family of four at Metroparks Cleveland Zoo

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Partnership for A Quiet Night

In July 2,900 people attended A Quiet Night at the Asian Lantern Festival at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. The sensory-friendly event was brought to the community by MetroHealth.

The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo made these changes to create a welcoming environment for all:

  • Limited the number of attendees
  • Turned down or muted noises
  • Display lights turned off
  • Headphones offered (year-round)
  • Service dog check-in (year-round)

The event was also a first for Cuyahoga DD. We brought our height-adjustable adult changing table and Mobile Sensory Vehicle out in the community for the first time!

The Mobile Sensory Vehicle allowed guests to get hands-on with various equipment to create their own dedicated sensory space. The vehicle has a wide variety of sensory equipment for relaxation or stimulation – things like the mesmerizing Bubble Tube, interactive tactile panels, twinkling lights, and much more.

A Quiet Night attendees had this to say about the changing table, the Mobile Sensory Vehicle and the event:

“That changing table is a game-changer!”

“We came to this event last year and it was overwhelming. Having this quiet night made such a difference for our family. We were able to enjoy it so much more!”

“My friend's nephew is Autistic and struggles a lot with sensory sensitivity. He easily becomes over-whelmed when in public, especially at events like the Asian Lantern Festival, so their family rarely attends events. They went last night to the sensory-friendly event at the zoo and said he couldn't stop smiling ear to ear. It was the first time in a long time that the family attended an event that they all could enjoy together and that their son was able to be himself. Last night was a gift they didn't know they needed, and they can't express enough how grateful they are for the opportunity.”

Cuyahoga DD’s Community Development team is working with the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo to bring more events to you like this one. To learn about the zoo’s accessibility accommodations, click here.