DENVER (KDVR) – The Denver Zoo is hosting a New Year’s Eve event designed to cater to guests with autism and sensory processing disorders, tickets to which are going fast.

Those running the zoo that’s been open for 32 years are aware of just how overwhelming the elaborate winter wonderland they’ve designed can be, which is why they’ve set aside the last night of the year to hold the Zoo Lights: Low-Sensory Night event.

“Zoo Lights is an annual tradition for countless Colorado families, but we recognize that Zoo Lights and other holiday festivities around town aren’t accessible or enjoyable for those with autism or SPD,” Chief Operating Officer for Denver Zoo Amber Christopher said.

Zoo Lights is undeniably bright and a bit boisterous in moments, which for a person dealing with SPD or autism, can be an overwhelming situation.

As a result of this understanding, on Dec. 31 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., a low-sensory version of Denver Zoo’s Zoo Lights will be offered to those who grab a ticket before they are sold out.

Tickets to this event cost:

  • Adult admission – $25
  • Child’s admission – $15

“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,” senior director for public affairs at Union Pacific Railroad Nathan Anderson said.

Details that make this event ‘low-sensory’

  • There will be a capped attendance that is lower than normal
  • Quiet rooms will be provided throughout the zoo
  • Dramatically reduced movement effects, like strobe lights
  • Free sensory kits (available until inventory runs out)
  • Lowered volume around the Conservation Carousel, a popular feature of the Denver Zoo
  • Denver Zoo Railroad will be closed due to it’s whistle which cannot be suspended
  • Special zoo maps that help guests know what stimuli to expect in each area

Union Pacific is a sponsor for this event, tickets to which are going fast, so if this event sounds perfect to you and your family, then visit the Zoo’s website.

This will be the last Zoo Lights event of the year for the Denver Zoo, so if you are interested in seeing this holiday installation, time is running out.