Bring your sleeping bag and sense of adventure for a memorable overnight experience at Riverbanks. Education staff will guide you through a fun-filled evening of exploration and hands-on fun. Overnights are designed for participants in grades Kindergarten and up.
Private Group Overnights
Gather your class, troop, pack, youth group, or neighborhood friends for a one-of-a-kind evening! Find out what the animals are up to after the sun goes down and the rest of our guests leave. Don’t miss this wild opportunity to explore Riverbanks!
Nature’s Night Owls
Become a part of Riverbanks’ night life as we explore unique adaptations. Groups small and large will enjoy this after-hours adventure.
Minimum 25 / Maximum 80.
Colonial Life Discovery Center.
Coastal Close Up
Join us for a splashing good time as we learn about animals that call the ocean home. Finish the evening tucked in at our underwater viewing window in Sea Lion Landing.
Minimum 25 / Maximum 40.
Sea Lion Landing.
Riverbanks Camp Out
Enjoy a night spent with the sounds of Riverbanks botanical gardens. Try out camping including marshmallow roasting and sleeping in a tent. This nighttime adventure is perfect for the novice outdoorsperson.
Minimum 25 / Maximum 40.
Tent camping in Waterfall Junction.
- Cost :
- $70 per person. ($85/person after July 1, 2023)
- Program Includes :
- Sleeping at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden.
- Professional and knowledgeable staff to guide you through your experience.
- Age-appropriate, hands-on activities.
- Entry to Riverbanks the next day.
- Meals & snacks: dinner and continental breakfast.
- Availability :
- Available on select Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings. Call for available dates. 6:00pm–9:00am.
Register for Program
- Registration :
- Programs may be requested by calling or e-mailing the Education Department at 803.602.0803 or firstname.lastname@example.org, Monday through Friday between 8:00am and 1:00pm.
Important Registration Information Please read 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. Family on Safari will be filled in the order received and will be canceled if the minimum participant requirement is not met ten days in advance of the event.
- Make sure that you have read the Cancellation Policy and FAQs information prior to registration.
- Family on Safari registrations can be completed on-line. Private group overnights must be reserved through the Education office.
- Overnight payments:
- Family on Safari Overnights require payment in full at the time of registration.
- Private Group Overnights will be charged a $500 deposit at the time of registration. This deposit will be deducted from the final balance. A signed Group Leader contract must be submitted for a date to be reserved.
- Your final payment and participant roster 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.
- Print out the following required documents, distribute to your group members, and bring the signed forms with you to your overnight:
- Group Leader Contract (required — one for the group leader/person registering the event)
- Chaperone Contract (required — one for each adult participant)
- Participant Waiver (required — one for every adult and child participant)
Cancellation requests must be made at least three weeks before your scheduled overnight date to receive a refund of your deposit. Requests must be submitted in writing at email@example.com. 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where do we sleep?
Participants will either sleep inside the Colonial Life Discovery Center, Sea Lion Landing or in tents in Waterfall Junction at Riverbanks botanical gardens. Bathrooms are accessible in all sleeping areas. Guests are encouraged to bring their own sleeping bags, sleeping mats and pillows. Air mattresses are not permitted.
Are showers available?
Showers are not available.
Are meals provided?
Overnights include meals and snacks including pizza dinner and a continental breakfast with juice and coffee. 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 and in elementary school. Younger siblings are not permitted for any portion of the program.
Can boys and girls sleep in separate areas?
We can accommodate requests for separate sleeping quarters for all programs with the exception of overnights in Sea Lion Landing.
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 ($5 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 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
- comfortable walking shoes
- modest pajamas
- water bottle
- change of clothes
- weather appropriate outerwear (i.e. rain coat, jacket, etc.)
- camera (optional)
- bug spray (optional)
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.