Riverbanks Zoo and Garden to reopen on Memorial Day weekend

Riverbanks Zoo and Garden to reopen on Memorial Day weekend
Riverbanks Zoo and Garden has announced it will reopen May 23.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Riverbanks Zoo and Garden has announced that it will be reopening on Saturday, May 23.

Riverbanks has implemented a phased reopening to help ensure the continued safety of the zoo’s staff, the guests, and the animals.

The three-tiered approach limits attendance and programming, supports social distancing, and increases Riverbanks’ already rigorous safety measures.

“We’ve been diligently preparing for the zoo’s reopening for several weeks and look forward to welcoming our members and guests,” said Susan O’Cain, director of communications at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. “The phased schedule will allow us to reopen safely while continuing to deliver a world-class experience and support the mission of Riverbanks Zoo and Garden.”

Riverbanks will require online ticket reservations for all members and guests as part of phase one. Time slots will be available every half hour beginning at 9 a.m.

Anyone without an advance online reservation will not be admitted.

For guest safety, the zoo has added additional handwashing and hand sanitizer dispensers throughout the park. All Riverbanks’ employees are required to wear face masks and guests also are strongly encouraged to wear masks during their visit.

The following indoor buildings and attractions are scheduled to be open during the initial phase with limited capacity and an increased cleaning and disinfecting routine:

  • Aquarium-Reptile Complex
  • Birdhouse
  • Endangered Species Carousel
  • Farm Experience
  • Giraffe Feeding
  • Guest Relations
  • Spots 'n' Stripes kids' train

Waterfall Junction also will be open, however, the Aflac Splash Zone, Lil’ Sprouts Splash Zone, and Dino Dig will remain closed.

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

Tram service will not be offered during the first phase of reopening. Guests may walk between the Zoo and Garden along the tram pathway or drive around and renter the park with their same day, timed-ticket reservation. Parking is available at both Zoo and Garden entrances.

"We are taking every precaution necessary and will continue to follow the advisement of our state and local leaders to maintain the highest health standards and keep our community safe," O'Cain said.

Additional information about the reopening can be found online at www.riverbanks.org.

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