Experience an Even More Amazing Riverbanks Zoo

By:Kerry Egan

Date:4/4/2016

Destination Riverbanks, the $36 million expansion and renovation of Riverbanks Zoo and Garden, has already brought incredible new exhibits and facilities to one of the best zoos in the nation. This spring, even more amazing animals and family fun are on their way to Columbia.

The first phase of the expansion brought visitors Grizzly Ridge, an amazing glassed-in exhibit where beloved zoo resident grizzly bears Butch and Sundance can be seen getting up to their bear highjinks. It's not unusual to see the brothers standing up on their hind legs in what can only be described as a bear boxing match. They also often wrestle in their swimming hole to amazed visitors of all ages.

Ever wonder what it would feel like to effortlessly glide through the water? The playful otter sisters of Otter Run will make you wish you were in the water with them as they twist, turn and zip through their pool. Their new enclosure lets you see right into their pond, giving you a bird’s eye view of their effortless swimming.

If watching the grizzlies and otters swim has made you and your kids crave your own watery fun, you’re in luck. Waterfall Junction, a three-acre children’s garden, features a treehouse playground in the forest canopy, an enormous sandbox full of “dinosaur bones” to discover and a fairyland. But perhaps the most fun of all on a famously hot Columbia summer day is the creek and pond to play in, a spray ground to run through and a waterfall to splash under. The new children’s garden is across the river in Riverbanks’ spectacular botanical garden. The towering footbridge there is its own adventure for kids and a gorgeous walk for grownups.

And last, but certainly not the least piece of the expansion is Sea Lion Landing. Opening June 2016, the incredible exhibit houses sea lions in seals in an enclosure that calls to mind Pier 39 in San Francisco. Visitors can watch the seals and sea lions from both above and through glass walls that let you peer right into their tanks.

Related Content

5 Wild Things at Riverbanks Zoo (and They Aren't the Animals!)
Animals aren’t the only wild things at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. The top-rated zoo also offers visitors a chance to fly across the Saluda River on a zipline and experience other fun outdoor adventures.
Where the Wild Things Are in South Carolina
There are so many places and ways to see animals in South Carolina. This is just what an animal-loving family needs to help plan their next South Carolina adventure.

Featured Products

Riverbanks Zoo And Garden
Midlands

Columbia

Midlands

Midlands

The
Midlands Region

Learn More
Riverbanks is home to more than 2,000 magnificent and fascinating animals and one of the nation's most beautiful and inspiring botanical gardens. The lush 170-acre site f ...
Riverbanks ZOOfari
Midlands

Columbia

Midlands

Midlands

The
Midlands Region

Learn More
Don't miss the wildest event in town! Riverbanks ZOOfari, the Zoo's premier fundraiser, is set for Friday, September 25, at 7 p.m. Take an evening stroll through the Zoo, ...

Featured products and attractions in "Experience an Even More Amazing Riverbanks Zoo"

Nearby Attractions

  • {{item.name}}

You might also like:

Waccatee Zoological Farm
Coast

Myrtle Beach

Coast

Coast

The
Coast Region

Learn More
Located within a 500-acre farm in Socastee, the Waccatee Zoo contains over 100 species of animals. Meet Chico the Chimpanzee, Tony the Tiger, Booger the Bear, and Zig Zag ...
Riverbanks Zoo And Garden
Midlands

Columbia

Midlands

Midlands

The
Midlands Region

Learn More
Riverbanks is home to more than 2,000 magnificent and fascinating animals and one of the nation's most beautiful and inspiring botanical gardens. The lush 170-acre site f ...
Masters Inn - Airport
Midlands

Cayce

Midlands

Midlands

The
Midlands Region

Learn More
An economical solution for the budget minded traveler. The motel is situated conveniently to access Williams Bryce Stadium, the airport, as well as the zoo and Fort Jacks ...
Magnolia Plantation & Gardens
Coast

Charleston

Coast

Coast

The
Coast Region

Learn More
This world-famous plantation has been associated with the Drayton family since its founding in 1676. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it includes the c ...
Hollywild Animal Park
Mountains

Wellford

Mountains

Mountains

The
Mountains Region

Learn More
Hollywild Animal Park is home to over 500 animals, many of which roam freely inside large natural enclosures or on man-made islands. Many of the animals have been celebri ...
Clarion Inn Airport
Midlands

West Columbia

Midlands

Midlands

The
Midlands Region

Learn More
Located just minutes from the Columbia Metropolitan Airport. Located two miles from Riverbanks Zoo and Gardens, or 4 miles from University of South Carolina and downtown. ...