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Why You Must 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 – although they stayed lit previous the vacation – the newly christened Lights at Riverbanks is likely one of the most uncommon Christmas mild shows in South Carolina. And after I say uncommon, I imply that you have to 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 evening. 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, fireplace pits, and get an image taken with Santa.

Discover out all the things you have to learn about attending the Lights at Riverbanks.

Youngsters heat their fingers at a bonfire throughout 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. Make sure to 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 Price?

Admission to the Lights at Riverbanks is $15 for adults, $12 for kids age 2-12, and free for kids underneath 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 quite a bit.
Most likely about 1,000,000.

The Lights at Riverbanks was some 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, crimson, and pink throughout the sidewalk and mirrored within the water of ponds.

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

I walked by way of the zoo 5 instances the one evening I went. If I had been an area I might have gone no less than two separate nights. However no less than 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 throughout 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 observe the show. It was actually one of many extra attention-grabbing points of interest on the zoo throughout Lights at Riverbanks.

Santa Claus ready and principally longing for the following group of photographs on the Lights Earlier than Christmas.

Photographs with Santa

What Christmas occasion is full with out Santa Claus? Every evening till December 23 Santa may be discovered on the Safari Camp lined shelter after 6 p.m. Photographs with Santa are free since you convey your personal digicam. The road moved fairly fast and I used to be shocked at how properly it was managed contemplating there was no pesky photographer directing site visitors (full disclosure: I’ve been that pesky photographer prior to now).

READ MORE: 9 Implausible Christmas Occasions You Don’t Need 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 evening throughout Christmas in Columbia, it might have been the half hour I spent making s’mores on the Jingle Bell Bonfire. An unlimited propane fireplace pit between the ocean lions and aquarium lit up the evening.

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

READ MORE: All the pieces You Must Know Concerning the Vacation Lights on the River at Saluda Shoals Park in Columbia, SC (Up to date for 2022)

The carousel spins at nighttime with a flash show throughout the Lights Earlier than Christmas.

Have you ever ever ridden a carousel at evening? I don’t know if it’s actually any completely different than using throughout the day but it surely seemed like a neat factor to do throughout the Lights at Riverbanks. A protracted line of households eagerly waited for the possibility to hop onboard and take just a few spins.

There have been a few fireplace pits within the giant pavilion beside the carousel. It was an opportunity for folks to heat their fingers or simply have a very good chat beside an open fireplace. It was actually a spot I loved taking a load off my ft for a couple of minutes (I circled the zoo 5 instances, keep in mind?).

A comfortable 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 fortuitously it’s a simple approach. The Greystone Boulevard exit on Interstate
126 leads on to the zoo. Simple off, simple on once you’re prepared to depart.

Nearly as quickly as you flip down Rivermont Drive you’ll see
the doorway to the zoo on the proper. There was a gentleman standing on the market
after I arrived directing site 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 infinite 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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