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Hanging Out at Pier 39 in Columbia

If you haven't been to Riverbanks Zoo in the last year, you probably wouldn't recognize it anymore.
They completely revamped the entrance to the zoo.

The grizzly bears {Butch & Sundance} got a new habitat area to call home.

A trio of river otters came to town.

The Botanical Gardens got a major addition in the form of Waterfall Junction which I thought might be the coolest thing that they had ever added to the zoo.

Y'all. RUN {don't walk!} to the zoo and check this out when it officially opens to the public on June 9th. Riverbanks Zoo members were allowed to visit the new exhibit during the week of May 16 -20 and I took advantage of the special sneak peeks one day after work.

The new exhibit is set up to look like Pier 39 in San Francisco and they did such a great job designing and building it.

You can hang out up above the water.

You can hang out outside and see the sea lions through the clear tank walls.

You can wander down inside the exhibit and get even more up close and personal with the sea lions. Although, fair warning, small children squeal loudly in excitement every single time a sea lion swims past {which is often} and it gets really loud in this area.

There are four sea lions swimming around now and they'll be joined by one seal. The seal had just arrived a few days prior to the sneak peek viewings so we didn't get to see him. He was still adjusting and wasn't out to play just yet.

I can't say enough about all of the changes that have been implemented at the zoo over the last couple of years! They have all been fantastic additions and well worth the wait and occasional inconvenience due to construction. There's one last piece to complete though before all of the work will be over at the zoo: the new pedestrian bridge.

For years, people in overflow parking have had to cross the train tracks to get to the zoo. Soon there will be a brand new pedestrian bridge over the train tracks to help people access the zoo more safely.
While I was there to check out the sea lions, I also checked out the progress of the bridge. I had just missed {by like an hour} the crane lifting the walkway portion of the bridge into place but did get to see them do a little work on it. The bridge is slated to open later this summer.


  1. I haven't been to the zoo in years! This makes me want to go visit mine :)

  2. Looks like it was a fun day! glad that your zoo is making it easier to access for everyone, too :)

  3. Ahh so many fun new exhibits! Dying over the otter exhibit though, I LOVE watching them play! <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

  4. I am hoping to go to the zoo with my family this weekend - this post has me even more excited!

  5. I honestly can't tell you the last time I went to the zoo :( xo, Biana BlovedBoston

  6. I was playing kickball by our zoo last night and was remembering your other zoo post from the other day. This seals it, I have to visit the zoo asap!

  7. This is sooooo fun, love the zoo!

  8. So fun that you got a sneak peak of the new features at the zoo! The sealion exhibit looks so cool. I am a total nerd for bridges and would have loved to see it being erected!
    Evelina @ Fortunate House

  9. I'd be all about the sea lions! With how much you love the zoo I know you're loving this!

  10. I love the zoo!! Last year my husband won free tickets to the Philadelphia Zoo and I was in my glory lol. The otters are my favorite!

  11. wow, the bridge looks really cool. actually, all of it looks really awesome. what a nifty zoo. i don't go to the zoo nearly enough.. in fact, i've never been to the louisville one. i'll change that this year!


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