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Important Message from Riverbanks

Visiting the Zoo

We are excited to announce that Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is now open. Timed-ticket reservations are required for all members and guests. As part of a three-phased approach, Riverbanks is operating with limited attendance and programming, new standard operating procedures, and enhanced health and safety measures to safeguard our guests, staff, and the animals. 

To help ensure limited attendance, Riverbanks is requiring timed-ticket reservations for all members and guests. Staggered arrival times for entry are available every half hour; however, visits are not restricted once admitted to the park. Group sizes are limited. Tickets will be emailed and can be printed at home or scanned from your phone. Anyone without an advance reservation will not be admitted.

For added safety and convenience, additional hand washing stations and hand sanitizer dispensers have been installed throughout the park. Employees are required to wear masks in the park; members and guests are encouraged to do the same but are not required to do so.

What's Open and What's Not

Most outdoor exhibits and spaces are open for guest enjoyment with social distancing. The following indoor exhibits, attractions and services are scheduled to be open during the initial phase, with limited capacity and increased, rigorous cleaning and disinfecting:

  • Aquarium-Reptile Complex
  • Birdhouse
  • Endangered Species Carousel
  • Farm Experience
  • Giraffe Feeding 
  • Spots ‘n’ Stripes kids’ train

Waterfall Junction children’s garden also is open; however, the Aflac Splash Zone, L’il Sprouts Splash Zone and Dino Dig is closed during our initial opening

Dining options with outdoor seating and open-air stands are open including Wild Burger, The Watering Hole, The Coop, Kodiak Point, ICEE, and Dippin’ Dots. 

Please be advised that there is no tram service between the Zoo and Garden. Guests wishing to visit both the Zoo and Garden during the same visit are welcome to walk via the tram pathway or may drive around to the other side and re-enter the park with their ticket reservation. Parking is available on the Zoo side (500 Wildlife Pkwy, Columbia SC 29210) and on the Garden side (1300 Botanical Pkwy, West Columbia, SC 29169).

Additional exhibits, attractions, and services will open in future phases when it is deemed safe to do so.

Events & Programs

All​​ upcoming programs and events through the end of May have been postponed or cancelled, including Twilight in the Garden (cancelled), Members’ Night Out (rescheduled to July 17 in the Botanical Garden), Riverbanks Run (rescheduled to July 25). Please visit our Signature Events page for additional information. 

Summer Zoo Camps are slated to begin the week of June 22, with limited capacity and enhanced health and safety protocols. Learn more and register here.

comPOOst pick up for orders placed in March will be available between 4pm–6pm. Friday, May 29. Original booking confirmation and receipt required.

Updated information will be shared with members and registrants by email and on this page.

What's New

Construction continues on the Zoo’s new southern white rhino habitat. We can’t wait for you to return to the Zoo ​to see all of the progress that has been made. ​Neither the wet weather nor the pandemic ​have dampened work on the new rhino exhibit — slated to open later this summer. Renovations remain on schedule to ensure the habitat will be ready for the new family group that will be arriving at Riverbanks. Soon guests will be meandering around the habitat in awe of these remarkable and inspiring animals! We can’t wait to share this new experience with you!

Animal Care

The animals at Riverbanks continue to remain healthy and are doing well. We currently have a surplus of essential food and medical supplies for the animals in our care but have contingencies in place and are proactively monitoring our supply chain to assure essentials remain on hand.

Creating (Remote) Connections: Z-Learning — The Wild Side of E-Learning

As we navigate our new nomal, online adventure still awaits! Join us each weekday live at 10am EST on the Riverbanks Facebook page or catch a recorded segment on the Riverbanks homepage as we discover new ways to Zoo and Garden. From live features to behind-the-scenes peeks to fun too-cute-to-handle… we’re bringing Riverbanks to you including an activity you can do at home. 


We are so excited to begin re-opening and look forward to seeing you at the Zoo and Garden! Care is at the heart of our mission. We thank you for your patience, understanding and support as we work to re-open while protecting our people, our animals and our community.

Riverbanks relies on admissions and memberships for operations and to care for and feed the animals, making community support more important than ever. If you would like to help the Zoo and Garden, please consider making a donation in any amount. Thank you.

Updated 5.27.2020

Disclaimer: Riverbanks is taking every precaution necessary to ensure the health and well-being of our guests, staff and the animals related to highly contagious COVID-19 disease. All guests must practice personal safety during their visit. Visitors to the Zoo and Garden are assuming all risks associated with exposure to COVID-19.