All About Themed Days at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History

From countless interactive exhibits to ample learning opportunities, the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History is the perfect place for families to visit while in Santa Barbara. Continue reading for all the details you need to know about the museum’s exhibits and special themed days.


About the Museum

Founded in 1916, the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History boasts a collection of over 3.5 million specimens and a variety of state-of-the-art interactive exhibits.. Through these exhibits and special events, visitors have the chance to explore and learn about every aspect of natural history. The museum also includes the Central Coast’s only planetarium and the Sea Center, located on Stearns Wharf. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.


Shark Sundays at Sea Center

As part of the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, the Sea Center hosts several themed days for visitors, like Shark Sundays. On Sundays at the Sea Center from 3:30 p.m. – 4 p.m., guests can help feed the sharks and rays at Shark Cove. You’ll have the chance to learn about shark biology from the Center’s experts and then assist in feeding. The best part? This program is included in Sea Center admission. Pro tip: Space is limited, so make sure to arrive early if you want a spot!


Other Upcoming Events at the Museum   

Along with Shark Sundays, the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History hosts a variety of other special events. Here’s a few coming up in December.

  • Dec 6: Annual Book Sale – stop by the Museum Library from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Dec 14: Star Party – visit in the evening and take a tour of the night sky from the Palmer Observatory
  • Dec 15: Photos with Santa – bring the kids to the Holiday Pavilion for a photo with Santa
  • Dec 15: Free Admission Day – free museum admission is offered once a month from Sep through April
  • Jan 25: Free Admission Day – in part of  SoCal Museums Annual Free-For-All Day


Tickets to the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History

General admission to the museum includes access to all interactive exhibits, including the planetarium and outdoor Museum Backyard. Adult tickets are $15, while senior (65+) tickets are $12. Teens ages 13 to 17 are $12 and children ages 3 to 12 are $9. Kids 2 and under are free. Admission to the Sea Center is $9 for adults, $8 for seniors and teens, $7 for children and free for kids ages 2 and under.


Hotel Near Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History  

If you’re visiting the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History with the family, then why not make your trip an entire weekend of excitement with the Family Fun package at Inn at East Beach? This offer includes a two-night stay in a Family Suite, tickets to the Santa Barbara Zoo, tickets to the Moxie Museum of Exploration, pizza delivered to your room, a zoo souvenir and complimentary breakfast each morning of your stay.


Make sure your trip to Santa Barbara includes the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History! Before you visit, don’t forget to book the Family Fun package at Inn at East Beach.




Spanish Garden Inn
A stylish boutique hotel surrounded by fresh foliage and adorned with hand-painted art. 915 Garden St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101. 805.564.4700

Inn at East Beach
Whatever makes your ideal California weekend getaway, the Inn at East Beach Hotel in Santa Barbara is here to help you stay well- and well within your budget! 1029 Orilla Del Mar, Santa Barbara, CA 93103. 805.965.0546