Museum open Wed–Mon, Sea Center open daily; both 10:00 AM–5:00 PM
October 5, 2020

SB Museum of Natural History and Sea Center Reopen Indoors to the Public on October 15

Following updated health orders for Santa Barbara County, the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and Sea Center plan to reopen their indoor exhibits to the public on Thursday, October 15 at 10:00 AM. The indoor exhibits have been closed since mid-March, while outdoor exhibits reopened over the summer and remain open.

The Museum and Sea Center have implemented comprehensive health and safety protocols to ensure guests and staff enjoy their visit in the safest way possible. This includes advanced reservations for the Museum to limit the number of guests on campus at one time, one-way flow of movement from the entrance to exit to allow for social distancing and crowd control, hand washing and hand sanitizing stations throughout campus, and increased cleaning of all public areas, especially high-touch surfaces. Masks properly covering the nose and mouth are required for everyone age 3 years and older.

Reopened indoor spaces at the Museum include Mammal Hall, Bird Hall, Santa Barbara Gallery, Chumash Life, Maximus Gallery, Earth and Marine Sciences, Museum Store, and Space Sciences. The Curiosity Lab, Gem & Minerals, and Gladwin Planetarium will remain closed until mid-November. The Museum Library will be open to researchers by appointment.

During its closure, the Sea Center refreshed its upstairs Jellies & Friends exhibit featuring animals found in the Santa Barbara Channel to include new Giant Pacific Seahorse and coral reef habitats. Updated exhibit interpretation highlights the channel’s unique biodiversity and explores climate change impacts such as ocean warming and acidification.

President & CEO Luke J. Swetland shared, “We are delighted to welcome visitors safely back inside at the Museum and Sea Center—both to experience their favorite exhibits and dioramas—and to enjoy the new windows into the natural world we have added. Our community’s longing and need for trusted nature-based science education and engagement has only grown stronger in the last few months, so please visit us as soon as you can, and relish in the doorway we provide to the wonders of our natural world.”

Starting October 15, both the Museum and Sea Center will be open from Wednesday to Sunday, 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Advanced reservations are required for the Museum via Tickets for the Sea Center will be available onsite only (not online).

About the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History

Powered by Science. Inspired by Nature. Founded in 1916, the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History is a private, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with a mission to inspire a thirst for discovery and a passion for the natural world. The Museum seeks to connect people to nature for the betterment of both, and prides itself on being naturally different. For more information, visit

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