Thursday, June 20, 2013

Riverbanks Zoo - (Part I) the zoo

It had been a while since we visited the zoo in Columbia, SC and I was astounded at how much has been added to the property; so much that I have to split this up into several posts to cover all that's there. This zoo is impressive for so many reasons and I love the lushly landscaped grounds and lively animal habitats. The zoo is designed to flow easily for little legs to walk and enjoy and it is a fantastic way to spend a day. Make sure to allow at least 3 to 4 hours and go soon before it gets too hot!

There is so much to learn here. Make the trip more educational by googling some animals with your kids before you go (or pick a favorite animal to focus on). The signs and information provided here are really thorough and that makes for a great summer lesson.

Look at the map of the zoo before you go to get the lay off the land so you can decide which areas to concentrate on... we lingered here with the baboons for a while because they were hilarious; so much so that it was hard to walk away. We also love the penguin and bird watching building and it provides a cool oasis from the heat.

I had a bone to pick with this guy. When my boys were the tender age of 2, this fella nonchalantly lumbered over to the observation glass and slammed his giant palm flat against it in front of my twins faces. They literally jumped air-born with arms flailing and landed on the ground in a heap bawling their eyes out! He is aloof and pretends to be completely ignoring you as you gawk at his monstrous body, but it's all a ploy to draw you in closer. ( We love him still - so fascinating).

Riverbanks Zoo and Garden
500 wildlife Pkwy, Columbia SC
Hours: 9am-5pm daily (summer weekends extended til 6pm)
For admission details, directions and more click here
pmk tips- pack a cooler of water. WEAR TENNIS SHOES so you can participate in all the climbing options (see tomorrow's post) EdVenture children's museum is virtually right around the corner, so if you can stay over-night (check the website linked above for accommodation), make one long day of it or a 2 day trip to see both. I also recommend a membership to the zoo because it's a great value given that there are over 100 reciprocal zoos to visit including the Greenville zoo. The other zoos offer either free or discounted (50% off) admission.
click here for membership info and complete reciprocal list
*Check out the special night at the zoo coming up on July 12th! members night series

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