Riverbanks unwraps holiday cheer with Lights Before Christmas

Make tracks to Riverbanks for Columbia’s longest running holiday tradition as BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina presents the 28th annual Lights Before Christmas at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden.

Beginning on Friday, November 20 through the end of December, the Zoo will illuminate at 5:00 p.m. each evening with nearly one million twinkling lights and countless animated images. Guests are invited to meander through the park while soaking in the sights and sounds of the holiday season.

On chilly nights, cozy up to the Jingle Bell bonfire—an ideal retreat for toasting marshmallows or watching it snow. Riverbanks is the only place in town where the flakes fall every night. In addition, Santa Claus will be greeting guests at Santa’s Village starting at 6:00 p.m. each evening through December 23.

The Lights experience also offers guests a variety of mouthwatering munchies (for an additional charge). Flavorful favorites range from traditional funnel cakes to cinnamon sugar pretzels and all-new biscuit cakes.

Lights Before Christmas will take place from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., November 20 through December 30. Lights will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Admission is $10 for adults and $8 for children ages 2 to 12. Children under 2 are admitted free. Guests are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance online www.riverbanks.org. All Riverbanks members are eligible to receive one free visit with a valid membership and picture ID; guest passes will not be accepted.

Parking for Lights Before Christmas will be available on the Zoo side only located at 500 Wildlife Parkway, Columbia.

Author: Duane Childers

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