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.