Visitor Information

With 30 acres and 500 animals, we've got 1 great Zoo!

Santa Barbara Zoo
500 Niños Drive
Santa Barbara, CA 93103
Main Phone: (805) 962-5339
Info Line: (805) 962-6310
Admissions Office: (805) 963-5695

Open every day 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.,  10:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas.

"Such a charming place that [it is] worth a visit whether you have the kids in tow or not." - Insider's Guide to Santa Barbara

Plan Your Visit

An average Zoo visit lasts 2.5 hours; but many guests spend a half day meandering the grounds, taking in the Pacific Ocean views, and enjoying a picnic lunch or dinner after visiting the animals. If you're short on time, our Zoo Map highlights the "Must-See" exhibits. Also, be sure to check out the Visitor Kiosk just inside the front entrance for keeper talks and other events.

Also, check the event calendar before you visit, as sometimes the Zoo hosts after-hours events that require early closure.   

Admission Tickets

Ticket Prices
Adults 13-64: $15
Children 2-12: $10
Seniors 65+: $12
Children under 2: Free

Buy tickets online.

Parking: $6 (free with SB Zoo Membership)

Local College (UCSB, SBCC, and Westmont) Student Discount: $2 off adult admission Monday-Thursday only. Blackout dates: Memorial Day through Labor Day, holidays, and Zoo Special events; please call ahead with discount inquiries.

Animals Off Exhibit

10/7/14: The Chinese alligator is off exhibit today.

In the event of inclement weather, some animals may be off display or given access to their inside holding areas. Animals may also be temporarily off exhibit due to routine medical checkups or exhibit maintenance. For a complete list, contact Guest Services at (805) 962-5339. 


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.
Food cost: $2/cup. Visiting the barnyard is free.

Climb for Condors
A soaring experience at the Zoo! Climb our 26’ rock wall, and learn what it takes to save an endangered species. Operation times may vary due to weather.
Cost: $5/climb for SB Zoo Members, $6/climb for Non-members.

Dino Show: "Chomp! Chomp! Dinosaurs are Picky Eaters"
A family-friendly, 15-minute lively presentation with human hosts and three dinosaurs, including Duncan the T. Rex, Lily the parasaurolophus, and Tulip the baby triceratops. More info...
“Chomp! Chomp!” performances at 12:00 & 3:00 p.m. daily through Labor Day weekend. On July 31, show times will be at 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

Cost: free with Zoo admission.

Giraffe Feeding

Get up close and personal with the tallest residents of the Zoo! Hand feed Baringo 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. Giraffe deck will open late, at 12:00 p.m., on Saturday, May 24. 

Cost: $5 per person/SB Zoo Members; $6 per person/Non-members.

Kallman Family Play Area

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.

Zoo Train 

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.

SB Zoo Members: adults & seniors (13+) $4.50, children (2-12) $4.00.

Non-members: adults & seniors (13+) $5.00, children (2-12) $4.50.

Children under 2: free.


Behind-the-Scenes Experiences

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...

Backstage Pass
Meet some of our animals up close and personal. Backstage Passes allow you to work alongside a zookeeper, and enjoy interactive encounters with your favorite animals, most of which can only be seen up close by Backstage Pass holders like you! More...

Behind-the-Scenes Tours
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...



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 an informal Mexican-inspired meal, light snack or ice cream, and 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.

Directions & 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.

From the South on U.S. 101: Take the Hot Springs/Cabrillo Boulevard exit. Turn left on Cabrillo and continue to the first stop light. Turn right on Niños Drive. The entrance is on the right side across from the playing fields.

From the North on U.S. 101: Take the Milpas Street exit. Turn right on Milpas Street and turn left on Cabrillo Boulevard. Turn left at the first light, which is Niños Drive. The entrance is on the right side across from the playing fields.

View Larger Map

The Zoo does provide parking for $6 per vehicle: however, on summer days and weekends the lot fills early. Auxiliary parking may be found outside the Zoo.

Alternate Transportation 

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.


Disabled Access

The Zoo is fully accessible to the disabled, and wheelchairs are available for rental ($6) at the Gift Shop. Limited parking for the disabled is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Event Calendar

Check our Event Calendar to see what's happening the day of your visit. Occasionally, the Zoo closes early to prepare for special events; this information will be noted on the event calendar.

Gifts & Souvenirs

There are plenty of places for you to take a little bit of the Zoo 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 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 (where you can make your own “wild” animals from Animaland) and gift carts around the Zoo.

Lodging Nearby

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.

Smoking Policy

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 $6
Double stroller $8
Wagon $7

Zoo Map

View our Zoo Map.

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