Halloween Spooktacular at Bristol Zoo Gardens

Prior to becoming a parent, Halloween was never something that I massively cared about. For us it was just a case of either hiding away in the house with all the lights off, or going somewhere else to ensure we remained undisturbed by the trick-or-treaters. What it means now is a good excuse to do something fun with our daughter. Whilst we’re not quite at Halloween just yet, that doesn’t mean there isn’t Halloween fun to be had in the build up to the day. Something like the Halloween Spooktacular at Bristol Zoo!

Halloween Spooktacular at Bristol Zoo Gardens

We love taking our daughter to places like the zoo regardless of what time of year it is. She’s a big lover of animals and is constantly pointing them out and attempting to say what they are. So far she’s only got as far as “Bir” whenever she sees a bird, but it’s a work in progress.

Unfortunately on our visit to Bristol Zoo our daughter wasn’t really feeling the best. For the vast majority of our time there she was either being carried or sleeping. Usually she loves to explore and run off to see what danger she can get into. But on this occasion she just wasn’t feeling right. For that reason, we probably didn’t take full advantage of all the Halloween themed activities available for the Spooktacular.

What’s on Offer for the Halloween Spooktacular

Obviously since it’s Halloween there’s a little more on offer than what you would get with your usual visit to Bristol Zoo. As soon as you enter it becomes plainly obvious that it’s Halloween with plenty of pumpkins, spider webs and skulls decorating the area. As you might be able to tell, our daughter had no interest in the spider web, but did perk up to play with a pumpkin.

From Dracula Drive you’ll find all the Halloween themed things on offer as part of the Mystery Trail. Here’s some of what’s on offer via the Bristol Zoo website.

Wicked Witch – See if you can spot the Wicked Witch wandering Dracula Drive with her gruesome artefacts.

Spooky Storytelling – Tiptoe along Dracula Drive to Thriller Theatre where you can settle in for some Spooky Storytelling with the Wicked Witch.

Skull Spy – The ultimate game of I Spy – Halloween style! There are six skulls lurking around Bug World – challenge your friends and family to see who can find them first as you wander through the forest, desert and ocean zones. Tick them off in your Haunted Handbook as you go.

Creepy Encounters – Come face-to-face with creepy critters at Thriller Theatre. Get ready for some myth busters about our smaller animals in an exclusive presentation by our marvellous volunteers. You can even hold some of the animals in your hands – if you think you’re brave enough!

Bat Walk Through – Immerse yourselves in our Bat walk-through as you hang out with some of the rarest bats in the world.

Witches Corner – Reinvent yourselves with some frightful face paint and enjoy some fun arts and crafts with the friendly witches.

*Craft activities and face painting will incur an additional small charge.

Animal Enrichment – Our animals will be celebrating Halloween with some delicious pumpkin enrichment. While some enjoy tasty pumpkins, others are more interested in the treats hidden inside.

After all of that the zoo is essentially the same as it usually is. Which means you have loads to explore that’s Halloween related and then the rest of a pretty good zoo to explore too.

My Only Real Criticism of Bristol Zoo Would be the Food

All in all Bristol Zoo is rather good. But we did find the food rather expensive for what it was. I know you’re always going to be paying a little bit more for food in places like this, but paying £5.95 for a chicken wrap with some salad and £4.50 for a rather small sandwich is a little bit excessive. Of course, you can bring your own picnic, and this is something that I really would recommend. Even if you’re just going to pick up a meal deal and some snacks from Tesco, you will save yourself a little bit of money by doing so.

They do have a restaurant, but as the zoo was fairly busy we were looking at a 30 minute wait just to be seated. When you have a toddler who’s a little bit under the weather, a 30 minute wait isn’t a good idea. So we were left with either sandwiches or pasties.

Looking to Book Tickets for the Halloween Spooktacular

If you’re looking to book tickets to the Halloween Spooktacular at Bristol Zoo, then you can do so via their website.

They’re also offering free entry for children during the Halloween Spooktacular. So that means a child can come into the Zoo for free with each paying adult when you book online from 20 October until 4 November. Use the code ‘FREECHILD’ at the checkout to redeem this offer. This basically means that a family of four would be saving a pretty decent £18! That’s just £30 for a day out at the zoo.

I personally feel that you could easily get a really good day at Bristol Zoo with good value for money. Even more so if you have older children than we currently have. Like I said at the top, our 18 month old daughter wasn’t really feeling the best, so we didn’t get to take advantage of everything that was on offer. But she did perk up enough towards the end to enjoy an ice cream. Obviously.


Disclaimer – We were provided with free tickets to attend Bristol Zoo in exchange for this review. But the opinions in this post are entirely my own. Obviously.


I’m a 27 year old married father of one – soon to be two! I started blogging after suffering with postnatal depression when Isabelle was born. These days I just talk about my life as a dad.

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