What to Do in Santa Barbara

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What to Do in Santa Barbara

Hello spring! With the bright sunshine and green grass, everyone is getting a bit of spring fever. If you’re ready to break outdoors and spend time with family and friends, visit Santa Barbara! Why? There’s plenty of family-friendly activities happening at the zoo, museums and more. And from May 25-27, the Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival will take over the Old Mission plaza, featuring over 150 street works of art. To plan your next visit to Santa Barbara, read below.


Activities at the Zoo

The Santa Barbara Zoo has something new every day with their Explorer Fundays program! The zoo is open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. every day, making it easy to visit their 500+ animals. Each day, kids can create crafts like clothespin caterpillars, newspaper owls and gorilla handprints. Hands-on exhibits like feeding giraffes and barn animals are perfect for kids of all ages. Other great activities include a rock-climbing wall and behind-the-scenes tours of the zoo. The Your Zoo, Your Planet: Endangered Species event will take place on May 26, from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. During the event, activities will be set up around the zoo to help promote conservation programs.


Other Family-Friendly Activities

For a different type of interactive experience, visit The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation (MOXI). It’s all about engaging visitors in interactive experiences related to science, technology, engineering, arts and math. Check out their exciting activity calendar here and their stimulating exhibits. For a truly memorable tour of Santa Barbara, board the Land Shark! This boat is designed with wheels so it can go land and sea cruising. Drive by historic landmarks and attractions in town, then splash into the Santa Barbara harbor to view the amazing coastline. The Land Shark has been known to spot sea lions, dolphins and even whales while out in the water. Before you book your tour, be sure to check out their schedule and tickets.


Hotel Near the Santa Barbara Zoo

To prevent the family from going wild, make sure they get a good night’s rest! Inn at East Beach is a beautiful family-friendly property near the Santa Barbara Zoo. Along with this hotel’s convenient location, it also offers an outdoor pool, stylish furniture and on-site bike rentals. At Inn at East Beach, you will stay well- and well within your budget!


Attend the Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival

On May 25-27, enjoy the beautiful Santa Barbara weather at the Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival. Every year street painters, or madonnari, transform the Old Mission Santa Barbara plaza into a vibrant and colorful canvas with over 150 designs. The festival will be open from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. at the corner of Los Olivos and Laguna Streets.  The festival benefits the Children’s Creative Project, serving over 50,000 local children with visual and performing arts workshops. This event is free to attend, so grab your family and enjoy a festival that won’t break the bank. When you’re done strolling through all the art displays, take a few steps further to the Italian Market. What’s an Italian event without some great food? An authentic Italian market with a “fabuloso array of Italian cuisine” and live music will be set up next to the street paintings.


Hotel Near Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival

Bring out your inner Italian by staying at a hotel with the same amount of gusto as the festival. Spanish Garden Inn is located near the Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival making it an extra-convenient stay for festival visitors. In-room spa treatments, a glistening outdoor pool and fresh foliage are all things you can expect to enjoy at this property.


Soak up some sunshine and enjoy all the family-friendly events in Santa Barbara this spring! Make it a weekend adventure by staying at one of the nearby hotels mentioned.



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

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