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500 Ninos Drive • Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Special hours: Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas

10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  

Admission is free for children under 2

$11 for children 2 to 12 • $13 for adults 13 to 64

$18 for seniors 65 and older.


The Santa Barbara Zoo is located downtown near East Beach or Amtrak station, making it a great stop on a day trip to the world-famous Central Coast city.

The zoo has 146 species of mammals, reptiles, birds and insects with more than 500 animals that are exhibited in open, naturalistic habitats.

Some ever-popular exhibits are the elephants, flamingos, giraffes, monkeys and lions. There is a kids play area with a hill covered in faux grass that is perfect for sliding down on cardboard.

Attractions available for an extra fee include a train ride around the zoo, feeding the giraffes or barnyard animals, climbing for condors on the climbing wall or panning for ore in the Rattlesnake Quarry. 

The zoo has special events for a wide variety of zoo-fans. Here are some of our Central Coast TRVLR picks.


Autism Safari Nights  

June 20 | July 25 | August 22 • 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Drop the kids off to play while you connect with other parents of kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Children will enjoy a movie, reading corner, bounce house, and sensory activities while parents eat, drink, and mingle.


August 1 • 5 – 10 p.m.

Throw on a gaucho hat, shine up those dancing shoes, and bring an appetite for fun. Celebracion de los Dignatarios kicks off Fiesta week with the wildest party in Santa Barbara, including the infamous “Digs” margaritas, icy cold beer, and tasty regional wines. Enjoy yummy appetizers from top local eateries, boogie to the stinging sounds of DJ Hecktik, and hobnob with VIPs… like you. Viva DIGS! For more Fiesta activity info, visit the OSD website.