Hours and Tickets
The Zoo is open every day. Hours are 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., and 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas. The Zoo closes early for some special events.
Adults (13-64) : $17
Children (2-12) : $10
Seniors (65+) : $13
Children Under 2 : Free
$7/vehicle M–F; $10/vehicle Sat. & Sun. (One free vehicle with SB Zoo Membership)
Guests can observe the preparation of food for the 500+ animals at the Zoo from a large window overlooking the Ridley-Tree Animal Kitchen. An AV system allows guests to hear staff talk about how they create healthy and balanced meals for the Zoo’s animals.
Cost: free with Zoo admission.
The beautiful, white-walled Volentine Gallery in Discovery Pavilion is open to the public during regular Zoo hours and special events. It features changing exhibits that relate to the natural world and the Zoo’s mission of conservation, education, research, and recreation. The current exhibit is Animals Make Their Mark With Paint, and features artwork created by the Zoo’s animals, who all have a unique style and favorite tool, be it trunks, tails, or toes! Paintings are also for sale, with proceeds benefitting the Zoo.
Cost: free with Zoo admission.
The barnyard is home to domestic sheep, which you can feed with specially formulated pellets available for purchase at the Explore Store adjacent to the barnyard. Open daily 11 AM – 2 PM or until food runs out.
Food cost: $4/feeding, $3/for SB Zoo Members. Visiting the barnyard is free.
Keeper for a Day
Experience a full day working with your favorite animals at the Santa Barbara Zoo as an honorary zookeeper. You will have the unique opportunity to participate in behind-the-scenes activities and assist zookeepers in their daily tasks of caring for the animals which include preparing food and enrichment, training animals, and cleaning. More…
This is your opportunity to go on a guided tour of the Zoo and learn about how zookeepers care for the animals that reside here, conservation issues, and get a close-up view of some of our animals and exhibits along the way. More…
A soaring experience at the Zoo! Climb for Condors on our 26’ rock wall, and learn what it takes to save an endangered species.
Climbers must weigh between 45 and 250 lbs.
Cost: $5/climb or $8/all-day climbing. Open Noon–2:30 p.m. daily; operation times may vary due to weather.
Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas: open 11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.
Get up close and personal with the tallest residents of the Zoo! Hand feed Masai giraffes and have the experience of a lifetime. Please call ahead to check on giraffe feeding schedule and times or check at the admissions upon your arrival; feeding schedule is flexible based on the animals’ behavior and therefore not guaranteed.
Open weekdays 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. and weekends 11:30 a.m.–12:45 p.m. and 1:30–2:45 p.m.
Please try to get in line 15 minutes prior to feeding end times.
Cost: $5 per person/SB Zoo Members; $8 per person/Non-members.
A place to let your little ‘animals’ run wild! The Kallman Family Play Area, located across from the Zoo Train station, is full of fun stuff for the little ones. Pretend you’re a dinosaur and hide in one of the ‘dinosaur eggs’; be a spider as you crawl across the giant rope web; or, slide or roll down the perennial favorite ant hill.
“Dino Doc” – The Zoo’s three high-tech dinosaurs get a check-up in a lively 15-minute performance about the zoo’s veterinarian.
“California Tales” has a new show featuring “Tiny” the 8-foot tall talking grizzly bear aided by co-star puppets: a raven, turtle, California condor, and coyote. More…
Performances weekends only:
“Dino Doc” at 11:30 a.m. & 3 p.m., “California Tales” at 1:30 p.m.
Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day: “Dino Doc” performance at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Cost: free with Zoo admission.
Don’t miss a ride on the Zoo Train! Two C.P Huntington trains that circle the perimeter of the Zoo delight visitors of all ages.
Cost: Adults & seniors (13+)/$6, SB Zoo Members/$4.50; Children (2-12)/$5.50, SB Zoo Members/$4. Children under 2 are free.
Keeper Talks for January 17, 2017
- 10:30 amAsian Elephant talk
- 11:00 amHumboldt Penguin talk and feed
- 11:30 amSlender-tailed Meerkat talk and feed
- 2:00 pmAsian Elephant talk
- 3:30 pmSnow Leopard talk
Directions and Parking
The Zoo is located in Santa Barbara, CA, approximately 90 miles north of Los Angeles, 25 minutes north of Ventura, and 40 miles south of Solvang.
The Zoo does provide parking for $7/vehicle M–F and $10/vehicle Sat. & Sun.: however, on summer days and weekends the lot fills early. Auxiliary parking may be found outside the Zoo.
Take the $.50 Waterfront shuttle! Visit Santa Barbara’s MTD site for schedule. Amtrak also has a train station very close to the Zoo, see their website for more information. Also, for local transportation discounts, visit Santa Barbara Car Free.
We do not allow barbeques, skateboards, roller skates, bicycles, or pets in the Zoo. Barbeques, RV’s, and pets are not allowed in the Zoo parking lot.
The Ridley-Tree House Restaurant serves delicious grilled items, sandwiches, salads, and other tasty delights. Relax in our garden courtyard while you eat. Hot food is served until 4:30 p.m.
Enjoy sandwiches, kid-friendly meals, light snacks, or ice cream along with sweeping ocean and mountain views at our hilltop cafe, the Wave.
There are also several specialty food carts (seasonal) and vending machines throughout the Zoo.
The Zoo is fully accessible to people with disabilities, and wheelchairs are available for rental for $7/$6 for SB Zoo Members at the main gift store near the Zoo’s entrance. Parking for the disabled is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Electronic convenience vehicle (ECV) are available to rent for $30/ea., $25/ea. for SB Zoo Members, plus a $10 deposit. They may be rented at the main Gift Store. Our ECV supply is limited, so please call ahead for reservations or additional information: (805) 962-5339.
Gifts and Souvenirs
There are plenty of places for you to get a little bit of the Zoo to take home with you. The Zoo’s main gift store is located near the entrance and is an exotic emporium of toys, books, and unique souvenirs. Stroller, wagon, and wheelchair rentals are available here.
The Explore Store, our eco-friendly shop, is located by the barnyard in the California Trails area of the Zoo. Find gifts or buy food for the barnyard animals here.
We also offer themed merchandise at the train station, you can make your own “wild” animals from the Zoo Workshop, or find something special at gift carts located around the Zoo.
If you are visiting Santa Barbara from out of town, consider staying at one of these fine hotels & hideaways.
Photography & Video
We encourage you to take photos and video for your own personal use. Commercial photography is allowed, but only with prior written permission. Please contact the marketing department for more information, or review our location filming policy. We may photograph visitors from time to time for promotional and educational purposes: entry to the Zoo grants permission for us to use these images.
Smartphone Zoo Videos
Enhance your Zoo experience; watch Zoo videos on your Smartphone! Look around the Zoo for QR (quick response) codes on signage at select exhibits, and enjoy bonus videos of our animals on your Smartphone. Ten locations in the Zoo currently have the added content, with more to come. For more information, read the press release.
The Zoo maintains a smoke-free environment.
Strollers are welcome throughout the Zoo, but please be considerate to others when navigating in crowded viewing areas. Strollers and wagons are available for rent at the Gift Store:
Single stroller $7/$6 for SB Zoo Members
Double stroller $9/$8 for SB Zoo Members
Wagon $8/$7 for SB Zoo Members