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Special Event Rentals

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  Sea Center
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Location: Sea Center

Description: One-of-a-kind location for evening receptions, weddings, meetings, cocktail parties, and dinners. Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center invites you and your guests to enjoy our unique setting and breathtaking views. As your guests arrive at the soaring, light filled Reception Hall with its two-story walls of glass and lifesize California gray whale models, they will know this is a truly special event.

Whether you are planning a wedding, cocktail party, formal dinner, reception, awards ceremony, or evening meeting, we invite you to experience the unforgettable, contemporary beauty of the Sea Center. Perfectly suited for groups of 10 to 75 people, the Sea Center is a unique location for your special event.

Ambiance: Unlike any other location in Santa Barbara, with beautiful ocean, harbor, beach, and mountain views. Located on historic Stearns Wharf. Gorgeous ocean views abound at the Sea Center. The east side of the Reception Hall looks down the coast towards East Beach, Montecito, and the spectacular Santa Ynez Mountains. The west side looks out toward the sunset and Santa Barbara's picturesque harbor.


Rental Options:

  • Entrance Hall and Marine Mammal Mezzanine
  • Entire facility with unstaffed exhibits
  • Entire facility with exhibits fully staffed


  • Indoor Seated Event: Up to 75 (5-60 downstairs in Entry Hall, 10-15 upstairs on Marine Mammal Mezzanine)
  • Indoor Standing Event: Up to 150


  • Theatre (seating for 25)
  • Freezer
  • Restroom
  • Electrical outlets

Audio-Visual Capabilities:

  • Projector & Screen
  • Must contact Museum-approved A/V technician for use of AV equipment.

Internet Access: Yes


  • Up to 79 cars on site.
  • Additional parking available in nearby public parking lots.


  • No smoking, balloons, confetti, or open flames.
  • Events can begin after 5:30 PM only.
  • Limited outdoor use permitted.

Other Services:

  • Catering counseling
  • On-site coordinator & security

Fee Structure for reservations made in 2017:
You may reserve an available date with a $500 non-refundable deposit, applicable towards the rental fee. The rental fee for the Sea Center interior is $2,000 and the rental fee for both the interior and out of door areas is $2,500. The rental fee is for a five hour event (does not include set up and breakdown time).

For further information, please contact Richard Smalldon, Sea Center Manager, at 805-962-2526 ext. 111 or


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