Woodland Park Zoo offers three howling nights of Halloween fun

Lions and tigers and pumpkins - oh, my!

North End families are encouraged to get those costumes, strollers and trick-or-treat bags ready because more than 1,000 jack-o'-lanterns will light up Woodland Park Zoo from the South Gate Plaza to the Family Farm starting Friday, Oct. 27, through Sunday, Oct. 29.

In collaboration with Bartell Drugs, the zoo's fifth-annual Pumpkin Prowl offers "three howling nights" of fun. Two sessions of "howling" are scheduled each night: 5 to 7 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m., except for Sunday, which just offers the earlier session.

The zoo will be filled with spooky Halloween fever as booths from various sponsors offer treats to young goblins, pirates and princesses.

Activities will include a fire dance, haystack maze, puppet shows and a glowing farm, spooky enough to be haunted.

A past Pumpkin Prowler said, "My 7-month-old enjoyed all the pumpkins, lights and costumes, and the activities seem enjoyable to kids. It was a good event for small kids."

This will be an after-hours fund-raiser for the zoo (the animals will all be in bed). Proceeds will benefit animal care, education and conservation programs at the zoo.

A daytime event is also planned. The Pumpkin Bash offers a chance to see hippos, bears, elephants, monkeys, gorillas, lemurs and more eat, smash or stomp on pumpkins on Saturday, Oct. 28, and Sunday, Oct. 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., according to the zoo's website. A schedule is available at www.zoo.org/bash/bash. html.

For more information or tickets, call the Pumpkin Prowl hot line, 615-0076, or go on-line to www.zoo.org/pprowl.html.

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