Flock to the Zoo for Lights Before Christmas

For Immediate Release: November 20, 2019

Columbia’s Longest Running Holiday Tradition Kicks Off November 23

[Columbia, SC] — Join Riverbanks Zoo and Garden for the 32nd annual Lights Before Christmas presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina. The wildly popular holiday lights spectacular will take place on select evenings November 23 – December 30 from 5:00pm – 9:00pm.

New this year, each evening will offer a unique guest experience. On Wednesday and Thursday nights, visitors will enjoy up-close animal encounters. Merriment comes alive every Friday – Sunday with the Holly Jolly Christmas parade and performances by Chapin Theatre Company. Plus, meet and take photos nightly with a variety of holiday characters during Coca-Cola’s Merry Mascot Meet n’ Greet.

In addition, each Wednesday Riverbanks’ will offer buy one, get one admission on Lights Before Christmas tickets to the following groups:

  • November 27: Military
  • December 4: College Students
  • December 11: First Responders
  • December 18: Teachers

Guests will be asked to show proper ID at the ticket window to receive the discount.

Lights Before Christmas features a dazzling display of more than one-million twinkling lights and a variety of ornate images. Soak in the sights and sounds of the season with family and friends, gather round the 30-foot animated story tree sponsored by Dominion Energy and sing along to popular Christmas carols, plus cozy up to the Jingle Bell Bonfire—an ideal retreat for toasting s’mores, sipping hot cocoa and watching it snow. Riverbanks is the only place in town where it snows every night.

Top off your Lights experience with, of course, Santa Claus. The jolly ‘ole man himself will be visiting with guests starting at 6:00pm each evening until Christmas Eve in Santa’s Village.

Riverbanks members will receive at least one free visit to Lights Before Christmas with a valid membership card and photo ID (guest passes will not be accepted). General admission is $12 for adults and $10 for children ages 2 – 12. Children under 2 are admitted free. Guests are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance online.