Santa Barbara

Reindeer Sightings Expected on Christmas Day

The Santa Barbara Zoo will be open for a few hours on Dec. 25, and, ho, ho, ho, there are some antlered superstars to admire.

Santa Barbara Zoo

What to Know

  • Santa Barbara Zoo
  • 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 24 and 25
  • Included with paid admission

We've never personally peeked at a reindeer's day planner, but we suspect we'd find quite the packed schedule if flipped to the page for Dec. 25.

For it is widely known that the antler-rocking wonders keep quite busy on Christmas, what with all of the roof-landing and sleigh-lifting and toy-hauling that they so famously do.

But sometimes? A reindeer gets to kick back and chill out after zipping around the planet in a matter of hours.

And if you'd like to see just this sort of Christmastime kicking back, best turn your own sleigh for the Santa Barbara Zoo on Christmas Day. For the animal park will again observe open hours on Dec. 25, though visitors should keep in mind that the zoo will close early (and that's the same deal with Dec. 24, should you swing by on Christmas Eve).

You can call upon any of the on-view animal habitats while there, like the famous snow leopards, and not just the reindeer area.

But the reindeer will certainly be the stars of the day, and that they're only visiting the Santa Barbara Zoo for a limited time should inspire reindeer buffs to spend at least a few minutes with the super-cool caribou.

Christmas Day is a big one for Santa's lead team, but that doesn't mean you can't see a real reindeer in the American Riviera after they've come in for a landing.

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