A few months ago we visited Riverbanks Zoo and Garden for the first time. Our oldest one had just learned about different animals in her pre-school class and was very excited to finally go to the zoo.
Columbia, SC is about a 1.5 hour drive from where we live in Charlotte, but because we drove with kids that trip turned out to be a 2.5 hour drive, which is still not too bad. Because it is a short drive from us, we didn’t end up staying at any hotels, and made this into a 1 day-trip.
Visiting a zoo with a 2-yr old is definitely different from going by yourself or with another adult. You end up staying longer to see the animals that THEY (the 2-r old) want to see instead of the ones you’re interested in, but after all…it is a zoo, and it is primarily for the kids.
We really enjoyed our visit to Riverbanks Zoo because it is not too big where it would require a lot of walking, but it is big enough to make it interesting and to want to visit again. To me, it was the first time that I saw farm animals at a zoo. Usually we see exotic birds, or wild animals that are only seen on tv, but this zoo had farm animals, and of course our 2-yr old loved that!
They also have a botanical garden featuring local as well as exotic plants. Unfortunately we didn’t have enough time to visit the garden, but definitely next time!
Another fun thing at the zoo – the Adventure Tours (at an extra cost). The visitor gets to see the animals up close, meet the keepers and get a ‘behind-the-scenes’ tour. This is another experience we will have to come back for, since our youngest one was too little for it.
Who did my kids love the most? The flamingos, of course!
This turned out to be the perfect one-day trip on a beautiful Saturday, and we’ll definitely go back some time soon!