To celebrate Mother's Day we took a short road trip to the Riverbanks Zoo and Gardens in Columbia, South Carolina.
The Riverbanks Zoo has the usual collection of exotic animals
both large and small.
Out personal favorites were the birds all of which looked healthy and happy.
The flamingos were so pink and perfect they looked like animated statues,
and their King Vultures were so pleased with their habitat
that they posed for photos for their fans
But the attractions didn't stop at the wildlife exhibits.
There is really something for everyone here
For the little one there is a demonstration farm complete with a barn where the little ones can pet baby farm animals or take a pony ride
For the middle school the is a rock climbing wall
and a water park
And for seriously athletic big kids there is a tree high jungle gym ,
or a hiking trail that takes you across the Saluda River,
complete with historical markers posted along the way.
For the culturally minded there is a grassy slope which is perfect to picnic while listening to an open air concert.
CC's personal favorite part of the Riverbanks Park is the Botanical Gardens
To get there you take a short tram ride a through a lush ravine along the Saluda River. The main garden is divided into two portions:
On the right as you enter is a cottage garden filled with antique roses,
beautiful cut flowers,
And lots of nooks to sit back and enjoy the setting.
On the left is a formal garden set out in a pattern of geometric plots
filled with colorful exotics.
We arrived at a time between seasons. To keep the portions of the garden visually interesting, while waiting for the summer foliage to fill in, the staff utilizes a lot of colorful garden crafts,
and lots and lots of bold foliage potted plants
In fact, art and craft is used throughout the entire grounds of both the zoo and gardens to enhance otherwise utilitarian objects, like:
directional maps, and signage,
and as barriers to keep people from walking of the official path.
Arts, crafts, lots of exotic plants and animals.... it was CC's idea of the perfect place to spend Mother's Day!