Homeschool Programs

Families with homeschooled children ages 5–13 can partake in hands-on learning experiences during the Zoo’s new Homeschool Programs, offered quarterly. Budding gardeners ages 8–13 can also become certified green thumbs in the Junior Master Gardener program for Homeschoolers.

Homeschool Monday (ages 5–13)

Mark your calendars for this year’s Homeschool Monday programs at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden! We offer a new class six times per year that will focus on a particular topic, which include hands-on activities and feature live animal encounters or guided Zoo tours. Topics change monthly so you can visit again and again!

For more information, please call 803.602.0803 or email

Cost: $5 per participating student. Note: If you are not a Riverbanks member, a general admission ticket will also be required.

Capacity: Homeschool children ages 5–13 with an accompanying adult. A maximum of 50 students per class applies.

Registration: Register online at least 7 days in advance of the class (the Monday before class date). Pay the program fee online, print off your ticket, and show your admission ticket at any admission gate on the class date. Once you enter the Zoo on the class date, please proceed to the Education Center 10 minutes prior to the class time. The program teacher will meet you and your student(s) in the lobby of the Education Building, where your admission ticket will be collected by the instructor. PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED.

Cancellations: Requests for cancellation must be submitted in writing no later than one week prior to the program date to receive a refund. No refunds will be made for cancellations received less than one week from the scheduled program date.

Scheduled Dates and Times: Programs take place twice a month, in October, November, December, February, March, and April/May. Programs are designed to be student centered and age appropriate for students ages 5–13. The dates are listed below. Programs are 60–75 minutes.

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

Junior Master Gardeners for Homeschool (ages 7–12)

JMG provides an opportunity for youth to interact and bond with nature through hands-on gardening, scientific experiments and arts. The program explores the broader picture of gardening, including native wildlife, harvesting, and using fresh food from the garden. Both groups observe and learn about the trees and native plants in the area while gaining valuable gardening skills. This session meets the first three Wednesdays of each month beginning in September. Students complete certification for the entire program during this time.

Level 1 (ages 7–9) explores insects, plant life, fruits and vegetables, design and more.

Level 2 (ages 10–12) focuses on plant growth and propagation methods, as well as the effects of soil and water cycles on plants.

For more information, please call 803.602.0813 or email

Cost: $200 per child. Includes handbook, T-shirt, and supplies.

Location: Riverbanks Botanical Garden. Drop-off at the Garden Ticket Booth (West Columbia) at 9:45am.

Register for class.

Scheduled Dates and Times: September 6 – May 9 at 10:00am–12:00pm.