National Parks / Natural World in SANTA BARBARA with kids

The world has some incredible natural wonders, and luckily for you, Santa Barbara has some incredible places to visit with kids right on your doorstep….and you won’t want to forget your camera!

The national and state parks in and around Santa Barbara, California offer an incredible variety of experiences for children.  Some parks protect a unique and diverse wilderness, teeming with wildlife which is always a thrill for kids!

Some parks protect incredible fascinating and significant historical sites, where the family can go back in time through American history…who says the learning as to stop on a family day out!

Even the city of Santa Barbara itself has smaller parks perfect for a quick trip into nature.  You don’t even need to leave the city to have that park experience - and kids LOVE them!

Shut those televisions off and put those computer games away….the great outdoors is calling and it’s calling YOU!

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  • Gardens of the World

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    (51 miles) Thousand Oaks

    Fascinating but definitely for the less boisterous child, this set of themed landscaped gardens representing six areas of the world is an easy half day of wonderment for most children, whether just ...

  • Patriots Park

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    (73 miles) Bakersfield

    A fun family park in Bakersfield perfect for those sunny days, with play areas and sporting fun

  • Santa Monica State Beach

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    (74 miles) Santa Monica

    Beach fun blessed with 3.5 miles of broad sandy coastline and more than 340 days of sunshine per year, with swimming, volleyball, surfing and more!

  • Monarch Butterfly Grove

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    (75 miles) Pismo Beach

    Each year thousands of vibrant orange and black Monarch Butterflies flock to Pismo Beach, seeking shelter from the freezing northern winters. From late October to February, the butterflies cluster in ...

  • Jastro Park

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    (76 miles) Bakersfield

    A fun family park in Bakersfield with great grass space, sporting activities, picnic areas, and a spray park over summer!

  • Descanso Gardens

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    (86 miles) La Cañada Flintridge

    Beautiful gardens with year round blooms, with plants unchanged from the age of the dinosaurs, and train rides too!

  • Brookside Park

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    (89 miles) Pasadena

    Over 60 acres of park fun in Pasadena, with sporting areas, playgrounds, and picnic areas

  • Eaton Canyon

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    (93 miles) Pasadena

    This 184-acre natural park is located at the base of Mt. Wilson. There are five miles of nature trails and also an equestrian trail. The canyon is very lush and has beautiful displays of local flora ...

  • The Arboretum

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    (96 miles) Arcadia

    A unique 127 acre botanical garden and historical site in Los Angeles, with impressive plant collections from all over the world, including many rare and endangered species!

  • Zamora Park

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    (99 miles) El Monte

    Five acre park area with adventure playground and a great wading pool to cool off in. There are scattered picnic tables and plenty of room for traditional outdoor games like frisbee, ball and tag. ...

  • Check out other fun things to do below...

  • Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History

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    Santa Barbara

    The Museum features eleven exhibit halls, focusing on regional natural history, including birds, insects, mammals, marine life, paleontology, Native Americans and the Chumash Indians.

  • Santa Barbara Maritime Museum

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    (1 miles) Santa Barbara

    Discover a treasure of experiences and help us to share and inform those who have not been able to explore the sea themselves to experience the wonders of the California coast. We hope that you too ...

  • Gull Wings Childrens Museum

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    (33 miles) Oxnard

    A staggering quantity of fun interactive exhibits from aquarium touch tanks, to dress up adventures, camp outs and the rainforest. And fancy lunch? The kids can serve you!

  • The Getty Villa

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    (70 miles) Pacific Palisades

    An educational center and museum perfect for those art loving families who want to spend the day surrounded by the arts and cultures of ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria.

  • Skirball Cultural Center Noahs Ark

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    (73 miles) Los Angeles

    Imagine yourself immersed in a favorite childhood tale with an 8,000-square-foot gallery showcasing Noah's Ark!

  • The Getty Centre

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    (74 miles) Los Angeles

    The Getty Center museum is incredibly family-friendly and a great way of introducing younger children to art in a fun and informative way.

  • Buena Vista Museum of Natural History

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    (77 miles) Bakersfield

    Kids can immerse themselves in the history of the earth, including palaeontology and geology, through a fun yet scientific-based experience.

  • Bakersfield Museum of Art

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    (77 miles) Bakersfield

    A place to explore the world of visual arts, with exhibitions, programs, and special events, all in Bakersfield.

  • The Museum Of Flying

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    (77 miles) Santa Monica

    Flying fun with interpretive exhibits on the history of flight and the growth of the aviation and aerospace industry within Southern California - including a fun flight simulator!

  • Kern County Museum

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    (77 miles) Bakersfield

    Explore the fascinating history of Kern County at this local museum! Over 56 historic buildings on 16 landscapes acres to explore!

  • The Museum Of Tolerance

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    (78 miles) Los Angeles

    Each year the Museum serves over 300,000visitors, including students, educators, law enforcement officials, corporate professionals, and community members from the USA and around the world.

  • Martial Arts HIstory Museum

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    (80 miles) Burbank

    Provides young kids with a new perspective on how Asian history became a unique part of American history and cinema. From anime to martial arts films, art, music and more.

  • Zimmer Childrens Museum

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    (80 miles) Los Angeles

    The Zimmer Childrens Museum is dedicated to teaching people about the BIG IDEAS of global citizenship, community responsibility, and cultural sensitivity. Our mission is to promote values that ...

  • Petersen Automotive Museum

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    (80 miles) Los Angeles

    A fun and fascinating museum for all those car loving kids! Over 150 automobiles are displayed of all shapes, models and makes...a great family fun day out in car loving Los Angeles!

  • Los Angeles County Museum Of Art

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    (80 miles) Los Angeles

    Take your family to enjoy the largest art museum in the western United States!

  • Madame Tussauds Hollywood

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    (81 miles) Los Angeles

    Get up close to your favorite stars in the bright lights of Hollywood....all in wax! A fun day out in Los Angeles with the red carpet touch!

  • Page Museum La Brea Tar Pits

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    (81 miles) Los Angeles

    Explore the wonders of the tar pits and the fossils that were found in them - dating all the way back to the Ice Age! Historical adventures in Los Angeles!

  • Ripleys Believe It Or Not Hollywood

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    (81 miles) Hollywood

    Visit the home of weird family fun, with 2 floors with ALL NEW galleries, shows and nearly 300 unusual and fascinating exhibits!

  • The Hollywood Museum

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    (81 miles) Hollywood

    Hollywood glitz and glamor in over 35,000 square feet of movie magic, costumes and memorabilia. The whole family will have stars in their eyes in this Los Angeles day out.

  • The Hollywood Wax Museum

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    (81 miles) Los Angeles

    You and your family can hang out with the stars for the day at the Hollywood Wax Museum - the longest running wax museum in the United States!

  • Guinness World Records Museum

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    (81 miles) Hollywood

    Amazing world records to inspire, confuse and amaze right on the Hollywood Walk of Fame - it can only be Guinness!

  • Travel Town Museum

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    (81 miles) Los Angeles

    The Travel Town Transportation Museum is an outdoor museum which preserves and celebrates the railroad heritage of the western United States--its history and its artifacts. Particular thematic ...

  • Griffith Observatory

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    (82 miles) Los Angeles

    - an icon of Los Angeles, a national leader in public astronomy, a beloved civic gathering place, and one of southern California's most popular attractions. A good family place to visit if you're ...

  • Natural History Museum of Los Angeles

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    (85 miles) Los Angeles

    Explore 4.5 billion years of history at this fascinating natural history museum in Los Angeles, with exhibits on the planet, culture, and nature - and great for kids!

  • California Science Centre

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    (85 miles) Los Angeles

    Amazing exhibits and interactive worlds for the whole family to explore, covering all things science and the wonders of the world!