Our newest event, Silent Night, aims to provide the community with an environment of low-sensory respite. At the event, guests enjoy a quiet Zoo experience with only the natural sounds of animals and the mountainside. At a time when many of our community members need a mental break, this event encourages them to meander at a peaceful pace without a schedule or distractions. The next scheduled Silent Night is Friday, September 11, 2020, and tickets are on sale now at cmzoo.org/silentnight.
“This event presents our guests with a new way to connect with our animals and nature,” said Amanda Ulrich, CMZoo special events manager. “In addition to giving guests a calm, natural space to clear their minds, you can observe the animals in a new way. Even keepers who have worked here for multiple years have experienced things at Silent Night that they wouldn’t during the day, like hearing a vulture’s feathers rustle, or hearing the quiet chirp of a mountain lion.”
Attendees are asked to silence phones and other noisy devices, and to keep all communication to a whisper. Our goal is to create a peaceful environment in our natural surroundings, with as little background noise as possible. We don’t know if the lions are on board with this plan, but the humans who attend agree to keep the talking to a minimum and cell phones on silent. Guests can enjoy our beautiful mountainside setting, and practice mindfulness together. Giraffe and budgie feedings will be available, along with limited dining options at The Grizzly Grill. Unlike our Zoo evening events, there will be no live music, announcements over loud speakers, or keeper talks.
Staff will have notepads to communicate with guests who need anything. “Noise-friendly” buildings are open throughout the Zoo for those who may need to take a moment to regroup or take an important phone call. The rest of the Zoo will be quiet.
“You can get really creative about this silent theme and have fun establishing silent ways of communicating within your group,” said Ulrich. “For example, one family attended and had numbers as common indicators of needs. For example, holding up one finger meant you needed a drink. Holding up two fingers meant you were hungry. Holding up three fingers meant it was time for a bathroom break. When I saw them holding all five fingers on both hands and waving them, it meant they were really excited about what they were seeing. It was awesome to see that family making new memories and a new language.”
Countless studies have shown that time outside, time with animals and exercise all have direct correlations to reducing stress and anxiety.
“There’s so much noise in the world right now,” said Ulrich. “This is your chance to unplug from the digital world and engage in the natural world. Exercise, time outside, and time with animals are all known to improve mental health. We’re in the unique position to be able to provide our community with all three of those elements in one place.”
Advance e-tickets are required and available now at cmzoo.org/silentnight. Masks are required in buildings and are highly encouraged throughout the Zoo.
Silent Night at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
Friday, Sept. 11, 2020
5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Children (3 to 11): $12.75
Kids (2 and under): 75¢
Military and senior discounts available.
E-tickets and information are available at www.cmzoo.org/silentnight.