BELMONT, The Bronx (PIX11) — It’s that time of year again when little ones start to think about costumes and trick or treating, haunted houses start to pop up and that perennial favorite at the Bronx Zoo, Boo at the Zoo, starts this weekend.

But now there’s something new and different. If you’ve ever wondered what the Bronx Zoo is like at night, welcome to Pumpkin Nights, the zoo’s first-ever Halloween nighttime adventure.

More than 5,000 carved pumpkin animals made out of foam make up an eerie half-mile jack-o’-lantern trail. Pumpkin Nights is a new family-centric nighttime experience at the Bronx Zoo that isn’t scary so much as it’s mesmerizing and magical.

“Coming here at night and being here in the Bronx Zoo is a whole different experience,” Jim Breheny, the Bronx Zoo Director, told PIX11 News. “Now you get to come and see what the animals do at night.”

Pumpkin Nights tells the story of what animals do after dark through intricately carved pumpkins, from giraffes and elephants to a swamp that comes alive.

There’s also winter in the Arctic, complete with wolves howling at the moon, the desert at night, fish in a bathysphere and a frightening bat cave.

“All the pumpkins are amazing,” Dawn Sklar, a Pumpkin Nights’ lover, told PIX11 News. “The animals they created out of pumpkins, the staff, the people. It’s the most exciting thing ever. These little kids just love it.”

Her 7-year-old daughter, Ava, agreed.

“Amazingly fun,” she said.

While Boo at the Zoo has been around for 30 years, this night-time experience is new and complete with pumpkin carving sculptures like this skunk from squash and a crowd favorite, the singing, joking pumpkins.

“They are really cute and grumpy,” Betsy Dufrene, a Pumpkin Nights lover, told PIX11 News.

Pumpkin Nights runs Thursday through Sunday nights until the weekend before Halloween, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

For ticket information, go to