Bug lovers looking to get spooked this Halloween weekend are in for a treat.
On Sunday (Oct. 30), the Victoria Bug Zoo will be hosting its 25th anniversary celebration with Halloween-themed night tours that include spooky bug stories, games, candy and more.
There will also be a night market in the hallway of Nookta Court with more than a dozen vendors. Local tattoo artists will also be on-site offering free temporary “bug-themed” tattoos for those who want them.
“Inside the zoo, we are going to have a spooky night. That means, every hour that we are open we are going to get spookier and spookier,” said Karlee Friesen, outreach manager with the Victoria Bug Zoo.
Tours will run every half-an-hour starting at 5 p.m. with things getting “real spooky” starting at around 7 p.m., said Friesen. The final tour will start at 7:30 p.m. and will be the “spookiest” one of the bunch.
“Throughout the night it might get possibly darker and darker inside the zoo. We are even getting some dry ice in there to get it extra spooky. The last hour will be talking about all the spookiest things from all the bugs that we have inside the zoo,” said Friesen.
Located on Courtenay Street, the Victoria Bug Zoo first opened in 1997 and has around 50 species on display, including glow-in-the-dark scorpions, Canada’s largest ant colony and tarantulas.
Accompanying guests on each tour is a zoo educator, who will not only tell stories about the bugs but also give guests the opportunity to potentially touch them, including the tarantulas.
“There will be an educator inside the zoo at all times talking about bugs. You can hold them, you can choose your level of interaction but you don’t have to hold any of them if you don’t want to and not all of our bugs are handleable,” said Friesen. “We do have tarantulas and depending on how busy it is, sometimes we do allow handling of our tarantulas.”
While the zoo is generally available for all ages, because the night tours are designed to be spooky, Friesen said they aren’t recommended for children under the age of five.
“It might get a little too spooky for little ones,” she said. “It will be darker in there. There will be some smoke and the talks might be a little spookier than the little ones can necessarily enjoy.”
Tickets are $18 each for adults (those 18 and above) and $10 for children. Though they can be purchased at the door on the day of the event, Friesen recommends people purchase them online in order to avoid possible disappointment.
To purchase tickets, visit https://www.victoriabugzoo.ca/victoria-bug-zoo-s-25th-anniversary.
READ MORE: Victoria Bug Zoo employees unionize