Binghamton’s Ross Park Zoo is holding its annual Family Boo at the Zoo event each weekend in October to provide Halloween fun for local Binghamton families.
It features Halloween-themed activities, including bobbing for apples, paper plane making, face painting, storytelling, pumpkin painting, crafts and mini golf.
Nearly 1,000 people attend Boo at the Zoo each weekend, according to Patricia Searles, assistant director of the zoo.
Binghamton local Julie Gazabara said her family enjoyed attending the event.
“We were having a family outing with the kids,” Gazabara said. “We wanted to do something for Halloween, and we all dressed up and came out. We’ve made a dragon and put scales on a dragon, and did a little bag toss; we’re having lots of fun.”
Binghamton University students volunteered at the event, representing various campus groups including the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), Alpha Phi Omega, the Human Development Association and the Master of Social Work Graduate Student Organization.
Kohar Bedonian, philanthropy chair of SWE, volunteered at last weekend’s event.
“It’s a great opportunity to get to spend time with little kids,” said Bedonian, a sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering. “Everyone knows we’re deprived of that at school; it’s great seeing all of the little kids and helping out.”
Rebecca Lee, a senior double-majoring in human development and Asian and Asian American studies, said she volunteered for the event with Alpha Phi Omega, a community service fraternity.
“This is just something we sign up for; we just love doing it,” Lee said. “Every week we know there’s something to do at Ross Park Zoo, so we just come here and do whatever they need us to do.”
Searles said that the event was not only a setting for family fun, but was also an opportunity for Binghamton University students to have a great time volunteering.
“We found that a lot of the people in the community like to come out during the day time and enjoy the zoo itself, so this is a way to enjoy the zoo,” Searles said. “It’s also been a big thing for having volunteers, especially from the college.”
The zoo needs about 50 to 100 volunteers each weekend, according to Searles.
“I think they tend to enjoy it because it’s kind of a different experience,” Searles said. “We get a lot that people don’t even realize we have a zoo in this community.”
Searles said the zoo is looking for volunteers for Night Boo at the Zoo, which will be taking place Oct. 26 and 27.
“If anybody wants to participate in that, they can contact us directly,” Searles said. “We’re looking for volunteers who want to dress up and scare people, it should be a lot of fun.”