DENVER (CBS4) – For the first time in its history, the Denver Zoo has created a low-sensory night at Zoo Lights. The last night of Zoo Lights will be specially designed for people with Sensory Processing Disorder, a neurological condition in which the brain has trouble receiving and responding to the information that comes in through the senses.
For 29 years, Zoo Lights has transformed the Denver Zoo into a winter wonderland with more than 2 million lights. For people who require a lower sensory experience, the Zoo Lights can be overwhelming.
Selina Sinclair and her children understand how difficult enjoying holiday events can be.
“I love it, I think that more and more places are understanding that there are a lot of families that can do typical activities because of kids with sensory needs,” she said.
Her daughter, Allisen has sensory disorder.
“When the lights are low I think it has a calmer feeling and when the music’s not loud like right now, it has another calming feeling,” she said.
Denver zoo spokesperson Jake Kubie says they want to address those concerns by adding a lower key night to the schedule.
“A huge decision-making factor in everything we do is what the community is telling us, so we definitely took a lot of input not only from experts at the zoo but also from our community partners and others who thought this would be a good idea and we agreed,” he said.
The Low Sensory night will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 31 from 4:30-9 p.m. The evening will feature a reduced ticket cap at 2,500 instead of the normal cap of 6,500. There will be no strobe or flashing lights and all music will be played at softer volumes or turned off completely.
Guests will have access to quiet rooms for anyone who may need to take a break from the action. Sensory kits will also be available at no additional cost with items like headphones and fidget toys.
It’s an idea the Sinclair family says they can get behind.
“It makes you feel like you’re part of the community,” Selina Sinclair said.