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) : $18
Children (2-12) : $10
Seniors (65+) : $13
Children Under 2 : Free
$11/vehicle (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.
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.
Current show: now through August 25
Wild Things Photography Competition finalists, featuring the Santa Barbara Zoo’s beautiful animals. This exhibit is part of a collaboration with the Wildling Museum in Solvang.
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 a.m.– 2 p.m. 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…
Come aboard and learn to be a Santa Barbara Zoo Railroad engineer! Participants will participate in daily train safety checks, ride with an engineer on the locomotive, blow the Zoo Train whistle, and more.
Included are an engineer’s cap, bandana, train whistle, certificate, and a special button. Get more info and buy tickets online.
Cost: $230/person, $130/person for SB Zoo Members.
Want to take a break from walking around and let your little one express herself? Stop by the Explore Store to make an easy, eco-friendly craft that’s fun for all ages. Explorer Fundays are held every Saturday & Sunday from 11 a.m.–2 p.m. and are free with Zoo admission. Each weekend features a different craft activity.
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: $6/person, $5/for SB Zoo Members. Open 11:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Friday–Sunday. Operation times may vary due to weather.
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 times may vary due to weather and/or animal behavior.
Open 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. and 1:30–2:30 p.m.
Please try to get in line 15 minutes prior to feeding end times.
Cost: $8/adult, $5/adult for SB Zoo Members; $4/child, $2/child for SB Zoo 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 on weekends at noon and 3 p.m.
Cost: free with Zoo admission. Show times may be canceled due to weather.
Search for gems in “them thar hills”– well, near the Barnyard, anyway. Pan for fossils, shark teeth, and gems at Tiny’s Mining Camp (named for the grizzly bear who stars in “California Tales”). Purchase a bag of “ore,” then sift, shake, and pan for hidden treasures in the 12-foot long sluice box complete with running water, just like the ones used during the California Gold Rush. Open daily.
Ore Bags (each contains keepsake)
If you are a morning person, love animals, and are 60+ years old, you’ll love Walk on the Wild Side! Join this lively crew and get your exercise on while enjoying the Zoo.
Class meets Tuesdays & Thursdays on Zoo grounds for one hour and is designed to improve cardiovascular fitness, strength, flexibility, balance, and range of motion. Instructor D’ann Lawson will make sure you see lots of animals while you move.
Cost: first class is FREE. Sign up at the Zoo’s front gate.
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. Operation times may vary due to weather.
Cost: Adults & seniors (13+)/$6.50, SB Zoo Members/$5; Children (2-12)/$6, SB Zoo Members/$4.50 Children under 2 are free.
Keeper Talks for August 18, 2018
- 10:30 amHumboldt Penguin Feed and Talk
- 11:00 amCalifornia Condor Talk
- 1:00 pmGuided Train Ride with Zookeeper Cassie
- 1:30 pmAfrican Spurred Tortoise Talk (next to African Lion)
- 2:00 pmAmur Leopard Talk
- 2:15 pmNavajo Sheep Training (at Barnyard)
- 3:30 pmWestern Lowland Gorilla Talk
- 4:30 pmGiant Anteater 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 provides parking for $11/vehicle: however, on summer days and weekends the lot fills early. Accessible parking spaces are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Auxiliary parking may be found outside the Zoo.We do not allow sports equipment, balloons, barbeques, skateboards, roller skates, bicycles, or pets in the Zoo. Barbeques, RV’s, and pets are not allowed in the Zoo parking lot.
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.
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 on the Zoo Accessibility page to help make your Zoo visit a safe, enjoyable, and memorable one.
For your safety, shirt, shoes, and bottoms are required when visiting the Santa Barbara Zoo.
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.
Beer and wine are available at both the Ridley-Tree House and the Wave.
There are also several specialty food carts (seasonal) and vending machines throughout the Zoo.
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.
Need a place to stash your stuff while you enjoy the Zoo? Lockers are available for rent at the main Gift Shop for $6, $5 for SB Zoo Members.
If you are visiting Santa Barbara from out of town, consider staying at one of these fine hotels and hideaways.
Photography and 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.
No smoking or vaping is permitted.
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
Wheelchairs are available for rental on a first-come, first-served basis for $7/each, $6/each for SB Zoo Members 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 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, ext. 119.