Zoo Accessibility

At the Santa Barbara Zoo, everyone is welcome, and we strive to make every guest’s visit as fun and educational as possible. Please use the information below to help make your Zoo visit a safe, enjoyable, and memorable one.

Clear Window Face Masks for Visible Expression

If you or someone in your group is deaf or hard of hearing, please ask our front gate staff to use a clear window mask for better communication.

Wheelchair/ECV rental

Wheelchairs are available for rental on a first-come, first-served basis at the main gift store near the Zoo’s entrance. You may also make a reservation for a wheelchair at (805) 962-5339, ext. 119.

Electric convenience vehicles (ECV) are available to rent at the main Gift Store. Due to limited supply, reservations are recommended: (805) 962-5339, ext. 119.

  • Wheelchair: $7/day, $6/day for SB Zoo Members
  • ECV: $30*/day, $25/day for SB Zoo Members

*ECV rentals require a $10 deposit.


Accessible parking spaces are available in the Zoo’s parking lot on a first-come, first-served basis.


The Zoo’s two restaurants offer gluten-free and dairy-free selections. The Ridley-Tree House Restaurant serves delicious grilled items, sandwiches, salads, and other tasty delights. At the Wave, you’ll enjoy sandwiches, kid-friendly meals, light snacks, and ice cream along with sweeping ocean and mountain views on the Zoo’s hilltop cafe. Hot food is served until 4:30 p.m., and beer and wine are available.

COMING SOON: Sample menu

There is a beverage cart with snacks (seasonal), and vending machines are found throughout the Zoo.

Service Animals

Service animals are allowed if they meet ADA’s definition as “a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability.” Pets, emotional support animals, comfort animals, and therapy dogs are not allowed in the Zoo. Read more information about the AZA’s service animal policy here.

Social Narrative

Make your visit a little easier with this visual story. Landmarks, quiet spaces, and other helpful information can be found in the social narrative, Let’s Visit the Santa Barbara Zoo.

Sensory Backpack

Sensory backpacks are available for rent at the admissions window on a first-come, first-served basis. Each kit includes a number of items that may be helpful for visiting the Zoo with a child who is sensory sensitive.

Backpack inventory:

  • Zoo car
  • Fidget cube
  • Noise-canceling headphones
  • Squeeze balls
  • Scavenger hunt
  • Animal squeeze toy

$5/day for rental. Call (805) 962-5339 to reserve.