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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

January 2018

Tuesday, January 23

Playful Parrots
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Parrots are full of personality! From toucans to lorikeets to macaws, there is so much to discover about these playful creatures.

Friday, January 26

Playful Parrots
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Parrots are full of personality! From toucans to lorikeets to macaws, there is so much to discover about these playful creatures.

 
Playful Parrots
@ 11:00am (ages 2–5)
Parrots are full of personality! From toucans to lorikeets to macaws, there is so much to discover about these playful creatures.

February 2018

Tuesday, February 6

Hello to Hedgehogs
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Who’s that peeking out from under all those quills? Take a closer look as we explore the prickly hedgehog.

Friday, February 9

Hello to Hedgehogs
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Who’s that peeking out from under all those quills? Take a closer look as we explore the prickly hedgehog.

 
Hello to Hedgehogs
@ 11:00am (ages 2–5)
Who’s that peeking out from under all those quills? Take a closer look as we explore the prickly hedgehog.

Tuesday, February 20

Wild Wolves
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Wolves love to travel in packs. Wander on over to the Zoo to learn more about these wild dogs!

Friday, February 23

Wild Wolves
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Wolves love to travel in packs. Wander on over to the Zoo to learn more about these wild dogs!

 
Wild Wolves
@ 11:00am (ages 2–5)
Wolves love to travel in packs. Wander on over to the Zoo to learn more about these wild dogs!

March 2018

Tuesday, March 13

Jammin’ Jellies
@ 9:45am (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.

Friday, March 16

Jammin’ Jellies
@ 9:45am (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.

 
Jammin’ Jellies
@ 11:00am (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.

Tuesday, March 27

Gleeful Goats
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Goats are so gleeful! Do they really eat everything? Come devour the truth about glutinous goats.

Friday, March 30

Gleeful Goats
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Goats are so gleeful! Do they really eat everything? Come devour the truth about glutinous goats.

 
Gleeful Goats
@ 11:00am (ages 2–5)
Goats are so gleeful! Do they really eat everything? Come devour the truth about glutinous goats.

April 2018

Tuesday, April 10

Fuzzy Ferrets
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Ferrets are fuzzy and cute! Come join the fun as we discover more about these animal friends.

Friday, April 13

Fuzzy Ferrets
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Ferrets are fuzzy and cute! Come join the fun as we discover more about these animal friends.

 
Fuzzy Ferrets
@ 11:00am (ages 2–5)
Ferrets are fuzzy and cute! Come join the fun as we discover more about these animal friends.

Tuesday, April 24

Regal Rhinos
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Rhinos are large, regal animals of Africa. Learn about their way of life and how we can help protect them.

Friday, April 27

Regal Rhinos
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Rhinos are large, regal animals of Africa. Learn about their way of life and how we can help protect them.

 
Regal Rhinos
@ 11:00am (ages 2–5)
Rhinos are large, regal animals of Africa. Learn about their way of life and how we can help protect them.

May 2018

Tuesday, May 1

Llama Mama
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Llamas and alpacas are funny animals with soft fur and a lot of spunk. Discover what types of jobs these animals have while we get up close to our resident alpacas!

Friday, May 11

Llama Mama
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Llamas and alpacas are funny animals with soft fur and a lot of spunk. Discover what types of jobs these animals have while we get up close to our resident alpacas!

 
Llama Mama
@ 11:00am (ages 2–5)
Llamas and alpacas are funny animals with soft fur and a lot of spunk. Discover what types of jobs these animals have while we get up close to our resident alpacas!

Tuesday, May 22

Crazy Kangaroo
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
G’Day, Mate! Hop on over to the Zoo to experience the kangaroo life.

Friday, May 25

Crazy Kangaroo
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
G’Day, Mate! Hop on over to the Zoo to experience the kangaroo life.

 
Crazy Kangaroo
@ 11:00am (ages 2–5)
G’Day, Mate! Hop on over to the Zoo to experience the kangaroo life.

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

January 2018

Thursday, January 18

Deer Me!
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Deer are extremely common in South Carolina, but what do we know about them? We will take a closer look at hooves and antlers, adaptations deer have to survive and what they do in the winter.

 
Deer Me!
@ 11:00am (ages 2–5)
Deer are extremely common in South Carolina, but what do we know about them? We will take a closer look at hooves and antlers, adaptations deer have to survive and what they do in the winter.

February 2018

Thursday, February 1

Coy Coyotes
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Coyotes are related to dogs and known for their howling. Jump into character as we pretend to be a coyote on the hunt—discovering all kinds of cool stuff along the way!

 
Coy Coyotes
@ 11:00am (ages 2–5)
Coyotes are related to dogs and known for their howling. Jump into character as we pretend to be a coyote on the hunt—discovering all kinds of cool stuff along the way!

Thursday, February 15

Backyard Birds
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
The singing of birds in the trees is a cheerful way to start the day. We will listen to different bird calls, examine birds’ nests and create a nesting box to help the birds build their nests this spring.

 
Backyard Birds
@ 11:00am (ages 2–5)
The singing of birds in the trees is a cheerful way to start the day. We will listen to different bird calls, examine birds’ nests and create a nesting box to help the birds build their nests this spring.

March 2018

Thursday, March 1

Dynamic Dinosaurs
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Dinosaurs may be extinct, but their sheer size and existence still amazes us. We will play, explore and imagine a land where dinos once roamed.

 
Dynamic Dinosaurs
@ 11:00am (ages 2–5)
Dinosaurs may be extinct, but their sheer size and existence still amazes us. We will play, explore and imagine a land where dinos once roamed.

Thursday, March 22

Bouncy Bunnies
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Bunnies may seem sweet and quiet, but they have a lot going on behind their twitching noses and long ears! Let’s take a look at what makes rabbits different from other animals.

 
Bouncy Bunnies
@ 11:00am (ages 2–5)
Bunnies may seem sweet and quiet, but they have a lot going on behind their twitching noses and long ears! Let’s take a look at what makes rabbits different from other animals.

April 2018

Thursday, April 12

Beetle Brigade
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Beetles are an amazing group of insects. The Hercules beetle is super strong and a click beetle makes a “click” as it flips from its back to its feet. Wanna know more fascinating beetle facts? Come to the Beetle Brigade!

 
Beetle Brigade
@ 11:00am (ages 2–5)
Beetles are an amazing group of insects. The Hercules beetle is super strong and a click beetle makes a “click” as it flips from its back to its feet. Wanna know more fascinating beetle facts? Come to the Beetle Brigade!

Thursday, April 19

Cicada Chorus
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Even if you don’t realize it, you have probably heard a cicada chorus. We will try to replicate the cicada sound as we discover how and where these insects live.

 
Cicada Chorus
@ 11:00am (ages 2–5)
Even if you don’t realize it, you have probably heard a cicada chorus. We will try to replicate the cicada sound as we discover how and where these insects live.

May 2018

Thursday, May 3

Praying Mantis
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Praying mantises are superheroes of the bug world—saving plants from harmful pests! Join us in a celebration of these amazing bugs.

 
Praying Mantis
@ 11:00am (ages 2–5)
Praying mantises are superheroes of the bug world—saving plants from harmful pests! Join us in a celebration of these amazing bugs.

Thursday, May 17

Hooray for Hummingbirds
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Fast and light, discover how hummingbirds can dart so quickly and hover in the air for feeding.

 
Hooray for Hummingbirds
@ 11:00am (ages 2–5)
Fast and light, discover how hummingbirds can dart so quickly and hover in the air for feeding.

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

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

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

June 2018

Saturday, June 30

Amazing Africa
@ 6:00pm until 9:00am the next day (ages 5–adult)
Take a safari with us as we explore the different habitats and wildlife of Africa. Brush up on your identification skills and learn about some unique adaptations that help these animals survive. Admission for the park on the day following the event is included in ticket price. Dinner, snack and breakfast are also included.

Register for Program

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

March 2018

Friday, March 16

Going Green
@ 6:00pm until 9:00am the next day (ages 5–adult)
With winter almost over, green is in again at Riverbanks Botanical Garden! Discover the importance of being green in the natural world and explore easy ways to be green-minded at home in an effort to protect the environment. Admission for the park on the day following the event is included in ticket price. Dinner, snack and breakfast are also included.

April 2018

Friday, April 20

Stories of the Stars
@ 6:00pm until 9:00am the next day (ages 5–adult)
Make stargazing a new family adventure! Come explore the skies with us as we learn about some of the famous constellations that can be seen from Waterfall Junction. Admission for the park on the day following the event is included in ticket price. Dinner, snack and breakfast are also included.

May 2018

Saturday, May 19

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! Have a “hoot” of a good time 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.

Register for Program