Jacksonville Zoo celebrates 30 years of spooky fun

'Spooktacular' Halloween event returns to zoo for 3 weekends in October


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The wildly popular “Spooktacular” Halloween event will celebrate its 30th year this October at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens.

The event runs three weekends this month:

  • Oct. 13-15
  • Oct. 20-22
  • Oct. 27-31. 

Children -- and their adults -- are encouraged to dress up in their favorite family-friendly costumes to enjoy trick-or-treating, music, dancing and optional scare zones. 

Changes to this year’s event include the Sweet Pete’s Candy Trail, an all-new scare zone, revamped toxic zombies, larger-than-life pumpkin sculptures, and a guest path that will no longer be one-way.

“This is such an exciting time of year here at the zoo,” said Tony Vecchio, executive director of the zoo. “The entire staff pulls together to put on what has become Jacksonville’s premier Halloween event. We have been thrilling Jacksonville for 30 years and this year will be better than ever.”

The zoo opens each night at 6:30 p.m. with ticket sales ending at 9 p.m. and the zoo closing at 10 p.m.

Admission varies depending on the weekend and parking is free. 

To purchase tickets in advance, visit spooktacular.jacksonvillezoo.org

All proceeds benefit the care and feeding of our animals, support for educational programming and conservation initiatives.