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Boo and the Zoo and other Columbus things to do with kids for fall

Fall is a great time of year for families to get outside and enjoy a variety of activities, whether that’s picking pumpkins, exploring a corn maze, shooting an apple cannon or collecting some candy and parading one’s Halloween costume.

An October tradition for many families is enjoying Boo at the Zoo. The event is bigger and better this year, running all five October weekends from Friday afternoons until 5 p.m. Sundays.

“We’re bringing back the treat stations this year,” said Jeff Glorioso, director of experiential marketing at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. “There will be 13 treat stations, mainly in Adventure Cove, around Conservation Lake and in the Asia Quest region.”

Also in the Asia Quest area is a self-guided tour of Frogwartz Academy, where there will be more than 100 pumpkins carved with animal designs. Animal ambassadors Tommy C. Turtle and Manny Manatee will be roaming the zoo, and visitors can watch sea lion training or, on Saturdays, giant-pumpkin carving.

Even the animals get in on the action during Boo at the Zoo.

Most activities are included with zoo admission, though rides such as Sydnee Koala’s Candy Corn Carousel and the Zoo Boo Choo Choo require additional fees.

“People mark it on their calendars and come back every year,” Glorioso said. “It gives kids an extra chance to wear their costumes. Usually, you wear your costume around the neighborhood or maybe at school, but often do you get a chance to wear your costume at the zoo?”