The Hattiesburg Zoo has selected four dates in 2023 to host Sensory Day. The first date will be Sunday, February 12th with the remaining three dates being Sunday, April 2nd, Sunday, August 6th and Sunday, December 10th. Sensory Days at the Hattiesburg Zoo are focused on individuals who have sensory needs.
“Sensory Day at the Hattiesburg Zoo has been so well received by our community over the last few years,” said Jeremy Cumpton, Director of Conservation, Education and Wildlife. “Our families who have children or loved ones with sensory sensitivities really enjoy this special day that is designed specifically for them.” “We wanted to share the dates for the entire year so that families and individuals who want to visit us on these quiet, sensory sensitive days can plan ahead to join us,” continued Cumpton.
The Hattiesburg Zoo staff has been trained by leading professionals to recognize guests with sensory needs, and know how to handle any sensory overload situations that may occur. Sensory bags, available in the Zoo office are equipped with noise-cancelling headphones, fidget tools, verbal cue cards, and weighted lap pads are designed to help both children and adults and can help lessen sensory overload and help engage and redirect individuals.
On a regular day, the Zoo is a bustling attraction, filled with plenty of sounds and movement that could possibly trigger an adverse reaction in someone with sensory sensitivities. On every Sensory Day the zoo will have all music turned off, quiet train rides, sensory stations, and calm animal encounters throughout the day. This event will take place during regular zoo hours from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. “While we may not be able to tell our animals to use their inside voices, the rest of the zoo will be quiet and ready for our guests,” said Cumpton.
Zoo staff is prepared to assist guests with sensory sensitivities, and all guests will be welcomed with comfort and accommodation. The Hattiesburg Zoo was the first attraction/destination in Mississippi to be certified by KultureCity as a sensory inclusive location.
Regular zoo admission rates apply, and there is no additional charge for Sensory Day. Annual passes will be honored for every Sensory Day.
Sunday Aug 6, 2023
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM CDT
Sunday, February 12, 2023
Sunday, April 2, 2023
Sunday, August 6, 2023
Sunday, December 10, 2023