On Sunday 9 July 2017, Belfast Zoo will go ‘quiet’!

Belfast Zoo’s NEW quiet hours allow visitors on the autism spectrum, their family and friends to enter the zoo an hour early at 9am.  This is an opportunity to enjoy the peace and quiet of the zoo for an hour before it opens to the general public.

Zoo Manager, Alyn Cairns, said “Our new quiet hours allow families to explore the sights and sounds of the zoo in a calm and relaxed atmosphere, without the typical noise and crowds that can be challenging for children and adults with sensory needs.   The zoo is not only a vital educational resource for children but it is also a fun day out with the opportunity to create memories as a family, that will last a lifetime.  We are delighted to be playing an active role in making inclusivity the norm in Northern Ireland and to make the zoo a welcoming day out for everyone.”

Alyn continued “We realise that there is a huge demand for family-focused attractions to create a supportive and enjoyable experience for visitors with sensory needs.  In order to keep Quiet Hour ‘quiet’ there will be a limited number of 150 tickets available.  However, we hope that the success of this event will lead to many more ‘quiet hours’ in the future.”

Belfast Zoo has also developed a sensory guide to help visitors on the autism spectrum to plan their visit to the zoo. This is available to download from www.belfastzoo.co.uk

Numbers will be limited for this event and tickets must be pre-booked.  For more information visit www.belfastzoo.co.uk, email info@belfastzoo.co.uk or call the zoo on 028 9077 6277.  Normal admission prices apply.

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Notes to Editors

•    Quiet Hour will take place on Sunday 9 July from 9–10.00am
•    Belfast Zoological Gardens is owned and operated by Belfast City Council.
•    Visitors can enjoy a ZOOPER day out at Belfast Zoo with:
– a daily schedule of animal feeding times;
– visitor photography base camp;
– a visit to all of the latest zoo babies;
– a visit to our newly renovated and extended reptile and amphibian house which is home to 15 new species; and
– the chance to support the conservation work that Belfast Zoo carries out.

•    You can now keep up to date with Belfast Zoo news at:
– www.belfastzoo.co.uk
– www.facebook.com/belfastzoo
– www.twitter.com/belfastzoo

For further information, contact:

Cathy Galway, Marketing Officer: galwayc@belfastcity.gov.uk / 028 9077 6277 ext. 207
Lauren Crampsie, Marketing Assistant: crampsiel@belfastcity.gov.uk / 028 9077 6277 ext 229