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Family Programs

We want your children to grow up WILD with Riverbanks. 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!

For more information on Family Programs, please call 803.602.0803 or email us.

Discovery Day Classes Young explorers ages 2–5 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 :

    Farm Classroom.

  • Registration :

    Pre-registration is required for all activities. Available programs may be registered for via the eTickets Store. Upon receipt of your registration, a confirmation will be sent when you are placed in the activity.

  • Cancellation Policy :

    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.

  • Scheduled Dates and Times

September 2018

Tuesday, September 25

Tenrecs
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
This small mammal from Madagascar may look like a hedgehog, but it isn’t one! Come learn more about this fascinating nocturnal insectivore!

Friday, September 28

Tenrecs
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
This small mammal from Madagascar may look like a hedgehog, but it isn’t one! Come learn more about this fascinating nocturnal insectivore!

 
Tenrecs
@ 11:00am (ages 2–5)
This small mammal from Madagascar may look like a hedgehog, but it isn’t one! Come learn more about this fascinating nocturnal insectivore!

October 2018

Tuesday, October 9

Otters
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
These serious swimmers spend a lot of time in the water. Dive in to learn more about different types of otters and how they survive!

Friday, October 12

Otters
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
These serious swimmers spend a lot of time in the water. Dive in to learn more about different types of otters and how they survive!

 
Otters
@ 11:00am (ages 2–5)
These serious swimmers spend a lot of time in the water. Dive in to learn more about different types of otters and how they survive!

Tuesday, October 23

Gorillas
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Gorillas are gentle giants. Discover how these peaceful, family oriented, plant-eating animals live in their complex social groups.

Friday, October 26

Gorillas
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Gorillas are gentle giants. Discover how these peaceful, family oriented, plant-eating animals live in their complex social groups.

 
Gorillas
@ 11:00am (ages 2–5)
Gorillas are gentle giants. Discover how these peaceful, family oriented, plant-eating animals live in their complex social groups.

November 2018

Tuesday, November 6

Seals and Sea Lions
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Seals and sea lions are spectacular! Check out why these guys are truly stars of the sea.

Friday, November 9

Seals and Sea Lions
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Seals and sea lions are spectacular! Check out why these guys are truly stars of the sea.

 
Seals and Sea Lions
@ 11:00am (ages 2–5)
Seals and sea lions are spectacular! Check out why these guys are truly stars of the sea.

Tuesday, November 27

Tropical Fish
@ 9:45am (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.

Friday, November 30

Tropical Fish
@ 9:45am (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.

 
Tropical Fish
@ 11:00am (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.

December 2018

Tuesday, December 11

Whales
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
What is the biggest animal to ever live on Earth?! Swim over to the Zoo to have a “whale” of a time as we uncover the truth about these wondrous animals!

Friday, December 14

Whales
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
What is the biggest animal to ever live on Earth?! Swim over to the Zoo to have a “whale” of a time as we uncover the truth about these wondrous animals!

 
Whales
@ 11:00am (ages 2–5)
What is the biggest animal to ever live on Earth?! Swim over to the Zoo to have a “whale” of a time as we uncover the truth about these wondrous animals!

Register for Program

Backyard Buds Garden adventures for kids ages 2–5 (with an adult) 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, a general admission ticket will also be required.

  • Location :

    Waterfall Junction Learning Center.

  • Registration :

    Pre-registration is required for all activities. Available programs may be registered for via the eTickets Store. Upon receipt of your registration, a confirmation will be sent when you are placed in the activity.

  • Cancellation Policy :

    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.

  • Scheduled Dates and Times

October 2018

Thursday, October 4

Carnivorous Plants
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Carnivorous plants have the incredible ability to attract and eat a variety of bugs! Pretend to be a Venus fly trap as we explore these unusual plants.

 
Carnivorous Plants
@ 11:00am (ages 2–5)
Carnivorous plants have the incredible ability to attract and eat a variety of bugs! Pretend to be a Venus fly trap as we explore these unusual plants.

Thursday, October 18

Spiders
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Spiders get a bad reputation as being scary, but these eight-legged friends do some amazing things for the garden. Come and learn all about our spider friends!

 
Spiders
@ 11:00am (ages 2–5)
Spiders get a bad reputation as being scary, but these eight-legged friends do some amazing things for the garden. Come and learn all about our spider friends!

November 2018

Thursday, November 1

Opossums
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
From prehensile tails to sharp teeth, opossums have some unusual traits to help them survive!

 
Opossums
@ 11:00am (ages 2–5)
From prehensile tails to sharp teeth, opossums have some unusual traits to help them survive!

Thursday, November 15

Lizards
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Explore the world from a lizard’s point of view as we discuss what lizards eat, how they warm themselves on rocks and what they do when there is danger.

 
Lizards
@ 11:00am (ages 2–5)
Explore the world from a lizard’s point of view as we discuss what lizards eat, how they warm themselves on rocks and what they do when there is danger.

December 2018

Thursday, December 6

Ducks
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
A pond isn’t complete without seeing a few ducks! Let’s take a look at how ducks live on both land and water.

 
Ducks
@ 11:00am (ages 2–5)
A pond isn’t complete without seeing a few ducks! Let’s take a look at how ducks live on both land and water.

Thursday, December 13

Nature’s Ornaments
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Nature provides a plethora of decorations! With some natural materials and a bit of creativity, we can create some unique ornaments.

 
Nature’s Ornaments
@ 11:00am (ages 2–5)
Nature provides a plethora of decorations! With some natural materials and a bit of creativity, we can create some unique ornaments.

Register for Program

Family Programs at Waterfall Junction Weekday activities geared for the whole family.

Tantalizing Taste Bud Thursday at 2:00pm

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

Family Fun Events A variety of family activities at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. The topics and activities vary, but each program is sure to delight and entertain while fostering a love of nature.

  • Cost :

    Varies by event. Note: If you are not a Riverbanks member, a general admission ticket will also be required.

  • Scheduled Dates and Times

October 2018

Saturday, October 20

Pumpkin Painting Workshop
@ 1:30–2:30pm
The whole family can come out and enjoy painting and decorating a small pumpkin. We will supply a variety of paint and craft supplies—and you can leave the mess here! The program will include an exploration of how pumpkins grow and a story. **Please note that the price is per pumpkin, so families can choose how many pumpkins they want to decorate.
COST: $10 per pumpkin.

 
Pumpkin Painting Workshop
@ 3:00–4:00pm
The whole family can come out and enjoy painting and decorating a small pumpkin. We will supply a variety of paint and craft supplies—and you can leave the mess here! The program will include an exploration of how pumpkins grow and a story. **Please note that the price is per pumpkin, so families can choose how many pumpkins they want to decorate.
COST: $10 per pumpkin.

Register for Program

Twilight Trek Evening-only themed events in the Zoo for ages 4 and up.

Looking for an engaging after-hours adventure for the family? On select nights, participants ages 4 and up will enjoy dinner at the Zoo, followed by an exciting program full of animal encounters, crafts and more!

  • Note :

    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 Twilight Trek programs as scheduled.

  • Scheduled Dates and Times

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

Family on Safari—Zoo Overnight themed events in the Zoo for ages 5 and up.

Looking for a fun and exciting adventure for the whole family ages 5 and up? 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 Colonial Life Discovery Center for the night, then wake up to a continental breakfast and a Zoo visit the following day!

  • Note :

    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

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

Family on Safari—Garden Overnight themed events in the Botanical Garden for ages 5 and up.

Looking for a fun and exciting adventure for the whole family ages 5 and up? On select nights, participants will enjoy a pizza dinner at the Norman and Gerry Sue Arnold 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 of up to 4 will be provided with a 4-person tent and foam camping mats. Families over 4 participants will receive a second tent.

  • Note :

    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

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