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Get up close with Riverbanks. 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 interactive and educational encounters with new opportunities coming soon.

Experience Sea Lion Landing like never before — and maybe get your feet a little wet. See the inner workings of this state-of-the-art habitat, and then join the animal care staff for a training demonstration. This memorable tour will definitely get your seal of approval.

  • $180/tour Riverbanks members and $220/tour general public. Price is per private tour with a capacity of 6 total guests. Admission not included in tour rate.
  • Private tour for up to six participants. Ages 8 and up only; participants under 18 must be accompanied by a Riverbanks Backstage Encounter ticket-holding adult. Facial coverings must be worn for the duration of the tour.
  • This behind the scenes opportunity is not ADA-accessible due to uneven terrain.

Meet some of the tallest mammals in the world and gain a greater Backstage perspective. Discover the unique aspects of giraffes and learn about the quality care they receive at Riverbanks. Each guest will have the opportunity to stand tall (without a ladder) and feed one of our gentle giants a leafy lunch. Don’t forget your camera for some great photo opportunities!

  • $180/tour Riverbanks members and $220/tour general public. Price is per private tour with a capacity of 6 total guests. Admission not included in tour rate.
  • Private tour for up to six participants. Ages 8 and up only; participants under 18 must be accompanied by a Riverbanks Backstage Encounter ticket-holding adult. Facial coverings must be worn for the duration of the tour.
  • This behind the scenes opportunity is not ADA-accessible due to uneven terrain.

Come hang out with the pickiest eaters at Riverbanks! Learn all about the care and keeping of these magnificent marsupials, and then step on to their habitat and snap a unique photo with a koala! This experience has all the koalafications for a memorable afternoon.

  • $240/tour Riverbanks members and $300/tour general public. Price is per private tour with a capacity of 6 total guests. Admission not included in tour rate.
  • Private tour for up to six participants. Ages 8 and up only; participants under 18 must be accompanied by a Riverbanks Backstage Encounter ticket-holding adult. Facial coverings must be worn for the duration of the tour.
  • This behind the scenes opportunity is not ADA-accessible due to uneven terrain.

Join our flock for an afternoon of fun! Walk the path of a flamingo chick while learning about these unique birds, and then head into their habitat to flamingle with our flock. Be sure to bring your camera to capture this fantastic experience!

  • $200/tour Riverbanks members and $240/tour general public. Price is per private tour with a capacity of 6 total guests. Admission not included in tour rate.
  • Private tour for up to six participants. Ages 8 and up only; participants under 18 must be accompanied by a Riverbanks Backstage Encounter ticket-holding adult. Facial coverings must be worn for the duration of the tour.
  • This behind the scenes opportunity is not ADA-accessible due to uneven terrain.

Registration Information

  • Preregistration is required for all Riverbanks Backstage experiences; visit the eTicket store to register. Experiences run approximately one hour and take place on most Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Admission to Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is not included but is required.
  • Only guests ages 8 and up are permitted on Riverbanks Backstage experiences.
  • All guests under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a ticket holding adult.
  • Closed-toed shoes are a safety requirement on all backstage experiences.
  • Guests are encouraged to arrive at the designated area 10 minutes before scheduled Riverbanks Backstage experiences.
  • ADA accessible options are not always available within behind-the-scenes areas. Please call 803.602.0803 for information.
  • Due to the unpredictability of animals, backstage experiences are subject to change or cancellation. Participants must abide by staff instructions at all times.

Cancellation and Refunds

  • Guests who arrive late may miss certain components or may not be accommodated due to limited tour availability.
  • Times, prices, and tour components are subject to change.
  • Cancellations with less than 24-hours notice are nonrefundable.
  • Riverbanks Backstage experiences take place rain or shine. Refunds within 24 hours of the start time will only be given if the program needs to be canceled by Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. Tour guide will contact registered guests if cancellations occur.

Questions about Riverbanks Backstage?

Please call 803.602.0803 or email us.