Saturday, October 24, 2009

Pumpkin Prowl

Christina and I went to the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle this evening for their annual Pumpkin Prowl.  It's an event where a portion of the zoo is decorated (the rest is blocked off), and there are lots of designated spots for kids to "Trick-or-Treat" and get candy.  A friend of mine went last year and said it was lots of fun, so I thought I'd check it out.

Man, was it crowded!  I mean, I expected it to be popular - I guess I just didn't expect that such a small portion of the zoo would be open, so there were lots of people in small spaces.  We had to wait in lots of LONG lines in order to get any candy.  Not to say that it wasn't a good time - actually, Christina was surprisingly patient waiting in all the lines.  She really enjoyed looking around and seeing the other kids' costumes.

Christina saw the wandering peacock shortly after we entered the zoo.  It wandered off (naturally!), and she didn't realize it was in the bushes right behind her.

Then, it almost came out of the bushes right in front of her.  Don't worry, I moved her out of the way before he stepped out!

I got a couple pictures of her in front of some jack-o-lanterns.  (In case you can't tell, they've got glow sticks inside them.)

Then, we headed over to the "Family Farm" area of the zoo.  We saw some goats while we were over there (the only animals that we saw the whole time).  And Christina enjoyed playing with the (non-working) water pump, while having a lollypop.

After that we went to the "Bug World" building and saw all the bugs, and by the time we got out of there, it was pretty dark.  We got in line to go into the "Boomazium" (typically called the Zoomazium).  It's usually a play area for young kids, but tonight it was decked out as a (fairly tame) haunted house.  It goes without saying that we had to wait in a HUGE line to get in.  So while we were waiting, I snapped some pictures!
Here's some jack-o-lanterns on spikes!  (And the reason the picture is so washed out is that it was TOTALLY dark by this time.)

A nice gentleman offered to take a picture of Christina and I in front of a huge jack-o-lantern.

Here's a creepy scarecrow that was just outside the building (sort of "Nightmare Before Christmas," I thought).

Once we were inside, it got pretty spooky.  It was one big, dark room, with BIG displays.  Christina was a little scared when we first walked in, what with it being so dark and the noises over the speakers so LOUD, but I explained that everything in the room was "pretend.".  I pointed out that the ghost and the bats flying overhead were attached to strings, so they could only go in a certain path.  That seemed to help her feel better about it.

There was a tall witch decoration that reached nearly to the ceiling, and over the speakers near her you could hear her cackling and saying, "Watch out for my spider friend over there, heee heee heee."  I didn't know what she was talking about until we rounded the corner and saw this:

A HUGE spider!  And keep in mind that the room was very dark - the display was only lit by some spooky blue and green lights.  The only reason the picture is so bright is that my camera's flash was on.  And not only was it a big, scary spider, but it was robotic, so it MOVED!

Christina didn't want to get too close to that one, and I don't blame her!
This scarecrow was quite spooky as well, but Christina didn't seem to mind it very much.

Christina was pretty relieved to exit the "Boomazium."  She said "It was scary in there!"

After that we did some more trick-or-treating and then headed back to the car.  All in all, we had quite a good time.  I'm not sure if we'll go back again next year, just because of all the long lines, but it was definitely worth checking out.  At one of the trick-or-treating "sites," we even got a beanie baby toy (Soybean the pig, whose birthday is January 3, 2007, just a couple weeks before Christina was born.  I thought that was pretty neat!).


Kenny, Miranda, Saide, and Baby Dorr said...

Cute! When we went last year, it wasn't so crowded. Maybe word got around that it was a fun thing to go to. I love the pictures!

roboyeti said...

As co-creator of the Boomazium Halloween space (and creator of the scary spider ... for example) it was enlightening and entertaining to read your blog and check out the pictures.

I would love to use your pictures for some of my own internet posts. Would that be ok with you? Do you have more of the outside and inside of the building that you would want to share?

I shared the link to your blog to the other Boomazium creator to read as well and your impressions here will be useful input for us.


Kate said...

I'm glad you enjoyed the post, roboyeti. How did you happen to come across my blog?

You are absolutely welcome to use any of my pics that you'd like. Unfortunately, those are all the pictures that I got of the Boomazium. I kind of wish I had taken a pic of the scary witch in the woods outside the entrance - that was VERY spooky!

Glad to hear that my blog is getting some views. And great job with the spider!


Drone #7869Cg1001-Z said...

Thanks for the approval to use the pictures ... much appreciated!

Thanks for the compliment as well ... funny enough, you captured the fact that I forgot to stuff some wires back into him ... that flash is bright!

I found your blog via google search. I was simply looking for photos and commentaries such as yours.

We try very hard to balance the entertainment value between children and adults, to govern the scare factor (for example, the spider doesn't have any startle factor ... that would push it over the top and send kids screaming), and to make sure that the experience is accessible, yet challenging.

By observing people at the event and reading impressions of it later, we can make adjustments (if possible) to the event to achieve those goals.

Have a Happy Halloween and thanks again!

Drone #7869Cg1001-Z said...

Oh, and I will try to dig up a picture of the witch (actually a banshee ... aka a ghost) for ya.

I didn't take any myself (I only grabbed video of my own props ... sigh ...), but I know a few others did.