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 803.602.0803 or e-mail education@riverbanks.org.

Breakfast with the Bunny

Join us for fun on the farm with a light breakfast and lots of interactive activities. Families will have the chance to meet a live bunny, make a bunny craft, and play games during this one-of-a-kind educational experience. All ages welcome (activities geared for ages 3 to 10). Advanced registration is required.

Cost: $20 per person.

April 15 @ 9:30am

Order Tickets

NEW Kids Programs at Waterfall Junction

Weekday activities geared for ages 2 to 10.

Cost: Free with a Riverbanks membership or paid admission.

Available Programs:

Mudpie Mondays — 10:00–11:00am

Remember the days of playing in the mud and making the most of delicious mudpies ever? Join us on Mondays to make a muddy mess! We provide the tools and the mud; you create the masterpiece.

Tree Top Tales Tuesdays — 11:00am

Ever get lost in the clouds reading a good book? Join us every Tuesday in the treehouses to go on an exciting reading adventure.

Wacky Wednesdays — all day

Things get a bit wacky at the Garden on Wednesday. Go on a scavenger hunt around Waterfall Junction to find the 12 items that just don’t look quite right. Pick up and return your marker and guide from the gate attendant.

Tantalizing Taste Bud Thursday — 2:00pm

From our garden to our table, learn how to grow, harvest and prepare some favorite foods.

Fossil Fridays — 11:00am–12:00pm

Trees, tyrannosaurus and trilobites … Oh My! Step back in time and learn about the flora and fauna that once inhabited the Earth. Fossils can tell us more than we could have ever known.

Learning on the Lawn — daily at 1:00pm

Join us each day to learn a new activity, game or skill.

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.

Scheduled Dates and Times:

March 2017

Friday, March 24

Groovy Gorillas
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
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

Tuesday, March 28

Groovy Gorillas
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Gorillas are some of the grooviest animals in the world! Join us to discover what they eat, how they communicate and other fun facts.

April 2017

Friday, April 7

Gentle Giraffes
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
The tallest animal in the world is nothing but grace and beauty. Take a safari into Africa and discover the amazing ways that giraffes survive in their home.

Tuesday, April 18

Gentle Giraffes
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
The tallest animal in the world is nothing but grace and beauty. Take a safari into Africa and discover the amazing ways that giraffes survive in their home.

Friday, April 21

Vulture Voyage
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Are vultures really gross? Or are they actually good at cleaning up? Find out why these birds are so important during this fun-filled program!

Tuesday, April 25

Vulture Voyage
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Are vultures really gross? Or are they actually good at cleaning up? Find out why these birds are so important during this fun-filled program!

May 2017

Friday, May 5

Brilliant Butterflies
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Landing lightly on flowers, these bright insects are truly unique! From their changing bodies to their jobs helping plants, butterflies are brilliant beyond a doubt!

Tuesday, May 9

Brilliant Butterflies
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Landing lightly on flowers, these bright insects are truly unique! From their changing bodies to their jobs helping plants, butterflies are brilliant beyond a doubt!

Backyard Buds (ages 2–5 with an adult)

Garden adventures for kids that includes a lesson, craft and story.

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

Location: Waterfall Junction Learning Center.

Scheduled Dates and Times:

April 2017

Thursday, April 6

Itsy Bitsy Spider
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Do you find spiders scary? Stop by and see how our spider friends help us and take a look at what happens in their webs.

Thursday, April 20

Bees
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Bee our friend and join us to learn all about bees. Dance like a bee to find food and discover all the jobs a bee has in its life as it makes honey and takes care of its hive.

May 2017

Thursday, May 4

Fireflies
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Time to light up learning about lightning bugs. Join us as we play pattern games, make a firefly and have a glowing good time.

Family Fun in the Garden (ages 3–10 with an adult)

Join us for a variety of family activities at Waterfall Junction! The topics and activities vary, but each program is sure to delight and entertain while fostering a love of nature.

Cost: $10 per participant. Tickets required for both child and adult. Note: If you are not a Riverbanks member, a general admission ticket will also be required.

Location: Waterfall Junction Learning Center at Riverbanks Botanical Garden

Scheduled Dates and Times:

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

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—Overnights (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:

June 2017

Friday, June 9

Summer Fun
@ 6:00pm until 9:00am the next day (ages 5–adult)
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. Admission for the park on the day following the event is included in ticket price. Dinner, snack and breakfast are also included.
Cost: $45 per person

NEW Waterfall Junction Family on Safari—Garden Overnights (ages 5 and up)

Looking for a fun and exciting adventure for the whole family? Join us in the Botanical Garden for overnight themed events! On select nights, participants will enjoy a pizza dinner at the learning center at Waterfall Junction followed by an interactive program featuring games, nocturnal scavenger hunts, marshmallow roasting, crafts and more! Settle down in the children’s garden in a family-size tent for the night, then wake up to a continental breakfast and a Zoo visit the following day! *Each family will be provided with a 4-person tent and foam camping mats.

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:

April 2017

Friday, April 21

Nocturnal Neighbors
@ 6:00pm until 9:00am the next day (ages 5–adult)
Unless you are a night owl, you may not know your nocturnal neighbors. Join us as we discover incredible night creatures living near you that prefer to come out and “party” after the sun goes down. Admission for the park on the day following the event is included in ticket price. Dinner, snack and breakfast are also included.
Cost: $45 per person

May 2017

Friday, May 19

Stories of the Stars
@ 6:00pm until 9:00am the next day (ages 5–adult)
Make stargazing a new family adventure. Come explore the stories written in the skies, as we learn about some of the famous constellations one can see from Waterfall Junction children’s garden! Admission for the park on the day following the event is included in ticket price. Dinner, snack and breakfast are also included.
Cost: $45 per person

June 2017

Saturday, June 17

Noises of the Night
@ 6:00pm until 9:00am the next day (ages 5–adult)
Open up your senses to a whole new nighttime adventure! You’ll have a “hoot” identifying different frog songs, insect chatter, coyote howls and local owl calls. Admission for the park on the day following the event is included in ticket price. Dinner, snack and breakfast are also included.
Cost: $45 per person

Twilight Trek—Evening Only Program (ages 4 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:

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