5 Reasons You Should Visit the Santa Barbara Zoo this Winter

santa barbara zoo

5 Reasons You Should Visit the Santa Barbara Zoo this Winter

Home to more than 500 animals, the Santa Barbara Zoo is a popular attraction, year-round, for visitors and locals alike. At the zoo, you’ll come across 146 different species, frequent entertaining events and lots of sustainable programs. Still unsure about visiting? Here’s five reason why you and your family should stop by the Santa Barbara Zoo this winter!


There’s Sledding and Snow Leopards    

In California, there aren’t many opportunities to play in the snow. However, on Dec 8 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., kids have the chance to sled and celebrate the endangered snow leopard during the Santa Barbara Zoo’s Snow Leopard Festival. Throughout the afternoon, both kids and the animals will enjoy over 50 tons of snow, available to sled and play in (animals will be playing in their pens, no worries). There will also be photo opportunities with Santa and bounce houses. Purchase unlimited sled and bounce house passes at the event for just $5.


It’s Home to Over 500 Animals    

Throughout the Santa Barbara Zoo, you’ll come across over 500 animals, belonging to 146 different species of mammals, reptiles, birds and insects. All animals are exhibited in naturalistic habitats and many are carefully managed to guard against potential extinction. In fact, the Santa Barbara Zoo is one of the 220+ accredited zoos and aquariums that participates in the conservation program, “Species Survival Plans.” Families also have the chance to get up-close-and-personal with the animals by taking the Zoo’s Behind-the-Scenes Tour. An experienced guide will lead you on a private tour through some of the exhibits while sharing fun facts about a zookeeper’s average day.


Weekends Mean Explorer Fundays   

Special Explorer Fundays are held every Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. in the Zoo’s Explore Store. Each Funday features an easy arts and crafts project, centered around an animal or event happening at the Zoo. Visit on Dec 7 or Dec 8 and celebrate the snow leopard by recreating one with paint. These activities are free (just pay the cost of Zoo admission) and open to kids of all ages.


Proceeds Go Towards Saving Wildlife    

One of the most important reasons to visit the Santa Barbara Zoo? Your proceeds go towards the Zoo’s many wildlife conservation efforts. The Zoo is involved in both local and global conservation programs, like the California Condor Recovery Program and Island Fox Recovery.


Inn at East Beach’s Family Package Includes Zoo Tickets

Opt for the Family Fun Santa Barbara Package at Inn at East Beach and you won’t have to worry about purchasing tickets to the Santa Barbara Zoo! The package includes tickets to the Santa Barbara Zoo for each guest, as well as:

  • 2 night accommodations in a Family Suite
  • Tickets to the MOXI Museum of Exploration for each guest
  • Pizza delivered to your room on a night of your choosing
  • Santa Barbara Zoo souvenir in room upon arrival
  • Complimentary breakfast each morning of your stay


With a wide variety of animals, exciting events and meaningful programs, the Santa Barbara Zoo is a must-visit attraction. Before you plan your trip to Santa Barbara, make sure to take advantage of the Family Fun package at Inn at East Beach for tickets to the Zoo and more!




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