Cheers all round as ‘Boo at the Zoo’ returns for Halloween at Milnthorpe zoo

From creepy critters to horrible habits, a screamingly good time lies in wait at Milnthorpe’s Lakeland Wildlife Oasis this Halloween.

By Gayle Rouncivell
Monday, 11th October 2021, 12:08 pm
Updated Monday, 11th October 2021, 12:10 pm
The meerkats at Lakeland Wildlife Oasis are getting ready for Halloween.
The meerkats at Lakeland Wildlife Oasis are getting ready for Halloween.

Making their first big post-lockdown event spookily special, the popular South Lakeland attraction and conservation charity is throwing open the gates - after dark.

For those brave enough to take a walk on the wild side, ‘Boo at the Zoo’ offers exclusive evening access to the zoo on Saturday October 30.

The ticketed event includes ghoulish encounters, spookily special talks, and fiendish after-dark feasts for animals and visitors alike.

A fossa at Lakeland Wildlife Oasis gets ready for Halloween.

Take a torch and discover what’s lurking in the shadows on a guided trail around the zoo, with tactically-stationed costumed keepers sharing fearsome facts and folklore.

While visitors test their nerves up close to creepy crawlies, lizards, spiders, snakes and cockroaches as the zoo’s giant fruit bats swoop overhead, the wonders of carnivorous plants are also getting their ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ moment in the moonlight.

Head keeper Neil Cook is looking forward to revealing the dark side of some of the zoo’s deceptively cuddliest residents.

He said: “Animals like our lemurs are crepuscular- most active at dawn and dusk- and will be displaying behaviours day visitors never get to see.

“With your vision limited, moving shadows take on a whole new dimension, and as your other senses sharpen, there’s nothing like the low growl of a snow leopard somewhere in the dark to get the hairs standing up on the back of your neck!”

Tickets for the evening are limited, so would-be ghostbusters are advised to book through the zoo website to avoid disappointment.

For those preferring to stay safe in the daylight, there’s tricks and treats aplenty during regular opening hours throughout Halloween half-term week, including special talks, crafts and quizzes, fancy dress prizes, and terrifyingly delicious treats in the Wild Café.

Neil added: “Our Halloween week events are always really popular, with families returning year on year. Staff, visitors- and I think the animals too! - missed ‘Boo at the Zoo’ very much last year, so we’re pulling out all the stops to make sure our first big event after lockdown returns bigger and better, with a few surprises along the way!”

Lakeland Wildlife Oasis is open seven days a week, 10am until dusk, and pre-booking is recommended. Daily Halloween activities are free with regular admission October 23-31.

‘Boo at the Zoo’ events and tour from 6pm on Saturday October 30, entrance via pre-booked ticket only. For details, bookings, and to keep up with all the zoo’s spooky goings-on, go to, and ‘Lakeland Wildlife Oasis’ on Facebook.