Monday, July 29, 2019

Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara

Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara is a small museum that runs 3 exhibits a year, each running for about 14 weeks. (The museum is not open in between exhibits.) We went during the recent "Quilts, Cigarettes and Dirt" exhibit by James Benning. The exhibits included boxes of soil, portraits and film. although the museum staff was friendly, this was not an exhibit that was kid friendly (but another exhibit might be). The next exhibition is ceramic vessels/craters by Brian Rochefort beginning August 1, 2019.

Favorites: Dirt in boxes showing soil from locations in Alabama (5 year old) and theater showing a film of the artists students' faces (8 year old).

Hours: Only open during exhibits. Wednesday - Saturday 11am-5pm, Sunday:Noon - 5 pm
Time: 15 minutes
Price: Everyone $5 (students are free with ID). Thursdays are free.
Membership: Starts at $45 (no family option)
Parking: The public garage associated with Paseo Nuevo has 75 minutes are free and the charge is $1.50 for each hour after.
Location: The museum is located on the second floor of the Paseo Nuevo mall above Eureka!
More Information:

Special Events: Some exhibits include an art lab that is kid friendly.

Louisiana Soil with location printed on the box

Portrait section of the exhibit

Entryway included a biography and description of the artist's work

Monday, July 22, 2019

Carpinteria Valley Museum of History

The Carpinteria Historical Museum is a quirky little museum worth some time if you are in the area.  Life sized prints of photos who were residents of Carpinteria are in the various scenes. There are various (eclectic) displays from the 1800s such as a school room, a tool shop, kitchen, bedroom and dining room. A pristine old car (driven by a creepy skeleton). There is also a display on the Chumash and early caballeros. A sweet docent toured us around and gave us the overview of each. The quilts are for sale and proceeds benefit the museum.

Favorites: the piano that can be played (5 year old), the Chumash (3rd grader) and life sized prints of citizens of Carpinteria (mom).

Hours: 1pm-4pm Tuesday-Saturday
Time: 1/2 hour to 45 minutes
Price: Free (donations accepted and quilts sold to benefit the museum)
Membership: N/A
Parking: There is a lot behind the museum where or street parking on Maple.
Location: Take the 101S to Lindon Ave. Turn right on Lindon, then left on Carpinteria Ave. The museum is located on Elm St (the second right) in the first block.
More Info:
Nearby: Carpinteria State Beach and Visitor Center, Monte Vista Park, Tomol Interpretive Playarea and El Carro Park

Special Events: Marketplace once per month

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Summer Concerts 2019

When you live in such a beautiful place, outdoor events are such a fun part of summer. There are free, outdoor concerts galore!

Chase Palm Parks has concerts in on Thursdays in July and August at 6pm. Remaining concerts are Pop Gun Run (July 18), Captain Cardiac and the Coronaries (July 25),  Lightnin' Willie and the Poor Boys (August 8), The Blue Breeze Band (August 15)

Elins Park Has Mesa Moves concerts once a month on Thursday in summer. Remaining concerts is Acre(s) (August 8).

The Goleta Community Center is alternating 6pm Wednesday concerts with movies nights. Remaining concerts are Out of the Blue (July 17), Cadillac Angels (July 31) and SoLuna (August 14) and Mezcal Martini (August 28).

The Stow House has Concerts in July on Tuesdays at 5:30. Remaining Concerts are The Molly Ringwald Project (July 23),  Tony Ybarra (July 30), King Bee (August 6), Cadillac Angels (August 13) and Unlisted (August 20)

Monday, July 15, 2019

Santa Barbara Sea Center

** Updated July 2021** The museum requires masks and is a one way only format, but is open regular hours!

The Sea Center is a fun, little museum on the wharf. The bottom floor has touch tanks with sea urchins, sea stars, sharks and sea slugs. There is a sea deck where a bucket is lowered into the ocean and children can sift through the contents to look at them under the microscope. Side exhibits include how a water shed works, shark development, and wave tank. The upstairs has a movie theater, dark room with jellies and other creatures, reading corner, whale exhibit, puppet theater and sustainable seafood exhibit (there is often another changing exhibit too). The museum is small but it is a fun hour especially if you have a museum membership.

Favorites: Puppet Theater (5 year old), dark room with jellies (8 year old) and touch tanks (all)

Hours: 10am-5pm daily except Thanksgiving Christmas and New Year's eve/day. 
Time: 45 minutes to 1 hour
Price: Adults $9/Kids $7
Membership: Start at $99 for a basic family membership (includes the Natural History Museum)
Parking: Park is free for 90 minutes on the wharf. It is $2.50 an hour after that.
Location: The museum is located on the Santa Barbra pier.
More Information:
Nearby: Maritime MuseumLos Baños Park and Pool,

Special Events: Free Sundays through the school year, World Ocean Day (June), Mermaid and Buccaneer Day (August)

Tunnel to "see in" the ocean

Touch Tank!

Touch Tank 2

Shark Development 

Wave Tank

Sifting through sea sludge



"Walking through" jellies

Whale Exhibit

Puppet Theater 

Sustainable Sea Food

Movie Theater

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Pool Options for Santa Barbara

On a hot day, we all want water to cool down. These are the options I found when I researched it. I only included options where kids can be included. I should mention that I do not know the conditions of any of these locations when you are going and cannot be held responsible for any problems.

Free and Low Cost Water Options
1. Beaches: Our beaches are free and, while not the best option for very little kids, are great for older kids. Our favorites include Goleta Beach, Leadbetter and Carpinteria Beach.

2. Los Baños del Mar Pool 401 Shoreline Dr, Santa Barbara 
Recreational swim times are June 10-August 17, 2019. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 2:15 - 3:45 p.m. Cost $4/$1. The use of floaties is not allowed. 

3. Oak Park Wading Pool 300 West Alamar Ave, Santa Barbara
Recreational swim times are June 10-August 18, 2019. Hours are Monday through Sunday, 12:00 - 5:00 p.m. Note: at busy times, children stand in line to wait for availability. For ages 7 and under.

4. Ortega Pool 600 North Salsipuedes Street, Santa Barbara
Recreational swim times are June 10-August 16, 2019. Hours are Monday through Friday, 1:00 - 3:00p.m. Ages 14 and under must be with a parent. 

5. Red Rock is a great spot for older kids.

We hear there may be a splash pad coming to the Jonny B Wallis Park!  

Note: Lake Cachuma, our closest local lake, is a no-contact lake with no swimming allowed.

One Day Paid 
Cathedral Oaks Athletic Club 5800 Cathedral Oaks Rd 
Members can bring guests for $30/$15/kid May1-November 1. Free with a member in non-peak months.

Hyatt Centric  1111 E Cabrillo Blvd
$35 adults /$20 kids

Kimpton Goodland Hotel  5650 Calle Real, Goleta
$10 adults/ $5 kids

UCSB Rec Center has a daily pass for $15/$8 children. Kids must be potty trained and many other activities may be going on. (Also you must pay for Parking in lot 16/18).

YMCA 36 Hitchcock Way, Santa Barbara has day passes for $10 per person of you come with a member or $20 as a guest without a member

Membership Options
Cathedral Oaks Athletic Club 5800 Cathedral Oaks Rd
Cost: Estimated $230-$300/month for a family of 4.

Los Carneros Swim Club 6495 Covington Way, Goleta
Cost: $425/year per family in 2019 The pool is open March through October. There is long wait list for those who are not in the neighborhood.

UCSB Rec Center has a membership option that begins at $60/person a month for 1 or 3 month passes. Kids must be potty trained and many other activities may be going on. (Also you must pay for Parking in lot 16/18).

YMCA 36 Hitchcock Way, Santa Barbara has a family membership option of $105/month.

Out of Town Options 

Monday, July 8, 2019

Santa Maria Discovery Museum

The Santa Maria Discovery Museum is a kid's museum. Space exhibits include a space shuttle you can "drive", a climbing wall and a launch panel.  There are western themed and fire fighter themed dress up. The kitchen provides a place to "make food." The catching air exhibits sends yarn balls through (like the MOXI). A produce truck has a slide. There is a tree house reading area as well as a creation space with art supplies, Legos and more.  Water themed exhibits include a boat you can climb on and a shipwreck. A money station has play money to handle and a bank teller area. A camp fire/ranch area has a bull to ride, a campfire and branding logos. Other highlight were a piano to play when stepping on the keys, a word wall to make silly sentences, planting station, fishing station, tractor to climb, and simple machines to move. A tot area is there for the very littlest kids. Depending on the how the exhibits change, this might be better for the 6 and under crowd.

Favorites: display on the types of poop splatter (8 year old), kitchen area and dress up (5 year old), and climbing wall (all)

Hours: 10am-5pm Tuesday-Saturday, Sunday 12pm-4pm, closed Monday
Time: 1 hour to 90 minutes
Price: Adults $6/Kids $6 (50% off if you have a MOXI membership)
Membership:$100 a year for a basic family membership
Parking: There is a free lot next to the museum.
Location: The museum is located in Santa Maria off the Stowell Rd/exit 170 (about 1 hour drive).
More Info:
Nearby: Waller Park 

Special Events: Farm to Table event in September, calendar of events

Simple Machines

Launch Station

Climbing Wall

Lego Fun

Bank and Money Station

Fire fighting

Kitchen area

Campfire/Cowboy&girl space


Maker space

Arts and crafts station




Catching air


Bank teller

Tot space

Tar pits digging

Kitchen space

Branding logos

Planting Station

Barn Music

Poop and Splatter Exhibit

Combining colors