Ghouls At Grassmere- One Of My Favorite Things To Do In Nashville For Halloween

jessie toy story costume
things to do in nashville

I came up with my costume and my husband’s in less than 2 hours! It was intense, especially since I made a red Jesse yarn wig.

This weekend we packed up the kiddos and headed for the Spooky Zoo… aka the “Ghouls At Grassmere”. This is a fun activity-packed evening put together by the Nashville Zoo and about a million volunteers. We’ve gone before and I really wish we could make it every year because we always have fun. If you’re in Tennessee you should check it out. Otherwise I recommend you let your fingers do some Internet walking and see if the zoo in your area has anything similar because it’s a hoot!

jessie toy story costume

Yes, I totally cheated and bought the the Barbie leotard and Buzz Lightyear’s costume :-)

One of my favorite aspects of the Ghouls at Grassmere is how involved all the other patrons are. Almost everyone dresses up, and of course my family was no exception. This year we went for a Toy Story theme. From what I could see, Disney characters accounted for roughly half of the costumes that we saw. Some of my favorites were the entire family dressed as the Incredibles, the little “Minion” in a baby carrier, and Maleficent and her daughter Mal from the new Descendants movie. If you haven’t seen that movie yet, my nieces have an adorable movie review on their YouTube channel: WATCH HERE

It’s a flat rate to get in, and if you have a membership they take off a couple bucks per ticket. But alas, our zoo membership lapsed years ago (insert fake tears here). Even without the discount for the zoo membership it was only $15 per person… although that added up pretty quickly since there are five of us! But the great thing is that your ticket covers everything except for food. The carousel, hay ride, and games are all included in that, which means you don’t have to whip out your wallet every five seconds. Grab your tennis shoes because there’s a lot of walking involved any time you go to the zoo.

spooky zoo, tennessee zoo

Sarah is wearing a pirate costume that she sewed herself! I know, I know, I really do have the coolest friends.

Because we’d purchased our tickets ahead of time we were able to bypass the super enormous line at the front gates. Yay! And for once in our lives we were like ten minutes early. Seriously, I don’t think we’ve been early since I had baby number one… and that was a decade ago! It’s totally worth it to be early because that meant we were able to get the full bang for our buck. First things first, I had a pow wow with my friend Sarah who I coerced into coming along.

haunted hayride

Look! No line yet!

There was no line at the hayride…but would the haunted hayride still be cool when it wasn’t dark yet? We decided to go for it and I’m so glad we did, especially when we saw the endless line of people waiting to ride it later that evening, yikes! And yes, the hayride was still fun even though it was still light out. If anything, it probably kept my youngest two from getting scared. I mainly just enjoyed the hayride, but here are a couple of fun shots.

ghouls at grassmere

Trying to keep the toddler INSIDE of the trailer is a full time job!

fun halloween activities

I didn’t try to catch the bubble like a five year old… really, that’s not even my hand!

After we got off the awesome hayride (seriously, my pictures don’t do it justice) we tried to head straight for the haunted carousel…but they made us walk the long way around :-( I know, I really should be a better example for my children, but it was right there, and my understanding and cooperative smile was definitely not genuine!

spooky zoo

The one and only workout Barbie from Toy Story got sick of wearing her hair early on, so enjoy it while it lasts!

haunted carousel ride, spooky zoo

I think Buzz Lightyear would have been happy to ride the carousel all night long.

halloween fun at the spooky zoo

Even the ten-year-old had fun. I guess that means carousels are timeless.

So ten minutes later we made our way back to the carousel and it was so fun! It was even worth the totally illogical out-of-the-way walk we were forced to endure :-)

halloween activities for kids, modern homemakers

Sadly, Workout Barbie is NOT a big fan of scary Trolls.

We visited a scary Troll, who fortunately didn’t smell as bad as he looked.

halloween zoo

“I haven’t puked yet, I totally need to go back in and bounce some more, Mom!”

halloween fun

Worst picture ever, I know.

They had two bouncy houses, which is awesome, because seriously what kid doesn’t want to jump up and down when they’re all hopped up on candy?

spooky zoo nashville tennessee halloween activities

World’s easiest maze… EVER

This post is getting a bit long winded…so I shall strive for a quick wrap up. There was a fun tent with blaringly loud Halloween music where the kids got to dance out some of their energy. There were several education zoo shows with live animals. There was mini golf and a “corn” maze.

fun things to do in nashville tennessee for halloween

Say cheese!

And nonstop adorable photo opportunities.

modern homemakers, ghouls at grassmere

I loved the giant lolipops everywhere

alternatives to trick or treating

Buzz Lightyear really got the hang of it by the end.

And last but not least, we took the kids trick-or-treating. Not only were all the trick-or-treat stations adorable, it was really nice to know I wouldn’t have to check each piece of candy to see if it had been poisoned or tampered with like this:


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