It’s hard not to be taken by the sea; being in Santa Barbara, we’re constantly admiring the shore and the ocean’s vast waters. We encourage our visitors to explore the coast as well, even providing complimentary bikes to help you navigate with ease. But when you have a small sea lover, a child captivated by marine life, you likely want a more hands-on experience. We suggest you head over to the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center.
The Sea Center
Host to a myriad of sea creatures, the Sea Center whets your child’s appetite for marine biology. “Located on historic Stearns Wharf, this highly interactive marine education facility offers you close encounters with marine animals from the Santa Barbara Channel,” describes the website.
By following one simple rule – the two finger touch – you can get a feel for the various textures that accompany these animals. From the “wet deck” your child’s knowledge expands tenfold. Watch him or her transform into scientists equipped with oceanographic tools to sample the ocean and examine what lies beneath.
Worn out from countless days under the sun? Not to worry, the Channel Theater allows families to “observe mesmerizing jellies, a captivating octopus, and tour a unique marine mammal mezzanine to see life-size Gray Whale replicas.”
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Budding marine biologists @babybossbabes at the Sea Center on Stearns Wharf: “Boyyyy were the girls excited. They got to do some hands-on digging through some ocean dirt to find some amazing creatures!” On the Sea Center’s Wet Deck, young scientists can use a tool called an Eckman Grab to sample the sediment and marine life that’s directly below. Sometimes they find beautiful nudibranchs, brittle stars, and other critters that go on display in our habitats here!
The Sea Center helps your child view life big or small. The ongoing exhibits provide new and exciting adventures. Currently available for viewing is the Shark Cove, Intertidal Wonders, and JELLIES & Friends. This particular exhibit offers children with the “predator’s perspective,” helping them to better understand the beauty and wonder of these inimitable species.
Which exhibit was your favorite?
So, will we see you around town any time soon?