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.

Kids Programs at Waterfall Junction

Weekday activities geared for ages 2 to 10.

Cost: Free with a Riverbanks membership or paid admission.

Available Programs:

Tantalizing Taste Bud Thursday — 2:00pm

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

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:

October 2017

Tuesday, October 31

Show Me the Sharks!
@ 9:45–10:30am (ages 2–5)
Sharks really are misunderstood. These creatures patrol the oceans of the world and have some incredible abilities. Float on by and figure out these fish first hand!

November 2017

Friday, November 3

Show Me the Sharks!
@ 9:45–10:30am (ages 2–5)
Sharks really are misunderstood. These creatures patrol the oceans of the world and have some incredible abilities. Float on by and figure out these fish first hand!

Show Me the Sharks!
@ 11:00–11:45am (ages 2–5)
Sharks really are misunderstood. These creatures patrol the oceans of the world and have some incredible abilities. Float on by and figure out these fish first hand!

Tuesday, November 14

Turkey Time
@ 9:45–10:30am (ages 2–5)
Can you strut like a proud turkey? Can you gobble nice and loud? Come on to the farm for some turkey time!

Friday, November 17

Turkey Time
@ 9:45–10:30am (ages 2–5)
Can you strut like a proud turkey? Can you gobble nice and loud? Come on to the farm for some turkey time!

Turkey Time
@ 11:00–11:45am (ages 2–5)
Can you strut like a proud turkey? Can you gobble nice and loud? Come on to the farm for some turkey time!

Tuesday, November 28

Monkey Madness
@ 9:45–10:30am (ages 2–5)
Look out! Monkey Madness is taking over! Yes, this program is all about our favorite primates and what makes them so special. Do they really eat bananas? Do they spend time grooming one another? Let’s monkey around and find out!

December 2017

Friday, December 1

Monkey Madness
@ 9:45–10:30am (ages 2–5)
Look out! Monkey Madness is taking over! Yes, this program is all about our favorite primates and what makes them so special. Do they really eat bananas? Do they spend time grooming one another? Let’s monkey around and find out!

Monkey Madness
@ 11:00–11:45am (ages 2–5)
Look out! Monkey Madness is taking over! Yes, this program is all about our favorite primates and what makes them so special. Do they really eat bananas? Do they spend time grooming one another? Let’s monkey around and find out!

Tuesday, December 12

Zany Zebras
@ 9:45–10:30am (ages 2–5)
Are they white with black stripes or black with white stripes? Zebras are known for their stylish look, but do you know the reasons behind the patterns? Learn all about how they are adapted for survival in our Zany Zebra class.

Friday, December 15

Zany Zebras
@ 9:45–10:30am (ages 2–5)
Are they white with black stripes or black with white stripes? Zebras are known for their stylish look, but do you know the reasons behind the patterns? Learn all about how they are adapted for survival in our Zany Zebra class.

Zany Zebras
@ 11:00–11:45am (ages 2–5)
Are they white with black stripes or black with white stripes? Zebras are known for their stylish look, but do you know the reasons behind the patterns? Learn all about how they are adapted for survival in our Zany Zebra class.

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:

October 2017

Thursday, October 26

Pumpkin Palooza
@ 9:45–10:30am (ages 2–5)
It is pumpkins galore at this palooza! We will be investigating different types of pumpkins, counting pumpkin seeds, tasting pumpkin food and decorating a mini pumpkin to take home.

Pumpkin Palooza
@ 11:00–11:45am (ages 2–5)
It is pumpkins galore at this palooza! We will be investigating different types of pumpkins, counting pumpkin seeds, tasting pumpkin food and decorating a mini pumpkin to take home.

November 2017

Thursday, November 9

Leaf Exploration
@ 9:45–10:30am (ages 2–5)
Leaves are all around us, and they are falling off the trees. Explore leaf shapes, sizes, colors and more as we play games, make art and do some leaf experiments.

Leaf Exploration
@ 11:00–11:45am (ages 2–5)
Leaves are all around us, and they are falling off the trees. Explore leaf shapes, sizes, colors and more as we play games, make art and do some leaf experiments.

Thursday, November 16

Thanksgiving Celebration
@ 9:45–10:30am (ages 2–5)
It is a time to celebrate as we give thanks, make turkey crafts and explore the harvest that led to our first Thanksgiving dinner.

Thanksgiving Celebration
@ 11:00–11:45am (ages 2–5)
It is a time to celebrate as we give thanks, make turkey crafts and explore the harvest that led to our first Thanksgiving dinner.

December 2017

Thursday, December 7

Marvelous Magnets
@ 9:45–10:30am (ages 2–5)
Magnets are a marvelous part of the Earth. We will experiment and play games with magnets, as well as make some magnetic art!

Marvelous Magnets
@ 11:00–11:45am (ages 2–5)
Magnets are a marvelous part of the Earth. We will experiment and play games with magnets, as well as make some magnetic art!

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: $15 per child / $5 per adult. 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:

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

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:

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

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:

November 2017

Saturday, November 18

Sea Lion Special Edition
@ 5:00–10:00pm (ages 4–adult)
Are you fascinated with all things pinniped? Join us for a splashing good time as we learn about the Zoo’s newest exhibit and the animals that call it home. Guests will take a behind-the-scenes tour of the sea lion kitchen and enjoy a scavenger hunt around the public exhibit. Dinner, admission to Lights Before Christmas and snack are included.
Cost: $30 per person

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