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Sensory Stardome2 min read

Apr 9, 2024 2 min

Sensory Stardome2 min read

Reading Time: 2 minutes
Experience quiet hour at Stardome (photo supplied).

After a successful trial in February, the team is launching a quiet (low-sensory) hour, starting with two sessions on Tuesday, 30th April (3pm and 4.30pm).

Once a month, people of all ages will be able to enjoy a planetarium show in a quiet, calm environment. The show, which usually has up to 75 attendees per session, will be capped at 20 people, and the planetarium’s doors will be left open, so nobody feels hemmed in. A nearby room will be set up as a breakout space, if visitors start to feel overwhelmed.

When the trial was announced earlier this year, it was met with excitement by participants with some coming from Tauranga to share their perspectives. “They’ve wanted to come here for ages, but just didn’t feel like they could before,” reflects Visitor Experience Manager at Stardome, Ben Bradford, who like his colleagues, is excited to create a more inclusive experience.

The team acknowledges that accessibility barriers still remain, and establishing a quiet hour is only one step. “We’re really committed to all types of accessibility,” says Ben. “We’re learning as we go along, but we’re glad we got the low sensory hour up and running.”

The low sensory hour will be on different days and times to ensure as many people can experience it as possible. “It’s important to note that the quiet hours are open to people of all ages, not just kids,” Ben says. After all, a love of space transcends age.

More information about April’s low sensory sessions can be found on the Stardome’s website.

Stardome is giving away some double general admission passes to lucky readers of the Onehunga Community News. All you have to do is tell us who you’d take up into space with you, and why, if you had the opportunity to go.

Email your answer to by Friday, 19th April. Put Stardome in the subject line.