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  • Lights Before Christmas

    November 21–December 30 — Don’t miss the Midlands’ most popular holiday tradition! Tickets are on sale now. All Zoo members enjoy a free visit.

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  • Zoo Book Makes Great Gift

    Riverbanks Zoo and Garden: Forty Wild Years is sure to be a favorite for family and friends near and far. On sale now at the Zoo’s main gift shop. Zoo members get 10% off!

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  • Winter Zoo Camp

    December 29–31—Campers ages 5 to 10 will enjoy up-close encounters, behind-the-scenes tours, zoo walks, games, crafts and more! Limited space available. Register today.

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  • Spreading Our Wings

    Over the next 2 years, the landscape at Riverbanks will vastly change as a result of a $36 million dollar expansion. Stay up-to-date on how your Zoo’s future is shaping up!

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Upcoming Events & Programs

Friday, December 19

Lights Before Christmas
@ 5:00–9:00pm
Experience Columbia’s longest running holiday tradition—the 27th annual Lights Before Christmas at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. The Zoo will light up each evening with more than one million twinkling lights and countless animated images representing some of Riverbanks’ most loveable residents. Guests can roast marshmallows at the jingle bell bonfire, visit with Santa and enjoy the festive sounds of the Music in Motion lights spectacular. Riverbanks is also the only place in town where it snows every night!
Cost: $10 Adults / $8 Children ages 2–12.
All Riverbanks members receive one free visit.

Celebrate the season with a sleepover at the Zoo! Meet a few of our animal friends up-close, sneak a peek behind-the-scenes with animal staff and experience the sights and sounds of Lights Before Christmas at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. Your overnight adventure will also include a marshmallow roast and free zoo admission the following day. Cost: $50 per person. Groups must have a minimum of 25 participants and a maximum of 50. Available dates are limited so register early by calling 803.602.0803.

Pony Classes: Ponies 101
@ 9:00am (ages 6–11)
Children will experience what it takes to get Riverbanks’ ponies ready for a day of riding. Learn how to measure, groom and tack the Zoo’s gentle ponies during this fun-filled class. Then, to make sure the ponies are ready for the day, participants will get to go for a pony ride around the trail!
Cost: $18 per parent-child pair (plus admission for general public.)
Registration ClosedFamily Programs

Saturday, December 20

Lights Before Christmas
@ 5:00–9:00pm
Experience Columbia’s longest running holiday tradition—the 27th annual Lights Before Christmas at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. The Zoo will light up each evening with more than one million twinkling lights and countless animated images representing some of Riverbanks’ most loveable residents. Guests can roast marshmallows at the jingle bell bonfire, visit with Santa and enjoy the festive sounds of the Music in Motion lights spectacular. Riverbanks is also the only place in town where it snows every night!
Cost: $10 Adults / $8 Children ages 2–12.
All Riverbanks members receive one free visit.

Sunday, December 21

Lights Before Christmas
@ 5:00–9:00pm
Experience Columbia’s longest running holiday tradition—the 27th annual Lights Before Christmas at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. The Zoo will light up each evening with more than one million twinkling lights and countless animated images representing some of Riverbanks’ most loveable residents. Guests can roast marshmallows at the jingle bell bonfire, visit with Santa and enjoy the festive sounds of the Music in Motion lights spectacular. Riverbanks is also the only place in town where it snows every night!
Cost: $10 Adults / $8 Children ages 2–12.
All Riverbanks members receive one free visit.

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Lights Before Christmas
Nov 21 – Dec 30 @ 5:00–9:00pm
**CLOSED NOV 27, DEC 24 AND 25**
$10 Adults / $8 Children ages 2–12.
Children younger than 2 are free.
All Riverbanks members receive one free visit.
Learn more.
500 Wildlife Parkway • Columbia, SC 29210 • 803.779.8717
(c)Riverbanks Zoo and Garden