Kids World

Kids World is the mother of all playgrounds in Santa Barbara. Located at Alameda Park, Kids World is the area's most popular playground for children between the ages of 2-12. Kids World is a unique playground inspired by children's fantasies and wishes. There's a huge whale to sit on, a large shark to scramble over, cubbies to hide in, high wooden bridges to run across, a rope climb, a tire bridge, and towers on which to relax. This 8,000 square foot playground also contains a castle, swings, slides, and more. A special enclosed section for toddlers keeps them safe from energetic "big" kids. There is also a stadium seating section for parents to relax and watch their kids play.

Santa Barbara Zoo

Consistently ranked as one of America's best small zoos. The Santa Barbara Zoo is one of the more than 220 accredited zoos and aquariums that participate in Species Survival Plans, a cooperative conservation program of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Over 200 different species are managed, aimed at maintaining genetic diversity within captive populations, sustaining these captive populations, and guarding against extinction.

MOXI Museum

Visit the Wolf Museum of Exploration & Innovation, or MOXI, and you'll get a sense of the experience to come even before stepping through the door. The building has tall and inviting front windows, revealing a glimpse of colors and lights inside. Once inside the three-story building, guests are invited to explore more than 17,000 square feet of thought-provoking space. MOXI is divided into seven themed areas: technology, sound, natural forces (think gravity, magnetism, etc.), speed, light, interactive media, and a rooftop garden. Every activity is designed to inspire for jobs of the future and to ignite learning through interactive experiences.

Lil' Toot Water Taxi

Lil’ Toot, Santa Barbara’s original waterfront taxi, provides 15-minute narrated boat rides between the Santa Barbara Harbor and Stearns Wharf every half hour. With seating up to 19 passengers, the water taxi rides and harbor tours are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Experience the two sides of the Santa Barbara Waterfront: From Santa Barbara to Stearns Wharf, Lil’ Toot takes you for souvenir shopping, the Sea Center, whale watching, fishing, and dining at the Shellfish Company, Longboard’s, and Moby Dick Restaurant. From the Wharf to the Santa Barbara Harbor, Lil’ Toot takes you to popular local destinations including the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum.

Shipwreck Playground

Shipwreck Playground is located along Cabrillo Boulevard, two blocks east of Stearns Wharf, opposite the ocean. The play area is modeled after the Winfield Scott, a side paddle-wheel steamer that rammed Anacapa Island in 1853. At Shipwreck Playground children can play on two awesome climbing structures (one designed for kids 2-5 years old and a larger one for kids 5-12) as well as several interesting sculptures such as surfacing whales, a conch shell lighthouse, and a nautilus shell play area – all situated in a white beach sand and other soft surface material. The ship's sinking bow forms a slide, and kids can scamper around on bridges and netting.

Wallis Park

When visiting Wallis Park the first thing that may come to mind is: "I can't believe they crammed so many cool things in one place!" Wallis Park is a 4-acre recreation area near the corner of Hollister and Kellogg Avenues in Old Town Goleta with amenities that make it a fantastic place for not only children to play, but adults as well. Wallis Park contains a multitude of recreational amenities and landscaping, including 24 on-site parking spots, skateboard park, 17 picnic tables (8 of them shaded), 6 barbecues, 6 hot coal dispensers, multi-purpose field, big kids playgound, toddler playground, spherical merry-go-round, swings (2 regular, 1 full support, 1 infant), teeter totter, basketball court, bankshot basketball court, handball court, concrete ping-pong table, bocce ball court, pickleball court, perimeter walking path, fitness nodes with exercise equipment, piñata pole, 2 chess tables, 4 all-gender restrooms with infant changing stations, drinking fountains, water bottle refill station, and in the future, a splash pad.

Sunny Fields Park

Sunny Fields Park is in the city of Solvang which is a 45-minute drive from Santa Barbara. The main attraction at is a huge, custom-built wooden castle playground featuring slides, tire swings and little houses for hide and seek. True to Solvang's Danish heritage, there is also a gingerbread house, puppet theater and Viking ship. There are shady spots like a theater where kids can put on a puppet show. There are plenty of medieval towers, monkey bars, rope bars, rock-climbing wall, bridges, a tube slide, a tire swing, baby swings, and regular swings. There's a separate area for the smallest tots and plenty of seating for adults.

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History

Founded in 1916 as the Museum of Comparative Oology, the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History has evolved to include more than 3.5 million specimens covering every aspect of natural history - from mammals, birds, and marine life to geology, astronomy, paleontology, and anthropology. Tthe Museum boasts state-of-the-art interactive exhibits for all ages, paired with the Central Coast's only planetarium, on 17 acres of oak woodland along Mission Creek. Guests learn about the Santa Barbara region's unique and diverse natural history and then go outside to explore nature in the Museum Backyard. Museum education programs serve all ages to promote scientific literacy and instill a passion for nature and learning.

Santa Barbara Maritime Museum

Going to the Maritime museum is a wonderful treat for anyone. The Santa Barbara Maritime Museum is a must stop if you are close to the Santa Barbara Harbor. Just looking through the periscope is worth admission. Located at the Harbor's Waterfront Center, the Maritime Museum features a balance of highly interactive exhibits, such as the periscope. The periscope extends from the roof for anyone to view. Just like an actual periscope from a submarine, it gives you a 365 degree viewing radius. It is one of the best exhibits at the museum. This museum is dedicated to preserving and presenting to the public the maritime heritage and on-going educational platform to study human interaction with the marine environment.

Stearns Wharf

Stearns Wharf is a pier at the cross section of the end of State Street and Cabrillo, in the harbor in Santa Barbara. When completed In 1872, it became the longest deep-water pier between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Named for its builder, local lumberman John P. Stearns, the wharf served the passenger and freight shipping needs of California's South Coast for over a quarter century. Before the wharf, passengers and cargo had to be rowed ashore through the breakers and kelp. Despite the great convenience offered by the wharf, Santa Barbara remained a fair-weather harbor with an acute need for a breakwater. During December 1878, storms destroyed and washed away more than 1,000 feet of the wharf. Despite these losses, it would be another 52 years before Santa Barbara got its needed breakwater.

Sea Center

Discover the wonders of ocean life at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center. Built in 1987 on historic Stearns Wharf, this highly interactive marine education facility offers you close encounters with marine animals from the Santa Barbara Channel. In addition to permanent exhibits, the Sea Center hosts unique events and special educational programming, including the Live Dive series. Using a gentle two-finger touch, you can interact with marine animals such as sharks, rays, sea stars, sea urchins, and sea anemones. On the wet deck, be a scientist and use oceanographic tools to sample the ocean and examine marine life.

Lizard's Mouth

Lizard's Mouth Rock is the highest point of a large, flat rock formation near the top of the Santa Ynez Mountains. It is the most popular and expansive sandstone bouldering location in the area and is an easy 1/4 mile walk from the trailhead. Lizard's Mouth has one of the best views of the Santa Barbara area and is directly north of the Santa Barbara Airport and the city of Goleta. It is a wonderland of massive sandstone outcroppings. The forces of wind and water have created numerous caves and crevices that are fun to explore.

Hendry's Beach

Officially named "Arroyo Burro Beach Park," this beach is just a ten minute drive along the Coast from downtown Santa Barbara. Hendry's is secluded by towering cliffs and a curving coastline. Surfers and children vie for territory as the waves tumble into shore. Hendry's is centrally located to a great deal of other fun. Elings Park is a half mile up Las Positas so you will often see paragliders launching from nearby cliffs. A centerpiece of the beach is the Boathouse Restaurant and a snackbar.

Cachuma Lake

Set amidst acres of wilderness flanked by the picturesque Santa Ynez and San Rafael Mountains, lies glimmering Cachuma Lake. Here you will find practically everything you need for a relaxing getaway in the great outdoors. Mild temperatures, typically sunny skies, and celebrated fishing conditions make camping here during winter months exceptionally rewarding. The County entered into a long-term lease with the Federal Bureau of Reclamation in 1953 to manage the 9,000 acre Cachuma Lake Recreation Area. Cachuma Lake was formed by the construction of Bradbury Dam in that same year. Located off scenic Highway 154 in the Santa Ynez Valley, Cachuma Lake is midway between the beaches and bustle of Santa Barbara and the Danish Community of Solvang. At any age... in any season... you'll find that the Cachuma Lake Recreation Area offers a fun and relaxing getaway.

Blueberry Farm

Santa Barbara Blueberries at Restoration Oaks Ranch is a 1,000 acre Cattle Ranch, Blueberry Farm, and Retreat Center located in the Santa Ynez Valley, approximately 35 miles north of Santa Barbara. They have about 32,000 healthy, pesticide-free blueberry plants of varying ages that they open up to their U-Pick customers and to local green produce markets in season. They also offer blueberry jams and preserves, pesticide-free raspberries, blackberries, canteloupes, water melons, wild honey, and other natural products grown on the ranch as they are available.


One of the most fun activities at the Santa Barbara Harbor is to rent a kayak or join a guided kayak tour. You can paddle around the harbor and admire the many yachts or paddle up the coast for a little more exercise and adventure. Explore the magnificent Channel Islands. The best guides in the business show you Dolphins, Whales and Sea Lions. The adventures are unforgettable and perfect for beginners and kids.

Ice in Paradise

Ice in Paradise is a public ice skating sports and recreational facility for the youth, students, families and the surrounding Santa Barbara Community. This state-of-the-art arena provides affordable, year-round ice recreation for people of all ages and abilities. Located in Goleta, near Girsh Park, the Camino Real Marketplace, and UC Santa Barbara, this award-winning, 46,500 sq. ft. arena includes two rinks - the Snider Rink, an NHL size rink (200' x 85') and the Norqual Rink, a smaller studio rink (100'x 60'). The facility includes 6 team locker rooms, a figure skating room, specially equipped adaptive sports locker room, food concessions, rental skates, a student study or small meeting room, organized programs for figure skating and ice hockey (boys, girls, adults) and daily public skating.


Santa Barbara's popular skateboard park called "Skaters Point" is located at the beach, just east of Stearns Wharf. It's used mostly by skate boarders, with only about 5-10% on inline skates. Skaters point offers the best in bowl riding and street skating. The 4,500 square foot Goleta Skatepark is one component of the 4-acre Wallis Park in Goleta's historic Old Town, near the intersection of Hollister and Kellogg. Spohn Ranch was commissioned as skatepark designer by the City of Goleta.


The Santa Barbara area offers numerous camping opportunities that kids will enjoy including Cachuma Lake Recreation Area, Carpinteria State Beach, Channel Islands, El Capitan State Beach, Gaviota State Park, Jalama Beach County Park, Live Oak Camp, Los Padres National Forest, Refugio State Beach, and Sunrise RV Park.