I've really only been to the zoo two times in my life. Once to the Atlanta Zoo as a child and most recently the Riverbank Zoo and Garden in Columbia, South Carolina. Let me tell you, the zoo is just as much fun as an adult as when you were a kid. Parts of the zoo are slightly different like with everything else due to Covid but overall it was a successful Sunday Funday.
Yes, you have to wear a mask to enter. While patrolling of this isn‘t necessarily strict throughout the zoo there are multiple signs that have it on display. Only a few attractions were closed due to C19 such as the carousel and rock climbing.
There is typically a train from the zoo to the botanical garden but it is not running during this time. You have two options. You can walk over the bridge to the garden which is about a mile long or you can drive around and park at the garden entrance. There was practically no one at the garden when we got over there. I'm not sure if it is typically like that, because of C19 or because the train wasn't working. There is a water park over there but it is currently closed.
FOOD & DRINK
There aren't a ton of food options inside. There was a food truck and some small items you could purchase. The prices for most items were typical for an amusement park or zoo with sodas starting out at $4. I was expecting to be like when you go to six flags and they check your bag as you go in but that wasn't the case. You can take snacks and drinks inside with you.
It was such a hot day when we went. I'd suggest checking the weather before you go or going during a cooler part of the year. The animals, just like us, were really hot. Many of them were trying to find shaded spots or you couldn't see that all in their habitats because it was just too hot. That's general advice for a zoo visit, not just here.
Tickets are purchased as time slots and are $19.95 for adults (13+). There is a wristband that you can purchase aside from your ticket called "Explore More." This gives you the opportunity to be up close and personal with some of the animals such as feeding the giraffes, high rope course and "mingling" with kangaroos.
This was a really fun day trip. It took about 1:15 hrs to drive there. Parking is $5 and you can come in and out of the park as you please. It was a fun filled day exploring the zoo and garden, eating icees and feeding goats.
RUN DOWN DETAILS
Where: 500 Wildlife Parkway, Columbia, SC 29210
Adults — $19.95 plus tax
Children ages 2–12 — $16.95 plus tax
Children younger than 2 — FREE
Military (please present military ID at gate) — $17.95 plus tax
Senior Citizens (ages 62 and up; please present photo ID at gate) — $17.95 plus tax
Parking Price: $5
Busyness: Medium (plenty of space for social distancing)
Until Next Time, Stay Safe & Stay Trippin'