Family Friendly Things to Do in Santa BarbaraVisitors all agree; Santa Barbara is one big, beautiful playground for children of all ages -- so shake off those adult concerns, discover your inner child, and join the kids in an unforgettable adventure on The American Riviera®! When traveling with kids to Santa Barbara, you'll be delighted to learn that we offer an eclectic potpourri of fun, exciting, and educational activities for children and adults alike. Check out our Family Fun Trek for an outdoor adventure itinerary or Perfect Family Day itinerary.
Heading out into the Santa Barbara sandbox offers up a veritable treasure trove of family adventure, so be sure to bring swimsuits and plenty of sunscreen for a full day of outdoor fun in the sun! You can take the family for a bike ride along the Santa Barbara waterfront, learn to surf, enjoy some fresh strawberries at an outdoor picnic, or even spend some time at our safe, family-friendly beaches where the adults can sunbathe while aspiring sandcastle architects fortify their dream stronghold.
For a real treat, be sure to visit the Santa Barbara Zoo, where the only things more pampered than the visitors are the animals themselves! The whole family will marvel at the meticulously kept menagerie of exotic animals, all while taking in the stunning scenery at one of the country's most beautiful zoos. Visitors can ride the Zoo Train, play zookeeper for a day, take the elephant walk, go on a zoo tour, and even hand-feed the giraffes!
New at the zoo is a 15-foot-long, 7-foot-tall animatronic Tyrannosaurus Rex named Duncan, who joins the roster in a brand-new show called "How to Train Your Dinosaur." This massive prehistoric star was created by top Hollywood creature shop Chiodo Bros, and headlines an interactive show which demonstrates to visitors the special care given to the zoo's animals, and how certain animal behaviors can be trained - such as allowing his teeth to be brushed by a giant toothbrush!
This fun for everyone doesn't end at the zoo though, as Santa Barbara is home to exhibits, museums, and festivals that are both entertaining and informative. The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History connects kids to the science of nature through interactive displays and play areas, while the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden offers visitors a place of beauty and serenity to learn about plant life and nature conservation. The annual Santa Barbara Fair & Expo is also guaranteed to delight both young and old as well, with over 30 rides and attractions, including a Kid's Carnival area exclusively for the little ones.
When traveling with kids, there is no end to the fun and adventure you can have...or the stuff you need to carry around. That's why we've made it easy for you to travel light and rent everything you need right here -- bikes, snorkel gear, kayaks, strollers, and more, are all available for rent in Santa Barbara. We also know that traveling from one place to another can be hectic, but don't fret; everything in Santa Barbara is nearby, and all the major attractions are just a short, safe distance away.
For more on all the fantastic family activities there are to do in Santa Barbara, be sure to sign up for our family-fun e-newsletter, Go Play.
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