Looking for somewhere to take the kids this fall? There are plenty of zoos and wildlife preserves within an hour or two from York with lots to see and do for the whole family. Here are seven to check out.

Lake Tobias Wildlife Park

Lake Tobias Wildlife Park Founder's Day

Complimentary pork sandwiches (while they last)

Free children's activities include face painting, pony rides and prize giveaways

When: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 19

Where: 760 Tobias Road, Halifax

Contact: 717-362-9126,

Catoctin Wildlife Preserve

Daily events:

Animal Encounter at Conservation Theater 11 a.m.

Alligator Keeper Talk at the Alligator Bayou 1 p.m.

Animal Encounter at Conservation Theater 2 p.m.

Also: Safari rides, camel rides, safari café and parakeet feedings

Where: 13019 Catoctin Furnace Road, Thurmont, Md.

Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Contact: 301-271-4922

Lehigh Valley Zoo

Movie Night at the Zoo, showing "Penguins of Madagascar"

When: Sept. 25, gates open at 6 p.m., movie starts at 7

Tickets: $5, free for zoo members

Bring blankets and enjoy a movie on the outdoor dining deck. Food and drinks will be available for purchase.

Where: 5150 Game Preserve Road, Schnecksville

Contact: 610-799-4171,


An autumn event featuring craft vendors, wine and craft beer, live music and otter-related family friendly activities throughout the zoo, Ottertoberfest-style.

When: Oct. 17

Where: 5150 Game Preserve Road, Schnecksville

Contact: 610-799-4171,

Boo at the Zoo

Trick-or-treat in costume and enjoy candy treats, mascots, family friendly activities and live music.

When: Oct. 24 and 25

Where: 5150 Game Preserve Road, Schnecksville

Contact: 610-799-4171,

Zoo America

Early Bird Tour

Observe animals as they start their day. Join a zoo educator to get an up-close and personal look at select zoo species, enjoy an enrichment activity, help feed the animals, and more.

When: 8 to 10 a.m. Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays

Where: 201 Park Ave., Hershey

Cost: $49 per person (ages 3+) and includes same-day admission to the zoo. Participants must pre-register and pre-pay 72 hours in advance.

Contact: 717-534-3900,

Clyde Peeling's Reptiland

Flashlight Safari

Many animals become active at night. Take a peek at their "secret" after-hours activities with a special safari through the exhibit gallery — with only a flashlight to guide you.

See lots of critters in action including mambas, cobras, pythons and rattlesnakes, along with aquatic turtles, poisonous dart frogs, tree monitors, and crocodilians. Get an up-close look at Madagascar-hissing cockroaches, a tarantula, emperor scorpion, and boa constrictor. You can even touch a few animals, like an American alligator.

When: 7 to 9 p.m. Oct. 23 and 24

Where: 18628 US Route 15 Allenwood

Tickets: $12 for kids 3-11, $14 for ages 12 and up

Contact: 570-538-1869

Maryland Zoo in Baltimore

After Hours with the Animals

Don't miss the zoo's last "After Hours with the Animals" event this year, where guests pay $10 for admission. After Hours with the Animals is every second Saturday of the month from May through September.

When: 4 to 7 p.m. Sept. 12

Where: 1876 Mansion House Drive, Baltimore, Md.

Contact: 410-396-7102

Where the Wild Things Snore

An educational night under the stars. You and your children can spend the night in tents and enjoy the unique sights and sounds of the zoo at night.

When: 6 p.m. to 9:30 a.m. Sept. 12 to 13

Where: Waterfowl Lake, The Maryland Zoo

Registration deadline: Sept. 4

Can't make September's overnight event? Additional overnight events will be held Oct. 17 to 18 and Nov. 14 to 15

Philadelphia Zoo

Daily schedule through Oct. 31:

Pigeon Flight Show in KidZooU 11 a.m.

Lions at First Niagara Big Cat Falls 11 a.m.

Flamingos in Bird Valley noon

Giant tortoises in Reptile & Amphibian House 12:30 p.m.

Treetop Trail in front of Rare Animal Conservation Center 1 p.m.

Otters in Carnivore Kingdom 1:30 p.m.

Hippos in African Plains 2 p.m.

Rat Training Show in KidZooU 2 p.m.

Keeper's Choice in PECO Primate Reserve 2:30 p.m.

Cheetahs at Cheetah Exhibit 3 p.m.

Goat Training Show in KidZooU 3 p.m.

Polar Bears at Bear Country 3 p.m.

Where: 3400 W. Girard Ave., Philadelphia

Contact: 215-243-5254

Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Nov. 1


In season (through Oct. 31) $20 for adults, $18 for kids 2-11, free for kids 2 and under

Winter Season (Nov. 1 through Feb. 28) $18 for adults, $16 for kids

Members free all year

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