Frequently Asked Questions

The following is a list of the most frequently asked questions:

Do you offer a military, senior or group discount, or a special discount day?

Riverbanks offers discounts to military families with military ID ($12.95), seniors over age 62 ($12.95), and groups of 15 or more who register at least two weeks in advance.

Bringing a group of 15 or more? The Group Visits page is just the place to find out about discounted admission rates, registration, procedures and services.

Riverbanks also hosts Free Fridays in January and February for residents of Lexington and Richland counties with proof or residency (i.e., driver's license or property tax statement). Students in groups of 15 or more from public schools in Richland and Lexington county school districts receive free admission with pre-registration as stated above. Please call 803.602.0003 for group registration information and restrictions.

Two can get in for the price of one during our summer promotion Toucan Tuesdays, but you must bring in two cans (or non-perishable items) to qualify. This offer is good on Tuesdays only through the summer (check our calendar for dates). Promotion applies to general admission rates only (Explorer wristbands and memberships not included). Purchase one admission and get the second of equal or lesser value free. Visitor must turn in two canned or other non-perishable food items to receive the discount.

Would Riverbanks be willing to donate complimentary passes for my organization's fundraiser or event?

Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is pleased to have the ability to provide a limited number of complimentary passes to various organizations within the community. Due to the increasing number of requests, Riverbanks has developed a policy to help determine whether or not an organization is eligible to receive complimentary passes. Please read Riverbanks' Complimentary Pass Policy to determine if your organization is eligible.

Are all of the animals out all times of year? When are they most active?

All animals are on exhibit daily except in cases of extreme heat, extreme cold, exhibit repairs or medical reasons – all of which are fairly rare occurrences. In general, animals are most active when they first go on exhibit at opening and as they prepare to return to their evening quarters just before closing.

I am doing a project on an animal. Where can I get information?

Visit the Animals section of the Riverbanks Web site to find facts on many of the animals on exhibit at the Zoo. Whenever you see a Zoo Minutes icon along the left-hand side of the animal facts page, be sure to download the educational video clip for additional information presented by ETV. Or, check the Related Links page for other animal-conservation resources on the Internet.

I would like to volunteer at Riverbanks. How do I get started?

If you are interested in volunteering with Riverbanks, please complete and mail the Volunteer Application (PDF) and Background Check Authorization Form (PDF). The Volunteer Manager will review your application and contact you to discuss volunteering with Riverbanks. An interview will be scheduled to allow the coordinator to learn more about your interests, experiences and commitment to volunteering.

I would like to apply for a job at Riverbanks. What should I do?

Please visit our Job Opportunities page and review our Current Job Openings. This list is updated weekly. All job opportunities are posted here. We welcome applications via fax, email, mail or walk-in. We prefer not to accept applications for positions that are not currently open or from applicants who are not currently available. All applicants receive notice of receipt of their application; however, only the top candidates for each position are contacted via telephone.

I never knew you could be a member of Riverbanks! What's the advantage?

All members of Riverbanks are entitled to unlimited daytime visits to the Zoo and Garden for one full year, free guest passes, one free visit to the Lights Before Christmas, a subscription to Riverbanks magazine, discounts at our gift shops, education programs and adventures, and much more! For more information or to join, visit our Membership page, contact the Membership Office at 803.779.8717 (and press 1), or you can join at the ticket booth on your next visit.

If you are not sure whether membership will be right for you and your family until after you visit the Zoo, bring your paid admission receipt to the ticket booth on the same day of your visit, and we'll apply it toward membership at that time.

Are wheelchairs available at the Zoo?

Yes, non-motorized wheelchairs are available. Wheelchair rental is $8.00, with a $5.00 deposit required. No advance reservations are accepted.

Are strollers available at the Zoo?

Yes, single and double strollers are available. Rental fees range from $8.00 to $11.00. A $5.00 deposit is required. No advance reservations are accepted.

I have an engraved brick at Riverbanks. How can I find it?

To locate an engraved brick in the Zoo or Garden, please contact the Membership Office at 803.779.8717 (and press 1). To help expedite the search, please identify the name of the person who originally purchased the brick.

We will be coming to Riverbanks from out of town. Can you suggest hotels, restaurants and other things to do in the Columbia area?

For a list of preferred hotels and other hotels offering Zoo packages, view our Hotel Accommodations information. Please refer to the Columbia Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau for accommodations, dining and other information about the city of Columbia.

Can I host a private event at the Zoo?

Riverbanks Zoo and Garden regularly accommodates all types of corporate and social events, both daytime and evening, ranging from small birthdays and meetings to weddings and park buy-outs! For more information, visit our Plan a Private Event page.

Connect @