Family Programs

We want your children to grow up WILD with Riverbanks Zoo. Family Programs are special opportunities for families to learn more about the world of Riverbanks. Age-specific programs are offered to all groups from the very young to adults!

Favorite Education Program

Registration Policy:

  • Pre-registration is required for all activities. Available programs may be registered for via the eTickets Store. NO REGISTRATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED BY PHONE.
  • Register early. Space is limited for all activities.
  • Upon receipt of your registration, a confirmation will be sent when you are placed in the activity. If an activity is filled, your payment will be refunded.
  • Cancellations and refunds: Written cancellations must be received at least two weeks before the scheduled program date in order to receive a refund or to reschedule your reservation. No refunds will be issued for cancellations made less than two weeks before the program date. Refunds will be given if the program needs to be cancelled by Riverbanks due to weather, low enrollment, etc.

For more information on Family Programs, call 803.602.0887 or e-mail ldaly@riverbanks.org.

Toddler Tales

Bring your toddler on Thursday for this age-appropriate program that includes stories, songs, and an adventure at the Zoo. Toddler Tales is a family program and not open to daycare or school groups. For a listing of educational programs for pre-K to grade 12, please visit our School Programs page.

Cost: Free with a Riverbanks membership or paid admission.

Location: Please check the front gate for program location.

Availability: Toddler Tales will resume this fall on Thursday, September 3. These 15-minute explorations will be held every Thursday starting at 11:00am and will focus on a new topic every week.

Discovery Day Classes (ages 2–5 with an adult)

Young explorers and parents: Get ready to discover exciting things about nature! Each class is a learning adventure designed to teach your youngster new concepts that are appropriate for young minds. Classes are a combination of story time, songs, games, hands-on activities, animal encounters (when available) and crafts.

Cost: $6 for one child (with one adult) per class. Note: If you are not a Riverbanks member, a general admission ticket will also be required.

Location: Farm Classroom.

Scheduled Dates and Times:

September 2015

Tuesday, September 22

Outstanding Otters
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Otters are truly outstanding! Dive in to learn more about different types of otters and how they survive!

Wednesday, September 23

Outstanding Otters
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Otters are truly outstanding! Dive in to learn more about different types of otters and how they survive!

October 2015

Tuesday, October 6

Mysterious Meerkats
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Meerkats have many mysterious habits. Go underground to find out more about meerkats!

Wednesday, October 7

Mysterious Meerkats
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Meerkats have many mysterious habits. Go underground to find out more about meerkats!

Tuesday, October 27

Stunning Spiders
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Spiders are so misunderstood! Why do they create such stunning webs? Discover the answer to this question and more in this class devoted to our 8-legged friends!

Wednesday, October 28

Stunning Spiders
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Spiders are so misunderstood! Why do they create such stunning webs? Discover the answer to this question and more in this class devoted to our 8-legged friends!

November 2015

Tuesday, November 3

Awesome Opossums
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Opossums are awesome! Come discover more about these unique critters and why we need them around!

Wednesday, November 4

Awesome Opossums
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Opossums are awesome! Come discover more about these unique critters and why we need them around!

Tuesday, November 17

Dynamic Dinosaurs
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Roar! Dinosaurs have taken over! Stomp your way through fun activities about these dynamic animals that once ruled the earth!

Wednesday, November 18

Dynamic Dinosaurs
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Roar! Dinosaurs have taken over! Stomp your way through fun activities about these dynamic animals that once ruled the earth!

December 2015

Tuesday, December 1

Terrific Tigers
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Who is that hiding in the trees? It’s the terrific tiger! These cool cats have some amazing ways of surviving. Come and earn your stripes!

Wednesday, December 2

Terrific Tigers
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Who is that hiding in the trees? It’s the terrific tiger! These cool cats have some amazing ways of surviving. Come and earn your stripes!

Tuesday, December 8

Wondrous Whales
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
What is the biggest animal to ever live on Earth?! Swim over to the Zoo to have a “whale” of a time as we uncover the truth about these wondrous animals!

Wednesday, December 9

Wondrous Whales
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
What is the biggest animal to ever live on Earth?! Swim over to the Zoo to have a “whale” of a time as we uncover the truth about these wondrous animals!

Nature Adventures

A facilitated, outdoor exploration with Riverbanks staff. Participating families will be loaned a backpack at the site of the Nature Adventure session and receive instructions on how to use the tools and resources contained inside. By using the field guides, magnifying glasses, collection jars and cameras in the backpacks, families can work together to discover new things and learn about our environment. Everyone will reconvene at a specified time to discuss their discoveries and what they learned. No one is an expert naturally; the joy comes in learning and discovering nature together in a safe environment.

Cost: $10 per family per session. Note: If you are not a Riverbanks member, a general admission ticket will also be required to Riverbanks Zoo on Zoo days.

Scheduled Dates and Times:

We currently do not have any events or programs scheduled. Please check back later.

Parents’ Night Out (ages 4–11)

Plan a night out on the town while your kids enjoy a fun-filled and educational evening full of adventure at Riverbanks Zoo under the care of Zoo staff and ZooTeen volunteers. Supervised activities will include games, crafts, animal encounters, a kid friendly movie with popcorn and a pizza dinner.

Download the Parents’ Night Out flyer. (PDF)

Cost per child: $20 Zoo members / $25 non-members. Dinner included (one slice of pizza, cookie and drink.) Reservations should be made online and will close one week prior to the program. No child will be admitted without a pre-paid ticket. All sales are final and non-refundable.

Drop Off: 6:00–6:30pm.

Pick Up: 9:00–9:30pm.

Late Pick Up Fee: There will be a late pick up charge of $10 for every five minutes you are late picking up your child after 9:30pm.

Restrictions: Children must be fully potty trained.

Scheduled Dates and Times:

We currently do not have any events or programs scheduled. Please check back later.

Family on Safari—Overnight (ages 5 and up)

Looking for a fun and exciting adventure for the whole family? Join us for Family on Safari themed events! On select nights, participants will enjoy dinner at the Zoo followed by an exciting program featuring animal encounters, behind-the-scenes tours, crafts and more! Settle down in our Discovery Center for the night, then wake up to a continental breakfast and a Zoo visit the following day!

NOTE FOR ALL FAMILY ON SAFARI PROGRAMS: Children may not be left unattended. Individuals must be accompanied by an adult. A minimum of 15 individual registered participants is required to conduct all Family on Safari programs as scheduled.

Scheduled Dates and Times:

October 2015

Friday, October 2

Fall Fest Event
@ 6:00pm until 9:00am the next day (ages 5–adult ONLY)
There is a change in the air! Now that summer has come to an end, it’s time to celebrate the arrival of fall. Join us for a fun-filled evening all about autumn. Dinner, snack and breakfast will be provided.
Cost: $45 per person

Friday, October 16

Spooktacular Event
@ 6:00pm until 9:00am the next day (ages 5–adult ONLY)
Dress up the kids in their costumes for this fun-filled night focused on nocturnal creatures! Join us for a spooktacular evening of trick-or-treating and other fun activities! Dinner, snack and breakfast will be provided.
Cost: $50 per person

Twilight Trek—Evening Only Program (ages 3 and up)

Looking for an engaging after-hours adventure for the family? Join us for Twilight Trek themed events! On select nights, participants will enjoy dinner at the Zoo, followed by an exciting program full of animal encounters, crafts and more!

NOTE FOR ALL TWILIGHT TREK PROGRAMS: Children may not be left unattended. Individuals must be accompanied by a ticket holding adult. A minimum of 15 registered participants is required to conduct all Twilight Trek programs as scheduled.

Scheduled Dates and Times:

November 2015

Saturday, November 21

Winter Wonderland Event
@ 5:00pm (ages 3–adult ONLY)
A chill is in the air! Get ready for a festive evening full of cheer and devoted to winter. Dinner, admission to Lights Before Christmas and snack are included.
Cost: $30 per person

Pony Classes

Meet our Shetland ponies up-close and personal! Sure to be an unforgettable experience for young pony lovers. Parent participation is required.

Scheduled Dates and Times:

September 2015

Saturday, September 5

Pony Bath
@ 9:00am (ages 3 and up)
At the end of a long summer day, it’s important for horses to be able to cool down and relax. Participants in this class will learn the importance of a proper cool down, safety around horses, and then will have the opportunity to give a bath to the ponies at Riverbanks. Be prepared to get wet!
Cost: $22 per child (plus admission for general public.)
Registration Closed

Saturday, September 26

Ponies 101
@ 9:00am (ages 6–12)
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 go for a pony ride around the trail!
Cost: $18 per child (plus admission for general public.)

Wednesday, September 30

Pony Pals
@ 9:00am (ages 2–5)
Children have a chance to learn all about the ponies at the Zoo through this fun, classroom-based class. Participants will explore stations, make crafts and feed our ponies a treat at the end of the program.
Cost: $10 per child (plus admission for general public.)

October 2015

Wednesday, October 14

Pony Pals
@ 9:00am (ages 2–5)
Children have a chance to learn all about the ponies at the Zoo through this fun, classroom-based class. Participants will explore stations, make crafts and feed our ponies a treat at the end of the program.
Cost: $10 per child (plus admission for general public.)

Saturday, October 31

Ponies 101
@ 9:00am (ages 6–12)
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 go for a pony ride around the trail!
Cost: $18 per child (plus admission for general public.)

November 2015

Friday, November 6

Pony Pals
@ 9:00am (ages 2–5)
Children have a chance to learn all about the ponies at the Zoo through this fun, classroom-based class. Participants will explore stations, make crafts and feed our ponies a treat at the end of the program.
Cost: $10 per child (plus admission for general public.)

Saturday, November 14

Ponies 101
@ 9:00am (ages 6–12)
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 go for a pony ride around the trail!
Cost: $18 per child (plus admission for general public.)
Registration Coming Soon

December 2015

Saturday, December 5

Ponies 101
@ 9:00am (ages 6–12)
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 go for a pony ride around the trail!
Cost: $18 per child (plus admission for general public.)
Registration Coming Soon

Wednesday, December 16

Pony Pals
@ 9:00am (ages 2–5)
Children have a chance to learn all about the ponies at the Zoo through this fun, classroom-based class. Participants will explore stations, make crafts and feed our ponies a treat at the end of the program.
Cost: $10 per child (plus admission for general public.)
Registration Coming Soon

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