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Creepy critters – we check out Safari Boo at the River Safari!

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I find snakes and lizards pretty scary on their own, thank you very much, but have to admit the Safari BOO! event currently on this Halloween season at the Singapore Zoo’s River Safari is a terrifyingly good time for tykes.

Suitable for kids of all ages (but probably best for those who can walk and talk), this “merry not scary” FREE event lets littlies explore the River Safari after hours from 6-9pm. As they walk along past various exhibits (many specially-decorated with apropos pumpkins), costumed staff members pepper them with facts and dole out treats for those junior sleuths up for answering animal-related questions.

Safari Boo @River Safari - Bearded dragon at River Talk Myths & Legends

Timed perfectly for sundown, the spooky “Creatures of the Night” performance introduces kiddies to live critters like owls, snakes, an iguana and a hedgehog – all presented by a cast of witches, mummies, and other friendly ghouls. After the performance kids are invited to pet the creatures up close.

Face-painting, glitter tattoos, and a host of educational games are on offer, but things really kick into high gear when mascots of the River Safari’s most famous residents – Jia Jia and Kai Kai – appear to hand out trick-or-treat bags.

Safari Boo @River Safari - Kai Kai Jia Jia mascots in Safari Boo outfit

The evening culminates in a trick-or-treat walk down a beautifully-lit, rather ethereal pathway, where spectacularly-costumed characters like a unicorn, two mermaids, the Sandman and others kindly dole out candy to the kids. The event finishes up at the blissfully air-conditioned Manatee tank, where munchkins can explore a life-size grotto as turquoise waves from the glowing tank undulate upon the walls. It all really does feel a bit magical.

Squirrel monkeys indulging in pumpkin treats as part of Safari Boo

Little ones are encouraged to come in costume, and the most creatively-clad even stand a chance to win special prizes. I love that the indoor/outdoor event happens rain-or-shine, as the entire route is either under cover or (even better!) air-conditioned. When I asked my 3.5-year-old companion his favorite part of the event, he immediately (and unsurprisingly) replied, “The treats!” but did go on to elaborate that he enjoyed receiving them from the various mythical creatures. All in all, we had an unBOOlievably good time (sorry, couldn’t resist).

All the details
When: 25, 26 October, 1 & 2 November, 6-9pm (last admission at 8pm)
Where: Singapore Zoo River Safari, 80 Mandai Lake Road, Singapore 729826
How much: Safari Boo event is FREE for kids and $15 for adults, but for full access to the River Safari: Kids $16, Adults $25. To buy your tickets, click here.

All images sourced via Wildlife Reserves Singapore

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