This weekend we attended the annual, fun-festivitous Pumpkin Prowl at Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo. We went in 2004, but as I have no recollection of the event, we figured it was time to go back and, as it turns out, we were right. They had every kind of fun we could have wanted, a few more we didn’t expect, and a couple that pushed us to be courageous.
It’s a fun, family-friendly event hosted at the zoo each year, and it’s called the Pumpkin Prowl because there’s Jack-o-Lanterns as far as the eye can see, as well as at every turn. I know because I kept turning, and there they kept on being. There were happy ones, sad ones, ones that said words and others that were very funny, but it was hard to keep track because they were just everywhere.
I’ve never seen this many Lanterns of the Jack-O variety before, and I’ve been to a number of pumpkin patches.
Parking is free for the event, which makes getting in and out as easy as can be. Once inside you get to trick or treat through a variety of sponsored booths. Sponsors include your neighborhood drug store, a handful of radio stations (including Radio Disney) and a bunch of others. We got candy, tasty Cliff Bars, and even cupcake coupons and movie passes.
And these people didn’t even know that we’re famous!
I could go on like this for hours, and I know because when we went, that’s exactly what I did was go on for hours. It’s rewarding, but very tiring, and I just can’t bring myself to put you through it the way I so gladly did.
Right – It’s not the best picture of the day, but we took so many that were so much fun, and this is just one example. The spooky house had flying ghosts, a swamp, and tons of attendants who were on hand to point out the fun, keep things safe and civil, and make sure everybody was having the best time possible. This doesn’t even cost extra, it’s just a fun-bonus we got to have.
So instead I’ll shorten it up and say that there was a variety of shows including a fun science exhibition and the juggling comedic stylings of “Brothers from Other Mothers,” who know as much about catching the things they throw in the air as they do about making kids in costumes giggle it up all crazy-like. They caught as much as they threw, and they did it all with fun and flair.
Although it wasn’t my mostest favoritest part, I loved that almost everybody — under a certain height and age, at least — was in costume which made it even more fun for me, and that was the other guests, not even the paid parts of the festivities.
We didn’t get a release from my favorite, dressed-up boy, so I can’t show it to you, but I did get my picture taken with the coolest Buzz Lightyear guy. He had the full costume complete with the inflatable “ba-ba backpack” which is what I call his flying wings he wore on his back.
Above – Of all the attractive sights at the Pumpkin Prowl, the twenty-foot dancing punkin’-headed guy was probably my favorite. I kept pointing out that he had hands, and it’s really pretty spectacular when you think about it. Most pumpkins don’t have hands, and I’m really good at seeing, saying and showing my own hands. It also helped that he was dancing, even though I heard he’s just full of hot air. It was pretty nippy out, so I can’t say how hot his air was, but I do know he was fun and funny all at once, and the fact that I could see him from a number of vantage points allowed me to be certain that he was real.
Also, note that my mask was too large for my head. I eventually gave up on it and wore it higher up my head. Kind of had to so I could see from more than one eye at a time, even though my identity was no longer as secret as my superhero persona might demand.
There were man’s bat, spider, super and assorted other heroes. There was almost every kind of animal you could dream up, right down to aardvarks and I think a lemur. There were also bugs, angels, princesses, ninjas and cunning costumes only adults could appreciate like Rosie the Riveter and some crazy Kazakh named Borat who kept asking people if they liked, telling them that he liked, and enthusiastically adding, “Niiiice!”
Some people are very strange. Though in all fairness, I do include myself and my siblings in that declaration. I calls it likes I sees it, and my mirror ain’t broken; I know I’m a bit peculiar (though I prefer the term “unique.”
Above – You can see here that the spooky swamp in the scary house (which I don’t really think was actually haunted, though I won’t swear to that). It’s the attention to detail that made the place so darn fun.
We also got to go through a spooky-fashioned house, check out the bug exhibit, and enjoy a bunch of staff members dressed in the most elaborate costumes you’ve ever seen. We couldn’t help but see that the zoo staff was really going the extra mile to make sure everybody had as much fun as possible at every turn, and whenever you see people who really enjoy what they do, you know that’s the sort of thing worth appreciating.
Although I can’t possibly fit all the fun features into a single article, this was an event we were glad we didn’t miss.
Above – The highlight of the evening was the lenghty (though not too long) comedy and juggling show. These guys aren’t just funny, but they’re talented. They juggle, they jest, they spread the glee they have with the people they see who see them, and at the end of the day — when the Pumpkin Prowl took place, I might add — isn’t that what it’s all about?
And of course, by the time it was all said and done, though still quite early in the evening, I just couldn’t keep my eyes open for the life of me. It wasn’t a bummer though. It was okay because I managed to keep the drowsy, drooping lids aloft long enough to get back to the van, so I didn’t miss anything but the short drive home.
The Woodland Park Zoo is one of the top ranked zoos in the country, and if you take a stroll through the grounds, you’ll quickly understand why. For more information about the zoo and current, fun events, check them out online at www.zoo.org. Whether it’s for Halloween or just in celebration of a Tuesday, the zoo is a wonderful place to spend time with your parents.