Lindsay Burke
803.779.8717, x1141
or 803.873.0765

Upcoming Events at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden

Please be advised that Animal Adventure is no longer showing in the 3-D Adventure Theater. SpongeBob SquarePants is now showing. Details can be found below.

Enrichment Day
September 6, 2008
Sniff, poke, chase, pounce... Watch wildlife in action as the animals interact with new and unusual objects in their environment. This day is all about sharing the world of animal enrichment with the public. Learn and Do stations will be set up in the plaza; get a temporary animal tattoo to show your love for enrichment, learn how to enrich your pet at home - decorate a bone for the dog or plant some catnip for your cat and experience timed animal encounters throughout the day.

Grizzly Bears - 10:00am
Sea Lions - 10:30am
Penguins - 11:00am
Gorillas - 11:30am
Goats - 12:00pm
Aquarium Dive - 12:30pm
Meerkats - 1:00pm
Bird Flight Show - 1:30pm
Alligator - 2:00pm
Baboons - 2:30pm
Elephants - 3:00pm
Tigers - 3:30pm
Galapagos Tortoises - 4:00pm

Fall Plant Sale ­­- New this year!
October 11, 2008
Join Riverbanks horticulture staff at the Botanical Garden Growing Center as they prepare you for fall and winter gardening. The sale will include both annuals and perennials, along with trees, shrubs and clever solutions for your entire winter container gardening needs. The sale will run from 9am to noon and there will be no pre-sale. Admission is free for those who enter at the Seminole Drive entrance. For more information call 803.779.8717.

Riverbanks ZOOfari
October 11, 2008
You're invited to the wildest party in town! The annual Riverbanks ZOOfari, the Zoo's premier fundraiser is set for Saturday, October 11. From 7 to 11pm guests will be immersed in some of the world's most fascinating habitats - journey to the jungle for opening festivities, sway to the beat of the drums, voyage to a feast under the sea and glide over to the arctic for some delectable desserts. Don't forget to bid on some rare opportunities; name a lion cub, give an elephant a pedicure, score the ultimate backyard makeover and more! Tickets are $75 for Zoo members and $85 for the general public. Reservations are requested by September 29. Riverbanks ZOOfari is sponsored by Riverbanks Society, the private, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization supporting the needs of Riverbanks Zoo & Garden. A portion of the ticket price is tax-deductible.

Boo at the Zoo
October 17 - 19 and 24 - 30, 2008
Put on your cutest costume and head over to Riverbanks Zoo and Garden for the annual Halloween spook-tacular, Boo at the Zoo. The family-friendly Halloween event runs from 6 to 9pm each evening. Children 12 and under are invited to wear costumes for a spook-fest complete with Frankenstein's Foam Zone, an eeky freaky DJ dance party and a trick-or-treat trail with candy and more! Kids can ride on the haunted carousel, watch Haunted Mine Ride in 3-D and explore the Zoo at night! Tickets are $6 for Riverbanks members and $8 for the general public and can be purchased in advance online at or at the Zoo entrance.

Veterans Day

November 11, 2008
Active duty and retired military personnel with a military ID card receive free admission in honor of Veterans Day.

Fall Bulb Sale
November 15, 2008
Brighten up your garden with Riverbanks' finest selection of spring bulbs! All of Riverbanks Botanical Garden's bulbs are hand-selected by Riverbanks horticulturists, offering a wide variety of unique and common bulbs that gardeners won't find at the average nursery. The sale runs from 9am to 12pm in the Bog Garden Plaza at the West Columbia entrance. Shoppers are encouraged to come early since many bulbs go fast. Pre-sale is going on now! Visit to get an order form.

Lights Before Christmas
November 22 - December 30, 2008 (closed November 27 and December 24, 25)
Each evening from 6 to 9pm experience Columbia's longest running holiday tradition at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. Explore the Zoo illuminated by nearly one million twinkling lights and more than 350 handcrafted images, make a stop at the holiday village and take your photo with Santa, roast marshmallows at the Jingle Bell Bonfire and be sure to wear your hat - it snows nightly at Riverbanks during the Lights Before Christmas. Admission is free for Riverbanks members and general admission is $6 for children ages 3 - 12 and $8 for adults. Avoid long holiday lines and purchase your tickets in advance at or at the Zoo entrance.

SpongeBob SquarePants Showing in the 3-D Adventure Theater
Throughout the Year
Join SpongeBob SquarePants as he rides a bubble bicycle in pursuit of a runaway pickle required to serve the perfect Krabby Patty hamburger. The show runs every 15 minutes from 10am to 4pm and is $2 for viewers ages 3 and up.

Behind-the-Scenes Tours
Every Saturday
Experience Riverbanks Zoo through the eyes of the animal care staff. Walk on the "wild side" as you get an inside look at some out-of-sight places. Explore the animal hospital, take a peek inside the animal kitchen, and meet a live animal! Adventure Tours allow participants to marvel at the unique challenges of animal care and the amazing efforts that go into creating and sustaining a world-class zoo. This fun-filled tour ends with a tasty treat. Tours are available on Saturday only. For more information on the upcoming behind-the-scenes tours, please call 803.779.8717 x1110 or email

Out of the Classroom at Riverbanks
Throughout the Year
Riverbanks Zoo and Garden presents fun and educational programs for kids and adults including interactive programs that incorporate live animal demonstrations, gardening, bug hunts and more! ZOOventure programs are on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays and Garden programs are on Saturdays. All programs are taught by Zoo and Garden professionals and are available for the very young through to adult. Topics rotate. Pre-registration required. Prices are typically $7, with paid admission, though prices are subject to change. For more info, call 803.779.8717 or visit Call for special summer programs.

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Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is located at I-126 and Greystone Boulevard near downtown Columbia. The Botanical Garden entrance is located in West Columbia off Hwy. 378 at Botanical Parkway. Hours are 9am - 5pm and the Zoo is open daily except for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Admission is $9.75 for adults, $7.25 for children ages 3-12 and free for children under three. Group rates and other discounts may apply. For more information, call Riverbanks at 803.779.8717or visit