A gaggle of goblins invaded the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium Saturday.
Kids dressed as skeletons and superheroes, pumpkins and princesses, black cats and at least one Minnie Mouse. Even a few parents donned fuzzy cat ears or witches’ hats as they and their offspring paraded past the animals at Zoo Boo, a Halloween celebration that drew more than 2,000 visitors on the first of two days.
A few of the tigers took notice, with one big cat roaring at the crowd.
Polar bears lapped at floating pumpkins and at sweet treats left by keepers on the glass walls of their enclosure, oblivious to giggling kids on the other side of the glass.
Sharks snapped at fish-filled pumpkins in their aquarium.
And the musk oxen? Not their kind of party, apparently. They were asleep in the midday sun.
Little Emmett Hovey of Tacoma, however, was wide-awake. The 18-month-old pranced proudly in his knit pumpkin beanie, acquired by mom Kalissa at the Just Between Friends consignment sale going on this weekend at the Puyallup Fairgrounds. She was hoping a little play time would tire Emmett out so they could head home for a nap.
“It’s his first Zoo Boo,” she said. “He loves the zoo.”
Zoo Boo offered a daylong schedule of activities, most involving animals and pumpkins slathered with substances the critters could enjoy. Kids could stick their hands into black “mystery boxes” and guess at their contents, such as animal fur and a walrus tusk. There were owl pellets to dissect and kids could watch as knife-wielding divers carved pumpkins under water in the aquarium.
Nine-year-old Ryan Brady of Gig Harbor, dressed as a “Tron” character, was amused at the polar bears that gulped down their treats.
“It was funny,” he said.
Morgan Cummings of Graham dressed as Belle, from “Beauty and the Beast.” She got her picture taken with the aquarium divers – “the swimmers,” she called them – and had a dolphin painted on her face. But her favorite part of Zoo Boo?
“Trick-or-treating,” the 3-year-old replied.
Fortunately for her mom Andrea and dad Wil, there were healthy snacks distributed as well as some sweets.
Six-year-old Nevaeh Padilla from Fox Island dressed as a black cat, right down to her painted whiskers. She also thought the treats were neat.
Dylan Boeshaar, 6, from University Place, observed the zoo’s new tiger cubs with interest. He was dressed as Luke Skywalker but said he left his light saber at home.
“Too much weight on my costume,” he decided.
Debbie Cafazzo: 253-597-8635