ZooBoo is Back for Four Nights of Fright-Free Fun

Buy tickets early for Como Friends’ 29th annual family fundraiser October 22, 23, 29 and 30

Halloween has become a hot holiday for nonprofit fundraisers, according to the Wall Street Journal which featured Como Friends’ long-running ZooBoo benefit in its coverage about how charities are learning to make the most out of trick-or-treat season.  

“Halloween is now a trendy theme for charities, but we’ve been hosting ZooBoo for 29 years, so I guess you could say we’re a little ahead of the trend,” says Caroline Mehlhop, Como Friends’ director of events & sponsorships.

In fact, since its start in 1988, Como Friends’ ZooBoo at Como Zoo has raised a cumulative $1.5 million to benefit Como Park Zoo and Conservatory, helping to provide everything from free admission to family-friendly conservation programs. Now through 3:00 p.m. on October 22,  save $1 off the price of each ticket purchased  to the 29th annual fundraiser.

Tickets are also available at the gate on each of ZooBoo’s four nights of family fun October 22, 23, 29 and 30 for $7 each.

Did You Know?

  • Taking the colorful Como Shuttle is an easy way to keep little trick-or-treaters from tuckering out at ZooBoo. Shuttles leave from the public lot at the State Fair Grounds every 15 minutes on all four nights of ZooBoo.
  • ZooBoo is one of Minnesota’s longest-running nonprofit fundraisers.
  • Last year, it took more than 190,000 donated items to fill trick-or-treat bags for more than 17,000 ZooBoo visitors.

Kids age 8 and under are the sweet spot ZooBoo’s creators and costumed characters aim for every year, with  stations that include a Fairy Tale Tea Party, The Twin Cities Road Crew Dance Party, and a splashy collection of costumed fish that invite kids to imagine life Under the Sea. In fact, it takes more than 800 volunteers to fill the parts of more than 200 costumed characters that make their appearance at ZooBoo every year, from Elsa and Anna from “Frozen,” to the meddling kids driving Scooby Doo’s Mystery Machine.

“There’s nothing scary or monster-y about ZooBoo which is one of the reasons families with little kids really appreciate the event,” says Mehlhop. Parents also like the healthy snacks donated for trick-or-treat bags, including Old Home Yogurt, Annie’s Organic cookies, fresh fruit from the Pear Bureau and Cub Foods, and Bolthouse Farms baby carrots. The more than 150,000 items donated for the event each year all benefit the bottom line, allowing Como Friends to invest in free admission, great animal care, and improvements young families tell us they love, like the new Giraffe Feeding Station opened this summer, and the seasonal Blooming Butterflies interpretive garden.

“Whether it’s trendy or traditional, there’s no question ZooBoo is a fun way for families to support what they love about Como,” says Mehlhop.

October 22, 23, 29 and 30

Gates Open: 4:30 p.m. -7:30 p.m.

Get your tickets today!

Eventbrite - Como Friends ZooBoo at Como Zoo Oct. 22, 23, 29, and 30 from 4:30 - 7:30 pm

Tickets also available at Garden Safari Gifts at Como Park Zoo and Conservatory.

Get Involved

  • Kids for Como

    Kids keep Como thriving and free

  • Sparky at 60

    Minnesota’s favorite sea lion is still making a splash

  • Plenty of plush

    Rare species of plush are our specialty at Garden Safari Gifts

  • Sponsor an Animal

    Be a friend to Como’s animals.

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