zooLooking for a fun, easy day trip with the family? Look no further than Columbia’s own Riverbanks Zoo & Garden! Located just a short drive from the Queen City, the Riverbanks Zoo is awesome: it’s a beautiful, well-maintained zoo with lots of great wildlife. We made our first visit there just a few weeks ago and our boys are still talking about it!

DSC_0591First, of course, there’s a huge variety of animals to see. Our boys were most excited about the elephants, giraffes and zebras, though they thought the penguins and gorillas were pretty awesome too. Aside from seeing plenty of animals, there’s also lots to do, from hand-feeding the lorikeets and giraffes, to a zip-line tour of the zoo.  You can soar high above the trees in the Sky Safari, enjoy a pony ride, scale a rock climbing wall, ride a carousel, and take a train ride. There’s even a small playground for kids to run wild on. The Botanical Gardens are also spectacular, featuring over 70 acres of unparalleled beauty and a half-mile trail walk.

DSC_0621The zoo itself was extremely family-friendly, with plenty of room to navigate with our double stroller, lots of clean, conveniently located restrooms, and a lot of places to grab a bite to eat with pretty reasonable prices. We enjoyed an early dinner at a restaurant right across from the giraffes and zebras; our kids thought sitting outside itself was pretty cool,  never mind being able to watch these wild animals while we ate!

DSC_0678The Riverbanks Zoo hosts seasonal events too, including their Lights Before Christmas event which is going on RIGHT NOW – featuring nearly one million twinkling lights, visits with Santa, hot chocolate and marshmallows and much more.

Plan your visit today and enjoy this holiday season!