CINCINNATI — A day at the zoo is always exciting, but for some, it may come with extra stresses due to the high level of noise and crowds. That’s why the Cincinnati Zoo decided to host a quiet day, so anyone that struggles with sensory overload would be able to enjoy the animals.

What You Need To Know

  • The Cincinnati Zoo hosted its first-ever Quiet Day

  • The zoo didn't play any music or have any announcements over the loud speakers

  • The zoo always offers sensory bags and access to their two sensory rooms all year round

  • While this was the first Quiet Day, it certainly won't be the last, as the zoo said it plans to add more to the calendar soon

​​No music or announcements through the speakers truly made the zoo a quiet and more peaceful place. For residents at St. Joseph Home, it was a time to come out and fully enjoy all the zoo has to offer.

“A day like this at the zoo is a really special day for our folks and a lot of individuals with developmental disabilities because they’re able to come to the zoo, really experience this wonderful asset and amenity that our city has, and experience all the wonderful things that they have at the zoo," said Jordan Huizenga, the vice president for advancement at St. Joseph Home.

St. Joseph Home is a residential home for residents of all ages with developmental disabilities. Through the last year, they haven’t been able to get out due to the pandemic and their own health concerns.

“A lot of those things have been disrupted whether its family visits or outings to their favorite restaurant or to see their friends," Huizenga said. "Just like the rest of us, our residents have been missing out on those things too. So being able to come back to the zoo has really been a wonderful, wonderful thing.”

While this was the first-ever Quiet Day at the zoo, the zoo offers several amenities to those with developmental disabilities every day. Sensory bags with headphones and other items are always available as well as two sensory rooms for a break from the noise. St. Joseph Home said having amenities like these across the zoo allows residents to feel part of the community.

“The ability for our population and for our residents to be a part of your community and really engage and interact with the community is such a wonderful experience," Huizenga said. "Not only for our residents but also for the rest of the community around Cincinnati.”

The zoo plans to add more quiet days, but doesn’t have anything scheduled yet.