Description

This last Saturday we decided to celebrate Halloween at Hogle Zoo with their Boo Lights. If you grew up in Utah, chances are you’ve been to the Hogle Zoo. It’s one of the most popular destinations in Utah. When I was a little girl, my parents would bring my friends and me to the Zoo regularly, and I loved it! I can’t believe how much it has changed since then.

They’ve redone the majority of the exhibits, making them much more environmentally friendly and better for the animals. Long gone are the small dirty cages I remember from my childhood. They’ve been replaced with huge exhibits where you get a better sense of the animals natural habitat.

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BOO LIGHTS AT THE HOGLE ZOO | Raising Little Wild Ones | Boo Lights at the Hogle Zoo in Utah is a really fun, kid-friendly way to celebrate Halloween. This guide tells shares tons of helpful tips, information and recommendations to make your experience at the Hogle Zoo's Boo Lights a great one! #ultimateguide #utahguide #boolights #halloweenathoglezoo #halloweeninutah | www.raisinglittlewildones

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Know Before You Go

Directions, Location and Hours

Location: 2570-2600 E Sunnyside Ave, Salt Lake City, UT 84108

Directions: Hogle Zoo is located at the base of Emigration Canyon and is easy to find using google maps.

Hours: Boo Lights typically starts around 6:30, but can change from year to year. To find out what’s happening this year, check out our Hogle Zoo events page.

Price

Non-Members: Adults – $12.95, Children (3-12) – $9.95, Seniors – $10.95, Toddlers and Babies (2 and under) – FREE. Members get a discount on tickets. You can see their complete pricing information here.

Coupons: Coupons4Utah does a great job of keeping an updated list of all current coupons related to Hogle Zoo. You can see their list here. 

For 2018 there is a Papa Murphy’s Pizza Discount: purchase any sized pizza and receive a Buy One Regularly Priced Adult ticket to Boo Lights and Receive One Child Ticket FREE. While supplies last. This coupon expires Oct. 26, 2018. Contact Papa Murphys or Hogle Zoo for more details on this coupon.

Bathroom Access

There are 5 bathroom locations throughout the zoo, and they all have baby changing stations in them. There is a large bathroom by the main entrance – this one also has a dedicated nursing area. Another one is at the Beastro, which is the main cafeteria. There is a small bathroom behind the carousel in the middle of the park, and towards the back of the park, there are bathrooms in both the Cat Wok Cafe and Shoreline Grill.

Download a Map of the Hogle Zoo.

Activity Level

While the Hogle Zoo is a small zoo, it’s built on a hill, so be prepared to walk up and down some small hills throughout the park. There are plenty of benches throughout the park if you need to take a break for a little bit. I would recommend bringing a stroller for little ones that don’t have a lot of endurance. Or they have single/ double strollers and wagons for rent at Guest Services.

Handicap Accessibility

The Hogle Zoo does a great job in trying to accommodate guest with various ability levels. Wheelchairs and EVC’s are available to rent at the zoo on a first-come, first-serve basis. They also offer various programs for families of with special needs, and a variety of tactile and sensory exhibits for those with vision impairments. You can find more specifics about what the zoo can do for your family on their website.

Additional Resources & Events

The Hogle Zoo is open year round and offers a variety of different events and activities throughout the year, including their Zoo Lights event that is very similar to Boo Lights, but with a Christmas Theme.

For Halloween, the Hogle Zoo also does a Trick or Treat day where the kids can go around and trick or treat at the different exhibits. The date varies each year, but you can find the most recent information about what’s happening on the Hogle Zoo events page.

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About Boo Lights at The Hogle Zoo

Boo Lights at the Hogle Zoo is a family-friendly way to get into the spirit of Halloween! Hogle Zoo decorates the entire zoo with fun, Halloween themed light displays, a graveyard, and a kid-sized hay-maze. The majority of the animals are asleep by the time Boo Lights starts, so it’s really about the fun activities. Some of the staff dresses up, and they are available to answer questions about the animals and the various artifacts and exhibits that they have. We learned more during this visit to the zoo than any other visit because the staff was more engaged and available since the animals weren’t around.

Hogle Zoo is relatively small, and this was a short activity. Boo Lights is only open for about 3 hours, and that is more than enough time to see everything. It’s a great way to see some of the more nocturnal animals be more active than they are during the day. We spent a good 30 minutes at the Lion Exhibit because the lions were incredibly active, roaring and wrestling with each other and running around the exhibit. It was fun for Peanut to see them do more than just lay out in the sun.

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BOO LIGHTS AT THE HOGLE ZOO | Raising Little Wild Ones | Boo Lights at the Hogle Zoo in Utah is a really fun, kid-friendly way to celebrate Halloween. This guide tells shares tons of helpful tips, information and recommendations to make your experience at the Hogle Zoo's Boo Lights a great one! #ultimateguide #utahguide #boolights #halloweenathoglezoo #halloweeninutah | www.raisinglittlewildones

Highlights

The main highlight of Boo Lights is the Lights of course! They have tons of lights strung throughout the trees and moving light displays scattered throughout the park. It’s like Christmas in October. In addition to admiring the lights, you can ride the “not-so-spooky” train and visit the “bat cave” that spans across Emigration Creek (Peanut loved this!).

A few other highlights include:

  • Mermaids and Pirates that you can talk to and learn fun facts from at Tidewater Cove.
  • Small kid-sized hay maze across from the Elephant Exhibit.
  • “Spiderella” at the Wyatt Fricks Discovery Theater
  • Hot Chocolate at the Oasis Cafe

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BOO LIGHTS AT THE HOGLE ZOO | Raising Little Wild Ones | Boo Lights at the Hogle Zoo in Utah is a really fun, kid-friendly way to celebrate Halloween. This guide tells shares tons of helpful tips, information and recommendations to make your experience at the Hogle Zoo's Boo Lights a great one! #ultimateguide #utahguide #boolights #halloweenathoglezoo #halloweeninutah | www.raisinglittlewildones

Things to Bring

  • Food & Drinks: Food and Drinks are allowed if you want to save money. You can bring a picnic blanket, and there are multiple grassy areas you can sit down and eat at. Or they have the Peacock Pavilion where you can sit at a table and eat. The Peacock Pavilion is right next to a large play area for kids. There are a few different drinking fountains throughout the park to fill up a water bottle as well.
    • Dining Options: If you decide to eat at the park, they offer 4 different dining locations.
      • The Beastro: The Main Food Court for the Zoo. There is a decent variety of kid-friendly options to eat, and the prices are reasonable.
      • Oasis Cafe: This cafe offers small plates like pizza and sandwiches. They also serve hot chocolate during boo lights!
      • Shoreline Grill: This cafe offers burgers, fries and ice cream.
      • Cat Wok Cafe: This is a small snack type stand that offers things like donuts, ice cream, and hot dogs.
    • Wet Wipes, Tissues and Hand Sanitizer: While the Hogle Zoo is maintained really well and is relatively clean – it’s still a zoo, and since it’s usually freezing during Boo Lights, that means there are lots of runny noses and sticky hands touching everything. I would recommend bringing a few wet-wipes to clean up and snack spills, a few tissues to keep those noses clean and hand sanitizer just in case you see your kid go touch a railing that was just touched by a particularly boogery kid.
    • Camera: If you have a nice DSLR, you might want to consider bringing it since it will do better in the dark. Bring whatever lens you own that has a low aperture setting to let in more light. If you don’t have a DSLR, you’re iPhone will still get you some great shots!
    • Warm Clothes: It’s Utah in October, which means the weather can be quite unpredictable. Every year that I’ve gone, it’s been freezing. Hogle Zoo sits at the base of the canyon, which means a cold breeze is usually flowing through the Zoo. The breeze is great in the summer but can mean a freezing night during Boo Lights. Make sure to bring lots of layers, so you can take them off if it’s a warmer night, or you get hot walking up some of the steeper hills. You’ll definitely want a warm hat and some gloves. Remember, young kids typically need one more layer than you. We dressed Peanut in some fleece pajamas and a snowsuit, and she was PLENTY warm, but we had a nice warm blanket as well just in case. Bubba was in fleece pajamas as well inside his car seat, with one of our favorite jersey knit blankets and a thick wool blanket. Plus a cover over the car seat to block the wind.
    • Stroller: We used our Baby Jogger City Select Double Stroller, and it was great, but any stroller will do. The paths in the Zoo are all paved and easy to push a stroller around on. You can also rent a stroller from Guest Services if you don’t want to haul your stroller around – but these do not have a car seat adapter. (If you have a baby small enough to go in an infant car seat, leave him in that if possible, so he/she is more protected from the elements and wind). I highly recommend if you have young kids to get/bring a stroller. It can be a lot of walking in a short amount of time for little ones who haven’t built up a lot of endurance.

 

Shopping

The Hogle Zoo has a couple of different shopping areas, but not all of them are open for Boo Lights. They did set up a stand in the front entry with a few things like gloves, hats and some glowing wands and necklaces for the kids.

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