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Wild Zoo Halloween fun for kids of all ages

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Friday, October 26: Free Train Rides
Zoo guests can ride the train for free all day. The train ride features the Halloween-themed "Tale of the Twisted Tree" where riders are invited to find the mythical Twisted Tree in the Franke Park woods.

Saturday, October 27: Princess Day
Princess characters Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Tiana will meet and greet guests from 1-4 PM on the Australian Adventure Plaza. Children are encouraged to take photos with the characters. Bring your own camera. No additional charge above zoo admission.

Sunday, October 28: Magic Day
At 1:45 and 2:45 PM on the Australian Adventure Plaza Stage, guests can
enjoy amazing magic shows featuring The Great Andini.

Halloween, October 31: The Wild Zoo Halloween will continue with zoo animals
receiving pumpkin treats that day.

Friday, October 26, 2012 - 5:56 am

The Wild Zoo Halloween was in full swing Thursday afternoon as miniature superheroes, princesses, devils, witches and goblins made their way from station to station at the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo.

For the past three years, the zoo has held its annual Halloween Zoo festivities during the day. Cheryl Piropato, education and communications director, said it seems to work better for everyone – the zoo used to get complaints that the animals were too hard to see in the dark.

Piropato said the zoo expects 10,000-15,000 people to visit the Wild Zoo Halloween, which is less than in past years. Because Halloween falls in the middle of the week, the zoo only has two four-day weekends on the schedule, plus Halloween, when in past years it has been able to fit in three weekends.

Plenty of animals were in view Thursday, including peacocks wandering the pathway. A few of the warmer-weather animals are now indoors for the season, but with the numerous stations on the Halloween route, there is still plenty to engage kids of all ages. With summer-like temperatures Thursday, the Aldabra tortoises and ring-tailed lemurs were out enjoying the sun.

Kids could decorate a mini pumpkin to take home with them. Some stations had cookies and candy, while others had healthier alternatives like bookmarks. In the African Journey area there was a bracelet-making station. Another featured plastic lips, which whistle when blown through. Judging from all the whistling going on, the lips were a big hit.

Business was booming at a booth featuring “Little Bill', a lion puppet that told Halloween jokes.

“Why didn't the skeleton cross the road?” Little Bill asked two devil-horned boys, “Because he didn't have any guts!”

The Wild Halloween Zoo experience continues from noon to 5 p.m. through Sunday and on Halloween.