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Sensory Day returns to Belfast Zoo this September!

Children enjoying playing with sensory toys sitting on ground

Belfast Zoo’s Sensory Day is back! A fun filled day of free sensory activities is planned on Saturday 9 September 2023.

This special event allows visitors on the autism spectrum, and with other sensory requirements, to enjoy a family day out at the zoo. The event focus is tailored sensory activities for the whole family to enjoy.

Visitors can enter the zoo during Quiet Hour from 9am to 10am, allowing them to experience reduced noise and crowds that can often be challenging for children and adults with sensory needs. If visitors can’t make it to the zoo for early opening, visitors with sensory requirements can enjoy a fast-track queue system throughout the day.

Bubble bike on grass

Visitors can witness a mesmerising spectacle with the Bubble bike in force filling the air with millions of bubbles!

There will be a chance to meet the education animals, visit your favourite animals at feeding time learn about species biology at touch tables and find out more about the animals the zoo cares for and the work they do. Visitors can also drop by the sensory room for some interactive, animal-themed sensory play.

Visitors who require some ‘quiet time’ can avail of the quiet room at the zoo café.

Zoo manager, Alyn Cairns, said:

“We are delighted to be hosting our annual sensory day event at Belfast Zoo. It will not only provide a memorable day out for the whole family but also create an engaging learning experience for visitors.”

Alyn continued:

“Following such positive feedback from our previous events, we are delighted that sensory day is returning this year.

"We continue to work hard to ensure the Belfast Zoo provides an inclusive and enjoyable experience for all its visitors. Alongside our annual Sensory Day event, Belfast Zoo also offers regular Quiet Hours, free admission for carers, SignVideo software, a new Changing Places facility, a partnership with the Ability Café, wheelchair-accessible transport service and a new website which significantly improved digital accessibility.

Belfast Zoo has over 55 acres to explore and is home to more than 110 different species, most of which are endangered or extinct in the wild. Belfast Zoo takes part in over 40 breeding programmes.

Breeding is carefully co-ordinated through population management guidance and tools. Breeding programmes for species including the François langur and the black and white Colobus monkey are coordinated by Belfast Zoo staff.


Belfast Zoo is one of the oldest visitor attractions in Northern Ireland and has been home to animals since 1934. Belfast Zoo is a leading and award-winning visitor attraction in Northern Ireland, welcoming more than 200,000 visitors each year.


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