December 26, 2019

A Sense of Community

Denver Zoo Wraps Up Zoo Lights with a Special Night Designed for Individuals with Sensory Sensitivities

For 29 years, Zoo Lights presented by Your Hometown Toyota Stores has transformed Denver Zoo into Colorado’s wildest winter wonderland! And this year, we’re Illuminated with Life, with more than 2 million lights across 80 acres of our campus. But for anyone with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) or prefer a lower sensory experience, Zoo Lights can be overwhelming.

That’s why, for the first time in our history, we’ve created a low-sensory night at Zoo Lights  to better accommodate individuals in our community with SPD. The last night of Zoo Lights—Tuesday, Dec. 31—will be specially designed so people with SPD, a neurological condition in which the brain has trouble receiving and responding to the information that comes in through the senses, can experience the magic of Zoo Lights.

“As an inclusive, community-oriented nonprofit organization, our top priority is being welcoming, safe and comfortable for everyone,” said Denver Zoo President and CEO Bert Vescolani. “We strive to break down as many barriers to the Zoo’s programs and events as possible, whether that means providing free or reduced admission, or, in this case, tailoring an event to make it more accessible for people who are neurodiverse.”

Zoo Lights: Low Sensory Night will take place from 4:30-9 p.m. on Dec. 31 and deliver all the magic of a typical Zoo Lights evening, with accommodations to ensure the night is more comfortable for those with sensory sensitivities. In addition, we’ve created a Zoo Lights Low Sensory Guide and provided training for our guest-facing staff on effectively engaging and interacting with people with SPD. Features of Low Sensory Night include:

  • Reduced ticket cap 2,500 (normally 6,500)
  • No strobes or flashing lights
  • All music will be played at softer volumes or turned off completely
  • Available quiet rooms for anyone who may need to take a break from the action
  • Available sensory kits for checkout at no additional cost with items like headphones and fidget toys (limited supply issued on a first-come, first-served basis)

Tickets for Low Sensory Night are very limited and ONLY available online here: https://denverzoo.org/low-sensory-night/.




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