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Sensory Day

Date: 30 Jun 2018

Sensory day

We are proud to be a family-friendly visitor attraction and we are committed to making inclusivity the norm in Northern Ireland by providing a ZOOPER day out for all of our visitors.


Following the success of our first quiet hour in 2017, we are running our first ever ‘sensory day’!

Be an ‘early bird’

We want your arrival at the zoo to be as stress-free as possible!

You can come along an hour before opening (at 9am) to enter the zoo before the crowds. This will allow you to explore the sights and sounds of the zoo in a calm and relaxed atmosphere, without the noise and crowds that can be challenging for children and adults with sensory needs.

You must display your Autism Alert Card, National Autism Card, JAM card or other relevant documentation to avail of the queue busting service.

Beat the queues

If you can’t make it to the zoo for our early opening at 9am and there is a queue in the visitor centre when you arrive, you can use our fast track queue!

Please be aware that the fast track queue will be for cash payments only or online tickets. We cannot process card transactions.

You must display your Autism Alert Card, National Autism Card, JAM card or other relevant documentation to avail of the queue busting service.

Fun for all the family

Animal feeding times and keeper talks
Waddle on over to visit the penguins and all of your other favourites at the daily animal feeding times and learn more about them and ask your questions at the keeper talks.

Mr Hullabaloo’s interactive children’s theatre
Watch in amazement as the enchanting kingdom of Hullabaloo is brought to life by a live action storyteller and a selection of puppets, props and scenery. Each show lasts 15 minutes and is filled with a host of unforgettable characters and songs.

Sensory play
Join the team from Mini Explorers’ NI for some sensory play in the education centre.

Touch table
Join our Friends of the Zoo volunteers and investigate some fascinating zoo artefacts!

Need some quiet time?

Call by the ‘quiet’ room in the education centre for some time out.  Between 11.30am and 3.30pm, Mini Explorers’ will be providing their dark den with sensory lighting but you are free to use the room for the duration of the day.

We would advise that you arrive early to take part in all of the activities on offer and to avoid any disappointment.

Plan your day

We have developed a range of resources to help you plan and enjoy your visit including an inclusive visual guide which has been designed to help parents or guardians to prepare the family for their trip to the zoo, letting everyone know what they can expect to minimise potential stress for a relaxing visit.

If you have any suggestions on how we can improve your experience, email events@belfastzoo.co.uk.

Accessibility at Belfast Zoo
Find out more about accessibility at our zoo.
accessible-doc
Plan your zooper day out. (PDF - 2.8MB)