Hogle Zoo offering neurodiverse experience on Dec. 27

Dec 19, 2022, 3:43 PM | Updated: 3:46 pm
(Utah's Hogle Zoo)...
(Utah's Hogle Zoo)
(Utah's Hogle Zoo)

SALT LAKE CITY — For the first time, Utah’s Hogle Zoo will offer a Neurodiversity Celebration Day and “Silent Night” ZooLights experience all day and evening on Tuesday, Dec. 27.

According to a press release from the zoo, the day — which will have special educational activities and experiences — will celebrate neurodiverse individuals who are sensitive to high noise levels, visuals, and smells.

Some things guests can expect to see or hear that day are:

  • Reduced or stopped strobing, flashing and blinking light effects
  • Lowered music volumes
  • Free sensory backpacks and kits available for checkout for individuals with low vision or autism spectrum disorder
  • Sensory-friendly activities and educational demonstrations throughout the zoo
  • Keeper interaction and animal trainings
  • Quiet room, if needed
  • Information tables from local organizations who support neurodiverse individuals
  • Guided information on what to expect and what to avoid in areas where stimuli cannot be reduced

Joey Hanna, executive director of Utah Parent Center — which educates and advocates for individuals with disabilities, said, “There are a lot of neurodiverse people who love animals and the zoo. They enjoy that they can interact with wildlife, keepers, and their families of all generations. This day and Silent Night are for anyone who wishes to learn about and celebrate our unique ways of experiencing animals and a holiday lighting event.”

(Utah’s Hogle Zoo)

The Neurodiversity Celebration Day is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. onDec. 27. The event is included with the Wild Weekdays discount — $5 general admission every weekday of December, or $7 at the door.

Silent Night ZooLights, however, is a separate ticketed event from 5:30 to 9 p.m.

Tickets for that are:

  • Ages 13+ — $14.95
  • Ages 3-12 — $11.95
  • Ages 0-2 — Free
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Hogle Zoo offering neurodiverse experience on Dec. 27