Riverbanks is pleased to offer several group tours.

School Tours

Join one of our Education staff members for a 45-minute tour of your choice. Our interactive tours include fun-filled facts, wildlife conservation information, and the inside scoop on our animals. The tours are designed for grades 5–12 and special needs groups. Please look below to find the tour that’s best for you!

If you have any questions, please please email or call 803.602.0803.

Cost: A program fee of $55 is charged for each tour reserved.

Availability: Tours are offered Monday through Fridays, August–May. Please call for available times.

Reservations: All programs must be reserved two weeks in advance by calling the Education Department at 803.602.0803 Monday through Friday between 9:00am and 4:00pm.

Available Programs:

Balancing Act (grades 5–6)

Biotic and abiotic factors create quite a balancing act in ecosystems. Visit forests, marshes, grasslands, and oceans in just 45 minutes. Find out how unique these ecosystems are, how interdependence keeps ecosystems running, and what we can do to help maintain the balancing act.

Animal Behaviors 101 (grades 6–12)

It takes more than good looks to survive in the wild. Animals have to out compete, outwit and out play to survive. Tour the Zoo with us to find out how behaviors help animals survive and what enrichment is all about!

Animals Around the World (grades 6–12)

Around the world in 80 days? Explore the world’s biomes with us in just 45 minutes. Your around-the-world adventure will take you to places like the grasslands of Africa, taiga of Russia and rainforests of Southeast Asia, but get you back in time for lunch.

The List: A Conservation Challenge (grades 6–12)

Some celebrities make the “A” list; some animals make the “E” list. Making the list is great for celebrities, but not for animals. Tour the Zoo to see animals that have made the list and animals that have made it off the list. Find out what Riverbanks is doing to get animals off the list and to help prevent animals from making the list in the future.

Zoo and Garden Careers (grades 6–12)

Are you interested in photography, art, retail, horticulture or guest services? Believe it or not, the Zoo might be the place for you! Take a tour with us where you'll see that it really takes teamwork and a lot of talented people to run the Zoo.

Guided Garden Tours

Whether your group includes casual visitors or avid gardeners, young students or seasoned explorers, a trained horticulturist will help you develop a fun and interactive tour to fit your needs.

Cost: Tours cost $55 for a maximum group of 25. For groups of more than 25, you may split your group and pay for the number of tours required.

Availability: Guided tours may be scheduled Monday–Saturday. Tours last approximately one hour.

Reservations: Tours must be scheduled in advance by calling 803.602.0813.

Available Programs:

General Tour (grades 6–12)

Participants will explore the 25 themed areas of the Garden as well as learn about the historical significance of the site. Explanations of plant combinations are given with emphasis on plants of interest. Plants with special conservation needs are highlighted.

Riverbanks Backstage Tours

Feed an elephant. Touch a tortoise. Help prepare a snack for the bears. Get an inside look at animal care, learn about the Zoo’s efforts to save endangered species, and find out how you can help! Choose from five interactive and educational one-hour encounters.

Learn more!