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Easy methods to See the Wild Lights at Riverbanks Zoo & Backyard in Columbia, SC


Lengthy after the animals fall asleep, issues get wild on the Riverbanks Zoo & Backyard. Wild Lights is the annual Christmas vacation gentle show with over 60 larger-than-life 3D shows. Meander by the zoo as you sip scorching chocolate, roast s’mores on a bonfire, and take a photograph with Santa.

“Wild Lights is a contemporary tackle the vacation lights expertise that can create a extra significant connection to our mission of conservation,” says Tommy Stringfellow, President & CEO of Riverbanks Zoo & Backyard. “This brand-new occasion will set us other than the rising variety of lights occasions across the Midlands whereas shining a light-weight on the fantastic thing about nature and the significance of caring for our pure world.”

Wild Lights at Riverbanks Zoo & Backyard is one in all Columbia’s greatest Christmas vacation occasions. It’s a family-friendly, fun-filled option to spend a night within the reasonably cool South Carolina local weather.

Riverbanks Zoo & Backyard

Riverbanks Zoo opened in 1974 on the north facet of the Saluda River in Columbia. In 1995, the botanical backyard opened throughout the river in West Columbia. The Riverbanks Zoo & Backyard is dwelling to over 3,000 animals and 4,300 native and unique vegetation.

The zoo is an accredited member of the Affiliation of Zoos & Aquariums. The non-profit group was based in 1971 to create a set of requirements for animal husbandry and care in zoological parks and aquariums in america.

Riverbanks Zoo & Backyard helps worldwide conservation efforts, promotes native conservation, and treats raptors and endangered species in its hospital.

Daytime Go to

Visiting the Riverbanks Zoo & Backyard in the course of the day after which once more for Wild Lights could be an incredible expertise, however it could actually’t be a steady expertise. The zoo closes at 4 p.m. and reopens at 5 p.m., permitting the employees to organize for the night. That will be a good time to go into downtown Columbia and get an early dinner.

Wild Lights Schedule in 2023

Wild Lights is open on choose nights from November 17 till January 14 from 5 p.m. till 9 p.m. It takes about 2-3 hours to walk casually by the zoo, see all the sunshine shows, and revel in some actions.

Right here’s the entire schedule for Wild Lights at Riverbanks Zoo & Backyard in 2023:

  • Friday, November 17 – Sunday, November 19
  • Friday, November 24 – Sunday, November 26
  • Wednesday, November 29 – Sunday, December 3
  • Wednesday, December 6 – Sunday, December 10
  • Wednesday, December 13 – Saturday, December 23
  • Tuesday, December 26 – Sunday, December 31
  • Wednesday, January 3 – Sunday, January 7
  • Wednesday, January 10 – Sunday, January 14

Wild Lights Tickets

Wild Lights at Riverbanks Zoo & Backyard is one in all Columbia’s hottest Christmas vacation occasions. I like to recommend shopping for tickets upfront and saving your date.

Tickets range in value between Worth and Normal. Worth Charges are $20 for adults and $15 for kids. Normal Charges are $25 for adults and $20 for kids.

Worth Charges are utilized on weeknights and Sunday nights, whereas Normal Charges are utilized on Friday and Saturday Nights. From December 18 till December 30, solely Normal Charges are used. After the New 12 months, solely Worth Charges are utilized.

Weeknights early in December are cheaper and much much less crowded. I like to recommend seeing the lights for the primary time throughout this time window. However then, return to see them once more after the New 12 months!

Purchase Basic Tickets on the Riverbanks Zoo & Backyard web site.

Bigger-Than-Life Handcrafted Lanterns

The principle attraction of the brand-new Wild Lights vacation show is 60 larger-than-life lanterns. Designed and constructed by China-based Tianyu Arts & Tradition, every three-dimensional lantern is hand made with a inflexible skeleton and clear pores and skin so that they gentle up from inside.

The lanterns are a shocking murals which are an evening and day distinction from conventional two-dimensional wireframe shows. The lanterns function delicate clear colours, intricate particulars, and fascinating patterns.

“We wished to go along with rather less Santa Claus and a bit extra ‘Animal Claus’ this yr,” explains Matt Perron, Public Relations Supervisor for Riverbanks Zoo & Backyard.

Images with Santa

Wild Lights could function fewer Christmas lights, however that doesn’t imply Santa Claus is absent. Santa seems nightly on the Safari Camp coated shelter from November 17 till December 23.

Images with Santa are freed from cost since you’ll want to make use of your personal digicam. Hop in line and patiently await your flip for the picture op throughout Wild Lights.

Getting There & Parking

Attending to the Riverbanks Zoo & Botanical Backyard is straightforward, with a devoted interchange on I-126. Take the Greystone Boulevard exit and switch left onto Rivermont Drive.

Ample parking on the zoo is unfold throughout either side of an lively railroad. Though it’s tempting to park as near the doorway as doable, the most effective parking is alongside Rivermont Drive in a parking space labeled “Blue Lot” on Google Maps.

A pedestrian footbridge crosses over the railroad with an elevator at both finish for accessibility.

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