Sea Center

The Sea Center on Stearns Wharf is available for private event rentals for any occasion.

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  • Indoor: Standing event or cocktail reception up to 200 guests
  • Indoor: Seated event up to 50 guests (seating areas in multiple locations)
  • Outdoor: Seated dinner for up to 150 guests or up to 120 guests with space for a dance floor
  • Outdoor: Theater-style seating for up to 200 guests

Outdoors at the Sea Center

We take pride in knowing that an event at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History's Sea Center will create many special memories that will last a lifetime. Located on the Northward Finger of Stearns Wharf, our Sea Center is also known as the 'Window to the Santa Barbara Channel,' and provides a perfect place for unique events, ceremonies and receptions.

Sea Center Lobby area


Renting the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History's Sea Center directly helps our mission to inspire a thirst for discovery and a passion for the natural world. The rental fee for both the interior and exterior area is $5,000, with a refundable $500 security deposit. This rental fee includes event hours from 5:30-10:00pm, with four hours of set-up immediately before and two hours of break down immediately following. This fee also includes exhibits staffing for one hour. To reserve your event, we request a deposit of $3,000, which is equal to 50% of the venue fee and the security deposit. The remaining $2,500 deposit is due 30 days prior to your event.


Please note that for all facility rentals, a certificate of liability insurance for $1,000,000 must be provided as well as a signed rental agreement in order to confirm your event. If you wish to cancel the agreement, for any reason, no refunds will be made. Catering, rental, and lighting vendors must be selected from the Sea Center's approved vendors list. In addition, per City of Santa Barbara rules, no event parking is allowed on Stearns Wharf. Clients must contract a shuttle service for all guests. We can assist in arranging for this service.

For more information, please contact our Events Manager at or 805-682-4711 ext. 112.