Spooky-Sweet Haps at Safari West

"Boos, Bones, and Walking with the Dead" is the 2016 theme of the pre-Halloween treat.

CONSERVATION COSTUME CONTEST: There isn't a Halloween fan on the planet who needs to be convinced that donning an outfit that comes with a swishy tail isn't the way to go. Dress up as a dog and you might choose a curly-style puggy tail, while a cat get-up will include a lengthy tail, the kind your own kitten likes to use to express emotion (and cats do employ their tails quite well on the whole "read my mood" front). So to be called to think of a costume that might include a tail for a special first-ever costume contest, at one of the best-known animal parks in California, is a special assignment, one that will take a little brainstorming, a little sketching, and a bit of research into conservation causes. For the upcoming Safari West contest is focused on people dressing as those critters who need some extra TLC and protective attention. The prize? A gift certificate to return for a tour, so that's nifty. Also nifty, though, is the fact that you don't need to dress up, tail or not, if you want to check out the...

BOOS, BONES, AND WALKING WITH THE DEAD... events, all scheduled at the Santa Rose destination for Saturday, Oct. 29. Beyond the conservation costume contest best look for the Trick-or-Treat Trail, the Safari West Conservation Pumpkin Patch, and "the standing skeletons rebuilt by our dedicated Osteology Team." A Junior Keepers' Mad Science Lab will also be open, and there's a post-dinner talk on the bats of Sonoma County (should you sign up for dinner). A lot is afoot around the expansive grounds, including tours, on Oct. 29, so decide how you want to meld your pre-Halloween Saturday with learning, animal sweetness, and adventure. Oh yes, that is, of course, after you decide if you're rocking a costume with a tail or not. Gussying up as an animal, come Halloween, is a time-honored tradition, but to do so near where many animals live? It's meta, perhaps, and pretty on theme, too.

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