halloween traditions

24 Reasons to Attend Pumpkins At The Park 2021

It’s that time of year again, Pumpkins at the Park at Tanganyika Wildlife Park. A great event for all ages that will happen this year, each Saturday through October!


The Annual Pumpkins at the Park Event in Wichita has returned to Tanganyika for a month-long Halloween celebration that will be even bigger and better than before. This year’s festivities involve some family-friendly not-so-scary events such as hayrides on our tractor-trailer and jack o’lantern carving stations for kids. Also, paranormal team tours through various enclosures PLUS much more, so come out and have your very own Tanganyika Halloween Celebration today!


Families are encouraged to come and dress up, enjoy crafts and attractions, and listen to spooky stories. Every year, Pumpkins at the Park sells out; therefore, in 2021, we decided to create a month-long Halloween event for families to enjoy their costumes and be safe. Each Saturday of October, the festivities will take place between 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm, with tickets starting at $19.99. We recommend purchasing tickets as soon as you know which Saturday you want to attend.




We compiled a list of 24 reasons why you should visit Pumpkins in the Park – Halloween Celebration this year. And we know that there’s something for everyone:


1.- Toddlers and Little Kids Love Tanganyika’s Halloween Local Characters – Fall and Halloween Event in Wichita

Four local residents of the Tanganyika township couldn’t hurt a fly, let alone scare a baby kitten. This human-size (zookeepers) characters help kids and toddlers learn about Halloween and wildlife in a healthy way – the way our parents raised us. Keep an eye out for these characters as they wander around the park; they’re the gentle side of family fun at Tanganyika this fall. They’ve been rehearsing since 2019 for their annual chicken dance. Meet them at the waterfall every 30 minutes for a good ole’ line dance. Check out this Tanganyika line-up! 


  1. Jimbo – a humble farmer turned into a huggable pumpkin
  2. Kaos – a scheming skeleton who prefers simple tricks over terror
  3. Vinny –  a baby dinosaur with some serious cuddling skills
  4. Hank – the only scarecrow that won’t scare you away


2.- Teenagers love the Cage Maze – inescapable, terrifying, only for the unafraid. Fall and Halloween Events for Teens

Wanting something a bit scarier? This cage maze will add an extra level of terror that only those truly brave enough can face. Get haunted and lost at the same time, don’t say we did not warn you! It is intense, and you won’t escape without a close encounter with a zombie. You will have to find your way out, or you might not make it back!


3.- A sunset and a hayride are perfect for toddlers and little kids – Fall and Halloween Events for Families

Before dusk, climb aboard the Tanganyika tractor for a happy hayride. It is perfect for your little ones. When they are done, head to the pumpkin patch and pick their pumpkins! You remember your hayride with your own parents, so make this Kansas fall just as memorable for your toddlers and little kids this Halloween. The only thing scary about this ride might be the costume you put on your infants. If you’re looking for a Halloween celebration in Wichita that is both safe and fun, hayrides on tractors are perfect. They provide the nostalgia of walking on a straw while still including all the hallmarks of hayrides – music from swinging lanterns and friendly faces flashing in the firelight! Hayrides allow people to enjoy Halloween without feeling too scared or silly but still in a festive mood!





4. A nighttime hayride that will terrify your fear-seeking teenagers (or husband) – Fall and Halloween Events for Teens and Adults

Why do cars always break down in scary movies? Why do tractors always break down at Tanganyika on Halloween? It is a perfect recipe for a first date, group of girlfriends, or just mom and dad who want to get startled. Haunted hayrides never grow old, especially when the zombies live in an abandoned zoo. Let your imagination fly on this tractor ride. 


5. Laser tag is an Olympic sport in October at Tanganyika – Halloween events for Teens and Adults in Wichita

This adventurous outing, Zombie Task Force, is designed for the frenetic family because it mixes action and Halloween fun. It might sound a little crazy, but this is one Halloween tradition you’ll never forget. This laser tag experience will be unlike anything you’ve ever played before: the hardcore tactical gear and field of play designed to add suspense automatically make it Halloween’s best new game. There is no age limit: This is where dad and his five-year-old can have fun with laser tag. 


6. The choreographed light show is impressive, funny, and unforgettable all together – Fall and Halloween Events in Wichita

Combine  6000 individually controllable lights, four funny Halloween characters, add in Michael Jackson’s world-famous song ‘Thriller,’ and you now have Tanganyika’s center stage. This alone is worth coming to Pumpkins at the Park Halloween Event. If you already know how beautiful our wildlife enclosures are, you know we do exhibits, stages, and theatrics with attention to detail. Come see this stage performance by Jimbo, Chaos, Hank, and Tixie. Imagine synchronized lights towering at 16 feet tall, jack-o-lanterns singing the ‘Chicken Dance’ for 3 minutes, then ‘Thriller’ shortly after. Now you know what put Pumpkins at the Park on the Halloween Events map in Wichita. Each show takes 25 hours to program and develop!

7. Professor Pumpkin is a humongous orange version of Amazon’s Alexa crossed with your Uncle Eric’s goofy sense of humor.

Professor Pumpkin has a brain of its own, so it responds to what you’re saying. But, it’s not just your typical assistant. Professor Pumpkin is a Halloween twist on the Amazon Alexa and Google Home smart speakers you see in households around the world…Don’t believe us? Ask him questions about Halloween, how many pumpkin pies he can eat, or just where is the closest Zombie-adult drink. Professor Pumpkin is sure to answer, and we promise the answer will be entertaining. 


8. Trick-or-Treat all month long is why Tanganyika’s Pumpkins at the Park is Wichita’s best Halloween Event for families

We know Halloween is fun, so why celebrate only one night when you can party for a month? That would be even better. We could wear costumes on the playground and play in mazes in the Wildlife Park! Add in some more Halloween lights to go around so it will feel like Halloween all October long. If you want more Halloween in your life, we should all trick or treat once every week! At Tanganyika’s Halloween Event, there are 15 candy stations around the park so your kids can show off their costumes, learn to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you,’ and you get to eat their candy when they go to sleep. 


9. Relaxing for parents, fun for the kids… that is Halloween in Wichita at Tanganyika – Safe Trick or Treat For Kids and Toddlers

Every parent wants their kid to enjoy Halloween, but more importantly, it should be safe when you go trick or treating. This is why a visit with the family to the inner gates of Tanganyika is a great safe way for your kids to run around, dress up, get candy from someone you know and trust. Avoid the cars, avoid the houses that turn off their lights, and come to Tanganyika for a great Halloween Celebration.





10. Most Mad Scientists are scarier than funny, not at Tanganyika – Things to do this Halloween in Wichita

A mad scientist is a term that may be used to refer to someone who does not do the “normal” things in life, someone who has a different perspective from the everyday person, or different methods for doing things. If you added a ‘sense of humor’ to this definition, you would be describing Tanganyika’s own creation: Dr. Stein. This mad scientist show is a mix of the bumbling Dr. Stein trying to breed new animals, but instead of lemur-oos or giraffalopes, Dr. Stein tends to invent spiny-pigs that look like porcupines for any toddler or little kid from Kansas. But don’t tell him; he thinks he knows it all. 


11. Inflatable castles are always fun, now throw in Halloween and Tanganyika’s Pumpkins at the Park Halloween Event.

You know bounce houses are fun for toddlers and little kids. Help your little pumpkin crawl into this friendly house-size balloon while you sit back and enjoy the Kansas fall with a haunted adult beverage. We named this Henry’s Haunted Inflatable House, but no kid has ever been scared. 


12. Campfire stories would be better without camping; this is why Tanganyika created the Forbidden Forest – Things to do this fall in Wichita

Campfire stories are sure to get you prepared for the fall fun. Fun and friendly for toddlers and little kids, this storytime is by the lorikeet enclosure, so you can listen for squeaks and squawks in the night. Bring your spider cider and glow cones. Campfire stories are great for toddlers to get into the spirit of camping. This Halloween Event is a great time to dress up in costumes and have fun. So let’s add stories to costumes, and that is even more fun! 


13. Crafts for your kids while you enjoy a craft beer – Fall and Halloween Adult Events in Wichita.

Rest stop at the craft station to keep your kids entertained while you enjoy adult conversations and beer.


14. Tanganyika has more inflatable giants than a car lot in Dallas, Texas – Best Halloween Event in Wichita

Let’s list them: Darth Vader, 3 neon ghosts that will make you giggle, a pirate ship, a train… a 20 foot tall Frankenstein, and more! Get ready for Halloween with Halloween inflatables.  Create a spooky Halloween atmosphere with Halloween decorations. 


15. Tanganyika has personally hand-picked this pumpkin patch for your toddlers and little kids – Best Pumpkin Patch in Wichita 

Pumpkin pie, pumpkin crafts, pumpkin lanterns, they are all nice. 


16. Family photos are cuter at Jimbo’s Pumpkin Patch – Best Pumpkin Patch in Wichita 

Propped up next to Herbert, the Giant Pumpkin sits Jimbo’s Pumpkin Patch; stop by for an unforgettable portrait of your cuties so you don’t forget what 5 years old looks like… cute as can be. 

17. 5 photo opportunities for the entire family! – Best Halloween in Wichita

Tanganyika has set up scenic Halloween photo backdrops that will make any Kansas unhappy family look happy, and any happy family looks gorgeous. Grandma won’t necessarily look scary, but Tanganyika can’t turn water into wine… grandma is just cute. 


18. Witch’s Kitchen is where you get real Halloween-themed goodies worth writing home about – Best Wichita Tick or Treat

Candied apples, chocolate-covered crispy treats, and Halloween treats will be ready for you. 





19. Why dress up as an animal when you can take a picture with a Tanganyika creeper?

Creepy Crawlers is our version of taking selfies with cute animals with your kids’ adorable costumes so your Instagram will get a boost of likes. While our creepers with four feet won’t be in costume, our 2 legged keepers will be. 


20. Only 5 people have ever escaped from Jimbo’s Cabin, a twisted puzzle turned into family fun when Tanganyika dreamed up their ideal Escape Room.

This cabin is 6×8 and requires smart kids (or adults) who can think fast without being stumped. Take the tips and discover what Kaos is doing to Jimbo; this is the only way to escape.


21. Tanganyika has the funniest graveyard west of the MississippiBest Halloween in Wichita

Our tombstones have funny phrases, questions, and names. I don’t know about you, but I hope my kids don’t write “I am not really dead” on my tombstone. 


22. Kids love glow sticks, and Tanganyika has a pop-up store with more selection than any traveling carnival.

Swords, headbands, light spinners, glasses, glow sticks galore! Did you know that they have chemiluminescence inside? We didn’t either, but we got more of that than social media has bad political advice. 


23. Beer makes grumpy dad more “bearable” – Halloween Adult Event in Wichita.

Three strategically placed bars are ideal for the family that wants to enjoy Halloween-themed cocktails or craft beer while the kids scamper around Tanganyika in a very safe, outdoor setting. We hope you get the bartender dressed up as a cute cheerleader and not the weirdo who dresses up as Charles Manson.


24. This Halloween event fills more than your kids’ pockets with candy, rather it helps fund the not-for-profit branch of Tanganyika during the winter months.

All the proceeds of this event go to the Winter Fund that supports our keeper team attend to our animals in the conservation side of Tanganyika’s mission. If the candy you take home doesn’t cover your entry fee, your contribution to our animals will help with our hefty costs during the frigid months of Kansas winter. So thank you. 





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