Birthday Parties

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Are you looking for a fun birthday party idea for your wild child? The Santa Barbara Zoo offers unique birthday party packages for children 12 & under, and the grown-ups will have a great time too!

Party Animal Package includes:
  • Admission to the Zoo
  • Parking, on a first-come, first-served basis
  • Scheduled animal encounter
  • Animal-themed tableware
  • Train tickets for a scheduled ride
  • “It’s My Birthday” button for birthday child
  • Animal face masks
  • Activity booklets and crayons
  • Birthday party host
  • Golf cart services

Please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions below for helpful information regarding Zoo birthday parties.

Animal Encounter

As a special treat for your guests, an education animal will come to visit your party. One of our Zoo staff members will bring an animal to your area for approximately 10-15 minutes. We have a variety of animals available including a skink, snake, rabbit, frog or toad, tortoise, or chuckwalla. You may request a specific animal, but due to weather restrictions, we cannot always honor the request. If we cannot provide the animal you asked for, another age-appropriate animal will be brought out

Note: As with the birthday party reservations, we need two weeks’ advance notice to book an education animal.

Party Tableware

The animal-themed tableware includes plates, cups, napkins, and tablecloths. One place setting per guest will be included in your party bag. Matching invitations will also be provided upon receipt of reservation form. Styles and patterns will vary depending on availability.

For more information about having your birthday party at the Zoo, please email Becky Abbott or call her at (805) 962-5339, ext. 127.

Birthday Party Pricing

Santa Barbara Zoo Members $22 per person*; Non-members $24 per person*. Must have a minimum of 10 people to book a birthday party.

*Each adult and/or child guest, including the hosts, must have a pre-paid birthday ticket.

How to Make a Birthday Party Reservation

To book a birthday party, call (805) 962-5339, ext. 127 or email Becky for a reservation form, and return it to the Zoo at least two weeks prior to your party date with your deposit payment. A final guest count, payment in full and any applicable catering order is due one week prior to the party. Admission tickets can be mailed to you or you can pick them up at the Zoo. All other party supplies will be in your party package and available for pick-up at the front gate on the day of your party. All fees are non-refundable; however, in case of rain you have up to one year to reschedule.

Birthday Party Add-Ons

Let us take care of the food for your wild child’s party! Many options available, please look at our birthday catering menu.

Prices vary.

Add goodie bags to your birthday party to make it a WILD success! Bags may be ordered by calling Becky at (805) 962-5339, ext. 127.

Prices vary.

Are you looking for a “wild” birthday present for your special birthday boy or girl? The Foster Feeder Birthday Basket is only available to guests who book a birthday party at the Zoo! Foster Feeder Birthday Basket includes: official Foster Feeder certificate, giraffe plush, coupon for free giraffe feeding, giraffe herd photo, giraffe fact sheet, birthday card, and recognition on the Zoo’s Foster Feeder Board for one year… more info

Cost: $65

Umbrellas: $25/each

Additional picnic tables: $25/each

Birthday Sites

Education Lawn

Centrally located next to the Zoo fountain, adjacent to the Carousel Lawn. (capacity: 30-40)

Elephant Deck

Wooden deck overlooking the elephant exhibit. Your group will have private use of half of the large wooden deck. (capacity: 30-40)

Hexagonal Tables

Next to Rolling Hill on Olive Road. (capacity: 20-30)

Palm Garden

Near the Hilltop, next to the Amphitheater. (capacity: 30-40)

Storytime Treehouse

A special “treehouse” deck located above the Kallman Family Play Area. Perfect for small parties. (capacity: 12)

Each area will be supplied with enough picnic tables to accommodate your group. Site rental fee is separate from party package, and is due at the time the reservation is made. Site rental may be extended to 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. for an additional $50.

Site-Only Pricing

If you choose to rent only a party area at the Zoo for your child’s party (without the birthday party package), the fees are as follows:

Site-only deposit
Party Package deposit
Elephant Deck
Raptor Roost
Hexagonal Tables
Storytime Treehouse
Education Lawn
Palm Garden
Cabrillo Lawn

Above fees are for a three-hour birthday party site rental only.

Frequently Asked Questions

Call or email Becky for a reservation form: (805) 962-5339, ext. 27. Once we receive your reservation form, we will send you an email confirming receipt of your reservation and that your site fee has been charged. The site fee is due at the time the reservation is made; all payments are final and non-refundable.

If you prefer to make your reservation over the phone, please call (805) 962-5339.

Final payments for your guests and any party add-ons are due 5 days before the party. If the balance is not paid within 5 days of the party, the party will be canceled and all materials and reservations will be forfeited.

Once we receive your reservation and the site has been secured, your invitations will be mailed out to you the next business day. Birthday invitations are only sent out when you reserve the Party Animal Package. Site-only birthday reservations do not receive invitations.

Our Birthday Party package offers a lot more than admission! The PartyAnimal Package fee provides all of your guests with fun zoo-themed tableware, an up-close animal encounter, and train rides. Additionally, all of the children will receive animal face masks, crayons and activity booklets. The price for SB Zoo Members is $22 per person and $24 per person for Non-Members.

You are more than welcome to bring in your own food and beverages for your party, though we do not allow outside caterers in the Zoo. If you have questions regarding food or beverages, please call (805) 962-5339, ext. 127.

For guests who want a hassle-free party where all you need to do is show up and have a great time, we do offer onsite catering. You can see the menu here. Fill out the catering form attached to the menu, and fax it in to us at (805) 730-9250.

When the tickets are paid for, we can mail you the tickets or leave the tickets at the front gate for you to pick up prior to your party.

The Santa Barbara Zoo adheres to a no-refund cancellation policy. If you are unable to attend your party, the payments that have been made will be considered a charitable donation and therefore will be considered tax-deductible. You may call to arrange a pick-up time to take all of your partyware, face masks, train tickets, etc. If it rains on the day of your party, you may have up to one year to reschedule your party. All of the payments previously made will go toward your new party date. Advanced notice for rescheduling your party must be made two weeks in advance.

For all food reservations, please call within 48 hours to cancel your order.

When you arrive, please check in at the front gate. If you selected the Party Animal Package, you will receive your party bags, which will contain all of your partyware, face masks, crayons, activity booklets, and train tickets. The tablecloths will be set up on the tables at your party site and ready for you to enjoy once you get to your site. If you have a 10:00 a.m. birthday reservation time, you may enter the Zoo at 9:45 a.m. to set up for your party. If you have a 1:30 p.m. reservation, you may arrive to your reserved site no earlier than 1:15 p.m. to set up.

When you select the Party Animal Package for your birthday, we offer golf cart service to help transport your party goods to the party site.

For Site-only reservations, you can rent a wagon from our Gift Store for $7.

Due to the safety of our animals, we do not allow balloons, confetti, or streamers in the Zoo. All other decorations will need to be approved by the front gate staff. If you have questions about decorations, please feel free to call or email us with any questions. On the day of the party, we will post signs at the front entrance as well as at your party site with the name and location of the person celebrating their birthday at the Zoo.

We do not allow any outside entertainment (magicians, face painters, etc.). If you would like to have face painters at your party, please contact Becky by phone (805) 962-5339, ext 127 or email.