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Iowa’s #1 Children’s Halloween Begins with a Bang

Posted October 17, 2014 in Web Exclusives

DES MOINES, Iowa (Oct. 17, 2014) Treats have arrived and Blank Park Zoo has been transformed for Iowa’s biggest Halloween event for children… Night Eyes at Blank Park Zoo presented by Hy-Vee, Thursdays through Sundays now through October 26.

“Night Eyes is a fun trick-or-treating event that has become an annual tradition in Central Iowa,” says Laura Briggs, the Zoo’s manager of special events. “The first night was a success and we have just under half-a-million treats from MARS Chocolate waiting to be handed out in the remaining seven evenings of Night Eyes.

Here are some of the details:

Dates and Times:  October 16-19 and 23-26
Thursdays and Fridays from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. (Zoo will not open until 1 p.m. on Saturdays or Sundays of Night Eyes)

Online tickets, directions and information are available at http://www.blankparkzoo.com.

Ticket Information:  Tickets at the gate and online are $6 ($5 for Zoo Members).

Special Guests:  Curious George, Clifford, princesses, jugglers and more.

Special features at Night Eyes:

  • A “fun zone” with inflatable playground and food vendors
  • Great Cats on Exhibit – Lions, Tigers and Snow Leopards love Night Eyes, too! Come out and see these Great Cats enjoying their exhibit at night.
  • A fun, merry not scary haunted Train Ride, Carousel Ride & Camel Rides
  • Bring your camera … many photo opportunities for the family
  • There will be special surprise costume guests (superheroes and other entertaining characters may make an appearance) throughout the event. See the schedule of entertainment at http://www.blankparkzoo.com
  • A fantastic FIFTY percent off sale on most merchandise at the Wildthings Gift Shop (Some merchandise excluded).

Common Questions and Answers about Night Eyes

What is Night Eyes?   Night Eyes is a “merry, not scary” Halloween event at the Blank Park Zoo designed for younger guests to be able to Trick or Treat in a safe and fun environment.  Guests walk through many stations to receive candy treats.  Dates for this year’s Night Eyes are October 16-19 and 23-26.  Thursdays and Fridays from 5:30 pm to 8 pm, Saturdays and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. (on Saturdays and Sundays of Night Eyes, the Zoo will not open until 1 p.m.)

The regular Zoo is closed for this event, although some animals will be on exhibit.  This is the 24th year of Night Eyes and it is a fundraising event for the non-profit Blank Park Zoo. At the event, admission is $6 for each guest, and $5 per guest for families who have a Blank Park Zoo Membership Pass.

Are Costumes required?  No, but many guests do dress up.  It is a great “dress rehearsal” for Beggars Night.

Is there a best time to go?  The busiest times are usually Friday and Saturday from 6-7 p.m.  Many guests like the Saturday and Sunday daytime hours, especially younger children who may scare easily.  Of course, lighted displays are best viewed during the evening hours.

What else goes on?  The annual “fun zone” will have an inflatable playground and games, an optional Train Ride, an optional carousel ride, an optional John Deere mini-tractor ride, Fareway’s Spooky Forest, Pumpkin Patch, costume characters will pose for pictures, as well as jugglers and more. Food and gift selections will be available.

Sounds like fun.  Do you need help?    We have help from many volunteers. Individuals and groups may volunteer by signing up at our website at http://www.blankparkzoo.com/ in the Night Eyes section.

About Blank Park Zoo
Blank Park Zoo, Iowa’s WILDEST Adventure, is open 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. everyday this winter. (Hours are 1 p.m. – 8 p.m. on the Saturdays & Sundays of Night Eyes. The Zoo will be closed Nov. 22, Dec. 24 & 25, & Jan. 1) Admission rates are $11 for adults, $6 for children under 12, and $9 for seniors and active military. Children two years and under and Blank Park Zoo members are free. The Zoo is located at 7401 SW 9th St., Des Moines, IA 50315. Visit the Zoo online at http://www.blankparkzoo.com. The Zoo is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) The AZA is America’s leading accrediting organization that sets rigorous, professional standards for zoos and aquariums. The AZA is building North America’s largest wildlife conservation movement by engaging and inspiring the 143 million annual visitors to its member institutions and their communities to care about and take action to help protect wildlife.

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