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At Wild Zoo Halloween, children can collect candy, see pumpkins decorated by zoo animals and more (With video)

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Fun for all ages

The Wild Zoo Halloween features a range of Halloween-themed activities for young children and families. Some zoo animals still will be out on exhibit.
When: 1-6 p.m. Friday-Sunday and Oct. 24-27 and Oct. 31
Where: Fort Wayne Children's Zoo, 3411 Sherman Blvd. in Franke Park
Cost: $8 for children and $4 for adults; zoo members receive $2 off per person. The zoo will charge additional fees for the train ride, pony ride, carnival-style games, bracelet-making and face painting.
Information: 427-6800 or www.kidszoo.org
•Children are encouraged to wear Halloween costumes.
•Food is available for purchase.
•All treats offered at Wild Zoo Halloween are palm-oil free or are made by companies that belong to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). Sustainable palm-oil production is vital to saving orangutans in the wild in Indonesia because people are destroying their rain forest habitat to build palm oil plantations that cannot be sustained long-term.

Thursday, October 17, 2013 - 12:01 am

You'll see more pumpkins than you can count, and Superman, Spider-Man and Batman will swoop in for one of the special theme days this year at the Wild Zoo Halloween, which opens Friday at the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo.

Young ghouls and goblins also can enjoy climbing on giant pumpkins, and visitors of all ages can see pumpkins painted by zoo animals.

The merry-not-scary event, which is geared for young children and families, will take place 1-6 p.m. Friday-Sunday and Oct. 24-27 and Oct. 31 at the zoo in Franke Park. Youngsters are encouraged to wear Halloween costumes.

This past year was a good one for area pumpkin and gourd growers, so the zoo is decorated with more of both than ever before, said Cheryl Piropato, zoo education and communications director.

The zoo also has more giant pumpkins — 10, with the largest weighing about 400 pounds — than it has had previously, Piropato said. The mammoth veggies are grouped together just inside the African Journey area near the mini and full-size mazes.

The animal art gallery will be set up in the Australian Adventure area, Piropato said. Visitors will see pumpkins decorated by hand or by footprints from penguins, dingoes, kangaroos, swamp monkeys and possibly a few other kinds of animals.

As in past years, youngsters can wind their way through the zoo to collect candy and other treats, Piropato said. Families also can enjoy seeing zoo animals in most exhibits in the Central Zoo, Indiana Family Farm and Australian Adventure areas.

Daily themes at Wild Zoo Halloween include:

Friday: Free train rides

Saturday: Princess Day

Sunday: Superhero Day

Oct. 24: Mascot Day

Oct. 25: Free train rides

Oct. 26: Star Wars Day

Oct. 27: Magic Day

Oct. 31: Pumpkin-decorating workshop

Each day, youngsters also can move it at the Monster Mash dance party; sweep in to meet Broomhilda, the friendly witch; unravel what's cooking in the Mummy's Kitchen; drop in at the Beauty Shop of Horrors; and more.

Train riders will hear “Tale of the Twisted Tree” as they chug through the Franke Park woods. Every child also can choose a mini pumpkin to take home from the Pumpkin Patch in the Central Zoo.