With fall in full swing and Halloween right around the corner, there are a few opportunities coming up to take advantage of this spooky time of year.

The Sunset Zoo will be hosting Spooktacular on Oct. 26th and 27th from 12 p.m. til 4:30 p.m..

This family-friendly event will feature trick-or-treating, animals, activities and food at the Expedition Cafe.

Melissa Kirkwood, the Sunset Zoo Marketing and Development Officer, said there will also be an opportunity for attendees to show off their costumes.

“There will be a costume contest on Saturday and one on Sunday as well,” Kirkwood said. “That happens mid-event, so about 2:30 p.m. is when we do judging. We have celebrity judges that come judge.”

While Spooktacular isn’t until the end of the month, Kirkwood encourages people to purchase tickets ahead of time. With 5,000 to 7,000 people showing up to make it the largest event of its kind in Manhattan, there are sure to be long lines.

“Admission prices are $5 per child and that does include two adults and tickets are on sale now,” Kirkwood said. “If you are a member of our registration process through parks and rec, you can buy tickets online or you can come buy them at the zoo at our gift shops during open hours. We do encourage that pre-sale because our lines are long.”

The event is also open to for businesses to set up booths and for people to volunteer.

For more information on ticket prices, parking, volunteering, setting up a booth or registering for the costume contest, visit sunsetzoo.com.

The T. Russell Reitz Animal Shelter will also be putting on a Halloween-themed event around the same time.

Pets and owners alike can dress up in costumes and visit with various vendors as they walk through City Park for the first-ever Howl n’ Prowl.

“It’s a chance for people to come out and exercise, be with your dog, have that human-animal bond and celebrate that together,” Deb Watkins, the T. Russell Reitz Animal Shelter Executive Director, said. “We’ll have lots of dog treats. Every station will have dog treats. It’ll be a lot of fun.”

Just like Spooktacular, this event will also feature a costume contest. 

“We will have a dog-costume contest,” Deb Watkins, the T. Russell Reitz Animal Shelter Executive Director, said. “It starts around 7 p.m., so come a little early and get signed up at the pavillion.”

Howl ‘n’ Prowl benefits the animal shelter, so there is a suggested minimum donation of $5.

Anyone with questions about the event can call 785-587-2783 or email Manhattan Parks and Recreation Recreation Supervisor Ryan McKee at mckee@cityofmhk.com.



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