HOUSTON (October 18, 2016)

Curious GeorgeHalloween arrived early for hundreds of Houston area families on Sunday as Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital celebrated a record-high turnout for its 6th annual Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) reunion.

Decked out in Halloween costumes, more than 900 NICU graduates and their families flocked to the Houston Zoo to reunite with their caregivers and enjoy a festive autumn morning of pumpkin decorating and carnival games.

“Every year, the NICU reunion is a much-anticipated event for our physicians, nurses and other members of the care team who look forward to the opportunity to re-connect with patients they haven’t seen in months or even years in some cases,” said Nicole Francis, clinical director of neonatal services at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital. “It’s always so rewarding to see the tremendous progress these children make once they graduate from our care. Nothing brings me more fulfillment than seeing their smiles and witnessing their joy.”

In addition to the many fun-filled activities and a free pass into Houston Zoo Boo 2016, the NICU reunion had a special treat this year that delighted the crowd, both young and old. Curious George®, the timeless storybook monkey who now has his own popular animated television show, made a surprise appearance as part of Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital’s ongoing sponsorship of PBS KIDS on Houston Public Media.

“The kids were beyond excited to meet Curious George and have their photo taken with their favorite PBS character,” Francis said. “We are proud to play our role in helping support such a cherished community partner that has made it a mission to foster literacy and educational development in children across the Houston area.”

See more photos of the Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital NICU reunion.