The Museum is open Wed–Mon from 10:00 AM–5:00 PM. The Sea Center on Stearns Wharf is open daily from 10:00 AM–5:00 PM.

Membership FAQs

To use your free admission benefits at either the Museum or Sea Center, please show your membership card and a photo ID at the front desk. Members who do not present a photo ID will need to purchase admission in order to visit. The named adult Member must be present to use Member benefits.

Household children or grandchildren are included at the Family level and above. Member-level memberships include free admission for two named adults or one named adult and an unnamed guest. By choosing the unnamed guest option, the Member may bring a child as the unnamed guest. The named Member must be present in order for an unnamed guest to receive free admission. Only adults may be named Members on the membership.

Children under 13 may not be named Members on the membership. A named adult Member must be present for included children to receive free admission. If a child age 13 or older plans to visit without an adult, they may be listed in place of one of the adult Members.

Yes, this is possible with a Family Plus level membership and above. This level is geared toward families who have a caregiver, grandparent, or frequent guest who visits. By choosing the guest option, the user must be accompanied by named individuals on the membership. By providing a designated name, that individual may visit the Museum or Sea Center without the main cardholders. If you need to make a correction on your card, please contact membership@sbnature2.org at least two business days before visiting.

When you purchase a Museum membership, it becomes effective immediately. Keep your receipt or email confirmation to use as proof of membership. If you are trying to purchase tickets to a Museum or Sea Center event, and you have not received your Member ID number, which will be on your digital membership card, please call our Membership Office at 805-682-4711 ext. 114.

Please help us with our effort to reduce plastic in the environment by utilizing our digital membership card. Look out for an email with a link to download your digital membership card within five business days of purchasing. If you are renewing and have already downloaded your digital membership card, you will receive a notification on your phone that your card has been updated. If you prefer to receive a plastic membership card instead, please contact us at 805-682-4711 ext. 114 or membership@sbnature2.org. You can also indicate your preference to receive a plastic membership card as you join or renew your membership.

Members at the Naturalist level and above will be mailed one-time guest passes within five business days of purchasing your membership. One-time-use guest passes can be used for free admission without a named Member present, or for additional guests when you visit.

For iPhone Users

Access the email from your smartphone and click the “Download” button, then click “Add to Wallet” and “Add.” The card will automatically go to your iPhone’s Apple Wallet. It can be accessed in Wallet at any time.

For Android Users

Android users need to download Wallet Passes from Google Play. After you have the app, access the email from your smartphone and click “Download” in the membership email, and the card will automatically go to your Wallet Passes app, where it can be accessed at any time.

To share the pass with a joint cardholder, please forward the original link used to download your digital membership card. You may also forward the app directly from your Wallet app. Click on the black circle with the three white dots on the top right corner of your digital card. You will be directed to the backside of your Membership card which lists all of your Member benefits. To share pass, click on the forward link on the top right side to send by your preferred method.

Currently, our system only allows digital cards to be sent directly to one email address. By default, we will send your digital membership card to the primary email address on your record. You can then forward or share the card with additional Members using the instructions above.

No, your membership runs an entire calendar year from the date of purchase. If you renew early, the new membership will begin when your old membership expires.

Memberships are valid for 12 months and will expire the following year at the end of the month purchased.

Yes. If you decide that you would like to upgrade your current membership level, you may do so at any time. Please note, we do not pro-rate our memberships. You will need to pay the difference between the full cost of the membership level you currently have and the level to which you are upgrading.

If you choose to upgrade your membership within three months of your expiration date, we will allow you to renew your membership at the higher level for the following year, and will upgrade the remaining months of your membership for no additional charge.

Please bring your membership gift certificate to the Museum or Sea Center at your first visit to begin using your benefits right away. When you redeem your membership certificate, you will be asked to complete a membership application with your contact information in order to receive your digital membership card and membership communications. The Membership Department will email your digital membership card within five business days.

We are happy to fix incorrect membership cards. If there is an error please email membership@sbnature2.org and provide us the information that needs to be updated. Please be sure to identify who you are and include your membership ID number. If you need to make a correction on your card, please contact membership@sbnature2.org at least two business days before visiting.

No, memberships are not refundable or transferable. All membership sales are final. If you have further questions or concerns, please contact membership@sbnature2.org.

Yes. The ASTC Travel Passport Program only entitles visitors to free general admission at participating science centers/museums with proof of membership. It does not include free admission to family festivals, special events and exhibits, theatre presentations or planetarium shows, nor does it include discounts in museum stores, on parking or other benefits. 

To receive ASTC Travel Passport Program benefits, make sure the science center or museum you are visiting is not located within 90 miles of either your home residence or the science center or museum that you belong to. This distance is measured as a linear radius, not driving distance. For example, SBMNH Members do not receive ASTC reciprocal free admission at MOXI, the Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation.

The admission staff has the right to request proof of residence to apply the benefits.

If you are a Member at another institution and wish to use your ASTC privileges for admission to the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, please show your photo ID and membership card displaying the ASTC logo when you arrive.

More details on the ASTC Travel Passport Program are available here.

In order to provide a secure and healthy environment for our guests, as well as to protect our collections, we can only allow trained service animals on Museum property. Please see our Accessibility page for more information on our service animal policy.