Skip Navigation

Overnights

Spend a wild night at Riverbanks!

Riverbanks’ Overnights feature behind-the-scenes tours, games, and other exciting activities for ages 5 and up. Dates are limited, so register early.

Private Group Overnights

Gather your class, troop, pack, youth group, or neighborhood friends for a one-of-a-kind evening exploration! Discover a new side of Riverbanks—after the crowds have gone and the sun has set. Each overnight includes a hands-on program, snack, continental breakfast and admission to explore Riverbanks Zoo and Garden the next day. Choose from one of our four fun-filled experiences.

  • Cost :

    $50 per person. ($60 per person for Special Event Overnights)

  • Dinner Option :

    Add dinner to your overnight for an additional $8.50/person. Meal includes 2 slices of pizza, chips and a drink. Arrival time for overnights with dinner is 6:00pm.

  • Hot Breakfast Option :

    Add a hot breakfast option to your overnight for an additional fee. A continental breakfast of bagels, muffins, cereal, fruit, juice, milk and coffee is included in the cost of your program.

    Option 1: Includes continental breakfast items as well as scrambled eggs and bacon for additional $8.00/person.

    Option 2: Includes continental breakfast items as well as scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage and grits for additional $10/person.

  • Available Programs :

Nature’s Night Owls (Ages 5–12)

Many creatures like to stay up late and work the night shift! These late risers use incredible adaptations to help them get the job done in the dark. Groups will become part of the Zoo’s night life through hands-on activities, up-close encounters with nocturnal animal ambassadors and a behind-the-scenes tour to discover who at Riverbanks prefers the dark to day.

Capacity: Minimum 25 / Maximum 80.

Sleeping Accommodations: Colonial Life Discovery Center Classrooms and Theater.

Coastal Close Up (Ages 5–18)

Join us for a splashing good time as we learn about our seals and sea lions, ocean life, aquatic habitats, and how each of us can do our part to protect the ocean. Groups will enjoy exploration through hands-on activities, up-close encounters with animal ambassadors and a behind-the- scenes tour before heading to bed inside Sea Lion Landing.

Capacity: Minimum 25 / Maximum 40.

Sleeping Accommodations: Sea Lion Landing Exhibit.

Riverbanks Camping 101 (Ages 5–12)

New to camping? Join us in Riverbanks Botanical Garden to set up a tent, roast marshmallows and sleep on the lawn at Waterfall Junction. Guests will learn some basic camping skills including Leave No Trace principles and how to create solar ovens and purify water. Four-person tents and foam mats are provided as well as pizza dinner, marshmallow roasting and water play in the Aflac Splash Zone at Waterfall Junction (weather dependent).

Capacity: Minimum 25 / Maximum 40.

Sleeping Accommodations: Tent Camping on Lawn at Waterfall Junction.

Noises of the Night (Ages 5–12)

Open up your senses to a whole new nighttime adventure at Riverbanks Botanical Garden! You’ll have a “hoot” of a goodtime identifying different frog songs, insect chatter and local owl calls throughout the night. Four-person tents and foam mats are provided as well as pizza dinner, marshmallow roasting and water play in the Aflac Splash Zone at Waterfall Junction (weather dependent).

Capacity: Minimum 25 / Maximum 40.

Sleeping Accommodations: Tent Camping on Lawn at Waterfall Junction.

Special Event Overnights (Ages 5–18)

Celebrate the fall and winter seasons with one of Riverbanks’ special event overnights. Groups will have the opportunity to enjoy over an hour at Boo at the Zoo or Lights Before Christmas followed by a keeper-led behind-the-scenes tour, animal encounter, marshmallow roasting, continental breakfast and admission to Riverbanks Zoo and Garden the following day.

Capacity: Minimum 25 / Maximum 80.

Sleeping Accommodations: Colonial Life Discovery Center Classrooms and Theater.

Scout Overnights for Small Troops and Packs

Looking for an overnight experience for a small Scout troop or pack that does not meet our minimum for group overnights? Then this opportunity is just for you! Select nights will be offered for Girl Scout troops or Cub/Boy Scout packs to join others to enjoy the Zoo’s night life.

  • Note :

    Overnight programs seek to support working towards badge requirements. A minimum of 25 individual registered participants is required to conduct all small scout group overnight programs as scheduled.

  • Scheduled Dates and Times

December 2018

Friday, December 14

Holiday Hoopla Girl Scout Overnight
@ 5:30pm until 9:00am the next day (ages 5–adult ONLY)
Enjoy this new holiday adventure as an animal mystery is in play at Riverbanks Zoo & Garden. Use your keen detective skills and sharp senses to discover what is “afoot” at the Zoo! We will squeeze in a few “cool” activities and crafts, and "wrap up" with a Holiday SWAP meet while working on various merit badge requirements. Your evening will also include keeper-led behind-the-scenes tours, marshmallow roasting and a self-guided walk through Lights Before Christmas. Admission to the park on the following day and breakfast are also included.
COST: $67/scout and $55/adult.

Saturday, December 15

Holiday Hoopla Girl Scout Overnight
@ 5:30pm until 9:00am the next day (ages 5–adult ONLY)
Enjoy this new holiday adventure as an animal mystery is in play at Riverbanks Zoo & Garden. Use your keen detective skills and sharp senses to discover what is “afoot” at the Zoo! We will squeeze in a few “cool” activities and crafts, and "wrap up" with a Holiday SWAP meet while working on various merit badge requirements. Your evening will also include keeper-led behind-the-scenes tours, marshmallow roasting and a self-guided walk through Lights Before Christmas. Admission to the park on the following day and breakfast are also included.
COST: $67/scout and $55/adult.

Register for Program

Family on Safari

Looking for a fun and exciting adventure for the whole family ages 5 and up? Join other families to get wild at Riverbanks while enjoying hands-on activities, scavenger hunts, a pizza dinner and more! All programs include a continental breakfast and admission to Riverbanks Zoo and Garden the following day!

  • Cost :

    $50 per person (members); $60 per person (non-members).

  • Note :

    Children may not be left unattended. Individuals must be accompanied by an adult. A minimum of 25 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.

Important Registration Information Please read through all of the steps before contacting us to reserve a date.

Registration for Private Group Overnights must occur at least four weeks in advance. Dates are limited and fill quickly particularly in the Spring and during Special Events. Scout Overnights for Small Troops and Packs and Family on Safari will be filled in the order registrations are received and will be canceled if the minimum participant requirement is not met two weeks in advance of the event.

  1. Make sure that you have read the FAQs and Cancellation Policy information prior to registration.
  2. Private Groups should submit an Overnight Information Inquiry. Inquiries will be responded to in the order that they are received. Scout Overnights for Small Troops and Packs, and Family on Safari registrations can be submitted on-line using the “Register for Program” button below the list of scheduled dates and times.
  3. Pay a deposit using a credit card to reserve your date.
    • Scout Overnights for Small Troops and Packs and Family on Safari Overnights require payment on-line at the time of registration.
    • Private Group Overnights will be charged a $300 deposit 14 days from the time of registration via phone. This deposit will be deducted from the final balance. The signed Group Leader contract should also be received via email at the time of the deposit payment. Please note, if a deposit and group leader contract is not received, your date is not reserved.
  4. Once we have received your deposit and Group Leader contract, Riverbanks Zoo and Garden will send your confirmation materials.
  5. Your final payment and/or roster of participants will be due 10 days prior to your overnight event. Final payment may be made by credit card or check. Riverbanks Zoo reserves the right to cancel any scheduled overnight if final payment and roster is not received by this deadline. After this deadline, no additional participants may be added to your group total and no refunds will be issued.
  6. Print out the following required documents, distribute to your group members and bring the signed forms with you to your sleepover:

Frequently Asked Questions

Where do we sleep?

Sleeping accommodations vary depending on the overnight program. Participants will either sleep inside the Colonial Life Discovery Center Classrooms, Sea Lion Landing interpretive building or in tents at Riverbanks Botanical Garden. Air mattresses are discouraged due to space limitations and restricted to adult use only. A limited number of sleeping mats are available for participants. Bathrooms are located inside the Discovery Center, Sea Lion Landing and within a short walking distance from the lawn at Waterfall Junction children’s garden.

Are showers available?

Showers are not available.

Are meals provided?

Overnights include a light snack in the evening and a continental breakfast with juice and coffee. Dinner is not included unless specified in the program description. Groups may add a pizza dinner or hot breakfast to any program for an additional fee. Overnights with dinner begin at 6:00pm; guests arriving after 6:40pm will not be served. Outside food and drinks are restricted to guests with special dietary needs. If anyone in your group has any dietary concerns it is their responsibility to bring their own food and to notify the Overnight Instructor.

What ages can attend?

All participants must be at least five years old. Younger siblings are not permitted for any portion of the program.

Can boys and girls sleep in separate areas?

Yes, we can accommodate requests for separate sleeping quarters for all programs with the exception of Coastal Close Up.

Is there storage space for luggage/sleeping bags while the group visits the park following the overnight?

No; all groups will be escorted out of the park by 8:45am to pack their vehicles/buses before returning to enjoy the park.

Can we buy souvenirs during the program?

The gift shop will not be open during the program but can be visited the following day with included Riverbanks admission. You may pre-order “I SURVIVED THE NIGHT AT RIVERBANKS ZOO” glow-in-the dark black T-shirts ($15 each) or specially designed Riverbanks logo patch ($4 each). Please submit your order with your final payment.

What do we need to bring with us?

We recommend packing light as you will carry your items a short distance into the park to the area you will be sleeping. Please mark all items with names to avoid mix-ups when preparing to leave.

  • signed participant waiver
  • signed chaperone contract (adults)
  • sleeping bag and pillow
  • toiletries
  • comfortable walking shoes
  • modest pajamas
  • water bottle
  • change of clothes
  • weather appropriate outerwear (i.e. rain coat, jacket, etc.)
  • camera (optional)
  • bug spray (optional)
  • flashlight for adults only

Cancellation Policy

Cancellation requests must be made at least three weeks before your scheduled overnight date to receive a refund of your deposit. Riverbanks Zoo and Garden will retain a 10% processing fee. Deposits are non-refundable and non-transferable should the group cancel or need to change a date within three weeks of the scheduled overnight.

All Private Group Overnights must meet and/or pay for the minimum 25 participants. Refunds will not be provided for individuals who do not show up for the event.

In the rare event that Riverbanks Zoo and Garden must cancel the scheduled event, all deposits or money received will be reimbursed or an option to reschedule will be provided. Notification of cancellation will be provided at least ten days prior to the scheduled event (unless weather-related). Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is not liable for any other expenses that the guest may have incurred in the preparation and execution of the event.

Overnight Information Inquiry Please read ALL information above before using this form.

Group Information

Program Request Information

#1 :
/
/
#2 :
/
/
#3 :
/
/

Contact Information

ext.
ext.

protected by reCAPTCHA
PrivacyTerms

Riverbanks is a non-smoking facility. Overnight instructors must remain with the group at all times and are not able to escort individuals outside the gates for smoking breaks during the overnight. We apologize for the inconvenience.