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:

January 2015

Tuesday, January 6

Wandering Wolves
@ 10:45am (ages 2–5)
Wolves love to travel in packs. Wander on over to the Zoo to learn more about these wild dogs!

Wednesday, January 7

Wandering Wolves
@ 10:45am (ages 2–5)
Wolves love to travel in packs. Wander on over to the Zoo to learn more about these wild dogs!

Tuesday, January 20

Piggy Power
@ 10:45am (ages 2–5)
Pigs, babirusas and warthogs, oh my! Pigs are everywhere. Find out what different pigs like to eat, how they keep cool and other fun facts.

Wednesday, January 21

Piggy Power
@ 10:45am (ages 2–5)
Pigs, babirusas and warthogs, oh my! Pigs are everywhere. Find out what different pigs like to eat, how they keep cool and other fun facts.

February 2015

Tuesday, February 17

Playful Parrots
@ 10:45am (ages 2–5)
Parrots are full of personality! From toucans to lorikeets to macaws, there is so much to discover about these playful creatures.

Wednesday, February 18

Playful Parrots
@ 10:45am (ages 2–5)
Parrots are full of personality! From toucans to lorikeets to macaws, there is so much to discover about these playful creatures.

Tuesday, February 24

Crustacean Nation
@ 10:45am (ages 2–5)
Whether shrimps, crabs or lobsters, the crustaceans are taking the nation by storm! Find out what kinds of crabs like to dress up, just how big the largest crustacean is and much more.

Wednesday, February 25

Crustacean Nation
@ 10:45am (ages 2–5)
Whether shrimps, crabs or lobsters, the crustaceans are taking the nation by storm! Find out what kinds of crabs like to dress up, just how big the largest crustacean is and much more.

March 2015

Tuesday, March 10

Hooray for Hummingbirds
@ 10:45am (ages 2–5)
Do hummingbirds really fly backward? Do they drink from flowers? Learn the answers to these questions and more as we uncover the truth about these beautiful birds.

Wednesday, March 11

Hooray for Hummingbirds
@ 10:45am (ages 2–5)
Do hummingbirds really fly backward? Do they drink from flowers? Learn the answers to these questions and more as we uncover the truth about these beautiful birds.

Tuesday, March 24

Fun with Frogs and Toads
@ 10:45am (ages 2–5)
There is so much fun to be had when learning about frogs and toads! But what is the difference between these two groups? Hop on over to the Zoo to find out.

Wednesday, March 25

Fun with Frogs and Toads
@ 10:45am (ages 2–5)
There is so much fun to be had when learning about frogs and toads! But what is the difference between these two groups? Hop on over to the Zoo to find out.

April 2015

Tuesday, April 14

Darling Ducks
@ 10:45am (ages 2–5)
What has feathers, a beak, and says “quack”? A duck, of course! Curious about those webbed feet? Join us in this fun program about our feathered friend the duck.

Wednesday, April 15

Darling Ducks
@ 10:45am (ages 2–5)
What has feathers, a beak, and says “quack”? A duck, of course! Curious about those webbed feet? Join us in this fun program about our feathered friend the duck.

Tuesday, April 21

Jammin’ Jellies
@ 10:45am (ages 2–5)
Is a jellyfish actually a fish or something else entirely? Who else is in that family tree? Drift by the Zoo to learn the story behind some of the world’s most misunderstood creatures.

Wednesday, April 22

Jammin’ Jellies
@ 10:45am (ages 2–5)
Is a jellyfish actually a fish or something else entirely? Who else is in that family tree? Drift by the Zoo to learn the story behind some of the world’s most misunderstood creatures.

May 2015

Tuesday, May 5

Dazzling Dragonflies
@ 10:45am (ages 2–5)
Spring is here and the dragonflies are plentiful! Come and be dazzled by these shimmering insects.

Wednesday, May 6

Dazzling Dragonflies
@ 10:45am (ages 2–5)
Spring is here and the dragonflies are plentiful! Come and be dazzled by these shimmering insects.

Tuesday, May 12

Totally Tropical Fish
@ 10:45am (ages 2–5)
Tropical reefs are home to many different types of fish! Go on an ocean voyage as we take a dive into learning about these jewels of the sea.

Wednesday, May 13

Totally Tropical Fish
@ 10:45am (ages 2–5)
Tropical reefs are home to many different types of fish! Go on an ocean voyage as we take a dive into learning about these jewels of the sea.

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:

February 2015

Saturday, February 21

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.

March 2015

Saturday, March 21

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.

April 2015

Saturday, April 18

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.

May 2015

Saturday, May 23

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.

June 2015

Saturday, June 20

Riverbanks Zoo
@ 10:30am
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.

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:

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.

May 2015

Saturday, May 9

Celebrate Mom
@ 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.

June 2015

Saturday, June 20

Summer Splash
@ 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:

February 2015

Friday, February 6

Valentine’s Event
@ 6:00pm until 9:00am the next day (ages 5–adult ONLY)
Valentine’s Day is all about celebrating the ones you love! Join us at Riverbanks Zoo as we learn all about the sweet ways animals care for one another! Dinner, snack and breakfast will be provided.
Cost: $40 per person

April 2015

Friday, April 10

Spring Fling Event
@ 6:00pm until 9:00am the next day (ages 5–adult ONLY)
Spring is all about new beginnings! Come celebrate this exciting time of the year with us at Riverbanks Zoo. Dinner, snack and breakfast will be provided.
Cost: $40 per person

June 2015

Saturday, June 27

Summer Fun Event
@ 6:00pm until 9:00am the next day (ages 5–adult ONLY)
Summer is in full swing and it’s hot! Join us at Riverbanks Zoo and discover what animals do to cope with those steamy summer days as we celebrate summer fun.
Cost: $40 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:

December 2014

Friday, December 19

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 Closed

January 2015

Saturday, January 10

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.)

Wednesday, January 28

Pony Pals
@ 10:45am (ages 2–5)
Children have a chance to learn all about the ponies at the Zoo through this fun, classroom-based class. Participants will get to explore stations, crafts, and even get to feed ponies a treat at the end of the program.
Cost: $10 per parent-child pair (plus admission for general public.)

February 2015

Wednesday, February 11

Pony Pals
@ 10:45am (ages 2–5)
Children have a chance to learn all about the ponies at the Zoo through this fun, classroom-based class. Participants will get to explore stations, crafts, and even get to feed ponies a treat at the end of the program.
Cost: $10 per parent-child pair (plus admission for general public.)

Saturday, February 28

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.)

March 2015

Saturday, March 14

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.)

Wednesday, March 18

Pony Pals
@ 10:45am (ages 2–5)
Children have a chance to learn all about the ponies at the Zoo through this fun, classroom-based class. Participants will get to explore stations, crafts, and even get to feed ponies a treat at the end of the program.
Cost: $10 per parent-child pair (plus admission for general public.)

April 2015

Wednesday, April 29

Pony Pals
@ 10:45am (ages 2–5)
Children have a chance to learn all about the ponies at the Zoo through this fun, classroom-based class. Participants will get to explore stations, crafts, and even get to feed ponies a treat at the end of the program.
Cost: $10 per parent-child pair (plus admission for general public.)

May 2015

Saturday, May 2

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.)

Saturday, May 16

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.)

Wednesday, May 20

Pony Pals
@ 10:45am (ages 2–5)
Children have a chance to learn all about the ponies at the Zoo through this fun, classroom-based class. Participants will get to explore stations, crafts, and even get to feed ponies a treat at the end of the program.
Cost: $10 per parent-child pair (plus admission for general public.)

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