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Santa Barbara Natural History Museum Dinosaurs

Goings On : Museum Unearths New Show On Dinosaurs : The Prehistoric Extravaganza Opens Saturday With Teeth

Dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum!
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Right on the heels of the opening of Steven Spielbergs Jurassic Park comes the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History exhibit, Dinosaurs 1993: The Greatest Show Unearthed.

Opening Saturday, this prehistoric extravaganza exposes visitors to the swampy life of 100 million years ago. Complete with a teeth-gnashing Tyrannosaurus rex and other roaring creatures, the primeval forest setting fills the 3,700-square-foot Fleischmann Auditorium with an educational look at the age of dinosaurs.

The large dinosaur replicas–scientifically accurate in every detail though scaled down–are in constant motion thanks to technology. A computer-controlled pneumatic valve system under the creatures skin has them walking, blinking and performing other feats of motion.

The exhibit, which continues through Sept. 6, will be complemented by a variety of activities, including a film about mass extinction of plant and animal life, another that explores what violent events may have marked the last days of the dinosaurs and hands-on displays.

Admission to the exhibit is $5 $3 for children. Museum members are free. The museum is at 2559 Puesta del Sol Road. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays and holidays. Call 682-4711.

Santa Barbaras annual explosion of free-spirited enthusiasm–the uninhibited romp down State Street celebrating the longest day of the year–is set to commence at noon Saturday.

For information, call 965-3396.

Santa Barbara Museum Of Natural History Casts Net For Butterfly Pavilion Volunteers

The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History is looking for volunteers age 18 and older to help with its Butterflies Alive! summer exhibit, May 28-Sept. 6.

Butterfly Pavilion duty is a fun activity for people looking to re-enter public spaces and reboot their social lives. Summer volunteers make friends during their shifts, and many come back year after year to enjoy the experience.

Volunteers who commit to at least one three-hour shift per week will spend the summer surrounded by graceful, colorful butterflies, while safely sharing the experience with museum guests.

Volunteers learn about dozens of butterfly species and their importance to the environment. They impart that knowledge to Butterfly Pavilion guests, which in turn helps control the safe flow of people through the garden filled with nearly 1,000 butterflies.

Visitors will be encouraged by volunteers to stop by the emergence chamber in the Santa Barbara Gallery to see butterflies popping out of their chrysalides. Prospective volunteers can visit for more information. To better serve its diverse audience, the museum wants volunteers from a variety of age groups and backgrounds. Bilingual English/Spanish volunteers are especially encouraged to apply.

Returning Museum of Natural History or Santa Barbara Sea Center volunteers can contact Rebecca Fagan Coulter at or 805-682-4711 ext. 107.

Natural History Museum Reopens Butterfly Pavilion

KENNETH SONG/NEWS-PRESS PHOTOS About 1,000 butterflies are now flitting about in the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural Historys seasonal Butterfly Pavilion, which reopened on Saturday.

Nearly 1,000 butterflies of various sizes, shapes and colors can be seen gliding through the air inside the Santa Barbara Natural History Museums Butterfly Pavilion, which made its long awaited return on Saturday.

Museum goers wandered through the beloved seasonal Butterflies Alive! exhibit on Saturday, stopping to admire the nine different species of delicate butterflies. Yellow and black spotted Malachite butterflies were seen perched on foliage throughout the exhibit, while the intricacies of the Painted Ladys wings could be admired even from afar. The pavilion, a fan favorite among regular museum visitors, will remain open through Sept. 6.

Kim Zsembik, the butterfly pavilion senior manager, said visitors who have seen the exhibit in the past may notice some new changes this year, including a new layout for the exhibit and even a few new species of butterflies.

A Common Buckeye butterfly species, left, and a Red Admiral butterfly perched on some foliage during Saturdays reopening of the Butterfly Pavilion.

To follow COVID-19 safety precautions, guests are phased into the exhibit every few minutes and the pavilion is split into nine sections. Guests get a few minutes at each section and move to the next phase at the sound of a bell every two to three minutes.

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Dinosaurs In Santa Barbara

Those things that go bump in the night! They could be caused by five dinosaurs that now reside at the Museum of Natural History, permanently, along with some babies. After the summer of 2019 when the electronic dinosaurs visited and were then shipped onto the next place, the kids have been asking for them. One plea came from a two-and-a-half-year-old named Rosie saying, Dinosaurs, come back!

Director of Exhibits & Education Frank Hein, M.S. and President & CEO Luke J. Swetland felt the same and negotiations started. The dinosaurs returned in January, 2021 and so began the tedious process of installation of the heavy animatronics. They move and roar all day long in the woods behind the museum across Mission Creek. They are amazingly real looking. I heard that Walt Disney always said that kids like to be scared. Big kids too, maybe.

The new occupants are a Tyrannosaurus rex, Stegosaurus, Triceratops, Parasaurolophus, and Euoplocephalus. Besides fun memories there are plaques created by experts Jonathan Hoffman, Ph.D. and paleobiologist Jenna. J Rolle, M.S. so the kids learn that paleontology is a dynamic field with constant researchers updating their findings. Theres ongoing speculation whether T. rex ever had feathers throughout his life or only as a baby.

If you havent been to the Natural History Museum lately, nows the time. Lions, and tigers and bears, oh, my! No, just a few dinosaurs. Enjoy the prehistoric forest.

Santa Barbara Museum Of Natural History

Dinosaurs in Santa Barbara

Founded in 1916 as the Museum of Comparative Oology, the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History has evolved to include more than 3.5 million specimens covering every aspect of natural historyfrom mammals, birds, and marine life to geology, astronomy, paleontology, and anthropology.

Newly renovated in 2018, the Museum sits on 17 acres of oak woodland along Mission Creek. Guests learn about the Santa Barbara regions unique and diverse natural history in a wide range of indoor and outdoor exhibits, and explore nature in the Museum Backyard. Museum education programs serve all ages to promote scientific literacy and instill a passion for nature and learning.

Visit the website for current daily admission prices and hours. Parking is free.

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Butterfly Pavilion At Sb Museum Of Natural History Opens Memorial Day Weekend

The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History is thrilled to announce the opening of its beloved summer exhibit Butterflies Alive! on Saturday, May 29 in the Sprague Butterfly Pavilion. Featuring 1,000 live butterflies, the exhibit will be open through Monday, September 6. The Museums indoor and outdoor exhibits are open Wednesday to Sunday, 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM and reservations are required for admission at

One of the Museums most popular exhibits, Butterflies Alive! features a dazzling variety of butterflies, from local favorites like the Monarch to exotic varieties like swallowtails, longwings, Gulf Fritillaries, and Malachites. Various butterfly species cycle through the pavilion throughout the summer, so no two visits are the same.

Beautiful flowers and foliage provide butterflies with plenty of nectar and roosting space. In this tranquil garden atmosphere, guests can discuss butterfly behavior and biology with trained volunteer interpreters. If the record number of people interested in joining the Butterflies Alive! volunteer team is anything to go by, the pavilion is going to be a particularly popular place this summer.

The Museum currently requires online reservations to limit the number of guests on campus at one time. Although face mask guidelines are quickly changing, face masks are currently required for anyone three years or older and must cover your nose and mouth at all times while on Museum property indoors and outdoors.

Santa Barbara Museum Of Natural History Pop Up Shops And New Exhibit

New Exhibit: Dinorama: Miniatures through the Mesozoic

This December the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History will host a series of pop-up shops in its courtyard and the museum will host the land of the dinosaurs in a new outdoor exhibit called, Dinorama: Miniatures through the Mesozoic.


In this exhibit playful miniature dioramas in the Sprague Butterfly Pavilion bring the Mesozoic Era to life as you discover a variety of animals that lived in the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous Periods.

Learn more abut this exhibit at


Plus the pop up shops featured each weekend will feature a different vendor from the beloved annual Folk & Tribal Arts Marketplace fundraiser. These pop-up shops will run FridaySunday, 10:00 AM5:00 PM. 25% of sales benefit Museum exhibits and programs.

Throughout December, a selection of beautiful items from many other favorite marketplace vendors will be on-site in the Museum Store, which is open WednesdaySunday, 10:00 AM5:00 PM. This selection of items will also be available through the new ONLINE STORE.

The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History online store offers a variety of carefully curated gifts, apparel, art books and supplies, stationery, drinkware, Museum publications, childrens books, non-fiction books, Dibblee Geologic Maps, puzzles and games, toys, and more. Items are available for local, contact-free curbside pick-up and domestic shipping.

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+ Places To See Butterflies In Southern California

There are approximately 170 species of butterflies in Southern California. We are also lucky enough to live in a climate where we can watch and observe the Monarch Butterfly Migration Season. To our advantage, there are numerous parks, sanctuaries and nature playgrounds where the Monarch butterflies like to migrate to.

Every year adult Monarch Butterflies make massive migrations from August October, flying thousands of miles south to hibernate along the California coast and in central Mexico. In the wintertime in Southern California, butterflies like to roost in our trees and live in our open habitats including fields, meadows, weedy areas, marshes, and roadsides.

Prehistoric Dinosaur Exhibit Returns To Santa Barbara Museum Of Natural History

Jurassic Dig at Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History
  • Santa Ynez Valley News Staff Report

The parasaurolophus is one of many prehistoric creatures on exhibit at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.

Outdoor animatronic dinosaur exhibit “Prehistoric Forest” has returned to Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, taking visitors back in time millions of years ago.

The big dinosaurs made their initial debut in the summer of 2019, with record-breaking numbers of guests encountering them up close in the wild, a spokeswoman for the museum said.

At summers end, the dinosaurs creators animatronic artisans Kokoro Exhibits shipped them to their next engagement, which was immediately noticed by visitors who pleaded for their return, according to the spokeswoman.

Director of Exhibits & Education Frank Hein started negotiations with Kokoro to bring the big dinosaurs back for good after several requests and a notable postcard with artwork and a message from a 2.5-year-old future paleontologist named Rosie, saying, Dinosaurs, come back!

According to the spokeswoman, the dinosaurs made their return to the museum on Jan. 18, when both exhibits and facilities staff were tasked with installing the heavy animatronics while following new health and safety guidelines.

A small visitor looks on in awe at the “Prehistoric Forest” exhibit in 2019.

For safe distancing, attendance is limited and reservations are required and available at

Masks are required for ages 3 and up, and indoor exhibits remain closed.

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Noozhawk Asks: Whats Your Question

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Heres how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And well be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawks objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Wood Chips Removed Santa Maria Skate Park Reopens

Skaters returned to the reopened skate park at Fletcher Park in Santa Maria on Wednesday after being kept out of the facility since April.

We are so grateful for all the positive feedback from our members who have enjoyed our socially distant Butterfly Pavilion during our preview, said Zsembik. Weve been able to create a personal yet socially distant and safe experience for families to slow down and see an up close look at all the 14 species of butterflies inside.

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Santa Barbara Museum Of Natural History Butterfly Pavilion Emerges Memorial Day Weekend

The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural Historys summer exhibit Butterflies Alive! will open Saturday, May 29 in the Sprague Butterfly Pavilion. Featuring 1,000 live butterflies, the exhibit runs through Monday, Sept. 6.

The museums indoor and outdoor exhibits are open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday reservations are required for admission at

One of the museums most popular exhibits, Butterflies Alive! features a variety of butterflies, from local favorites like the Monarch to exotic types like swallowtails, longwings, Gulf Fritillaries, and Malachites. Various butterfly species cycle through the pavilion throughout the summer, so no two visits are the same.

Beautiful flowers and foliage provide butterflies with nectar and roosting space. Guests can discuss butterfly behavior and biology with trained volunteer interpreters.

Last year, the museums indoor exhibits were closed during Butterflies Alive!, but this year, with indoor exhibits open concurrently, guests can see pavilion-bound butterflies emerge from their chrysalides in the Santa Barbara Gallerys emergence chamber.

Where To See Monarch Butterflies In Southern California

Prehistoric Forest


Butterflies Alive!, The Living Desert Zoo & Gardens, Palm Springs

This butterfly exhibit is located inside the zoo with lush desert landscape.


The population of Monarchs here are most plentiful in November and December. The butterflies are located in the eucalyptus trees along the creek next to the campground.

You can specifically see the Monarch butterflies at the Big Sycamore Canyon, which is an autumn site.


Norma Gibbs Park, Huntington Beach

The eucalyptus grove at Norma Gibbs Park is a monarch overwintering site. The park has pathways, picnic tables, and a 400 sq. ft. tile inlay of monarchs and text describing the story about the migrating monarchs. During spring and summer, many other butterflies inhabite the park. They also have an educational program and offer group tours.


Andrew Molera State Park, Big Sur

Andrew Molera State Park is largest state park along the Big Sur coastline. Named after the man who brought the artichoke to California, Andrew Molera State Park also is the home of many historic structures, including the oldest building in Big Sur. Additional activities include visiting the discovery center, viewing butterflies, hiking, fishing, horseback riding and mountain biking trails.

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Popular Dinosaur Exhibit Now Permanent At The Santa Barbara Museum Of Natural History

KENNETH SONG/NEWS-PRESS PHOTOSEmma Jones, 4, shrieks in excitement at the sight of a Tyrannosaurus rex while a Parasaurolophus looms in the background during the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural Historys reopening Saturday.

Tread lightly, theres a dinosaur behind that tree!

In a wooded area behind the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, five life-like animatronic dinosaur figures are yet again evoking awe and wonder from visitors in the museums reinstalled exhibit, the Prehistoric Forest.

During the museums reopening Saturday, children shrieked while walking through the museums Jurassic Park-like forest, coming face to face with prehistoric species like the Tyrannosaurus rex and the Stegosaurus.

Audrey Grode, 7, and her sister Esme Grode, 5, visited the museum Saturday to see the dinosaurs up close, excited to see the life-like figures in action. As frequent museum visitors, the Grode sisters have seen the majority of the exhibits the museum has to offer, but the dinosaur exhibit is one of their favorites.

Visitors to the Prehistoric Forest were greeted by a Tyrannosaurus rex, who growled and moved its head and tail. The Prehistoric Forest is now a permanent outdoor exhibit at the museum.

Its the funnest thing there is here, Audrey told the News-Press.

One of the things we really wanted to do with this exhibit, starting with the first time it was here, was to really clue people in on whats going on with current research, Dr. Hoffman told the News-Press.

Santa Barbara Natural History Museum Brings Dinosaurs To Life With Prehistoric Forest

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History has reopened its popular animatronic dinosaur exhibit.

After a prolonged shutdown during the regional stay-at-home order, guests can come back to the museum while traveling back in time with the Prehistoric Forest exhibit.

The dinosaurs made their debut back in the summer of 2019 and brought in a record-breaking number of guests to the Santa Barbara museum. When the exhibit closed, many museumgoers asked for the exhibit to return and Frank Hein, Director of Exhibits & Education, began negotiations to bring the dinosaurs back for good.

The dinosaurs returned on Jan. 18 and staff began installing the heavy animatronics into their exhibit while following new health and safety guidelines due to COVID-19.

  • Prehistoric Forest 2019
  • Museum Members Party 2019 – Prehistoric Forest & Butterflies Alive

Guests will see Tyrannosaurus rex, Stegosaurus, Triceratops, Parasaurolopus and Euoplocephalus placed carelfully by Exhibit Lead Francisco Lopez at the wooded area across Mission Creek.

The museum will be enforcing safety protocols due to COVID-19 including masks being required to enter, safe distancing, limited attendance and reservations being required. Indoor exhibits will remain closed.

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