Monday, June 24, 2019

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History

The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History is one of our favorite places for a long visit.  The bird room has stuffed birds, eggs and dioramas of different habitats. The mammal room has the classic stuffed animals with updated signage. A mineral room has various minerals displayed under different kinds of light. The Chumash room has dioramas, examples of boats, pottery and language.  The ocean room has displays on the different kinds of ocean environments. The Curiosity Lab is kid friendly with hands on activities that rotate so there is always a new one to do. The backyard area has a man made creek (with no poison oak!) to explore and buckets, small boats and tools to play with for hours.

Our favorites include the backyard area (for the 5 year old), the Curiosity Lab (for the 8 year old) and the bird room (for mama).

Cost: $12/$7
Family memberships: Start at $99
Hours: 10 am - 5 pm (COVID times only open Wed-Sun 10-5 reservations recommended, masks requested)
Time: 1 hour + (much longer when we go to the backyard)
Location: 2559 Puesta del Sol near the Santa Barbara Mission
Parking: There is a free parking lot next to the museum.
More Information:
Nearby: Santa Barbara Mission and Rocky Nook Park (paths at Rocky Nook)

Events and free days: Free days are once a month September-April are listed here. There are special exhibits in summer. Summer 2019 has a prehistoric forest (dinosaur) exhibit and the butterfly pavilion
Chumash Artifacts

Chumash Baskets

Prehistoric Times 

Mineral Room


Bird Species

Ocean Environments


Monday, June 17, 2019

Neal Taylor Nature Center at Lake Cachuma

The Neal Taylor Nature Center at Lake Cachuma is a fun little museum.  The museum is dedicated to nature of the lake area, Chumash history and daily life and history of the area. Chumash exhibits include a Chumash pantry tools, model of a town and animals the Chumash used. Nature exhibits include birds/eggs, beavers, mammals, and fish. Other exhibits include weather patterns and the watershed map. 

Our favorites include the scavenger hunt, the puppet area (5 year old fav), Chumash section (8 year old fav), animal exhibits (Mom fav) and the wingspan wall. 

There are many short trails around the nature center that can be explored and there is a 2 hour boat trip ($15 adults and $10 kids) that would be good for older children.  

Cost: Free (the day use fee to park at Lake Cachuma is $10)
Membership: None
Hours: Wednesday - Saturday 10am-4pm; Sunday 10am-2pm, Closed Monday and Tuesday
Time: 30-45 minutes
Location: The Neal Taylor Nature Center is located at Lake Cachuma about 20 miles from Santa Barbara (30 minutes) on the 154.
Parking: The day use fee to park at Lake Cachuma is $10.
More Information:
Nearby: Knapp's Castle, Solvang and Sunnyfields Park

Events and free days: N/A

Chumash Grinding stones, pantry and tools
Animal Exhibits  

Animal Exhibits

Animal Exhibits

Animal Exhibits

Watershed Map

Weather in the area

Trash Vulture

Puppet Area

Puppet Area

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Goleta Mom Giveaway Winners!

Goleta Mom had a giveaway for some fun museums in the Santa Barbara area! And the winners were....

1. Jennifer C. Maritime Museum Pass

2. Dolly C. Art Museum Pass

3. Lynnae O. Natural History Museum Pass

4. Carrie N. Art Museum Pass

5. Tracy M. Art Museum Pass

6. Jessica S. Art Museum Pass

These first few weeks of summer are busy for us, but later in June, I will be posting a new museum on Museum Mondays and a Friday Favorite with a few bonus posts on Wednesdays!

Monday, June 10, 2019

Santa Barbara Maritime Museum

The Maritime Museum is an ocean history and all things sea related museum. Exhibits include ocean exploration (from the Chumash, to the Spanish explorers, whaling ships and beyond), sport fishing, commercial diving, geology and history of oil. There is generally an ocean photography exhibit and a theater showing ocean related science films. There are a few interactive exhibits on tattoos, fishing, steering a ship, periscope as well as an area with crafts, dress up, a fishing activity and sailing activities. It is kid friendly and staff provides a scavenger hunt that when completed can earn a prize from the treasure chest.

Our favorites include the scavenger hunt, the dress up area (5 year old fav), art area (8 year old fav), Chumash section (Mom fav) and the "getting tattoos station."

Cost: Adults $8, Seniors/Kids 5-17/Students $5, kids under 5/military/members free (We got a free family pass from science night at our elementary school).
Membership: Family memberships start at $65 a year.
Hours: 10 am – 5 pm everyday except Saturdays 9 am – 3 pm (closed Wednesdays) Note: Check hours before visiting. The museum often closes early for special events.
Time: 1-1 1/2 hours (more if they get pulled into the movie room)
Location: The Maritime Museum is located at the Santa Barbara Harbor.
Parking: There is a small, free 90 minute lot or the harbor parking is $2 per hour ($12 max).
More Information:
Nearby: East Beach, Ledbetter Beach, Los Baños Pool and Los Baños del Mar Playground

Events and free days: There are no free days but we received free passes at our school science night. World Ocean Day in June

Art Area 

Art Project
Early History of Oil 
Early Shipping

Early Navigation


History of Diving

Add caption

Local Shipwreck

Channel Topography

History of Surfing
Early Diving Suit
Tattoo Interpretation

Try a tattoo yourself

Charting History

Navigating a ship Interactive Exhibit