Whenever we visit Santa Barbara, we never miss an opportunity to visit the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center.   Located on Stearns Wharf, what this sea center may lack in size it makes up for in quality.

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center

Upon entering the exhibits kids can look at and crawl through a 1,500-gallon tidepool tank.  It’s up close and beautiful, filled with local creatures.

Our twins loved the Shark Cove exhibit where they were invited to gently touch coastal sharks and rays.  They were fascinated by the baby sharks, which can be seen inside their translucent eggs.

At the Intertidal Wonders exhibit, you can touch and feel sea anemones, starfish and hermit crabs.  Trained naturalists stand by to engage and answer questions.  Our boys really enjoyed this hands-on experience.

Our teen was quick to head upstairs to the dimly lit and beautiful “Jellies & Friends” exhibit.  Black lights glow through tanks full of these gorgeous creatures as they move slowly through the water.  They are like floating artwork.  

Upstairs they also have a small reading area for young kids and an adorable puppet theater.  

Marina Puppet Theater

Marina Puppet Theater

The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center is open daily from 10 to 5 but is closed on most major holidays.  

Adults: $8.50
Seniors (65 and over): $7.50
Teens (13-17 years): $7.50
Children (2-12 years): $6.00
Children under 2 years FREE
Museum Members FREE

The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center

The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center

They also sell the SB Nature Pass that includes unlimited admission to both the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and the Sea Center for two days.  They’re both well worth a visit for kids of any age.

The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center

The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center

If you are interested in visiting Santa Barbara, check out our other post on Family Fun in Santa Barbara.

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Sea Center Fun in Santa Barbara