treats. The Zoo recommends Howloween for ages 2-12, and really any kid who likes candy or animals will have a blast. You can do as much or as little of the scavenger hunt that works for you and the family.

If your child has a love-hate relationship with Halloween (as in, yay candy, but boo scary yard skeleton), then the Zoo’s Howloween will be extra-perfect for your youngster.

Because Howloween takes place during daylight hours, there’s no vigilant watching for cars in the dark. Your kids can roam free without the background noise of “look both ways, slow down, you’re too short for drivers to see you!” It’s free range trick-or-treating for parents (like me) who don’t always feel so free. As a total bonus, your photos will be crisp and bright. And you’ll make it home in plenty of time for bedtime. 

It didn’t feel crowded when we were there (our kids had plenty of space to roam), but if you feel wary choose a cloudy day, and/or arrive early to try to beat the crowds.

Howloween is free with zoo admission. You can buy tickets in person or online, or make good use of that membership card.

Educational, safe, not-scary-at-all, and most of all FUN, Howloween at the Oregon Zoo is a great fit for any kid. Don’t forget the treat basket and enjoy another excuse to wear that fun costume! 

Howloween at the Oregon Zoo: Saturdays and Sundays, October 19-20 and 26-27, from 9:30 am-3:00 pm. 

Meg Asby is a mom of two in SW Portland and loves nothing better than a cartful of books from Central Library. Check out what her family is reading at Booked.

Meg Asby
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