11 Fun Family-Friendly Things to Do in Santa Barbara with Kids

Santa Barbara is an ideal vacation destination for those who want to mix sightseeing with leisure activities.

This California community has been called the American Riviera due to its beautiful surroundings and mild climate.

It’s a beautiful site, but there are also many things to do with kids.

There are things to do that are suitable for both teenagers and infants.

When visiting Santa Barbara with children, you can choose from a wide variety of activities, from learning about the city’s Spanish colonial history to enjoying the beautiful outdoors.

Planning to start right away?

Here’s a rundown of kid-friendly activities in Santa Barbara.

  1. Santa Barbara Zoo

The Santa Barbara Zoo, located about a mile from the beach, is a spacious 30-acre facility.

It’s a top pick for the best little zoo in the United States.

Why Your Family Should Go

No matter how old, all children like seeing animals at the zoo.

Therefore, the Santa Barbara Zoo is an easy choice for this weekend’s kid-friendly activities.

What to Do With Kids

The zoo is home to more than 146 different species, making it a great place to introduce your young animal lovers to some new companions.

Bottom of Form

The area is teeming with wildlife to explore, from Chilean flamingos and Bald Eagles to huge anteaters and otters.

Recommended Ages

Children as young as two can appreciate the Santa Barbara Zoo just as much as those in their late teens.

Some animal experiences restrict participants’ ages, so be sure to read the fine print.

  1. Stearns Wharf

Established in 1872.

Santa Barbara’s harbor features a pier known as Stearns Wharf.

Why Your Family Should Go

A stroll along this famous site is an excellent option for low-cost family enjoyment on the American Riviera.

It’s great fun in a laid-back, uncomplicated sense, and it features breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean.

What to Do With Kids

Stearns Wharf is a great site to take kids to Santa Barbara because there are so many things to do there, from window shopping to browsing souvenirs to cooling off with a cone of ice cream.

Recommended Ages

The whole family may have fun together at Stearns Wharf because it is enjoyable for people of all ages.

In other words, the pier has something that both a baby and a young adult may enjoy.

  1. Santa Barbara Channel

Santa Barbara Channel has a diversified environment, so much so that it is considered a life-rich transition zone.

Nonetheless, the opportunity to view whales has contributed to its current notoriety.

Why Your Family Should Go

Condor Express is one of the companies offering whale-watching tours.

The trip takes you out into the middle of the Santa Barbara Channel to observe whales and dolphins at play.

What to Do With Kids

Go at different times of year to see a wider variety of whales.

In the summer and spring, you’re more likely to spot blue whales, minke whales, and humpback whales.

The opposite is valid throughout the winter and fall when you’re more likely to see Gray whales and even Humpback whales.

Recommended Ages

Witnessing whales in their natural habitat is a fun experience for the whole family.

Finding as many whales and dolphins as possible is an enjoyable activity for kids as young as two and as elderly as late teens.

  1. MOXI

MOXI is a cutting-edge museum that explores the intersection between art and technology.

Why Your Family Should Go

Curious kids will enjoy exploring MOXI’s interactive exhibitions.

For families visiting Santa Barbara, this is indisputably a must-do activity.

What to Do With Kids

The museum’s Speed Track, Sky Garden, and Fantastic Forces Courtyard are just a few hands-on exhibits your kids may try.

Recommended Ages

Although MOXI is a fantastic destination for young and old alike, most hands-on displays are geared toward children six to twelve.

  1. Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History

Santa Barbara’s natural history museum also highlights local Native American culture.

Why Your Family Should Go

Introduce your students to the wonders of learning by taking them to this museum and letting them explore the various displays that will teach them about ecosystems and natural history.

See prehistoric creatures at the Prehistoric Forest, or go canyoneering in adjacent Mission Creek.

What to Do With Kids

Visit the Diorama to show your children the 74-foot Blue Whale skeleton and let them have a great time learning about prehistoric life.

Recommended Ages

The Museum of Natural History in Santa Barbara is a great place to take the kids.

It’s appropriate for kids as young as three and as elderly as eighteen to explore the displays.

  1. Arroyo Burro Beach

Besides its more common name, “Hendry’s Beach,” Arroyo Burro is a popular destination.

It may be found on Cliff Drive below the Santa Barbara cliffs.

Why Your Family Should Go

Every kid enjoys a day at the beach.

As a result, a trip to Arroyo Burro Beach is one of the best free options for families in Santa Barbara.

What to Do With Kids

Young children are always delighted by a visit to the beach.

For this reason, a trip to Arroyo Burro Beach is one of the best free, family-friendly Santa Barbara activities.

Recommended Ages

Your infants, preteens, and teenagers will have a blast at the beach.

  1. Cabrillo Bike Path

The Cabrillo Bike Path is a well-known urban cycling route.

Its length is almost 4.5 miles.

Why Your Family Should Go

Try Santa Barbara and want to know what to do with the kids.

The trail from Leadbetter Beach and Shoreline Park to Montecito’s Butterfly Beach is a great way to exercise and see the sights.

What to Do With Kids

Get on a bike and have a nice long ride down the route.

You can break into any shops around Stearns Wharf or walk the area.

Recommended Ages

Take your kids to the Cabrillo Bike Path when they’re old enough to ride their bikes without you if you want to make the most of your time there.

Even 8-year-olds will have fun cycling along the course.

If you wish to bring your young children, you can do side-by-side if you like.

  1. Old Mission Santa Barbara

Antiquated Temple The Franciscan order established the Santa Barbara Spanish mission in 1786.

Why Your Family Should Go

Looking to spice up your family vacation with a little bit of history?

The Spanish colonial architecture of Old Mission Santa Barbara will transport you back in time.

What to Do With Kids

Explore the Mission’s museum, Sacred Garden, cemetery, and church on a self-guided tour with the kids.

Guided tours are available to learn as much as possible about the history and structure of the area.

Recommended Ages

A Tour of the Neighborhood of Old Mission Due to its relaxed atmosphere, Santa Barbara is a great place to bring young children.

However, children older than eight are more likely to grasp the significance of historical details.

  1. Chocolate Maya

In Santa Barbara, a boutique called Chocolate Maya sells only artisanal chocolate.

Why Your Family Should Go

Chocoholic and sugar-loving kids will love exploring Chocolate Maya.

They have chocolates of every description on the walls.

What to Do With Kids

One need only visit Chocolate Maya to purchase a variety of goodies to take home as a souvenir.

However, Chocolate Maya also provides a variety of classes that you and your older teens can participate in.

Recommended Ages

You can take kids here if you’re just looking to stock up on treats (ages 0 and up).

If your students are teenagers, you may be better off skipping the basics and heading straight to the advanced material.

  1. The Sea Center of the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History

The Museum of Natural History in Santa Barbara includes the Santa Barbara Sea Center.

Stearns Wharf is where you’ll find it.

Why Your Family Should Go

A trip to the Santa Barbara Sea Center is a great family activity.

If your kids are interested in aquatic life, this is a must-read.

What to Do With Kids

Give your kids free time to explore the aquarium’s many hands-on displays.

They may interact with the animals in the tank, learn about marine life firsthand, and watch the fish swim around.

Recommended Ages

Everyone in the family can enjoy activities at the Sea Center.

Bring the kids (3 years old and up) when you go.

  1. Santa Barbara FisHouse

The Santa Barbara FisHouse is a beachfront seafood restaurant run by a local family.

Why Your Family Should Go

Try some of the regional specialties when visiting the Central Coast of California.

Fresh seafood is a big part of that lifestyle.

What to Do With Kids

Indulge quality time with the family over delicious seafood like Macadamia Nut Sea Bass and the ever-popular lobster.

Recommended Ages

Take your kids to FisHouse if they aren’t too fussy about their food.

If your children are old enough to behave and not bother other guests, feel free to bring them along.

Nonetheless, the restaurant’s menu and atmosphere are more suited to tweens and teenagers.

Choose your Reaction!