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 4. 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: Wildlife Classroom (across from the Farm).

Scheduled Dates and Times:

September 2014

Tuesday, September 23

Groovy Gorillas
@ 10:45am (ages 2–5 with an adult)
Gorillas are some of the grooviest animals in the world! Join us to discover what they eat, how they communicate and other fun facts.
Registration Closed

Wednesday, September 24

Groovy Gorillas
@ 10:45am (ages 2–5 with an adult)
Gorillas are some of the grooviest animals in the world! Join us to discover what they eat, how they communicate and other fun facts.

October 2014

Tuesday, October 14

Slithering Snakes
@ 10:45am (ages 2–5 with an adult)
Smooth and slinky, snakes are so misunderstood! Why are snakes so important? Slither on over to find out!

Wednesday, October 15

Slithering Snakes
@ 10:45am (ages 2–5 with an adult)
Smooth and slinky, snakes are so misunderstood! Why are snakes so important? Slither on over to find out!

Tuesday, October 28

Bat Bonanza
@ 10:45am (ages 2–5 with an adult)
Who’s that swooping silently in the night? They’re bats! Come join in the bonanza as we learn all about bats.

Wednesday, October 29

Bat Bonanza
@ 10:45am (ages 2–5 with an adult)
Who’s that swooping silently in the night? They’re bats! Come join in the bonanza as we learn all about bats.

November 2014

Tuesday, November 11

Lounging Lions
@ 10:45am (ages 2–5 with an adult)
ROAR! Come discover the amazing king of the jungle as we learn all about the mighty lion.

Wednesday, November 12

Lounging Lions
@ 10:45am (ages 2–5 with an adult)
ROAR! Come discover the amazing king of the jungle as we learn all about the mighty lion.

Tuesday, November 18

Turkey Time
@ 10:45am (ages 2–5 with an adult)
Can you strut like a proud turkey? Can you gobble nice and loud? Come visit the Zoo for some turkey time!

Wednesday, November 19

Turkey Time
@ 10:45am (ages 2–5 with an adult)
Can you strut like a proud turkey? Can you gobble nice and loud? Come visit the Zoo for some turkey time!

December 2014

Tuesday, December 2

Panda Party
@ 10:45am (ages 2–5 with an adult)
Pandas may just be the life of the party! But what do they eat? Where do they live? Let’s find out together.

Wednesday, December 3

Panda Party
@ 10:45am (ages 2–5 with an adult)
Pandas may just be the life of the party! But what do they eat? Where do they live? Let’s find out together.

Tuesday, December 9

Cuddly Koalas
@ 10:45am (ages 2–5 with an adult)
Not many animals look as cuddly as a koala. Are they bears? Or something else? Come on over, mate, as we explore this adorable Australian friend.

Wednesday, December 10

Cuddly Koalas
@ 10:45am (ages 2–5 with an adult)
Not many animals look as cuddly as a koala. Are they bears? Or something else? Come on over, mate, as we explore this adorable Australian friend.

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:

November 2014

Saturday, November 15

Fall Fun
@ 6:00–9:30pm (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.

February 2015

Saturday, February 14

Be Our Valentine
@ 6:00–9:30pm (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.

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 2014

Friday, October 24

Spooktacular Event
@ 6:00pm until 9:00am the next day (ages 5–adult ONLY)
Have the kids wear their costumes for this fun-filled night of learning about nocturnal creatures! Join us for a spook-tacular evening of trick-or-treating and other fun activites! Dinner, admission to Boo at the Zoo, snack and breakfast are included.
Cost: $48 per person

November 2014

Saturday, November 22

Winter Wonderland Event
@ 6:00pm until 9:00am the next day (ages 5–adult ONLY)
A chill is in the air! Get ready to be festive and full of cheer during this evening devoted to winter! Join us for a night filled with winter thrills! Dinner, admission to Lights Before Christmas, snack and breakfast are included.
Cost: $48 per person

Pony Classes

Meet our ponies up close and personal! Sure to an unforgettable experience for young pony lovers, participants get a chance to feed, brush and ride the ponies.

Scheduled Dates and Times:

September 2014

Saturday, September 27

Pony Pals
@ 11:00am (ages 2–5)
Meet our Shetland ponies up close and personal! Sure to be an unforgettable experience for young pony lovers. Parent participation is required.
Cost: $10 per parent-child pair (plus admission for general public.)

October 2014

Saturday, October 4

Ponies 101
@ 9:00am (ages 6–11)
Meet our Shetland ponies up close and personal! Sure to be an unforgettable experience for young pony lovers. Parent participation is required.
Cost: $18 per parent-child pair (plus admission for general public.)
Registration Coming Soon

Saturday, October 11

Pony Pals
@ 11:00am (ages 2–5)
Meet our Shetland ponies up close and personal! Sure to be an unforgettable experience for young pony lovers. Parent participation is required.
Cost: $10 per parent-child pair (plus admission for general public.)
Registration Coming Soon

November 2014

Saturday, November 1

Pony Pals
@ 11:00am (ages 2–5)
Meet our Shetland ponies up close and personal! Sure to be an unforgettable experience for young pony lovers. Parent participation is required.
Cost: $10 per parent-child pair (plus admission for general public.)
Registration Coming Soon

Saturday, November 15

Ponies 101
@ 9:00am (ages 6–11)
Meet our Shetland ponies up close and personal! Sure to be an unforgettable experience for young pony lovers. Parent participation is required.
Cost: $18 per parent-child pair (plus admission for general public.)
Registration Coming Soon

December 2014

Saturday, December 6

Pony Pals
@ 11:00am (ages 2–5)
Meet our Shetland ponies up close and personal! Sure to be an unforgettable experience for young pony lovers. Parent participation is required.
Cost: $10 per parent-child pair (plus admission for general public.)
Registration Coming Soon

Friday, December 19

Ponies 101
@ 9:00am (ages 6–11)
Meet our Shetland ponies up close and personal! Sure to be an unforgettable experience for young pony lovers. Parent participation is required.
Cost: $18 per parent-child pair (plus admission for general public.)
Registration Coming Soon

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