Denver Zoo to host Low Sensory Night for Zoo Lights on Dec. 31


Courtesy of Denver Zoo.

DENVER — Zoo Lights presented by Your Front Range Toyota Stores is transforming Denver Zoo into Colorado’s wildest winter wonderland for 31 years.

Many of features that animate the Zoo’s 84-acre campus may overwhelm those living with sensory processing disorders. The Zoo has created a special experience to better accommodate individuals with SPD: Zoo Lights: Low-Sensory Night presented by Union Pacific Railroad.

“Providing a safe, comfortable and welcoming environment for everyone in the community is our top priority,” said Denver Zoo President and CEO Bert Vescolani. “We recognize that many of the holiday celebrations around town aren’t accessible or joyful for those with SPD, and we’re proud to tailor our traditional Zoo Lights experience to make it more inclusive of the neurodiverse.”

Created in collaboration with external partners with SPD expertise, Zoo Lights: Low-Sensory Night will be hosted Friday, Dec. 31, from 5:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m., and will offer all the magic of Zoo Lights along with several SPD-friendly accommodations including the following:

  • Attendance will be capped at a much lower number to preserve personal space.  
  • Quiet rooms throughout the Zoo’s campus to provide respite from stimulation.  
  • Movement (including strobing, flashing and blinking) effects will be dramatically reduced.  
  • Free sensory kits will be available for checkout on a first-come, first-served basis.  
  • Lowered volume on the Zoo’s popular Conservation Carousel.  
  • Ensuring guests know what to expect—and what to avoid, if need be—in areas where stimuli cannot be reduced.

“Union Pacific is proud to continue our partnership with the Denver Zoo, providing families a unique experience to enjoy the holidays,” said Nathan Anderson, senior director for public affairs at Union Pacific Railroad. “The low-sensory New Year’s Eve program will allow families normally unable to attend events like this a new opportunity to enjoy the Zoo. Expanding access is a key component of Union Pacific’s diversity and inclusion initiative.”

Zoo Lights: Low-Sensory Night tickets are limited and only available online. Tickets are $15 for ages 12-64, $13 for 65 and up, $10 for ages 3-11 and free for children 2 and under (2 and under require a free ticket booked online). 

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