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Oregon Zoo offers ZooLights experience for those with different sensory needs

ZooLights Sensory Inclusive Night will feature the same light displays, but the music will be softer and there will be no flashing lights.
Credit: Oregon Zoo

PORTLAND, Ore. — Children with autism or different sensory needs can still experience the magic of ZooLights at the Oregon Zoo on a special inclusive night Jan. 6.

ZooLights Sensory Inclusive Night will feature the same light displays, but the music will be softer and there will be no flashing lights. Cool down rooms also will be available for children who need to take breaks. There will also be smaller crowds than usual.

The Oregon Zoo partnered with the Northwest Regional Education Service District to create a more inclusive experience. The first Sensory Inclusive Night was in 2018.

“Our goal is to let parents relax and let the kids experience the wonder of the lights at the Oregon Zoo,” says Sarena Gill, the zoo's ambassador animal area supervisor.

In order to minimize crowds, there are a limited number of tickets available for the event on Monday, Jan. 6. Prices are discounted to $12.95 for adults and $7.95 for children 3-11. Children under 2 are free.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 in 59 children has been identified with autism spectrum disorder, which often causes children to have communication challenges and to struggle in social situations.

Read more about the event

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