Why You Have to See the Lights at Riverbanks in Columbia, SC (Up to date for 2022)

As soon as recognized by the phrase jumble Lights Earlier than Christmas – regardless that they stayed lit previous the vacation – the newly christened Lights at Riverbanks is among the most uncommon Christmas gentle shows in South Carolina. And after I say uncommon, I imply that you must head into the capital metropolis subsequent weekend and see these lights.

Lights at Riverbanks is a uncommon alternative to discover the Riverbanks Zoo & Backyard at night time. However don’t go anticipating to see all types of wildlife swinging from bushes and growling atop fake rocks. The animals are asleep. And also you’re there to see the a million lights, hearth pits, and get an image taken with Santa.

Discover out the whole lot you must find out about attending the Lights at Riverbanks.

Children heat their palms at a bonfire through the Lights Earlier than Christmas.

When Can I See the Lights at Riverbanks?

The Lights at Riverbanks is held on choose dates from 5-9 p.m. You should definitely test the schedule twice.

2020 Lights at Riverbanks Schedule

  • Saturday, November 19 – Sunday, November 20, 2022
  • Wednesday, November 23, 2022
  • Friday, November 25 – Sunday, November 27, 2022
  • Wednesday, November 30, 2022 – Sunday, December 4, 2022
  • Wednesday, December 7 – Sunday, December 11, 2022
  • Wednesday, December 14 – Friday, December 23, 2022
  • Monday, December 26 – Friday, December 30, 2022

How A lot Does Lights at Riverbanks Value?

Admission to the Lights at Riverbanks is $15 for adults, $12 for youngsters age 2-12, and free for youngsters beneath 2.

Christmas Lights

I attempted counting the variety of Christmas lights on show
on the zoo however like all slacker I gave up after 100. There’s so much.
In all probability about 1,000,000.

The Lights at Riverbanks was one of the spectacular shows of Christmas lights I had ever seen. Strings of lights wrapped across the trunks of palm bushes and highlighted particular person branches of bushes. There have been so many lights they forged shadows of inexperienced, pink, and pink throughout the sidewalk and mirrored within the water of ponds.

Quirky gentle shows sat on each nook and tucked into
each alcove. Twinkling lights dangled from the tree branches overhead. A complete
tunnel of lights awaited guests to Ndoki Village in a far nook of the zoo.

I walked by means of the zoo 5 occasions the one night time I went. If I had been a neighborhood I might have gone at the least two separate nights. However at the least I’ve loads of fairly photos to recollect it by though I’m sure I might always remember that occasion.

READ MORE: 4 Locations to Discover Lovely Christmas Lights in Columbia, SC (Up to date for 2021)

A household stops to admire the Animated Story Tree through the Lights Earlier than Christmas.

Animated Story Tree

I didn’t get it at first. I stood again watching lights
dancing round a towering Christmas tree in the course of the zoo. Patterns.

Then I understood: it was a narrative tree! Animals traveled throughout the tree as tales unfolded. Households stopped in awe to look at the show. It was definitely one of many extra fascinating points of interest on the zoo throughout Lights at Riverbanks.

Santa Claus ready and principally looking forward to the following group of pictures on the Lights Earlier than Christmas.

Photographs with Santa

What Christmas occasion is full with out Santa Claus? Every night time till December 23 Santa might be discovered on the Safari Camp coated shelter after 6 p.m. Photographs with Santa are free since you deliver your individual digital camera. The road moved fairly fast and I used to be stunned at how effectively it was managed contemplating there was no pesky photographer directing visitors (full disclosure: I’ve been that pesky photographer up to now).

READ MORE: 9 Implausible Christmas Occasions You Don’t Wish to Miss in Columbia, SC (Up to date for 2021)

Folks roast marshmallows on the Jingle Bell Bonfire throughout Lights Earlier than Christmas.

Jingle Bell Bonfire

If I had been to select a favourite second of my favourite night time throughout Christmas in Columbia, it might have been the half hour I spent making s’mores on the Jingle Bell Bonfire. An unlimited propane hearth pit between the ocean lions and aquarium lit up the night time.

A close-by vendor bought the substances wanted to make good s’mores. A pair minutes of roasting a marshmallow on the open flame and also you had been prepared for a scrumptious deal with through the Lights Earlier than Christmas.

READ MORE: Every little thing You Have to Know Concerning the Vacation Lights on the River at Saluda Shoals Park in Columbia, SC (Up to date for 2022)

The carousel spins in the dark with a flash show through the Lights Earlier than Christmas.

Have you ever ever ridden a carousel at night time? I don’t know if it’s actually any completely different than driving through the day nevertheless it regarded like a neat factor to do through the Lights at Riverbanks. A protracted line of households eagerly waited for the prospect to hop onboard and take a couple of spins.

There have been a few hearth pits within the giant pavilion beside the carousel. It was an opportunity for folks to heat their palms or simply have an excellent chat beside an open hearth. It was definitely a spot I loved taking a load off my ft for a couple of minutes (I circled the zoo 5 occasions, bear in mind?).

A comfy patio with tables tucked away right into a quiet nook of the Riverbanks Zoo throughout Lights Earlier than Christmas.

Getting There & Parking

There is just one solution to get to the Riverbanks Zoo & Backyard
however thankfully it’s a simple manner. The Greystone Boulevard exit on Interstate
126 leads on to the zoo. Simple off, simple on while you’re prepared to go away.

Virtually as quickly as you flip down Rivermont Drive you’ll see
the doorway to the zoo on the suitable. There was a gentleman standing on the market
after I arrived directing visitors to the parking heaps.

There may be loads of parking on the Riverbanks Zoo & Backyard.
The higher parking is to show left after coming into the zoo car parking zone, drive beneath
the footbridge, and park on the different finish. That is the closest you’ll get to
the primary entrance.

Simply in case all this parking is full, that footbridge
crosses the railroad tracks to an unlimited car parking zone on the opposite aspect. That
car parking zone is accessed from Rivermont Drive earlier than turning into the zoo. There
is an elevator at both finish of the footbridge to help with accessibility.

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