Going on safari doesn’t have to mean spending a lot of money, packing a lot of gear, or traveling internationally. Go on a Zoo Safari Sleepover and enjoy adventure, exotic animals, and lots of fun right here in Santa Barbara! Camp out with the family, Scout troop, or 4th grade class to experience the Santa Barbara Zoo…overnight.
Group Safari Sleepover
Minimum of 15 paid participants.
Great for groups, troops, and packs! You’ll explore the Zoo after hours, encounter some cool animals, camp under the stars, and enjoy a Zoo Train ride. Evening snack and breakfast are included. Please bring your own camping gear for overnight, including sleeping bags, tents (with rain flies), weather-appropriate clothing (think layers), flashlights, etc.
Group Safari Sleepovers must be booked no less than six weeks and no more than six months in advance.
Time: 6:30 PM – 10:30 AM (overnight), Cost: $85/person, $75/person for Scout troops, minimum 15 participants
If you belong to a Scout group and would like to complete merit badges/patches while on your sleepover, contact our education team by email or phone: (805) 962-5339, ext. 165 for pricing and customized curriculum. Click here for a list of available badges.
Family Safari Sleepover
No participant minimum required.
Fun for family and friends! With no minimum participant requirement, these special sleepover nights allow for families or groups of any size to enjoy the Zoo after hours for a very unique camping experience. Make s’mores by the fire, then sleep under the stars. In the morning, eat breakfast, enjoy an animal encounter, ride the Zoo Train, then tour the Zoo at your leisure. It’s a camping experience to remember!
Please bring your own camping gear for overnight safaris, including sleeping bags, weather-appropriate clothing (think layers), flashlights, etc. No showers are available and access to electricity is limited: hairdryers are not allowed.
June 24, July 22, August 5
Time: 6:30 PM – 10:30 AM (overnight), Cost: $85/person, $75/person for SB Zoo Members
California Safari Sleepover for Fourth Graders
Minimum of 15 paid participants.
Classes learn about animals and California history and sleep under the stars during this program tailor-made for California fourth graders. Teachers, bring your students to the Zoo for a fun break from the classroom without forfeiting standards—the Zoo program connects to both Next Generation Science Standards and California Common Core.
California Safari Sleepover programs are only held Thursday evenings through Friday mornings during the academic year.
Cost: $75/student or chaperone. One chaperone free/15 paid students. Includes admission to the Zoo on Friday.
Safari Sleepovers Frequently Asked Questions
Where do we sleep?
Your group has the option to choose between indoor and outdoor sleeping locations.
There are many outdoor sleeping locations throughout the Zoo. Your group’s location will be chosen by Zoo staff based on group size and availability. Requests for specific locations are accepted but not guaranteed.
When available, indoor sleeping in the Discovery Pavilion can accommodate up to 50 people.
What restroom facilities are available?
Safari Sleepover guests have access to the Rattlesnake Canyon restrooms, and Hilltop restrooms (when available) as well. The restrooms on Cabrillo Lawn are exclusive to Early Explorers Preschool and are not accessible for guests per licensing regulations. There are no shower facilities available for Safari Sleepover guests.
What food is included?
A fire-roasted s’mores snack is included in the evening and a hot pancake breakfast in the morning. Dinner is not included. We recommend that groups enjoy dinner prior to their arrival. Please make your group’s leaders aware of any food allergies. Guests are welcome to bring their own food or snacks, but please note that refrigeration space is not available.
Does the Zoo provide any camping gear?
No. Safari Sleepovers offer the opportunity to camp at one of the most beautiful places in Santa Barbara–and camping it is! We abide by the “pack it in, pack it out” and “leave it better than you found it” mottos. Groups will need to bring all of their own gear to be comfortable for the night.
Does the Zoo help transport our gear to the site?
No. You will need to transport your own luggage/gear. We recommend bringing wagons to help you bring your belongings from your vehicles to the sleeping location.
Someone in my group has additional needs. Do you provide accommodations?
We strive to run inclusive, accessible programs that enable all individuals to engage and participate fully.
To request accommodations or for inquiries about accessibility, please email the accessibility team.
How many people can the Zoo accommodate?
We can accommodate 15 to 200 participants, depending on availability. If needed, we can accommodate 200+ participants by special request.
When can I book a reservation?
Reservations are available six weeks to six months in advance, and a minimum of a 50% deposit is required to complete your reservation. The final payment will automatically be charged to the same credit card four weeks before your Sleepover date.
Does the Scout discount apply to parents and/or siblings?
Yes, the Scout price applies to the whole Scout group, including leaders, parents, Scouts, and siblings.