Outdoor Fun

Foxes, Meerkats, Oh My: Fall Arrives at Santa Barbara Zoo

Autumn is in full and furry swing in the American Riviera, and the animals are having a ball (and yummy pumpkins to snack upon, too).

Santa Barbara Zoo

What to Know

  • Santa Barbara Zoo's "Spooky Zoo" is on from Oct. 11-31, 2021
  • Activities included with admission
  • Zoo guests are invited to visit in costume (check the guidelines before you go)

THERE ARE CELEBRATIONS, and then there are "spell"-abrations, those sweet and lively larks that aren't too scary but might be a little... hairy. Or perhaps "furry" is the better word, since we're talking about leopards and meerkats and all of the super-cute critters that call the Santa Barbara Zoo home. The animal park just launched its own seasonal "spell"-abration on Oct. 11, 2021, all to give people who adore Halloween a side of not-so-frightful fun, while providing the beasties around the property plenty of pumpkin-y delights. Nope, we're not suggesting that keepers are decorating the animals' habitats with jack o'lanterns; rather, a number of the animals are getting their pumpkin-obsessed noms on, thanks to special squash-y snacks.

THOSE SEASONAL GOODIES... are all a part of the Spooky Zoo, the multi-day happening at the Santa Barbara destination. Pumpkin feedings will happen now and then, but a number of offerings are available to enjoy at any time during your visit, like visits to places to take a great snapshot and spots to buy special sips and bites, and, oh yes, the chance to wear your costume to the zoo. And you and your fam are welcome to gussy-it-up, every day the Spooky Zoo is on, and not just Halloween (Oct. 31 is the final day of the run). Just be sure to read a few costume guidelines about costumes before making your way there.

SOMETHING NIFTY? There's no additional fee for the Spooky Zoo; any Halloween-related happenings are part of regular Santa Barbara Zoo admission (but, yep, do bring funds for food and drinks).

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